Robert Frank in China

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by Lee Shively, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    I was goofing off at work yesterday and found this article online that appears to be in the current Vanity Fair magazine. Here's the link: http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2008/04/frank200804

    It's sad to see age and declining health take its toll but the article includes insight on his iconic work The Americans and how it has been misunderstood for decades.

    I was puzzled by the writer's description of an exhibit of some of the photos: "The prints were large, 30-by-45-inch reproductions from the book, so the pixels could be made out, giving the work a flat, pedestrian vibe and draining some of the life from it." Pixels? In photos made in the 1950's?

    The accompanying video is an acquired taste. Personally, I kind of like it.
     
  2. DanielOB

    DanielOB Member

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    "It's sad to see age and declining health take its toll but the article includes insight on his iconic work The Americans and how it has been misunderstood for decades."
    WRONG

    Robert is doing well and strong. One will never point his age if he do not know it. That long trip from Canada to China is really draining to anyone no matter age.

    And that guy describing R. Frank is nothing more than horse she***, stupid internet googler. Well anyone today has computer and internet ...

    Daniel OB
    www.Leica-R.com
     
  3. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    What a shockingly bad article. That writer has done a hatchet job on Frank to boost his own ego. He also shows a weak understanding of what makes Robert Frank an important photographer.
     
  4. realitysandwich

    realitysandwich Member

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    Feels like we have lost so many photographers in the last couple of years. Its sad to see someone like him go but on the other hand he sure did a good job with the time he had.

    Also that writer should be drowned in a bowl of chicken soup.
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I think the writer just means "dots," if the prints were blown up from printed reproductions, rather than directly from the negs or from original prints.
     
  6. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    I'm a healthy strong late-30's, and having done that trip 3 times (so far) I can definitely vouch for this.

    Anyone would be pretty beat after that long journey, to base an opinion without taking that into account is a cheapshot.
     
  7. lns

    lns Member

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    The photographer Joel Sternfeld wrote a piece in the Steidl catalog about encountering Frank in July, when Frank was finalizing the upcoming version of The Americans. Sternfeld's piece had an entirely different tone, but also described Frank as exhausted and a bit eccentric in his behavior.

    I don't know Robert Frank personally. I just know that I love his work. I don't expect his life to be perfect. Or his personality to be a certain way.

    He never shied away from frankness in his own work, after all. No pun intended.

    Thanks for the link.

    -Laura
     
  8. canuhead

    canuhead Member

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    I never met the man so take this as you will but I didn't find anything wrong with the piece. This was not written as a puff piece and the writer does have a Pulitzer under his belt so I'd give him a bit more credit than he's getting here. It was a very interesting read for me.
     
  9. DanielOB

    DanielOB Member

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    canuhead
    Joe Frazer was the World champion but his inteligence was low and he draged it along the road. Your hero is far from the World champion in photography so there is possiblity that his inteligence is far behind of Joe Fr. The point is that to hold any award in photography does not means "smart". And that guy really lack inteligence for he have no idea what he is doing. And which credit you talk about?
    Frank is over 80 and still fly over half of the planet in one "zug" and after that is still on his own legs. Might be you are nothing better that "that sh*** Im. Kant".
    Next time think what you write, and do not hide your name at the end of your text.
    Daniel OB
     
  10. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    I have to agree with canuhead in not finding anything wrong with the way the article was written. I also fail to see how my comment that declining health and age has taken a toll is "WRONG". Declining health and age are taking a personal toll lately and Frank has 20 years on me. Daniel, are you sure you read the article all the way through?

    In a NY Times article from 1994, Frank said he had refused an offer for an article about him in Vanity Fair because he didn't want to be photographed by Annie Liebowitz. I thought that was amusing.
     
  11. canuhead

    canuhead Member

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    Daniel,

    I think you're getting the wrong impression. I actually wish I could meet R. Frank, he sounds like he'd be a blast to hang around with and the guy has a home in Canada, so what's not to like :wink:

    As for the award, that was a reference to the writer whom I'm not familiar with.

    Im.Kant ? Don't follow,sorry.
     
  12. Kent10D

    Kent10D Member

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    I have to agree with the posters who don't see anything wrong with the article. In fact, the way I read it I sensed that the writer has a certain amount of affection for Frank. I thought it was quite an effective, realistic piece that provides some real insight into the life of a legendary photographer.

    Cheers.