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

sad lovers and giants

Sad Lovers and Giants: Athens, March 2019
left to right: Tony McGuinness, Nigel Pollard, Garçe Allard,
Ian Gibson, and William Hicks

in attending a lot of gigs, I have been able to pursue my own ways of photographing groups— since I do not have to publish, I can do what I want. perhaps the most familiar aspect of my approach to rock photography are: 1. look for the Decompressing Moment (like for Daughters or Sad Lovers and Giants) in performers, which is a bit rare; 2. take more of a 50s jazz approach with load of darkness. finally, late last year, I told Exploded View that I would love to photograph them as a group in a “promo” setting. this took a bit of courage, even though it was at the end of the USA tour and it had to wait until the (yet to happen) European tour. still, it was the moment that gave me the idea to also ask Sad Lovers and Giants, and they were super kind to do some while a two-night concerts in Athens. ohdear… my photographing of a single person is already a challenge, and then 5 five people to convey a balance between what I like and what is useful as promotional work was an unimaginable challenge. this photo shown is one that I really liked the most, and was achieved by being spontaneous, and being breaking the mold from what I thought was the typical pose for them.

[ps] the suite of photographs is something that I must still tweak, and later put into, as done previously for them with gig photos [ link ]

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, photographers

the way to video

song by: “Katy” by Red House Painters
arm by: Anna
video: copyright fernand de Beauvoir

for its many ills, and there are many (making me to be currently logged-off**, as an alternative to deleting), Instagram by itself and also by users (Anna and Peter) have instigated a call to video. this is not a natural visual for me. the quote:

« The way I think of filmmaking – it’s such a seductive thing. It encompasses every human discipline you can imagine – composition, art, technology, music, movement and choreography. It encompasses all life. » — George Miller

composition is still a fundamental transfer from stills, which offers the bridge into video, but “music, movement, and choreography” are quite the challenge. photography always begins by aping something one sees, explicitly or implicitly, and quickly I can tell that I am aping Japanese and Hong Kong cinema, where In The Mood For Love‘s cinematographer (Christopher Doyle) words are up front and center. in contrasting Western versus Eastern Cinema, he notes that Western is the slap-in-the-face “look, at this, you are so stupid, you don’t know what we are trying to tell you”, while the Eastern approach is to present something and say “hey discover this”. this was the additional aspect of how I can start. yet, this all remains very difficult to pre-visualize and connect one image with another. a further, more appealing approach to incorporate more of the still-camera, as can be said to have been pioneered by Yasujirō Ozu.

**it had become too many adverts, fed by a flagrant use of keyword spying on Whatsapp, and just too much repetition, but more importantly, it had distorted my approach to photography: instead of camera ~> computer ~> to this “personal” Instagram ~> to Instagram (after some thought), it was just camera ~> mass storage ~> jpg to phone ~> Instagram, which eliminates any critical evaluation of what is going on with the photo-taking, and how to integrate what is happening.

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.



via Instagram: A.Touching.Display


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

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. }