Email me at jmayhew at ku dot edu
"The very existence of poetry should make us laugh. What is it all about? What is it for?"
“El subtítulo ‘Modelo para armar’ podría llevar a creer que las
diferentes partes del relato, separadas por blancos, se proponen como piezas permutables.”
I enjoyed seeing these. I think there are a lot of such photographers out there still to be discovered -- a few years back, Michael Lesy turned up Angelo Rizzuto. Now, to be a grouch about it, I have to say I prefer Garry Winogrand to either of them. But such preferences are not exclusive.
I like the normalcy of it, the idea that probably other people could have taken similar pictures and left them in shoeboxes. The paradox of the normal and the extraordinary. I'm going to check out those other two names you mention.
I thought of Winogrand because he was a "street photographer" who was successful during his lifetime, thus in no need of rediscovery. An even more canonical example would be Cartier-Bresson.
C-B I know. I guess there's the advantage in something recently discovered, that it hasn't had the chance to become a cliché yet.
Coming back to this late (because there's real work to be avoided): "street" or relatively candid photos have a special kind of value, transmitting a perception (not quite to say knowledge) of real people. Photography in general has other values too, like "composition", perception of places and things, etc. The "name" street photographers I was thinking of (particularly C-B) are strong in the general photographic virtues, as well as conveying something particular and human of their subjects. But because Maier was the only one who captured what she did, the value of her pictures isn't diminished by the comparison. There's room for multitudes in the pursuit of minute particulars.
I agree. I respond very strongly to certain sensibilities inherent in certain photographers, whether negatively or positively. I find Diane Arbus to be cruel, for example. It's not just what she captured, but the kind of ethos behind her work that comes out implicitly when you look at a large number of photos.
I know what you mean, and those pictures make me uncomfortable too, but I have to recognize that that cruelty isn't alien to me -- I feel sympathy for Arbus's lack of sympathy for her subjects. It's quite curious that shadings of black and gray can convey so much even without our being able to analyze them. Arbus's murky palette, and the close perspectives which perceptibly distort the subjects' features (seemingly not all that harmoniously proportioned to begin with) play some role.
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