maandag 6 augustus 2012

Child with Toy Hand Grenade the Photo Book Ian Jeffrey Photography

Child with Toy Hand Grenade by  

I'm currently working my way through Phaidon's The Photo Book and was struck by this picture by Diane Arbus. The commentary to the photo helped me understand why:

The grenade, grimace and claw-like hand seem to point to a desperate future, hysterical and militarized. The picture works because the strangeness of the boy is staged within a kindly natural scene: there is even a rhyme between those paired tree trunks and the child's spindly legs. Arbus's subject, here and elsewhere, is the discrepancy between imagined and idealized worlds, represented here by the trees and the sunlight in the park, and the violence apparently promised by the child. She imagined dystopia, but always regarded it from the point of view of the Garden of Eden (23)
It's interesting to compare this interpretation from the unknom Phaidon commentator with that of Wikipedia's. The former tries to grasp the photo within some kind of wider symbolic context and perhaps manages to grasp to the heart of its message. The latter interpretation, in true "historical-critical" fashion, is content to describe the surface image and tell us how the photo was taken. The result is that the power of the photo is lost in irrelevant detail.

Or is it irrelevant?

The Photo Book

Ian Jeffrey
The Photo Book , Jeffrey Ian, Since it was first developed by Daguerre in the 1840s, photography has followed an interesting and varied course in its progress from a practical means of documentation to an art form with its own icons, heroes, galleries and collectors. This eye-catching and engrossing book contains every sort of photography, all of it arranged in an easily accessible and fun format. Pictures of famous events such as the Royal Wedding and the first landing on the moon are here, next to familiar shots by the masters of photography such as Bill Brandt, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Cecil Beaton and Robert Doisneau. There is fashion, sport, natural history, reportage and society portraiture, as well as social documentary and art. The 500 photographers features range from William Henry Fox Talbot and Julia Margaret Cameron to Larry Clarke and Herb Rittz, from Robert Capa and Josef Kondelka to Nan Goldin and Pierre et Gilles. Arranged alphabetically, each full-page photograph is accompanied by an illuminating text which gives useful insight into the work and its creator, as well as extensive cross-references to others working in the same field or the same style. Glossaries of technical terms and movements and a directory of museums and galleries are included in the back of the book to provide a fully comprehensive and self-contained volume.

The Photo(graphy) Book--Phaidon's beautiful visual reference

 Written: Jun 01 '08 (Updated Jun 01 '08)
    Pros:great illustrations, good survey Cons:some artists probably deserve more treatmentThe Bottom Line:Great look at the first century and a half of photography
    The Photography Book is an attractively illustrated introduction to 500 of the most significant photographers in the first 150 years of the medium's history. The book takes an encyclopedic approach, arranging entries by the artists' names from the A of contemporary Dutch photographer Jaques-Laurent Aardsma to the Z of Harlem Renaissance man James VanDerZee. I've used this book as a ready reference item at the library and was impressed enough to add a paperback version to my own personal collection.

    Each entry is a page long and features a representative illustration from the artist along with a brief, one to two paragraph essay that combines biography with a review of the image and makes an attempt to contextualize both within relevant photographic movements. The book includes names that are highly recognizable and some that are less so, all given the same treatment. If the editors think the nature photography of Ansel Adams is superior to the celebrity portraiture of Herb Ritts or the Surrealist art of Man Ray somehow more worthy than the photojournalism of Robert Capa, there is no way to divine this from the text. Professional photography is celebrated in all of its aspects, from commercial to documentary to purely artistic.

    The Photography Book is available in different editions. In the library, we have the deluxe, oversize hardcover that retails between 40 and 60 dollars. I have a smaller paperback edition that is a very good value at $10. The detail on the photos is certainly enhanced by the larger scale of the hardcover edition, and that version is certainly easier to read. But the resolution is good either way, both being printed on glossy paper that captures the different hues and shades of gray nicely in each color and black and white illustration. A worthwhile addition to anyone's library of art

    Famous Scenes, Human Pathos, and Restrained BeautyNovember 14, 2000
    Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 113,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
    This review is from: The Photography Book (Hardcover)
    Before considering this book, let me note that like many photography books this one contains a fair number of nude images of men and women that will offend some. If bare flesh is not something you want to see in your books, avoid this one.
    Grading this book was difficult. The photographs were well chosen to be interesting and rewarding, were reproduced faithfully, and worked well as images on facing pages. The page sizes are generous to allow more room for reproduction. Many of them are photographs that almost anyone would want to have. Almost anyone would agree that the photographs and design of the book deserve five stars.

