Photos show President Barack Obama as Barry the freshman





A public that wants to know everything about Barack Obama can thank Lisa Jack for a glimpse of what the future president was like when he was just another college freshman trying to cut a figure in this world -- with a partly unbuttoned Oxford shirt, a big Panama hat and puffs of cigarette smoke as his props of choice for projecting that coveted aura of post-adolescent confidence and cool.

Obama can thank Jack for keeping the roll of photographs she took of him in 1980 out of circulation until he was elected. Nine were first published in Time magazine's December "Person of the Year" spread on Obama; now 21 of the 36 photos, plus a blow-up of her original contact sheet, make up "Barack Obama: The Freshman," an exhibition opening Thursday at M+B Gallery in West Hollywood.

Jack rummaged for the long-ignored negatives in her Minneapolis basement early in 2008, after it became clear Obama was a serious contender for the presidency. The callow kid kicking back on a couch in a living room near L.A.'s Occidental College, where he and Jack were students, may not have been the image the Obama campaign wanted to project.

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