Snapping at eternity and capturing life in small pixels is the fastest most efficient way to lie the truth.

 

He took contrast to an art form. Not as a tool. If photography is painting with light, Penn was painting with contrast. It was not even shadows, it was something more. It was a black ink brush painting that defines everything around it.

 

 

You cant sell news stories that have data and cautious predictions. Where is the panic? Where is the impending doom? C'mon people , give me something to work with here…

    Opinions / Science / Theory of Relative Ignorance  
 

..and as I was a yuppy marketing and advertising executive for the better part
of a decade, I am not really impressed with stories of selling your soul to the devil...

    Art & Culture / Music / Blues / Robert Johnson  

Irving penn - The Noble one

Irwin penn's exhibition in the tel-aviv museum. Sometime in the early nintees I think, was the first time I saw photography that I could describe as art. True, might have been easier because it was in a white quiet museum, and as we all know if it is in a museum it is art.

But other than that, it had a quality that you see more in art then in the real world. Nobility. It had grace. The kind of grace you have to be born into.

A good photograph is one that communicates a fact, touches the heart and leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it.
It is, in a word, effective.”

 

It had an unreal Zenish lack of attachment to the subject, in an ultra involved way that created a new type of relationship. Something that David bailey took forward in the next generation.
The nice thing about Penn is that the counterpoint to the nobility of the art is a huge set of balls made out of marble and the guts to do black and white photography, really in black and white. I completely concur. 

Never liked all that grey matter in the middle.
He took contrast to an art form. Not as a tool. If photography is painting with light, Penn was painting with contrast. It was not even shadows, it was something more. It was a black ink brush painting that defines everything around it.

 

I myself have always stood in the awe of the camera. I recognize it for the instrument it is, part Stradivarius, part scalpel.

Another interesting fact about my admiration to the old master, is the fact that it is his fashion shots which are the real art in his arsenal. If the contrast shadows is a Zenful brush stroke, the fashion shots are Ikebana, the art of flower arrangements.

I haven’t thought about Penn in a long long time. That first exhibition was many years ago, many years before I took a camera to my hands and made it a sort-of profession… and up until writing these words I never thought of him in such a Japanese manner (and I usually use Japanese as a big compliment)

Photographing a cake can be art."

In the portraits he uses the minimum necessary, the face, the body.
in the fashion he builds, he composes, he orchestrates.

but both are done with the same attention, the same clear as glass thinking and vision, same humility in front of the rules of harmony or movement. These days it is a rare thing finding that kind of old school discipline and mentality, that kind of pure intent. Without buffers, without excuses. Pure intent.

after years of looking for interesting photographers, for some inspiration, for some excitement, stimulation, I go back to the old master, and see that simple beautiful zenish body of work that is. Really is. In every print. In every pixel.
Masterfull indeed.