Choose Me: Arthur Grace’s Portraits of a Presidential Race
September 15, 2012–January 6, 2013
American, born 1947
George Bush, Spartanburg, South Carolina, March 3, 1988
Gelatin silver print
Promised gift from the Collection of Annie and Paul Mahon
© Arthur Grace
Arthur Grace (American, born 1947) is an award-winning photojournalist and documentary photographer who has covered stories for some of the most reputable news sources of our time. This installation highlights selections from a project Grace undertook for Newsweek magazine, which culminated in his book Choose Me: Portraits of a Presidential Race, featuring the candidates of the 1988 campaign, including George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, Jesse Jackson, Al Gore, and Michael Dukakis.
Grace traveled with the candidates for months, and the resulting work reflects a remarkable unguarded access that is virtually impossible to achieve today. His photographs are not the typical press shots of presidential hopefuls; made with a Rolleiflex square-format camera, these pictures portray the personalities of each candidate in a candid, intimate fashion outside of the public eye. The images highlight the strange but familiar activities that candidates repeat year after year, from adopting rallying postures at podiums to posing with wildlife. The work affords a look back at the 1988 election, focusing not on the political agendas of the day, but instead on the timeless theatrics of politics and the personalities at their center.