Friday, May 20, 2011

Richard Misrach: Golden Gate

This is, hands down, one of my all-time favorite photography books. Ever.  The very simple conceit (perfectly, elegantly simple, the way a Rothko or an Albers, a mason jar or the wooden spoon is simple) behind Richard Misrach: Golden Gate is best explained by the photographer himself on the first page:

Because of where the house is located, what you get from his vantage point is a smallish bridge in the bottom quarter of the image, with the rest of the shot being taken up with sky. And what skies they are. Full of every color and weather we see here in the Bay Area... familiar to me (I'm sure part, though by no means all, of the lure this volume holds for me is that I grew up tromping around the Berkeley hills, and so these sorts of views are hardwired into my cells in a very visceral, Proustian way) and so pleasing, that I could look at them for hours. Misrach has chosen his moments with great sensitivity and grace, and then done that hardest of things: gotten out of the way. Not editorialized, just let the sublime vista speak for itself. I could, indeed, happily post every single image in this book here. But I will forebear, and just leave you with these few--