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Photo Exhibit Features An Intimate Look Inside Elizabeth Taylor's Last Home
You still have plenty of time to see photographer Catherine Opie's exhibit at MOCA featuring photos of Elizabeth Taylor's Bel Air home.
Catherine Opie's show is called 700 Nimes Road, which is the address in Bel Air actress Elizabeth Taylor once called home. Opie photographed the home over a series of six months, taking inspiration from William Eggleston's photo series documenting Graceland, Elvis Presley's Memphis home.
The photos aren't just of the home itself, the way one might expect from a real estate listing, but of Taylor's personal effects as well. Okie began take photos in 2010, before Taylor's death on March 23, 2011. Partway through Opie's work, Taylor was hospitalized.
"As an artist, it was an emotional and moving time for me to bear witness to her life and to her loss. Her home underwent many changes following her death. These photographs reflect that transition in a subtle way, while still maintaining an intimate portion of Elizabeth Taylor through her personal space," Opie told the Financial Times.
The last of the close to 3,000 photos Opie took—126 were ultimately selected—was of Taylor's jewelry on the same day that Christie's came to collect it for auction.
There are also images of her clothing, shoes and accessories, as well as mundane household items such as a remote control manual. A majority of the photos depict the way Taylor's house actually was without any staging. There's a note wishing her a happy birthday, a fluffy cat nosing around several pairs of shoes, and of course, a shelf of trophies, including a few Academy Awards.
Opie, who identifies as a butch lesbian, talked with KPCC about how her identity felt when placed against Taylor's femininity. "I'd put my scuffed tennis shoe next to her silvery pump and I'd be like, 'How did she do it?!'" she said.
Here's a video about Opie's work. (There is brief nudity in some of the photographs.)
You can also catch Opie's O which features those in San Francisco's bondage community at LACMA through September 5.