Best art films of 2022

Culture comes to life through the progression of ideas and images: artists create works, and our photographers capture these creators and their offerings – in turn creating photography that shares with us moments of intimacy we might not otherwise see. 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 one frame by Chantal Anderson, actor Caleb Landry Jones sits at his kitchen counter sipping from a mug of coffee, last night’s dishes piled in the sink, sunlight pouring in from an overhead window. In another, Rosie Marks gives us an inside look at what it’s like to be Charo Charo: working out at home, in full hair and makeup, at the gym frozen in time. In Michael Tyrone Delaney’s photograph Avol Erisku, the artist stands in front of his work, his gaze fixed on his toddler. It’s a film that speaks to both her personal relationship with her child and her artistic relationship with him.

Together, these photographs capture the story of a year in the arts, creating a collection of evolving scenes and inner worlds. We asked some photographers to discuss the intentions behind these frames and the stories they see within them. Now that the year is coming to an end, let’s take a look back at how we’ve seen culture this year. – Jolie Reuben, Senior Photography Editor

I like to think about this portrait of Anthony Roth Costanzo in the spirit of the early plays, a kind of dollar-store version of world-building, where the underlying revelations invite the smoke and mirrors to be an active part of the world. hide it. Bending in the wind I set up a platform of flowers in eternal state. The rope suspending the flowers was practical but meant to dispel the illusion that the wind was real; I show my cards as they are.- Eric Tanner

The way Kate Edmondson pulled her hand over Kenneth Ord, the way his body turned on this stool, the texture of the stool, the color of their clothes, the lighting and the fog from the smoke machine. As a queer person, it felt like a metaphor for what it feels like to come out of the closet: it’s like an exhalation, an aha moment where everything makes sense, feeling connected and green, but only if you let yourself experience it. the way – Justin Jay Wee

I brought flowers as props for Beanie. Yellow Roses featured in the movie “Funny Girl” starring Barbra Streisand. I wanted to raise the idea of ​​passing on a torch. – Okay McCausland

As a former dancer and D’Angelo fan, I’m drawn to the two worlds of dance and R&B. I only asked Kyle if he could do some improv for me. Soon I was in the middle of an intimate solo show in the BAM lobby. – Lelanie Foster

I wanted to capture Charo’s little mess at home in her compound. There’s a lot going on in the frame: a synthetic grass carpet, rusty weights, an old TV, a piece of glass — and then, in the middle, she’s wearing a bright yellow dress from an ’80s exercise video, with hair and makeup that could have been taken right out of one of her sold-out Vegas shows. He insisted we stay after the shoot and offered several cheese and meat platters. – Rosie Marks

I watched “Dune” three times before going into this shoot, taking notes on my yellow frame card each time. The sound engineers did an incredible job of immersing the audience in this alien world, and as we report from the surface of Arrakis, I wished the films would at least try to do the same. – Peter Fisher

Instead of trying to separate the different elements in the frame, sometimes I like different parts of my photo to connect and flow together to create shapes and lines. The bass guitar neck meets the bass drum circle, and Melanie Charles’ foot joins the bass, creating a diagonal line with Jonathan Michael’s finger. Melanie’s living room is awash with musical instruments. You realize that not much separates her life from her music. – Little Naseri

Walking into Awol Erizku’s studio is like walking into his mind. It is a large warehouse, filled with striking paintings and sculptures. He asked to get a photo with his daughter Iris. Much of his work is done with his daughter in mind. For me, the film encapsulates the theme of legacy-making and nurturing the black imagination. – Michael Tyrone Delaney

I spent about 10 minutes with Nicolas Cage in a Manhattan hotel. The story is about his new movie, which has a meta quality: Nick plays himself at different stages of his life. I thought it would reflect a mirror. The side of his face is front, and so is the small front of his hand. In the background is another reflection of Nick while the middle ground shows his circular reflection. There is a background beyond that. The depth of this frame is a large part of its power. – Little Naseri

When I met her, Ethel Cain was living in a small house in a small town somewhere in Alabama. It’s a total war of time with no visible signs of modernity – video tapes, punched table settings, wooden walls, quilts. In this photo, we’re in Ethel’s bedroom, where she’s sleeping and recording, with the microphone a few feet away from the bed. We were talking about her childhood in church. She was lying down and I was kneeling next to her with the camera, a pious sight. – Irina Rosovsky

One of my favorite ways to create photos is being out in the streets and in the world; I love playing in pairs and meeting opportunities. Even the streets know that Michael Che is pure genie-US! – Andre D. Wagner

Every morning in Los Angeles, there is usually a layer of cloud fog (“ocean layer”) that blocks the sunlight. We were incredibly lucky on the morning of this shoot – no fog, just direct, beautiful California sunshine. The light in the sky was low enough to cast a beautiful shadow across half of Johnny Taylor’s body. I asked her to dance to reflect her work and she gave so much expression and movement in this light. — Thea Traf

For this story I’ve teamed up with New York City’s birders—those who are obsessed with birdwatching, while the rest of us go about our lives. I wanted to show that difference in a photo, so I split the frame by holding the binoculars on the top half of my lens, which I focused on a red-tailed hawk, while the bottom half showed a man walking on the ground. Fans surround the magnificent creature above him and the birds of the city. – Little Naseri

When I was a kid growing up in Baltimore, I was lucky enough to have an amazing group of friends. We called ourselves “The Prides”. The three people in this picture, Terry, Michael and Van, were one of the core members of the group and, in many ways, the center of my childhood. This composition is a nod to the “Destiny Fulfilled” album cover, which was very central to us when it was released. We kept fighting over who was Beyoncé (Van and I), Kelly (Michelle) and Michael (Terry) in our group. When we were children there were almost no films. Now looking at this picture it looks perfect. – Gioncarlo Valentine

Distilling the experience of Heizer’s magnum opus “City” into a single frame is almost impossible. 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 few exposures for 10 seconds. Seeing the “city” under the moonlight shows how humans have been building mysterious structures on this planet for thousands of years, many in relation to the heavens above. – Todd Heisler

What I love about Abby Jacobson is how relatable the characters she plays are – you feel like you know her and are friends with her from watching her. When I found out we were going to be photographing in LA, I thought Arts Delicatessen & Restaurant would be the perfect place to meet. It’s a family-owned place that you can visit again and again with friends. There’s an intimacy and history to the films that I love. – Chantal Anderson

Wolfgang Tillmans and I simultaneously melt the pair together as a viewer before a photograph in his MoMA survey, he on his iPhone and I on my camera. I think his film will be better. – Daniel Arnold

Gisèle Vienne gave me a tour of the house and this room was my favorite. The light through the dirty windows, her mother’s sculptures, the dry plants, the floor. It was taken at the end of the shoot, so he danced for a while, and it was really hot outside. Although the flash revealed it, I couldn’t tell she was too sweaty. That’s when it really started to get interesting. She didn’t let go and I finally became invisible. – Sam Hellman

At the end of my time with the group, I came back into the darkened conference room to find them arranged in a loose circle as they shared stories. I technically ended up photographing them, but they were engrossed in conversation and acclimated to my presence. This particular photo of Lorraine O’Grady holding court ended up being my favorite. – Elliot Jerome Brown Jr.

When two people are standing facing the camera or sitting next to each other, it is difficult to pose them dynamically. Claire Danes and Jesse Eisenberg play a recently divorced couple on the show, so I came up with the idea of ​​having them embrace or slow dance in a pose that I felt reflected the characters. — Thea Traf


Additional production by Alicia DeSantis, Shafi each, Hello Maya And Josephine Sedgwick.

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