Originally Posted by blansky
I'm not sure I'm a lover of John Lennon exactly, or even a fan, it's more associations with early childhood & The Beatles - an unbelieveable phenomenon in the sixties in the U.K. - and then his untimely death which was pretty horrible - 'Emotional baggage' doesn't sound quite right, I prefer to think of it as 'associations'...and yes, it's hard or impossible to discard this, and I'm not sure of the value of doing so, as that is all part of how I respond to this particular photograph. This was, infact, the orignal poster's question, or reason for posting, rather than a consideration of Liebovitz as a photographer, and I suppose I was trying to keep to that too.
It's an interesting question though, the relationship between a picture and whatever it is the viewer brings to it. I'm not sure you can ever strip the latter bare, or even if it's desirable to do so. It's important, though, to be aware of the perspective you bring.
I suppose for whatever reason, I do like this one, and I find it more interesting to reflect on my reasons for liking it (however subjective) rather than considering the photographer's role in general. I suppose, with a different photo or subject, I might be more interested in the latter. It isn't 'anything special' on one level, except, as I said before, it shows John Lennon unusually unaware of the fact that he's in the media's eye and I like that, I think it's part of it's success. You could say L. was simply showing that she knew J.L., or you could say it's showing that J.L. knew L. and wasn't acting up to her - I suppose I'm not sure what everybody is meaning by the 'special' when they describe it as 'nothing special'....to me it has captured something of John Lennon. I might find the photographs that Jane Bown took of him in the sixties more striking but there again...they speak of a different time, a totally different decade, also a different (non-existent really) relationship between subject and photographer...
I think my main point is (sorry if this has been rambling...) you can't have a picture of an icon and say "Would this work if the subject wasn't an icon?" because that is the essence of the photo, and changes what might work and might not work in other circumstances....
Last edited by catem; 10-10-2006 at 04:11 PM. Click to view previous post history.