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Harold Feinstein (1931-2015): A Farewell

In the last analysis, whether working in black & white in the urban social environment or isolating the particulars of a flower or shell insect in their distinctive coloration, Feinstein is still showing us a world filtered through his own inimitable sensibility. Animated by the same spirit, the works of his earlier years and these more recent projects actively enrich and amplify each other. A profound awe in the presence of living things manifests itself in all his pictures. […]

Ends and Odds Encore

Wearing Sadakichi’s Hat

Last week I finally got to do something I’ve planned for years: have some pictures made of myself wearing Sadakichi Hartmann’s hat.

That calls for some explanation.

Scion of a German father and a Japanese mother, Sadakichi Hartmann (1867-1944) was born on an island in Nagasaki harbor. His mother died […]

Spring Fever 2015: Bits & Pieces

We’ve become the first culture to produce substantially more artists with professional aspirations than our system can possibly absorb. Though more egalitarian than most gatekeeping systems, the photo portfolio review system enables entry to a few while feeding the hopes of the many — “American Idol” writ small, if you will. No harm done, I suppose, and it keeps them off the streets. […]

Cabin Fever 2015: Bits & Pieces (2)

I confess, with a shudder but of my own volition, that I agree with the Fox News decision to publish “Healing the Believers’ Chests,” the complete 22:34-minute ISIS video of the burning alive of captured Jordanian pilot Muadh al-Kasasbeh. I watched it there — not for thrills, but because (a) as a citizen of the country that ISIS has declared its mortal enemy I want to know the threat that confronts us, and (b) I feel obligated as a critic to actually experience work in its entirety, no matter how difficult its content, before considering and commenting on it. […]

Cabin Fever 2015: Bits & Pieces (1)

Casting as I do a wide net in my efforts to understand visual communication, and the ways in which lens-derived imagery fits into that larger puzzle, and thus the issues that criticism of such imagery must needs address, I find myself pondering all kinds of “floating things.” Forinstance, the perplexing fact that, apparently, men and women see colors differently — which would suggest that women make color photographs differently than men do, and, as viewers, react to them differently than men do. […]