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TO JUNE 9
The phrase “Anton Corbijn § Bono” should be carved into a tree somewhere in Govinda Gallery, where a retrospective of the photographer’s last 25 years of work is currently on view. And although the U2 frontman clearly holds a particular fascination as muse to Corbijna predilection that totally eludes memyriad other rock stars and models are also the subjects of his distinctively grainy, saturated, and often arrestingly beautiful photographs. Stylistically unchanged from 1976 to the present, the collected images adoringly imply substance and character that mayor may nothave actually belonged to the musicians and mannequins. There is an undeniable thrill in standing before a Corbijn photographeven though there is something bizarre and frustrating about the Dutchman’s unwavering reverence for famous cool people (Jeff Buckley is pictured): We as a culture are deeply committed to the deification of those the photographer loves to shoot, and that arouses a mixture of admiration and disgust for Corbijn’s work. His lens is a vehicle for a very subtle deception: Images that reveal blemished skin and baggy eyes imply a desire to go beneath the public images of his subjectsthat is, until you realize that only the male rock stars have blemishes and baggy eyes, which have never really been too much of a problem in their line of work. His photographs are on view from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday, to Saturday, June 9, at Govinda Gallery, 1227 34th St. NW. Free. (202) 333-1180. (Arika Casebolt)