Friday, April 23, 2010

Splinter in Your Eye

And now let us praise famous men. I adore the photographs of Lee Bacchus, a direct heir to the work of Walker Evans, who was a great Depression Era cameraman subsidized by the Works Progress Administration during the 1930s. In an age where so much loudly commands attention, his faultlessly skillful images have the grace to imply, to glance with their knowing immediacy, to reflect a meaning best taken in on the sly, though if you're like me, you will stare at them.

They are immensely subtle, beautifully composed, and often haunted by a sense of the past: Bacchus doesn't let you forget that the city is old. His photographs have a genius loci, a feeling that evokes a place beyond its physical location. It could be a barber shop while watching his son get a haircut, an old movie theatre with its detritus of worn out drawers, a tiny mouldering pizza shop with its crumbling ochre facade and its sidewalk weeds bravely poking out of a crevice, or it could be something as magical as a shot taken on the beach at Spanish Banks. The mysterious box washed up on the shore ... the pinprick of lighthouse light in the distance. This is a glimpse of infinity.

Bacchus is also an extraordinary writer. Check out his website at


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  2. What a lovely shot. I'm a big fan of Mr. Bacchus' work too. I particularly miss his smart film and TV crit.