Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Inspirations #21: Minor White, Part 1

Minor White (1908-1976) was a contemporary of Ansel Adams. He was also a poet and much of his life centered around the spiritual and mystical. He took Alfred Steiglitz's "Equivalents" to the next level, creating imagery that in effect became a mirror of the photographer himself. Aside from his prolific photographic career he also served as the editor of the influential Aperture magazine and as curator of the George Eastman House in Rochester.

When I was younger I attempted to wrap my brain around his theories, but the realities of life always got in the way. Subconsciously, however, I think Minor White's writings and images left a deep impression on me. I have always thought that images should be able to stand on their own, without text, cute titles or captions, although Minor White employed these, and unlike today where "emerging" artists dictate to the viewer what they are trying to say to the viewer, and that images are, indeed, a reflection (mirror) of the person creating them. I'll let the psychologists try to figure me out, though... I don't have the time or desire.

Moon & Wall Encrustations, Pultneyville, NY, 1964, Minor White

Opus 40, Saugerties, NY, 1988, Richard M. Coda

Urban Removal, Portland, OR, 1939, Minor White

Untitled, Brockville, Ontario, Canada, 1986, Richard M. Coda

I have been inspired by Minor White many times. This is the first part of a series on his inspirations. Look for more in future posts.


memorris said...

Another great post Rich. I agree about photos standing on their own. When explanation is required it takes away from the photo and in 50 years when the culture has changed and the explanation is lost, the image will be meaningless.

Reece Blackhurst said...

I love this!