High Five

Naomi Yang discusses five photographers who represent different aspects of her work

What counts in music today

If you’ve ever heard Damon & Naomi or the defunct Galaxie 500, it’s no surprise to learn singer-musician Naomi Yang has a deep love and understanding of photography. Glowing and otherworldly, those bands made music as if they were composing time-lapse portraits.

“On tour, since the days of Galaxie 500, I’ve always had a camera with me,’’ says Yang, who lives in Cambridge with her husband and bandmate, Damon Krukowski. “I’ve used it and seen my travels through the camera.’’

Now Yang is showcasing some of those intimate moments with “Afterimage,’’ a solo exhibit of her photographs and some video work. It’s up at the gallery Aviary in Jamaica Plain through Nov. 27.


We recently asked Yang to talk about five photographers who represent different aspects of her work.

1. John Yang “He passed away two years ago, but my father was a landscape photographer - all large format, all traditional darkroom, all 19th-century techniques. Basically, I grew up the daughter of a photographer with amazing photographs in the house. As a kid, I never thought I would pursue photography for myself.’’

2. Lady Clementina Hawarden “She was a 19th-century photographer, and, being a Victorian lady, she would use her children and her husband and her servants as her models and do portraits of them. They’re melancholy and also incredibly beautiful.’’

3. Malick Sidibé “He’s a Malian photographer who took a lot of pictures in the ’50s and ’60s, and they’re just the greatest portraits in the world. People would get dressed up, and he also had props in his studio. They’re very mischievous and so joyful.’’

4. Andrei Tarkovsky “He’s really known as a filmmaker, but he took photographs, too. I think his cinematography is so beautiful and super slow. It’s a very particular aesthetic, but I always felt completely captivated by it.’’


5. Ana Mendieta “She was originally Cuban but came to the US as a child. Her work is based on landscape but also on her body. Her photos are ritualistic, but they’re elegantly done.’’

“Afterimage,’’ is at Aviary (48 South St., Jamaica Plain, through Nov. 27. A closing reception on Nov. 20 will double as a reading for Damon Krukowski’s new book of prose poems.