Slow Walking — 2019 by Michael Lang
Opening Reception: Friday, June 7, 6 – 8:30pm
Documentary photographer Michael Lang presents a solo show of his most recent street photography at the Touchstone Gallery at 901 New York Ave., NW, June 5 – 30, 2019.
Lang’s previous show at Touchstone Gallery began his series Slow Walking in NY in which he roamed the city with its energy and inspiration. For his current show, Lang continues exploring Manhattan together with Sicily with his Slow Walking theme. As viewers move along the walls of the exhibit, they will see a street performance of breakdancing, an art connoisseur engrossed in what at first appears to be a monochromatic black square (above), customers lined up waiting for 99¢ pizza, a homeless woman asking people if they’ve seen John-John Kennedy, a street evangelist ready to present his message to an approaching group of people, and more.
In Sicily, Lang follows Easter processions, including the procession of the Mysteries, a 400-year-old tradition in Trapani. Twenty large sculptures, each lifted by 20-25 men, are carried in procession through the streets starting on the afternoon of Good Friday and lasting 24 hours. He also visits Poggioreale, a village destroyed in the 1968 earthquake and never rebuilt.
Lang’s interest in street photography began when he was 15 years old in 1957 with his well-received essay on Belvedere Billiards, a Baltimore pool room. This is where he honed his style of intimacy with his subject along with his attention to composition.
Lang has been a member of Touchstone Gallery for 20 years. During this time, he has presented several photographic essays exploring such places as the Northern Hill Tribe people of Thailand, the Farish Street neighborhood in Jackson, MS, as well as gay bars and drag clubs in Washington. He has served on the board of directors at Touchstone Gallery and as liaison to the non-profit Touchstone Foundation for the Arts. Lang is also a member of the faculty of Photoworks, Glen Echo.