Sunday, November 13, 2016
A subject and a camera
There’s a portrait right in front of us almost all of the time. It’s a wonder that we don’t take more of them. All you need is to see the subject and to have a camera.
Last weekend in Santa Fe for an art opening I attended the extraordinary History in a Moment show at the Monroe Gallery on Don Gaspar Street. The exhibition of iconic photographs from the Great Depression of the 1930s, WWll, Viet Nam and the Iraq War should not be missed. Carl Mydans, George Silk, Margaret Bourke-White, Alfred Eisenstaedt are among the photographers included. Many images in the show are part of Time Magazine: 100 Photographs: The Most Influential Photographs of All Time that appeared in my in-box yesterday.
Just across the street is the David Marks Gallery. It wasn’t on my radar at that particular moment but it featured black and white photography so I couldn’t very well not go. Turns out David is a fine black and white shooter and quite the raconteur. I commented that he was displaying landscapes and asked if it was because “that’s what sells.” He allowed that my hypothesis was valid but then he walked me to a bin of portraits. All excellent. He said that William Eppridge, a Life Magazine photographer and one of those featured in the History in a Moment show across the street, had visited his gallery a few years back and that, during that visit, he had photographed him. When Eppridge died in 2013 David’s image of him was the one included in news coverage of his passing.
As I prepared to leave I asked David where he photographed Eppridge. He said “In the doorway.” The picture up top was taken in that exact place.