personal work

you can’t go home again

photo of Παναγιώτης καπογιάννης (Panagiotis Kapogianis) by fernand de Beauvoir, Agia Marina, Egina, Greece.

I love that phrase. it’s so applicable to my life experience, and it was much later that I realized that something remains: I still look for bits of “home feelings”, or experiences, when traveling. this happens in Greece, and more so when visiting the Café Marina. Παναγιώτης has that sense to his café that makes me jump back in time to feel like I was home— in the sense of where I grew up and defined my sense of surroundings.

personal work

the tunnel

by fernand de Beauvoir

Juan Pablo Castel noticed María Iribarne attentively looking at the corner window of his painting, in Ernesto Sábato‘s El Túnel. here, there’s no loneliness in looking out the window to draw the attention of a María, for it’s just an offering in many contrasts to the principal play of geometries and shadows. there’s a loneliness at the top of the tower at Karluv Most (Charles Bridge), and in that regard, the loneliness driven into Juan Pablo Castel could co-exist here.

personal work

the influencers

by fernand de Beauvoir

being in Prague, and commenting to a friend, there is always a “linear description” to the way I see photographically. it’s something like Josef Sudek+ André Kertész+ Saul Leiter, and I want to include a second Czech Photographer: Jaromír Funke. it feels more comfortable to realize this after some years, than start aping them from the naïve beginning. that is, go about photography in a autodidactic way, then realize what’s happening, and study these photographers. to be able to sense their environments is also a very pleasant surprise, despite the distant era.

personal work

well, you know…

by fernand de Beauvoir.

the thing is, there’s great juxtaposition to be had here in Prague. but, well, you know, there is that thing of actually walking around with a camera and looking photographically. this will happen in the coming days, with a revisit to the Old Cemetery and the Jewish Cemetery, along with portrait work, and hopefully some juxtaposition with light/shadow play. something that will say to me: « yeah, that was Prague ».

personal work

when in Prague

personal work

in a previous post, I commented on the love for the Czech photographers Joseph Sudek and Jaromír Funke [ link ]. especially with Funke, and works from André Kertész, the use of shadows is a significant element of the photograph, more so in the expression of geometries. while visiting this city, it is difficult to forget how much attention I pay to this aspect of a photo when “seeing” a photo. this premise is principal to the work pursued in the Instagram account named Kerteszian. it is then fantastic to be here, and see such many opportunities for this kind of photographs.

personal work, photography

beyond cultural appropriation

it has to happen: the appreciation for an object of art transcends the cultural appropriation that has come before the object is first seen. in this case, a tomb’s artwork for the Famiglia Appiani at Staglieno (in Genova) has become famous through the use of a photograph by French photographer Bernard Pierre Wolff in Joy Division‘s second album Closer. like the point of view expressed in The Vanity of Grief, this particular work, at first glance, has to overcome the Vanity of Grief context, and that of the history for a beloved album. yet, the power of this artwork is that it quickly makes those two contexts vanish: there is so much immersion into this work’s layers, that preconceptions were vanished ever so quickly. apparent on the first visit (in May), and fully obvious on a recent second visit, is the many ways that, despite its testament to a Christian presentation, the work catapults away from this context and works from any point of view. for example, it is simple to ignore the two auras, and consider the four women as the same person in stages of grief: disbelief, acceptance, sorrow, and sufferance— for example. personally, the appreciation of an artwork has to transcend the artist’s (or customer’s) intent, and in this case, beyond the cultural appropriation and/or the modern view of elaborate tombstones. this one, personally, is the magnum opus of such work.

 

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via Instagram: A.Touching.Display

 

links:
B.P. Wolff’s obituary [ NYTimes ]
Vanity of Grief account on Instagram [ A Touching Display ]

books, photographers

(all about) Saul Leiter quotes + photos

Early Color has been a book that has shaken the photography world, as well as the latter years in the life of Saul Leiter. now in its 6th printing, one can hope it remains in-print forever, and perhaps begin to rival Robert Frank‘s The Americans in terms of influential books. after perusing All About Saul Leiter, from the recent Japanese exhibit, there was some hesitation that a “greatest hits” book on Leiter would be a let down (as other books have been). then, it is also paperback. but… but… it works wonderfully. perhaps, I think, it is the book to get initiated with Leiter. in American terms, “a Christmas stocking stuffer”. I think the range and selection are great, but the little detail I truly love to wrap everything nicely? quotes. the quotes do not directly affect the view of the next photo, but it affects how a humble point of view is also revealed in them.

to break with tradition of these posts, there are some selected quotes that are good to places here.

important:

  • « there is a tremendous advantage to being unimportant »
  • « I didn’t walk around feeling that I was important… I had not spent my life feeling important »
  • « the important thing in life is not what you get but what you throw out »
  • « photographs are often treated as important moments but really they are little fragments and souvenirs of an unfinished world »

clichés:

  • « his lab assistant once remarked in boredom: “not umbrellas again!”
    to which Leiter replied, “I love umbrellas!” »
  • « a window covered with raindrops interests me more than a photograph of a famous place »

seeing:

  • « it is not where it is or what it is that matters, but how you see it »
  • « I take photographs in my neighborhood. I think that mysterious things happen in familiar places. we don’t always need to run to the other end of the world. »
  • « I like it when one is not certain of what one sees. when we do not know why we are looking at it, all of the sudden we discover something that we start seeing. I like this confusion. »

 

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NB: yeah, Miles Davis‘s Bitches Brew was a strange pairing, but once absorbed into the NYC state of mind, it works nicely.

personal work

at Staglieno

unlike the Vanity of Grief that envelops all of Monumentale in Milano, the vanity at Cimitero Monumentale di Staglieno is quite contained. in this sense, Milano‘s Monumentale offers an edge over Genova‘s. this is because the significant statues are confined to the building in Staglieno, with “regular” headstones graveyards dominating the field. in some ways. this is a good situation because there is no need to compete between the two, and the experiences were complementary. strangely, the best works at Staglieno were those used on the cover artwork for Joy Division‘s releases**. I was hoping that they were chosen for their design goal, rather than being the most exemplary statues at cemeteries yet seen.

[ link ] another video from Staglieno [ on Instagram ]

{** there is a sense that, exposure to the work via a covert artwork, and the music contained therein, would make it the favorite one. however, this is not the case. the Appiani family grave statue is quite magnificent, working at many layers as photographs and paintings can affect one at a museum. }

 

 

personal work

the vanity of grief

a second visit to Milano’s Monumentale, and this phrase still rings as the best description. the first visit was 6 hours, until I got kicked out, and this one was still 3 hours. the impact is still there, and unlike appreciating all the statues at a museum like the Louvre. for obvious reasons, despite the vanity of these burials, the emotional impact is quite subjective, regardless of the family that executed such pieces of art for their loved ones. it is the case that every visit is peeling at the layer of the impressionable collective arrangement, and revealing a personal connection to a few graves at a more intense level.

[ links ] more at instagram