I woke up feeling blue today and so I spent the morning feeding myself good books. I started with SARK’s A Creative Companion – a loan from my friend Britt – who just interviewed SARK for the new artheals.org podcast. I took comfort in SARK’s whimsy, her affirmation of her readers’ creative potential, and the invitation to dream. It’s a playful, and at times very light hearted book, possessing some keen insights, such as “Creativity adores solitude. Provide quiet creative time for yourself. It can first fit into the cracks of your life, and as you nurture it, it will expand into a glorious interior garden.”
Then I turned to two new books from the Fraenkel Gallery – The Book of Shadows and Eye of the Beholder: Photographs from the Collection of Richard Avedon (pictured above). Both books are wonderful objects. The Book of Shadows is covered in a soft dark blue velvet that felt so good under my fingertips – perfect for comfort reading. It is a book comprised of anonymous snapshots in which shadows play the significant role of indicating the presence of the photographer. It reminded me that photography is at its essence about light and shadow, and that you can’t have one without the other. The Richard Avedon book (pictured above) is a delightful boxed set of five separate folios – each dedicated to a different aspect of his personal photography collection – Diane Arbus, Peter Hujar, Irving Penn, the Countess of Castiglione (fascinating 19th C woman), and the final one called Etcetera. I enjoyed pondering how these photographs may have effected Avedon’ photographic vision. I can only guess that they expanded and inspired him as they did me this morning.