the power of the image

I’ve written once or twice about how visually oriented my creative process is. I depend on images of all kinds to wake up my imagination and in some strange way, my consciousness. I sometimes look up from a photo or a painting to realize that I am, in fact, alive and in one of those rare moments of crystal clear self observation.

Today I stumbled on the website where Diego Golberg of Buenos Aires, Argentina has recorded his family’s evolution over twenty five years. He has done this by means of a photo taken of each of them on the same day every year. The first photos, in 1976, are of Diego and his wife Susy, and over the years their three sons are added. It’s very simple, and very powerful in its presentation.

Looking at this essay, I am most interested in Susy. I find myself studying her expression, which is calm and unrevealing, sometimes with the vaguest hint of a smile. These twenty-five photos of her — alone, and still embedded between husband and sons — have made me think about women’s lives and the way the story unfolds, as familiar as a face, and as distinctive.

4 Replies to “the power of the image”

  1. That’s a great site.

    It reminds me of two things:

    The movie Smoke (based on a Paul Auster story? he has a writing credit) in which Harvey Keitel’s character takes a picture of the street in front of his shop every day.

    And the possibly apocryphal story I read in News of the Weird about the young man who sued his physician father for measuring every part of his body every day from his birth until he reached 18 and could refuse.

  2. I haven’t seen Smoke, but I’ll put it on my list. That News of the Weird story is — well, weird. Really, really weird. Certainly the stuff of a short story or novel.

  3. A brilliant family tree – I was almost sobbing by the time I saw the last line of pictures — praying no one would be missing.

    Where are the smiles?

  4. This is vera fascinating… i am glad that they did not show expressions as sometimes when taking FaMiLy photos, they can be superficiaL… plus the fact the photos are in black n’ white, great for catching minuet DeTaiLs… i found Susy’s face FaSCiNaTiNg aLSO… i found DiEGo with a hint of a SMiLe in three of the photos… FaSCiNATiNg! When i first started taking pictures back in the 70’s, an instructor suggested to us that a family picture EVeRy year in BLaCk n’ WHiTe should be taken. i have skipped a quiet a few years… and the poses are ALL different. This is a GReAT photo log.

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