Monthly Archive for January, 2009

Page 2 of 3

goodbye andy

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Andrew Wyeth                                                                 July 1917 – January 2009


every once in awhile you meet someone who really kicks you in the gut….has a lasting influence ……someone you know is just a little more special than everyone else…. sure, all men are created equal, but some seem  more equal than others….

the minute i met Andrew Wyeth , i knew he was such a man….or , should i say in reality, a child…..or childlike at best…..impish, precocious, a prankster, and having zero sense of the so called “real world”, Andy struck me immediately as an artist who lived in his own self made world….and that is what he painted…he painted his imagination….he painted the world around him in Chads Ford , Pennsylvania ….mostly landscapes with characters from his “real life” (neighbors, friends, family) thrown in because those were the folks he knew…. Andy did not venture far from home….he saw no need….

back in the early nineties i had an assignment from National Geographic to photograph Andrew Wyeth, one of America’s foremost painters…..i convinced the editors i needed to shoot this story in black & white… my reasoning was that the Wyeth paintings, which would certainly dominate the article, were so monochromatic that anything i did in chrome color of Wyeth and his family would clash on pages of the magazine….so with my M6 and some Tri-X i set out to photograph the man who everyone said did not want to be photographed…..it was reported that he absolutely hated to have his picture taken…and so he did….in my several weeks of befriending the Wyeth family i quite literally do not have more than a few rolls of film with Andy actually in the frame….the rest of the family yes, Andy no …..even when my son Bryan and i managed to get invited to the Wyeth family Thanksgiving dinner, Andy remained shy… friendly, but avoiding being photographed at every turn….and his mystery subject, and neighbor,  Helga Testorf had never been photographed by anyone, ever (please note the Helga Paintings)…..my skills as a photographer were totally secondary to the skills necessary to try to get “inside” and just make any kind of photograph at all of the elusive Wyeth….

shooting Wyeth almost made me feel like a “paparazzi” of sorts….i always wait ….waiting is what i do…but, waiting for Andy Wyeth was well beyond anything i had ever experienced before….at some point i realized Andy was playing with me…he wanted to see how i would react to his elusive nature….he was testing me ….he wanted to see how bad i really wanted my pictures… so, i was bound and determined not to give up…never show frustration….never complain…and never go away either!!!

some days i would be invited to his studio….well, sort of….i had to wait outside in an empty room…for hours in an empty room….. i waited… trying to imagine what in hell he was thinking leaving me outside with absolutely nothing to do but HOPE that at some point he would invite me all the way in  to the “inner sanctum”….. one day when i was just about to go crazy (and the editors at Natgeo were wondering when i was going to take some pictures), Andy came out and started showing me some toy soldiers he had sitting in the window (he collected toy soldiers)….at that moment ,  off to the side,  suddenly  there was standing shyly  the heretofore un-photographed Helga…she would not come near Andy  or me and was just barely barely barely in the frame if i “slammed” Andy way to the left and her way to the right…there was no time for good composition , or to think, or to play with light, or anything at all…it was just “take the friggin picture Harvey”….. i took two frames and she was gone….. i mean gone…..

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after several weeks, an eternity , i did manage to have enough photographs of Andrew Wyeth and his family for a piece in the magazine….and in the process Andy befriended me….i swear i only because he saw me as a bit playful myself…and he did hang one of my photographs i had brought as a gift on  his living room wall….

at 91 Andrew Wyeth died yesterday morning….right there at home where he belonged….with his family and neighbors gathered around….Andy did not get the recognition as an artist that some felt he deserved….he was not hip…not “cool” at a time when the “other Andy” (Andy Warhol) was the darling of the jet set and the elite social New York art critics….but frankly, i do not think Andy himself cared much one way or the other….he lived the life of an artist…and he painted exactly what he wanted ….on his own time and in his own way….

in my mind now  i see Andy as a young boy,  running across those farm fields he loved… hmmmm, is Andy really gone, or is he just playing a trick on us and hiding in the barn???


