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January 18, 2012

I watched a movie today about the photographer Paul Strand. I liked the first and last part of it, not so much the middle part about movies. I identify with his earlier photography but I think I most admire the portraits. I'm looking for more of his series of portraits of famous people, he was quoted as saying they would go to their house and take a quick snap. It was not very comfortable and very often it wasn't what he wanted or expected. One photograph that stands out was a picture of Picasso, here is the picture. He said it was an awkward moment as Picasso was on his way to dinner or lunch and was dressed for the occasion. It wasn't as if you could say 'Change your clothes, I want you in your work clothes.' So the picture was taken just as it was. I find it to be a glaring photograph that cuts through the lens. I think Picasso was ticked off a little bit.

Strand's third wife helped him during his later years when cataracts prevented him from seeing well enough to print. Apparently he had the same moments that I have, when you're not certain and so you call for help by saying 'Honey...look at this, what do you think?' Strand's wife said she never particularly liked photography but she really learned to hate it then.