My beloved is in Prague right now and the evidence suggests that it is hard to take a bad photo there.
For me, his great gift – on the page and in person – was visual generosity. He made you see different things and look at things differently. It was not works of art in galleries that interested him so much as objects, particularly those from which a story could be extracted. On the wall of his attic room in Albany, the apartment block in Piccadilly, was the king of Hawaii’s bedsheet: apricot-coloured, patterned with a shoal of jumping fish, looking like a Matisse. Chatwin had turned up at Christie’s on his bike to buy it in the 1960s. In the small Eaton Place flat designed by John Pawson – pleated like origami to hide his books – he hung pictures he had made by cutting coloured drawings from the catalogue of a broom manufacturer: rows of pinky-red-and-white toothbrushes, elegant and comic. In all his houses, he kept a prayer inscribed in Latin by the artist-poet David Jones: “May the blessed Archangel Michael defend us in battle lest we perish in the terrible judgment.” When he fell ill he took it with him in and out of hospitals.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and a primatologist named Antje Engelhardt are demanding that a San Francisco federal court declare a macaque monkey named Naruto the rights holder of a few famous selfies the monkey allegedly took in the Tangkoko Reserve on the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia in 2011. The monkey, the named plaintiff in the case, is suing a publisher and David Slater, the British nature photographer whose camera was swiped by an ape while the photographer was on a jungle shoot. Slater has published a book with the pictures the monkey took of himself, and the monkey is seeking damages for copyright infringement.
Andy Goldsworthy throwing sticks
THE DAILY PIC (#1422): I was blown away when I saw these almost unknown early photos of Andy Goldsworthy at work. They are in his solo show now at Galerie Lelong in New York, in a side room hung with all kinds of rare documentation of Goldsworthy’s first interactions with nature, which have a wonderfully raw, exploratory energy. I’m particularly fond of how these photos of his Hazel Stick Throws (there are another seven shots) capture Goldsworthy’s energetic toss, while making the sticks themselves look like a drawn abstraction at rest on the photo’s surface. That contrast foreshadows the tension Goldsworthy has always achieved between his work as performance and object. His hazel throw feels like a more Romantic, British-inflected version of John Baldessari’s great ball toss.
(Image copyright Andy Goldsworthy, courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York)
When I saw these on my tiny iPhone screen they originally attracted my attention because it looked like the negatives had been scratched 🙂
Filed under: photography
A man herds sheep with the help of his collies in Scotland, 1919. Photograph by William Reed, National Geographic Creative
eastmanhouse: Main Street, Saratoga Springs, Original photographer: Walker Evans, 1931
gelatin silver print
Image: 20.6 x 16.4 cm
Overall: 25 x 20.1 cm
National Origin: United States
Mies van der Rohe, Friedrichstrasse Skyscraper project; Berlin, 1921-2, opaque version of photomontage; here