-David Alan Harvey

andy jacobsohn – equestrian

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Equestrian by Andy Jacobsohn

Website: Andy Jacobsohn

michael loyd young – mongolia

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Mongolia Roundup  by  Michael Loyd Young

 

Website: Michael Loyd Young

laith al-majali – gaza protest

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Injured Protester  by  Laith Al-Majali

 

An injured man is placed into a car after Gaza protesters clashed with riot police in Amman, Jordan

lassal – light of crises

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In the Light of Crises  by  Lassal

 

Behind the church lies the city of Frankfurt. It is after 6pm and all offices in the  bank towers are still brightly lit. On these days of financial crisis, people are working overtime – especially in the banking sector.

It is freezing cold – a minus temperature record night lays ahead of us. Snow is coming  later – but for now the cloudy skies merely reflect the light of the crisis throughout the night.

 

Website: Lassal

mark unrau – china train

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China Train by Mark Unrau

 

This image was taken of a Chinese business woman on board the controversial train heading from Xining China to Lhasa Tibet. This train is the Worlds Highest and is an engineering wonder. At its highest as shown here in the photograph is an astounding 5000 meters above sea level.

jan sochor – haiti

Vodou and Catholic ritual Saut d'Eau

 

Haiti Pilgrim by Jan Sochor

 

Every year in summer thousands of pilgrims from all over Haiti make the religious journey to the small village of Ville Bonheur and the nearby Saut d’Eau waterfall (100km north of Port-au-Prince). It is believed that 150 years ago the spirit of Virgin Mary (Our Lady of Mount Carmel) has appeared on a palm tree close to the waterfall. This place became a main pilgrimage site in Haiti since then. Haitians wearing only underwear perform a bathing and cleaning ritual under the 100-foot-high waterfall. Vodou followers (many Haitians practise both vodou and catholicism) hope that Erzulie Dantor, the Vodou spirit of water, manifest itself and they get possessed for a short moment, touched by her presence.

rob august – ubah

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Model, Ubah  by Rob August

kyunghee lee – island

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Kyunghee Lee

Island

 

‘Island’ is not an real island. It’s just a metaphor.

I am an island. You are an island. We all are islands.

I would like to say “the relationship and communication” between you and I.

I have always thought about them…

‘Island’ is the reflection and introspection on relationship and communication.

-Kyunghee Lee

 

 

When art mirrors life, the reflection seen is both an inner vision of the artist and  taps into the psyche of the viewer as well. Humankind is made up of many “individuals”, but a true artist is able to trigger something inside of all of us who may view the work even though the work is coming from a unique “personal vision”…

Such an artist in Kyunghee Lee. With her eye and spirit, Kyunghee Lee uses the camera to tell us what she feels.  While we, the viewers, may not expect what she shows us and are enlightened by what she shows us, we surely understand the moment.  Viewers want surprises and to see something from everyday life seen in a new context.  Kyunghee gives us this special pleasure. The world never quite looks the same again after looking at her photographs.

When I see her photographs , I sense a romanticism and a lyricism coming from deep inside.  Her inner being and personality are put right it front of us, but not in an  overt way, but with grace and subtlety and style. When I see her work, I recognize the elements, the place, the mood, and yet her pictures  come at me in way that I know I have never seen before.  This is art at it’s best. Recognition with enlightenment. Familiarity with surprise. Distance with emotion.

Kyunghee Lee is free and freedom is hard to find.  She does it by dancing . By playing  with the ordinary she achieves the extraordinary.  Her unpretentious photographs hold us.  Keep us. Make us think for awhile, and yet let us travel as we may through her juxtapositions of  unselfconscious simplicity and raw curiousity.

Kyunghee Lee is flying with a warm wind. And the wind will carry her far and to places even she cannot imagine.  We will always be waiting to find out where she will take us.

David Alan Harvey

 

Related links

Book at photoeye.com

Kyunghee Lee

 

ashe kazanjian – garden

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Mary Jane in the garden    by  Ashe Kazanjian