Untitled light box, photographic pigment print on acrylic, Donna Rae Altieri.
Untitled light box, photographic pigment print on acrylic, Donna Rae Altieri.

Donna Rae Altieri Shows a Half-Century’s Worth of Images at Ironton

For its contribution to the Month of Photography, which straddles March and April, Ironton Gallery is presenting 50 Years in Your Face: Photographs by Donna Rae Altieri.

Though best known as a successful businesswoman and arts advocate, it turns out that Altieri is also a photographer. Altieri began taking photos in New York in the 1960s, after she was given a 35mm camera as a graduation gift. In the intervening years, she’s done some experimental work, like in-camera multiple exposures and images in which the negatives are printed as positives.

But it seems her main interest is in taking straightforward portraits of strangers. These photos are set around the world and document not only Altieri’s globe-hopping lifestyle, but also the many people she’s spoken with. They have a snapshot quality in which the informality of street photography is crossed with the formality of a posed portrait.

Today, with the rise of digital hocus-focus, it’s important to remember that Altieri’s photos were done on film using analog cameras and were not created with a keyboard, a monitor and software.

Through April 4 at Ironton Studios and Gallery, 3636 Chestnut Place, irontonstudios.com.

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