Notes on the Quiet Life

I’ve recently learned about the work of two different photographs that I find quite interesting.  And while the pictures are interesting, I also find myself intrigued and inspired by the circumstances, and the humility, surrounding the work.

The first of these two photographers I learned about was Robert Benjamin.  While I was visiting Denver and working at the Denver Art Museum, photo curator Eric Paddock told me about Benjamin’s work, subject of an exhibition currently up at the museum.

Born in 1947, Benjamin runs a furniture store in Northern Colorado.  He practices Zen Buddhism.  If I remember Paddock’s remarks correctly, this is Benjamin’s first exhibition.  He made photographs out of a love of making photographs, and in attempt to live his life with more clarity.

The museum is working to try and produce a book of Benjamin’s work with Radius Books.

Equally appealing is Vivian Maeir.

Maier photographed most actively in the 1950’s-60’s, photographing along the streets of Chicago.  Her work was just discovered recently in an auction.

Her pictures resonant with a remarkable sensitivity and humility.

In the end, what matters most when making pictures is whether or not the pictures are true.  Anything more is simply icing on the cake; it might make it look prettier, but it’s not the real thing.  The goal in my mind is to live life with greater sensitivity, to cultivate an inner self by pausing to reflect on your circumstances.

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