Best artistic photos of 2022
Culture comes to life through a progression of ideas and images: artists create works, and our photographers then capture those creators and their offerings, creating photography that shares with us moments of intimacy we never knew we had. would not have attended otherwise. Over the past year, New York Times photo editors have commissioned thousands of photographs of movie stars, choreographers, opera singers, musicians and artists who have made memorable contributions to the cultural world. .
In a frame by Chantal Anderson, actor Caleb Landry Jones sips a cup of coffee on his kitchen counter, last night’s dishes stacked in the sink, as sunlight streams in through the window above . In another, Rosie Marks gives us a glimpse of Charo being Charo: working out at home, fully hair and makeup, in a gym frozen in time. In Michael Tyrone Delaney’s photograph of Awol Erizku, the artist stands in front of his work, staring at his toddler. It is an image that speaks both to her personal relationship with her child and to the relationship of her art to her.
Together, these photographs capture a narrative of roughly a year in the arts, building a collection of evolving scenes and inner worlds. We asked some photographers to discuss the intentions behind these frames and the stories they saw in them. Now that the year is coming to an end, let’s take a look back at how we saw the culture this year. — JOLIE RUBEN, senior photo editor
I like to think of this portrayal of Anthony Roth Costanzo in the spirit of early plays, a kind of dollar-store version of world-building, where rudimentary means of expression invite smoke and mirrors to be an active part of the world rather than obscuring it. I created a scenography like a field of flowers in a perpetual state of bending under the wind. The string that hung the flowers was both practical but also meant to dispel any illusion that the wind was real; showing my cards, so to speak.— Erik Tanner
The way Kat Edmonson draped her arm over Kenneth Ard’s, the way her body lay on that stool, the texture of the stool, the color of their costumes, the lighting above and the fog in the smoke machine. As a queer person, it felt like a metaphor for the feeling of coming out of the closet: it’s like an exhale, an aha moment where everything makes sense, feels connected and lush, but only if you allow yourself to. do the experience. way. —Justin J Wee
I brought the flowers as an accessory for Beanie. Yellow roses, as featured in the movie “Funny Girl,” starring Barbra Streisand. I wanted to evoke the idea of a passing of the torch. —Okay McCausland
As a former dancer and D’Angelo fan, I was inspired by these two worlds of dance and R&B. I only asked Kyle if he could improvise a bit for me. Soon I was in the middle of an intimate solo performance in the lobby of BAM. —Lélanie Foster
I wanted to capture Charo’s slight chaos at home on his pitch. There’s a lot going on in the frame: the artificial grass carpet, the rusty weights, the old TV, a missing piece of the mirror – and then her in the middle, wearing a bright yellow outfit straight out of a video ’80s workout routine, with hair and makeup that could be pulled from one of her sold-out Vegas shows. She insisted that we stay after filming and served several platters of cheeses and meats. —Rosie Marks
I watched “Dune” three times before going to this shoot, taking notes on my yellow notepad each time. The sound engineers did such an incredible job of immersing the audience in this extraterrestrial world that I wanted the footage to at least attempt to do the same, as if we were reporting from the surface of Arrakis. —Peter Fisher
Instead of trying to separate different elements in the frame, sometimes I want the different parts of my photography to connect and come together to create shapes and lines. The neck of the bass guitar meets the circle of the bass drum, and Melanie Charles’ foot connects to the bass, which forms a diagonal line with Jonathan Michel’s finger. Melanie’s living room was flooded with music, instruments. You feel like there’s not much that separates his life from his music. —Sinna Nasseri
Entering Awol Erizku’s studio is like entering his mind. It is a large warehouse, filled with striking images and sculptures in progress. He asked to take a photo with his daughter, Iris. Much of her work is done with her daughter in mind. For me, this image embodies the themes of legacy building and black imagination cultivation. —Michael Tyrone Delaney
I had about 10 minutes with Nicolas Cage in a hotel in Manhattan. The story was about his last film, which has a meta quality: Nic plays himself at different stages of his life. I thought a mirror would represent that well. The side of his face is the foreground, and there is also the slightest foreground of his hand. The middle shot shows her circular reflection while the background is another reflection of Nic. And there is another context beyond that. The depth of this frame is a big part of its power. —Sinna Nasseri
