recently i bought three photography books at amazon and have been asked to review my purchases, so i might as well do it here as well. this will be the first one i write about.
since i am a self-taught photographer i don’t have much organized photography education so what ever i pick up it’s from here and there. i came to Deborah Turbeville’s photography in an oblique way which was through a wonderful man and teacher, well actually Milton was a salesman at B&H when i met him, who worked in the darkroom developing area.
Milton Spieel was his name who has passed through my life and so many other countless photographers. RIP. he always had a story or joke to tell and if you asked a question an answer. one day i guess we were talking about picture styles and i brought up my dance series of fuzzypictures and he told me about one of his customers, Deborah Turbeville who he knew from Willoughby’s photo which was the place to go in the 70’s 80’s for photography, then located on 32nd street.
Deborah would tell Milton to not tell her assistants how to operate the photo equipment she would send them in for. one day she was in the store buying some gear and had her portfolio with her and asked Milton if he wanted to see it? ‘Sure’ he said, well he wasn’t impressed because of her style, he said he would have thrown it in the garbage. Milton did mention she did a book on Newport RI Remembered that made her friends, so i’ve kept my eyes open for it and have ordered it today.
well Deborah got the last laugh on Milton, she has many photography books in print while Milton is feeding the worms. Studio St Petersburg is the first book i have of hers. Mary and i were lucky to have seem one of her photography exhibits at the Staley-Wise gallery down in soho, heres a link to my short review. she is a unique photographer to say the least.
my guess on taste would be like caviar as it needs to be acquired before one can really appreciate it. Mary and i both enjoyed the Past Imperfect exhibit and seeing her work as large prints is amazing. Deborah Tubeville was born 1938 in new england and moved to new york when she was twenty. See her profile in Professional Photographer as she really is a legend.
but i love her work because it’s not so much about photography but more about feelings. When Jackie Onassis commissioned her to photograph the unseen Versailles, the late president’s wife urged the photographer to ‘evoke the feeling that there were ghosts and memories.’ Turbeville began by researching the palace’s ‘mistresses and discarded mistresses’, then photographed not just the palace’s grand chambers and vistas but its store rooms and attics.
well that’s what Studio St. Petersburg is about for me the feelings of the past guess that’s why her exhibit called past imperfect. our memories of the past events place and people are clouded over by so many uncontrollable things. so to see photographs that take this cloudiness into consideration and make the viewer work to see and understand what might be the story presented is pretty cool.
although there is no need for back story in this picture. i think it’s pretty understandable.
one might wonder what ever happened here in this old house? what history
might have walked these halls, looked from these windows?
but what first attracted me to Tubeville was her sensuality that came through to me in her fashion work.
she like so many other fashion photographic icons had her own style that didn’t conform to the norm which is why it’s so refreshing to see anytime. timeless comes to mind. Studio St Petersburg just makes me want to go see that city even more. do i think i’ll find what she did? no i am no fool.
today is so different from yesterday, but today in Japan we have another atomic power problem. to think of all those brave russian souls who perished fighting the Chernobyl disaster or crippled with its aftermath makes me sad.
of course it wasn’t too many months or weeks ago that atomic energy power plants were in the news as an attractive alternative for the united states energy follies, as there isn’t any real energy policy put forth by our government. oh well
sorry about all this rambling on about one thing or another that might not have been relevant to photography. well maybe x-ray photography but that’s not what i was discussing here.
i hope i might have opened up another creative connection for you, books by Deborah Tubeville for my readers. sorry no new naked women today but as the masthead says opinions, and i’ve got plenty.