    The accompanying texts, however, were not up to the standard of the photographs in most cases. I graded these texts on average at three stars. Averaging the two scores was how I arrived at four stars.

    The book's concept is to take 500 of the best photographers ever, and show one image of each in alphabetical order. Although this sounds strange, it actually works quite well. Most of the images are in black and white, but some are in color. As a result, you get a full dimensionalizing of what photography can do and mean to the photographer and viewer.

    Among the famous scenes in the book are Eddie Adams' Street Execution of a Vietcong Prisoner (1968), Neil Armstrong's Buzz Aldrin on the Moon (1969), Matthew Brady's General William Tecumseh Sherman (1865), Robert Capa's Death of a Loyalist Soldier (1936), Harold Edgerton's Milk Drop Coronet (1957), Alfred Eisenstaedt's V-J Day in Times Square (1945), Robert Jackson's The Murder of Lee Harvey Oswald (1963), Yousuf Karsh's Winston Churchill (1941), Joe Rosenthal's Iwo Jima (1945), Sam Shere's The Hindenburg Disaster (1937), and Nick Ut's Children Fleeing an American Napalm Strike (1972). If you are like me, these images brought me back to what I felt when I first saw these events or these photographs. It was a moving experience in each case. It is almost like looking at an album of your own life, once removed.

    I was also moved by the many images of human pathos that I had seen less often or not at all before. Especially noteworthy to me are Abbas' South African Miners (1978), Lucien Aigner's Benito Mussolini (1935), G.C. Beresford's Leslie Stephen and his Daughter Virginia (Woolf) (1902), Margot Burke-White's Mahatma Gandhi (1946), Charles Hoff's Ezzard Charles and Rocky Marciano (1954), Frank Hurley's The Endurance by Night (1915), Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother (1936), and Arnold Newman's Georgia O'Keeffe (1968).

    Beauty was very much present, but almost always restrained in a variety of ways. That restraint created a tension that heightened the awareness of beauty. I particularly was affected by James Abbe's Bessie Love (1928), Eve Arnold's Marilyn Monroe (1960), Richard Avedon's Dovinna and Elephants (1955), Ian Bradshaw's Streaker (1975), Robert Mapplethorpe's Derrick Cross (1983), Man Ray's Tears (1930), Lennart Nilsson's A Human Foetus at Three Months (1973), Vittorio Sella's On the Glacier Blanc (c. 1880s), Frederick Sommer's Livia (1948), Jerry Uelsmann's Floating Tree (1969), and Edward Weston's Nude on Sand (1936).

    How can you further benefit from enjoying these images? I suggest that you dig out your old camera (or consider getting a new digital one), and find scenes that evoke the emotions and memories you most want. Take a few lessons from the ways the masters captured their scenes, and see what you can do. Like the student patiently painting a copy of a famous painting in a museum, you can create your own images to illuminate your life for now, for the future, and for future generations.

    Turn it all into a snap!

     Hans Aarsman Renesse 1988 ...

     Emmy Andriesse Modeontwerper en model ...

     Eva Besnyo Starnberggerstrasse ...

     Rommert Boonstra Zonder titel ...

     Rineke Dijkstra Hilton Head Island ...

     Ed van der Elsken Een liefdesgeschiedenis in Saint Germain des Pres ...

     Teun Hocks Heen en weer ...

     Johan van der Keuken Lelietjes-van-dalen verkopen ...

     Frans Lanting Ara's, Manu, Peru ...

     Bertien van Manen Tblisi, Georgie ...

     Jacob Molenhuis Dorpelingen ...

    Cas Oorthuys Haven van Rotterdam ...

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