When I met her, Ethel Cain was living in a small house in a small town somewhere in Alabama. It was a total time warp with no obvious signs of modernity – videotapes, crocheted table settings, paneled walls, quilts. In this photo, we were in Ethel’s bedroom, where she is sleeping and recording, the microphone a few feet from the bed. We were talking about his childhood in church. She was lying down and I was kneeling next to her with the camera, a godly sight in itself. —Irina Rozovsky
One of my favorite ways to photograph is to be in the street and in the world; I like to play on juxtapositions and chance encounters. Even the streets know that Michael Che is PURE GENIE-US! — André D. Wagner
Every morning in Los Angeles, there is usually a layer of fog (the “marine layer”) that obscures the sunlight. We were incredibly lucky the morning of this shoot – there was no fog, just beautiful direct California sunlight. The light was also low enough in the sky to cast a nice shadow over half of Janie Taylor’s body. I asked her to dance in a way that reflected her work, and she gave so much expression and movement in that light. — Thea Traff
For this story, I fit in with New York’s birders — people who are obsessed with tracking birds, while the rest of us go about our business. I wanted to show this difference in a photo, so I split the frame holding binoculars to the top half of my lens, which I focused on a red-tailed hawk, while the bottom half revealed a man on the ground just walking, oblivious to the magnificent creature above him and the fandom surrounding the city birds. —Sinna Nasseri
When I was a kid in Baltimore, I was lucky enough to have a gay group of friends. We called ourselves “The Pridelights”. The three people in this image, Terry, Michael and Von, were some of the core members of the band and, in many ways, the core of my childhood. The composition is a nod to the iconic album cover “Destiny Fulfilled”, an album that was so central to us when it was released. We constantly argued over who in our group was Beyoncé (Von and I), Kelly (Michael), and Michelle (Terry). There are almost no images of us together when we were kids. Looking at this image now, it looks corrective. —Gioncarlo Valentine
It’s nearly impossible to distill the experience of Heizer’s magnum opus “City” into a single frame. From dusk to dawn, I had the rare opportunity to wander the vast space, letting the light be my guide. Standing in the freezing cold, I did a handful of exposures of about 10 seconds. Seeing “City” under the moonlight made me think of how humans have been building mysterious structures on this planet for thousands of years, many of them in relation to the heavens above. —Todd Heisler
What I love about Abbi Jacobson is how relatable the characters she plays are – you really feel like you know her and are friends with her by watching her. When I found out we were going to be shooting in Los Angeles, I thought of Art’s Delicatessen & Restaurant as the perfect place to meet. It’s a family place where you come back again and again with friends. There is an intimacy and a story that I wanted in the images. —Chantal Anderson
Wolfgang Tillmans and I photographed this couple merging into a single viewer in front of a photo from his MoMA survey at the same time, him on his iPhone and me with my camera. I guess his picture is better. —Daniel Arnold
Gisèle Vienne had shown me around the house, and this room was immediately my favourite. The light through the dirty windows, the sculptures of his mother, the dried plants, the ground. This was taken towards the end of filming so she had been dancing for a while, and it was awfully hot outside. I couldn’t tell she was sweating that much, although the flash revealed it. That’s when it started to get really interesting. She let go and I finally became invisible. —Sam Hellman
Towards the end of my time with the group, I returned to the dark conference room to see them arranged in a loose circle as they shared stories. I was technically done photographing them, but they were so immersed in the conversation and used to my presence. This particular photograph, of Lorraine O’Grady holding court, ended up being my favorite. — Elliott Jerome Brown Jr.
It’s hard to pose two people dynamically when they’re prone to standing or sitting side by side facing the camera. Claire Danes and Jesse Eisenberg play a recently divorced couple on the show, so I came up with the idea of posing them as if they were kissing or slow dancing, in a pose that mirrored their characters. — Thea Traff
Additional production by Alicia DeSantis, Tala Safie, Maya Salam and Josephine Sedgwick.