Friday, April 6, 2012

Richard Avedon - Capturing the light

Great photographs stay with you over time.  Images that move us become engrained in our mind's eye like memories that we cannot own.  If they are especially profound they will tap into the senses and not only will time and place be associated with these images but smells, light and sound will be easily referenced.  

Living in a house in downtown Newmarket, New Hampshire I remember visiting one of my neighbor's apartments to borrow butter to make homemade brownies.  The girl who occupied the apartment upstairs was very mellow and didn't say a lot, when she did it was always profound.  A true introvert, she offered me an old bowl of butter and just smiled as I slowly ducked out from her apartment and made my way back down the creaky old stairs.  I barely remember the butter or the color on the walls but I do remember that she had a bulletin of famous photographs hanging in her kitchen.  
On the bulletin was a postcard sized image of Marian Anderson - the photo taken by the late Richard Avedon.  How this image has stayed with me I don't think I can fully explain in writing... but it has.  

Years later after I left New Hampshire and the old factory town of Newmarket, this image became one of my memories.  One of my whispers.  Unable to forget it I painted many portraits in the years to come with this single photograph in mind.
Thank you Marian Anderson for making sounds to the wind, thank you neighbor for lending me a hand and indirectly opening me up to an entire conversation with brilliant photography...
most importantly thank you Richard Avedon for knowing how to capture the light. 

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