Archive for the Photo Category
“…I went to Paestum, and there saw Doric temples for the first time, symbols of severity, simplicity, harmony, and strength. There was the pure vein to be traced in the quartz of Roman accumulations and grossness…
Doric purity is not a thing to be expected again in history, at least not yet. It indicates a people that knows its small place in the universe and yet asserts its dignity. In early Christian art there may be simplicity and naïveté, but never self-knowledge. The aspiration in it is childlike. For anything like Doric fortitude in the West we must look to the castles, not to the churches; and the castles are Christian only by association. Here then was an ultimate point of reference, a principle of manly purity, to mark one extreme in the moral scale of all human arts…”
Text: George Santayana, My Host the World. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1953
Image: Alexander John Ellis, two daguerreotypes of the temple of Hera at Paestum, 1841. via Getty Images
Not knowing quite how to respond to the death of an artist who has meant so much to us we have chosen, in no particular order, some photographs from Leonard Cohen’s life on Hydra, the Greek island where we also have lived many ancient and instantaneous hours. And yes we have sung Suzanne there, in an open boat in the old harbour under the Milky Way. May his memory be a blessing.
Today we congratulate Robert Frank on his 92nd birthday. The Swiss-born photographer became a tireless and penetrating investigator of American life, crisscrossing the nation and depicting it from every angle. His work is too well-known to require any comment from us, apart from the suggestion that now seems an important moment to contemplate the state of the Union, in the mirror of Frank’s lens and otherwise.
Images: Portrait of Robert Frank, © Wayne Miller/Magnum; all others © Robert Frank