Photographic Point of View – Ralph Gibson

Photographic Point of View – Ralph Gibson

North light streams through a bank of windows. A lone figure, standing quiet in the middle of the large colorless room, surrounded by photographs from the last year of his life, he suddenly whispers, “What does it all mean?”

Ludicrous.  That doesn’t actually happen. Yet, stereotypes emerge from somewhere so what’s the origin of this scene? Quite simply: it’s the artistic search. Tell the story however you want, it comes out the same.  Artists chase personal expression but never quite pull it off, but never say die.

Listening to Ralph Gibson speak, and reviewing his work, something hit me. Yes, his work is simultaneously complex and simple. Its complexity is hidden by simplicity. His chosen frame is the disguise. But moreover, his work over five decades is astonishingly consistent in point of view and that, to me, is especially remarkable when bearing in mind that I consider changing my approach daily.

The strength of Ralph Gibson’s work comes from a unique viewpoint and not necessarily unique subjects, as with the work of countless others.  He knows himself well.

Ralph Gibson’s lesson to me is: viewpoint first.

Point of view is what it all means. Generate your own. Dominate your subject in the nicest possible way.

For five decades of photography visit: Ralph Gibson Photography Website

Ralph Gibson Biography [via Biography Page on RalphGibson.com]

Ralph Gibson studied photography while in the US Navy and then at the San Francisco Art Institute. He began his professional career as an assistant to Dorothea Lane and went on to work with Robert Frank on two films. Gibson has maintained a lifelong fascination with books and book-making. Since the appearance in 1970 of THE SOMNAMBULIST, his work has been steadily impelled towards the printed page. To date he has produced over 40 monographs , his most current projects being “State of the Axe”to be published by Yale University Press in Fall of 2008 and “NUDE” by Taschen, 2009. His photographs are included in over one hundred and fifty museum collections around the wrold, and have appeared in hundreds of exhibitions.

Gibson’s awards include fellowships from the John SImon Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the Leica Medal of Excellence and the Silver Plumb Award from the Landmarks Preservation Committee. He is an Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France, and holds honorary doctorates from the University of Maryland and Ohio Wesleyan University. In 2007 he received The Lucie Award for Fine Art Photography. He has worked exclusively with the Leica for almost 50 years.

” I have been a photographer all my life….and have made photographs of many things and for many reasons. But one thing that becomes more and more apparent is that I am simply only as good as my next photograph. That’s the one that counts the most….For this reason I find it a delight to face a new day, and to develop that new roll of film. It’s a great way to live.”

artist, Interview, Photographer, Photography, Video

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