The exhibition “Rich Pickings” at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MKG) is devoted to the display of wealth and the self-presentation practices of the super-rich in photography and the mass media. As the gap between rich and poor widens, wealth is flaunted in increasingly excessive forms. This phenomenon has never before been the subject of a comprehensive exhibition. “Rich Pickings” brings together twenty contemporary approaches from a wide range of countries – artworks, journalistic photography, film documentaries and video works by Tina Barney, Gabriel Mascaro, Martin Parr, Julika Rudelius, Juergen Teller, Paolo Woods and others. These are joined by amateur shots from the Instagram photo-sharing portal and excerpts from the reality TV show “Rich Kids of Beverly Hills”. Thematically arranged, the various sections of the show are moreover supplemented by thirteen historical counterparts dating from before the turn of the century to 1960s photojournalism, including works by Jacques Henri Lartigue, Lisette Model, Regina Relang and Edward Steichen. Encompassing 150 objects, the exhibition approaches the topic from a sociological perspective. It looks into cultural imprints and national differences with regard to wealth, investigates the impact of globalization on the depiction of luxury. The show sheds light on the motivation and the roles of those showing their wealth and those looking at it, and reflects on changes taking place in the pictorial media. The exhibition has been made possible with the generous support of the Kulturstiftung des Bundes.

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