Trekkies Alert: Leonard Nimoy Photographic Exhibition Explores Inner Yearnings And Fantasies

The School of Visual Arts at Boston University is presenting Leonard Nimoy: Secret Selves, a photographic series exploring the inner yearnings and fantasies that we all share. The Boston (US) born actor, inspired by Aristophanes’ theory that humans were once double-sided creatures with two heads and multiple limbs before Zeus divided humans in two, reveals his subjects’ other, or second self.

Nimoy recruited portrait models with an open call to be photographed posed and dressed as their true or imagined “secret selves.” “Leonard’s instructions were minimal,” said Rich Michelson, Owner and Director of R. Michelson Gallery. “The ‘self we keep hidden from others’ and ‘the self we would really like to be’ might be one and the same,’ he suggested. ‘I leave it to the subject to decide what they want to show to the camera.’” Gathering 100 subjects from all walks of life: artists and clergy, as well as politicians and business owners, Nimoy asked each of them the question: Who do you think you are? Each subject was recorded as Nimoy interviewed them and created a portrait of their “alternate identity.” The resulting large-scale portraits offer an intimate, sometimes humorous, and profound new look at the residents of Northampton, MA. Secret Selves is one of Nimoy’s three concurrent exhibitions in Boston spanning 60 years of work.

The Griffin Museum in Winchester is exhibiting Shekina in their Digital Silver Imaging satellite gallery from March 20th to May 8th, and Gallery 555 in Boston will exhibit Eye Contact from March 27th to May 3rd. Leonard Nimoy first experienced the magic of making photographic images as a teenager in the early 1940s. His darkroom was the family bathroom in their small Boston apartment. His subjects were family and friends. He studied at UCLA under Robert Heineken in the early 1970s and later received an “artist in residence” appointment at the American Academy in Rome. Nimoy’s photography is included in many museum collections, including The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Judah L. Magnes Museum, The LA County Museum of Art, the Jewish Museum of NY, The New Orleans Museum of Fine Art, and The Hammer Museum. Besides his rising stature as a major contemporary American photographer, in his spare time, Nimoy moonlights as an actor, director, philanthropist, and as one of the world’s best loved and respected personalities, Mr. Spock.

Photo: Photo: Seth Kaye Photography

The Sherman Gallery at Boston University — March 20 – May 9.


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