“The world is our home. It is also the home of many, many other children, some of whom live in far-away lands. They are our world brothers and sisters.”
Amanda Gail, 2004
[Scanned original 4x5 Polaroid]
“Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible. He is a kind of confidence man, preying on people’s vanity, ignorance or loneliness, gaining their trust and betraying them without remorse”.
“The Journalist and the Murderer”
I believe portraiture can communicate experiences, feelings and emotions not consciously recognized by the subject or viewer, yet transferred to you when studying the photograph, you may simultaneously not be aware of yourself absorbing these feelings and experiences, because they are abstract and unconscious. There is no evasiveness of truth here; rather an unspoken more primal communication, a real transference.
Shelby Lee Adams
Hooterville at Dusk, 1997
Excerpt - Francis Bacon Review Time Magazine – May 2009
How rare it is to see contemporary art that attempts, much less achieves, what used to be called a tragic dimension. Irony you can find in any gallery these days, as well as low comedy, puerile cool and enigma. But in a time that has its share of suffering, where is the art that tries to strike an equivalent note? What we have - almost no language for any more.
Bradley Shell, [age 86] Fire-handler, 1986
Today we are suspicious of “Truth,” because we recognize that what is called truth is often only a tool in the hands of those in power, and is often determined by their beliefs and tailored to their requirements.
We don’t see what we see, but what someone tells us to see.
David Levi Strauss
The truth is, photography can only do a couple of things really well. It can make visible the tracery of a relation, beginning with the relation between the photographer and his or her subject, and it can reflect on death. Neither of these effects is automatic, by any means, but it is possible. One would think that, out of the millions of photographs that have been made between people over the last 165 years, it would have happened more often, but in fact it is exceedingly rare.
I guess that’s because real portraits enact a contradiction: that each human being is unique and, at the same time, alike. There is no such thing as a "typical person." People are very different, one from another. But when you get down below the surface, to the skull, we’re ultimately the same.
David Levi Strauss from writing on Robert Bergman.
The Brooklyn Rail________________________________________
[Stenger's Cafe Series]
[Stenger's Cafe Series]
In a word, the believer is continuous, to his consciousness, at any rate. With a wider self from which saving experiences flow in. Those who have such experiences distinctly enough and often enough to live in the light of them remain quite unmoved by criticism, from whatever quarter it may come. They have had their vision and they know—that we inhabit an invisible spiritual environment from which help comes, our soul being mysteriously one with a larger soul whose instruments we are.
Her state of mind, her ecstasy of love, show that something has happened to her. And nothing greater can happen to a human being than that he is forgiven. For forgiveness means reconciliation in spite of estrangement; it means reunion in spite of hostility; it means acceptance of those who are unacceptable; and it means reception of those who are rejected. Forgiveness is unconditional; it is not forgiveness at all.
In ancient China before an artist began to paint anything-a tree, for instance-he would sit down in front of it for days, months, years, it didn’t matter how long, until he was the tree. He did not identify himself with the tree but he was the tree. This means that there was no space between him and the tree, no space between the observer and the observed, no experiencer experiencing the beauty, the movement, the shadow, the depth of a leaf, The quality of color. He was totally the tree, and in that state only could he paint.
Freedom From the Known
Kizzie by Flowerpots, '95
Donald Kuspit, “The End of Art”
Middle East 1978
Three Egyptian Women, Cario, 1978
[Dressed for Funeral]
Egyptian Woman in Cario, 1978
[Kodachrome Transfer to digital, made 2016]
Bedouin Woman in Market, Cario, 1978
[Shelby with guide]
"If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy."
"My people have always been those trapped in a corner. I can come to them with a voice they do not possess..."
William Eugene Smith
William Eugene Smith