“After Photoshop: Manipulated Photography in the Digital Age,” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (through May 27, 2013), explores the “dramatic transformation” of photography through photo manipulation software. The exhibit shows the power of digital technology to alter real images (as in Debbie Grossman’s series of Depression Era photos sans male figures), create composite images (as in Nancy Burson’s 1982 “Warhead I,” combining portraits of political leaders with nuclear arsenals), and collate images available only via digital-age tools such as Google Street View (as in Matthew Jensen’s photos of open roads).
“The Apartments” peppers photos of everyday New York with images of terrorism. The series premiered in New York on September 6, 2001, and the exhibit notes how the terrorist attacks five days later “irrevocably altered the way” the work is seen. In retrospect, that series eerily blurred reality and fiction. “After Photoshop” highlights the ways modern technology has done the same. —Ed Krayewski