Wednesday, April 07, 2010

New Camera Thoughts - Diane Arbus

The boy in question was Colin Wood, the son of tennis player Sidney Wood, who was caught “in a moment of exasperation”, his hands claw-like, his face maniacal. Arbus captured this photograph by having the boy stand while moving around him, claiming she was trying to find the right angle. The boy became impatient and told her to “Take the picture already!” In other pictures on contact sheet, he is seen as a happy child.

I love photography. Whether I am good at it or not is irrelevant. A present from my wife, a new Nikon (I was always a Leica fan) has excited me and has caused me to examine those photographs I studied as a young(er) man.

They still hold the heartfelt attachment now that they did then. For the most part.

Arbus was a more honest Avedon.

Richard Avedon Collaborates With Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin, 1952. Saturday, September 13. Avedon received a call at home from Chaplin, who asked if he could have his picture taken right away. Naturally, Dick was thrilled and hurried off to the Madison Avenue studio for a private sitting with no assistants. The result was a stunning photo of Chaplin giving his farewell gesture to America — hours later he was safely onboard a ship bound for Britain, having escaped the clutches of the Immigration Service after being denounced by the F.B.I. as a communist sympathizer.

As an apprentice to HIRO I heard about this event many times from HIRO. He had worked for Richard Avedon and remained friends throughout the years even though Avedon had let him go, fired him. Avedon did so because he said there was nothing more he could teach HIRO.
The first time I walked through the door of HIRO's studio, just off Times Square, I came face to face with Avedon's portrait of Chaplin which was purposely placed in that small entrance space so that a viewer stood eye to eye with Chaplin.

I was never a fan of Chaplin or his work, but this portrait mesmerizes me, still.

UPDATE: email question answer. The print was very large and encased in clear plexiglas in a small stark white entry way. One light overhead. BTW, this was HIRO's older studio before he moved to Central Park West.

Tea Partiers Are KKK Without Robes And Hoods

This guy is too small to be in the deep end. "George Wallace's fan club"? Oh, really.

Steve Cohen (D-TN): Well, I’m not sure what’s being done. The Tea Party people are kind of, without robes and hoods, they have really shown a very hardcore angry side of America that is against any type of diversity. And we saw opposition to African Americans, hostility toward gays, hostility to anybody who wasn’t just, you know, a clone of George Wallace’s fan club. And I’m afraid they’ve taken over the Republican Party.

What will these losers not say?