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Saturday, 04 July 2015


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Hey Mike, I know you like to refer to the NY Times as the World's Best Photography Magazine, and I don't disagree. I think the recent re-structuring of the NY Times Magazine that placed Teju Cole as the photography writer just cements their position. I think Cole is the best photography writer going these days.

I read the Robert Frank article yesterday. Overall, excellent, but I do wish there was less "artspeak" in it. It does slow the reading and comprehension by its ostentation.

Thanks so much for the Robert Frank link. Like a lot of folks my age (57) I really never comprehended Frank's work. 'The Americans' documented my parents' world rather than mine, and not not a version they would recognize or acknowledge. But the Times interview demonstrates how artless Frank's art truly was; now I can see the resemblance to the droll and deadpan contemporary work of folks like Alec Soth. Not hostile; sympathetic in its own way; just relentlessly unsentimental.

The comment by Philip-Lorca diCorcia on the NY Times article is priceless and puts everything in better perspective.

I think it's one of the best articles I've read on a photographer in a long time. More rewarding than the recent BBC (I think it was them) documentary on him.

One minor quibble. The article mentions how Frank dumped Walker Evans' essay, for the Americans, in favour of Jack Kerouac's more poetic, free-form introduction. However, I thought that Evans' was credited with advising Frank to use a Leica for the project? This is a pretty significant change in approach and isn't discussed in the article. Somehow, this omission belittles Evans' contribution to a landmark publication or is that me being grouchy?

As an Olympus user, I of course immediately glommed on to the fact that it was an Olympus camera Frank is currently using and slipping into his pocket. Film? Digital? Little soap bar Stylus from the 1990's?

Seriously though, I enjoyed this article a lot. I had no idea he was still alive and now feel a need to learn more about him, and I finally need to buy The Americans.

Yes, I do remember in the early days, whenever I would head to this site, I would think: "now remember Eolake, it's a good blog at heart, you just have to weather the peculiar deadpan emotional milkiness."

But 'eck, it's better than too purple prose.

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