Thursday, November 13, 2008

Oh the Charm of New York in the time of a Depression. The Last One.

After an extended stay in Paris, Berenice Abbott returned to New York with the work of Eugene Atget in her hands and on her mind. After introducing his work to the states she then set out to do her own version of capturing a great city during a period of great change. No doubt the city was in the grasp of an economic turmoil that makes our current malaise pale in comparison. What's so interesting to me is that the photographs, simply by depicting a past that we did not experience, take on a kind of upbeat beauty and nostalgic charm. The architecture, the typography, the clothes, etc...The photographer can not take blame or credit for this and it stands aside from our verdict of whether or not the pictures succeed or fail. It's the nature of the medium. Time always rewards photographs from the past. They are inhabited by a dream like quality. They both look like and unlike what we know the world to be. In this case the world of New York City. So take comfort. Things may look shitty out there but if you photograph it it will, with the passage of a few decades, be infused with charm and have the ability to inebriate.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

No comments: