Stare. It is the way to educate your eye, and more. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long. -- Walker Evans

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Saul Leiter

© Saul Leiter
A lengthy interview with Saul Leiter is found on the Photographers Speak Blog, entitled Saul Leiter: The Quiet Iconoclast.

Photographers SpeakSaul Leiter has been redefining the parameters of street photography since the 1940s. Working in both black and white and color, he exhibited from the beginning of his career a distinct visual grammar that features off-center perspectives, compressed spatial dynamics, and a predilection for breaking up the frame in unpredictable and exciting ways. His color work, which went unrecognized for decades, is perhaps even more radical in its asymmetrical visual rhythm and defiantly unsaturated tonalities inspired by Johannes Vermeer. Leiter’s work is further distinguished by its indifference to decisive moments of human intercourse. In fact, Leiter might be regarded as the master of the “indecisive” moment – those in-between moments when nothing of much importance seems to be happening but which resonate with a profound if understated sense of interior drama.

'....I didn’t photograph people as an example of New York urban something or other. I don’t have a philosophy. I have a camera. I look into the camera and take pictures. My photographs are the tiniest part of what I see that could be photographed. They are fragments of endless possibilities.'
 [Read more...]

© Saul Leiter

From Lens Culture: 'I spent a great deal of my life being ignored. I was always very happy that way. Being ignored is a great privilege. That is how I think I learnt to see what others do not see and to react to situations differently. I simply looked at the world, not really prepared for anything.' 

'Art critic Roberta Smith wrote in 2005: .... Mr. Leiter captured the passing illusions of everyday life with a precision that might almost seem scientific, if it weren't so poetically resonant and visually layered.'
[Read full article with photos...]

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