Joel Meyerovitz Talk at Darby Format 2011


I went to Format festival In Darby. This will be the last Space I will visit as it must be full steam ahead with my Exhibition. I went to Format two years ago. The Main Reason was to see a talk by Joel Meyerovitz  the American street  photographer I knew that this would be good to  see but I wasn’t ready for how much of a impact it would have on me. I’m not a fan of modern street photography as I see that most of it has been done in the past by masters like Meyerovitz Arbus and Winogrand. He was said to be on for over 1hr. 2.15mins later he asked did anyone have any questions?

He was like a evangelist giving a sermon. He spoke about his early days in graphics and the guy coming in to take pictures of his work which was Robert frank. He worked a lot with the Maverick Tony Ray Jones. where they both discussed the putting the subject at the side of the image as it was just as important as the traditional Middle. He talked how ” he would sharpen his skills by knowing where in as shot he didn’t have time or show courage”. Meyerovitz said the main lens he would use would be a 35mm on his Lieca as this was closest to the human eye. He kept preaching that you should always carry a camera that is how he got most of his shots. He Said “The world is dissolving in front of you have to take every second”.

When he started out there was only one small gallery in a  underground basement in the whole of New York that would show Photo images. The only Exhibition he ever saw there Ansell Adams and you could buy a original of his images for $25. It wasn’t until M.O.M.A curetted by John Swarovski. That photographty become recognised. He encouraged The crowd with “ Take a risk, take bad photographs be provocative”. All this was rumbling along at a great space to him using his view cam (10×8) camera. His work totally changed from the street photography that made his name. He had taken a large picture of the space at Versailles in the 1960s which in the mid 1970s become relevant and linked to the large format work he would from there on under take. However in October 2001 he was due to open an exhibition of work called looking south. This was from his studio and it was the changing skies of the world trade centre.

However there was on change in the September that the world could never predict. 9 days after 9/11 Meyerovitz had to do something. so he started to document inside the rubble of the World Trade Centre. He went from 10 stories high to 72 ft bellow sea level. I reckon that s about he size of the Blackpool tower to give a sense of scale. This is the only major document of the event. He had to cross red tape and threats of arrest to go about his job for the people. This will be shown in a book later. However through all the genius and Brilliance of the Talk. The last picture really choked me. A gray work man’s glove and rail track. This was the rail track of the land below the world trade centre that held the underground .9 months after he started photographing he was at the rail track. A Roland Barthes Comments With his Studium and punctum. This was a great example of it. You loved the image on first glance as you had a rough knowledge of the subject mater. It was when he explained that there was grass growing that had been covered for the thirty years that the trade centre had stud on it. He was using this for a Metaphor of how life heals and moves on. This was the closing statement from Joel Meyerovitz. Totally blown away by a master of his trade with a tear in my eye concluded a beautiful Experience.

 

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Author: alanwhitfield80

Hello! I get about a bit so here about me first. I am a visual artist and poet who works within the context of fine art. My work is grounded in documentary, exploring the inner beauty of everyday life through various lens based media. Notions of nostalgia and social commentary are present, but from a definite northern working class perspective. Instinctively I exploring the townscapes of North Wales and the North West, often producing work that reflects the every day minutiae of life.

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