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Exclusive: An Inside Look At Patti Smith: Camera Solo


Patti Smith has made her mark on the world with her legendary, avant-garde music and written words, but what people have yet to discover is her impressive photography talent, until now. Today marks the opening of her first-ever U.S. museum exhibition, Patti Smith: Camera Solo, at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut. “The real, true reason we did this show is I think her photography is really quite brilliant,” Susan L. Talbott, the museum’s director, tells “I hope that with this exhibition people will understand and appreciate her photography like they do her music.”

There is, of course, a link that runs between her music, poetry, and photography and no, it’s not her great friend, Robert Mapplethorpe. “It has less to do with Robert,” Talbott says. “The one common thread between her music and her art is they are both incredibly intimate.”

Case in point: Smith gave a performance in the Wadsworth’s historic, 300-person auditorium last night, and as Talbott explains, “every single person in there felt they were having this incredible, personal experience with Patti.” The same goes for her 70-photo exhibition, which includes the infamous image of Smith and Mapplethorpe on their second anniversary taken in a Coney Island photo booth as seen in her book, Just Kids. The exhibit is a scrapbook of Smith’s life and inspirations, including Mapplethorpe’s prized cross and slippers, photos of poet Jim Carroll’s deathbed exactly as he left it (complete with the sheets he died in), and an entire room dedicated to her icon, poet Arthur Rimbaud. Here, has the exclusive first look inside the exhibit, open through February 19, 2012.

Photos: Courtesy Photos