DAVID LEVTINTHAL was born in San Francisco and received his MFA in Photography from Yale University. He has had numerous solo and group exhibitions at institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; the San Jose Museum of Art, CA; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Japan; the Museum of Modern Art, NY; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; Galleria d'Arte Moderna, Bologna, Italy; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, Spain; Neues Museum Weserburg Bremen, Germany; and the Fotomuseum Winterthur, Zurich, Switzerland, among others. His work is featured in many public collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago, IL; The Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY; Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the International Center of Photography, NY; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; the Museum of Modern Art, NY; the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; and the Polaroid Collection, MA.
The Wild West series, begun in 1986 is inspired by the romance and grandeur of 1950’s Western television and film; these extraordinary photographs encapsulate the American pioneer spirit of the Old West. The Wild West Series is shot with a Polaroid 20x24 Land Camera, one of five constructed in 1977-78. In the images, Levinthal arranges figurines into stereotypical poses to portray the rugged individualism of the Western hero. The blurred photographs, rich in color, use the iconic toy figurines to create an illusion of reality and motion. The hazy illusions illustrate the blur of fact, fiction and perception surrounding the cultural myths of the American West.