Sunday, March 10, 2019

The Sunday Still from Patrick Farrell: “Surviving R. Kelly”

Photojournalist Patrick Farrell has joined the blog with his weekly feature, The Sunday Still. Farrell selects one image each week that showcases the best photojournalism by photojournalists from around the world. The feature runs weekly in The Sunday Long Read. The goal of the newsletter, edited by Don Van Natta Jr. and Jacob Feldman, is to put the week’s best journalism in your hands every Sunday morning.

The Sunday Still
from Patrick Farrell

“Surviving R. Kelly”

For makeup artist-turned-photographer Lazarus Jean-Baptiste, the behind-the-scenes assignment to shoot CBS This Morning co-anchor Gayle King interviewing accused sex abuser/singer R. Kelly rocketed from routine to viral when Kelly lost his cool. As video clips of the explosive March 6 moment trended across social media, it was the still photograph of an unflinching female journalist maintaining sphinx-like composure in the face of male fury that captured everybody’s attention – and imagination. The Washington Post called Jean-Baptiste’s photo a “Renaissance painting.” San Francisco Chronicle art critic Charles Desmarais objected and dubbed it modern art. Women identified by sharing the photo with the Twitter hashtag #unbothered. To his credit, Jean-Baptiste resisted the urge to zoom in on Kelly’s rage and provided a wider perspective that encompassed the calm contrast of King’s professional composure. The result? A powerful, indelible image that lasts longer than any temper tantrum.

Patrick Farrell, the curator of The Sunday Still, is the 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winner for Breaking News Photography for The Miami Herald, where he has worked since 1987. He is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Journalism and Media Management at the University of Miami School of Communication.