I don't post on Saturdays, but just this one little thing.
The Lens Blog had a great little article the other day to catch us up with the prolific Duane Michals, a playful and inventive photographer whom time has turned into a somewhat incongruous photographic elder. If anyone should be forever young in our small-u universe it's probably Michals. And Erwitt too, I guess, but I digress.
Anyway the article is worth reading—it's short and sweet and has some great slideshows, although I never took to Michals' pet "Sidney Sherman" joke very well. It always seemed a touch gay-misogynist to me.
Best things in the Lens Blog's presentation: "Magritte with Hat," a portrait of the Belgian painter René Magritte, a quintessential surrealist and an early enthusiasm of my youthful art-room-denizen self; I'd never seen it before. (Or, if I've seen it, I never "saw" it.) And this quote:
Along comes this guy and he’s saying he needs the moment before and the moment after. "That decisive moment is fine, but it doesn’t work for me." He needed to create a sequence.
That's Linda Benedict-Jones speaking, the curator of the Duane Michals show that opens today at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittburgh, Pennsylvania. I like her idea of contrasting sequences (some of Michals' sequences seem like little movies) with H. C.-B.'s iconic (and inevitably overused) idea.
So Halloween yesterday was a bust at my new house, and which was kind of a bummer. For one thing, Xander wasn't home to minister to the decor—our old house somehow got very spooky in Halloween garb, such that little kids were sometimes afraid to approach it. At the new house I just plunked an electric pumpkin out front to signify that we were open for business. Last year, at the old house, I gave away more than 200 full-sized candy bars; this year, at the new house, fewer than 15. (Good thing I saved the receipt and can return the rest.)
However, the holiday was somewhat redeemed when reader John MacKechnie sent me this picture of this great Halloween costume:
But back to Duane Michals...he's one of those photographers who are represented in my library by one carefully-chosen volume. I have The Essential Duane Michals from 1997, which is not a valuable book—it's still available cheaply. The new book—Linda Benedict-Jones's catalogue from the exhibition at the Carnegie Museum—might be a good one to have instead, but I don't know yet as I haven't seen it.
Michals' work, however, is essential to get to know, if you don't already know it. He's one of those later-20th-century photographers who are unique unto themselves, like Jerry Uelsmann or Sheila Metzner. And a nice thing about him is there's always more you haven't seen.
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Stan B.: "'Never trust any photograph so large it can only fit inside a museum.' —Duane Michals."