In 1980, at the age of 60, London native John Coplans became a photographer, forsaking a long and influential career as a writer, curator and founding editor of Artforum and Dialogue art magazines. In 1984 he turned the camera on himself and began his series of starkly revealing nude self portraits. In a 1990 interview with Robert Berlind published in Art Journal in the Spring of 1994, Mr. Coplans stated:
"The principal thing is the question of how our culture views age: that old is ugly. 꿏ust think of Rodin, how he dealt with people of all ages. I have the feeling that I'm alive, I have a body꿌 can make it extremely interesting. That keeps me alive and vital. It's a kind of process of energizing myself by my belief that the classical tradition of art that we've inherited from the Greeks is a load of bullshit"
John Coplans has exhibited nationally and internationally and is in the collections of over 65 prestigious institutions. They include: Art Institute of Chicago; J. Paul Getty Museum, Santa Monica, CA; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; Museum of Modern Art, NY; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Lillehammer Art Museum, Norway; I.V.A.M. Valencia, Spain; and Stockholm Kunstalle. In 1997 John Coplans was the subject of a triumphant retrospective at P.S. 1 in Long Island City, New York.
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