Friday, July 2, 2010

Opposing Forces

Face Off, 2006

These are two pictures taken during a 2006 trip to Paris. They were taken within just a few minutes of each other in the Tuileries gardens. Aside from being a beautiful place to spend a pretty afternoon, the Tuileries is a wonderful site for outdoor public art.

What I like about these two images is their serendipity, their simplicity and the drama of their respective oppositional subjects. For example, I didn’t arrange the chair in Face Off. For a long time I thought that someone had just been sitting there, or that someone had playfully arranged the chair this way.

I’ve since learned that the sculpture is L'Ami de personne by the late Swedish artist Eric Dietman and that the chair, although it looks just like all of the other chairs in the Tuileries gardens, is made of bronze and permanently attached to the ground in this position.

So much for serendipity.

Yeah, Whatever, 2006

This wasn’t the case with Yeah, Whatever. If I’d come along a moment later, the young man might not have been at such an indifferent counterpoint to La femme au panier de fleurs. But rather than be such a vague hulk as L'Ami de personne, the lady in La femme au panier de fleurs looks almost exasperated by the young man’s insouciance.

One of the photographers whose work I was drawn to early on because it wasn’t pure reportage like a lot of the old other photographers I was studying at the time was André Kertész. His elegant collection On Reading may possibly have influenced me more than any other photographer of his era. If I might be so ambitious as to say so, Face Off and Yeah, Whatever look to me like moments Kertész would have captured on film.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, those are both wonderful "catches." I enjoyed your description of the second. Araen't the Tuileries gardens such a beautiful place--funny, I don't recall that first--if I return sometime, I'll have to watch for it--it's great.