Winston-Salem, Forsyth County, North Carolina, July 2000
“Peter Simon’s Moving On, Holding Still (1972) was one of the handful of photography books in our library, two large rooms in the downtown Municipal Building [in Pompton Plains, New Jersey]. Although the others were how-to books, Simon’s was the most instructive. (Since I’m self-taught, I used photography books as textbooks.)
"Simon’s monograph is composed of black-and-white pictures of an array of subjects—from protests in Washington, DC, to the celebration of a sunset on a commune in Vermont—that reflect the dynamic nature of the 1960s and early 1970s. Poring over these images again and again was my ‘foundation class’ in photography.
"My first lesson came courtesy of the cover image. The subject, a tire swing, is very close to the center of the frame—something the how-to books advised against. ‘Rules’ shouldn’t be taken too seriously, I realized….
"[Another] lesson was perhaps the most valuable. In studying these photographs I noticed that, in a picture, things in the background and things in the foreground are all equally visible, and therefore equally important. (Emmet Gowin has stated this succinctly: ‘Everything in a photograph matters.’)
"Simon’s book led me to a crucial understanding of one of the things I find so challenging and stimulating about photography—it is the construction of pictures, the careful putting-together of everything in a scene. When working within the two-dimensional limits of the photograph, the spatial characteristic of depth does not exist. Foreground objects and background objects need to be dealt with equally; they’re [the] building materials. Move the camera even slightly, and [the] composition changes. Ever since then the idea of ‘making’ pictures versus ‘taking’ pictures has been more than mere semantics.
"Peter Simon’s photographs, of both turbulent and tranquil events, are records of acutely felt moments. Decades later, I can still recall my favorites. I feel very fortunate to have found this book when I was receptive to its lessons."
"Installing remarkable new work by Ann Hamilton." (Transformer Station)
His energy and artistry were so extraordinary you almost begin to wonder if he did not bend the moment to his will. Which, in a way, he did. I wonder if he knew how wonderful that was, how profound. I hope he knew.Paul Graham at the Garry Winogrand retrospective (via greatleapsideways)
All the hardest, coldest people you meet,Iain S. Thomas (via safeguards)
were once as soft as water.
And that’s the tragedy of living.
Mickey pulls us close to his subjects to contemplate their rich material history, offering an intimate and yet expansive position. An archaeological record: an assertion of what was, what is, and what we imagine will be.”
Darin Mickey lives and works in New York City. His work has been exhibited in both solo and group exhibitions throughout the U.S. and internationally. He is the author of Stuff I Gotta Remember Not to Forget, J&L Books. His images have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, I.D., Foam, and Doubletake among others. Darin also teaches photography at The Cooper Union and The International Center of Photography.
May 12, 1958: A contact sheet from a photo shoot at the Bronx Zoo for which an emperor penguin named Jill was the star, occasioning the addition of two duck-billed platypuses, which called “attention to the many other outstanding specimens” at the zoo. “The emperors are hand-fed — five pounds of mackerel a day,” her keeper, Chappie Solanto, told the Times magazine. “The public thinks they look like old men. And people are surprised at their fatness and that they don’t go into the water like other penguins here.” Photo: Sam Falk/The New York Times