‘Stare. It is the way to educate your eye, and more. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long.’ - Walker Evans
“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from - it’s where you take them to.”
— Jim Jarmusch
This is the same problem I have with digital photography. The potential is always remarkable. But the medium never settles. Each year there is a better camera to buy and new software to download. The user never has time to become comfortable with the tool. Consequently too much of the work is merely about the technology. The HDR and QTVR fads are good examples. Instead of focusing on the subject, users obsess over RAW conversion, Photoshop plug-ins, and on and on. For good work to develop the technology needs to become as stable and functional as a typewriter. - “Toy Fatigue”, Alec Soth
Documentary telling the gripping and shocking story of photographer Erwin Blumenfeld, who survived two world wars to become one of the world’s most highly-paid fashion photographers and a key influence on the development of photography as an art form. Yet after a mysterious death in Rome in 1969 his name is little-known today, the reasons for which lie in his unconventional lifestyle.
The first ever film about his life and work uses exclusive access to Blumenfeld’s extensive archive of stunning photographs, fashion films, home-movies and self-portraits to tell of a man obsessed by the pursuit of beautiful women, but also by the endless possibilities of photography itself.
With contributions from leading photographers Rankin, Nick Knight and Solve Sundsbo and 82-year-old supermodel Carmen Dell’Orefice, it uncovers the richly complex story of one of the 20th century’s most original photographic artists.
A trip to BDI is always a treat. Although much of the work is digatlly printed it remains a very traditional lab and it’s owner Brian Dowling is not only a genius with colour but also one of the nicest people you could hope to meet.
This new site showcases some of Brian’s own extraordinary photographic work.
It was also an added bonus during my visit to catch up with ex CSM student Lucy Campbell.