Saturday, May 9, 2009
Untitled, San Francisco, March 2009.
These pictures are as much about spaces as they are about the people in them. Choosing the space comes first, which can be anything that attracts my attention: the magnificent monolith of the Contemporary Jewish Museum, polygons on the sidewalk, wood grain in plywood, a fire escape ladder that hangs precariously from a red brick building, a bistro's brightly colored neon sign, or just fierce blackness.
Sometimes it's the way light casts shadows on the space, creating a veritable gateway to Hades, a sharp diagonal or a leafy foliage that looks like Chinese brush painting.
The space is the canvas that awaits the emergence of figures. Like Doisneau said, they will come. When they arrive, one looks for the way they order themselves against the canvas, for gestures and silhouettes that complete the image itself.
Writer Kerstin Engelhard of Leica Fotografie International said the spaces reminded her of passe-partout, the multi-layered mats used to frame a picture. The space is a frame. Inside it is a moment of sheer ordinariness, invariably of figures walking, but a portait just the same.