Thursday, November 6, 2014

Caught In The Act!

I love to look at photographs, the real things - not on a computer screen. New York City is heaven for it with all its galleries and museums. And I love to collect photography books, but it's expensive. Still, when I'm at home on a rainy day I can spend a day with Gene Smith, Winogrand, Walker Evans .... and Robert Frank. Speaking of whom - I just received a book by Frank entitled In America which is a collection of work edited by Peter Galassi. It has some of the same work included in the classic Frank book The Americans but presented in a different context. The two books go hand in hand with Walker Evans' American Photographs and all three provide a glimpse into an America of the past century that I only faintly remember. As I look at the people in those images, I see an entirely different kind of American - jaded, unworldly, chauvinistic. Almost all of the images are more considered than Winogrand's, but just as spontaneous and candid - not as studied as Cartier-bresson's work. This is definitely not 'street' photography. I find a lyricism and poetry in it that's completely absent in the work of Martin Parr and his ilk.

When I listen to music, see a drama on stage, look at photographs (or any art work) I want to be blown away by it, or pinned to the back of my seat, or have my guts twisted. Otherwise it's boring, and why bother. Evans, Frank, Smith, Winnogrand - these are the guys that do it for me.

Oh how I wish I could have that effect too.

I had to drop off a portfolio of work in Midtown yesterday afternoon, and afterwards had a chance to roam around Times Square to photograph. I must have been surrounded by bright orange light because I was caught in the act quite a few times (even by Elliott Erwitt - the last photograph)