2013/04/02

Black & White - Beautiful Decay


Where beauty has no ebb, decay no flood,
But joy is wisdom, time an endless song.

William Butler Yeats



Keith Carter, Hummingbirds, 1989
(more Keith Carter)

Warning:
This post contains photographs of dead people and/or animals which some viewers may find disturbing






Yamamoto Masao
(more Yamamoto Masao)



Francesca Woodmann



Andrea Modica, Fountain, Colorado, 2000



Sally Mann, Jessie and the Deer, 1985



Roger Ballen
(more Roger Ballen)



Anne Berry Captain



Dieter Appelt, 1959



Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Untitled, circa 1960



Sally Mann, Body Farm series, 2000-2001



George Krause, “Saints and Martyrs” Series, 1963-Present




Walter Schels, Series of portraits of people before and on the day they died



Frederick Sommer, The Eatable Thief, 1950



Olivia Parker, Site I (from Lost Objects Portfolio)



Edward Steichen, Wilted Sunflower, ca. 1922



Rusla Safin, Till Death Do Us Apart



Vasco Ascolini



Vasco Ascolini



Christer Strömholm, Polaroid 11, 1977



Brassaï, Graffiti, La naissance du visage, ca. 1935-1950



Patrick Bailly-Maître-Grand



Patrick Bailly-Maître-Grand



Robert Frank, Painkiller



Joel-Peter Witkin



Arthur Tress, Ancient Singer, 1980



John Reekie, Cold Harbor, Virginia. Unburied dead on the battlefield of Gaines' Mill, 1865



Lee Miller, Dead SS Guard in the Canal, Dachau, Germany, 1945



Lee Miller, The suicided Burgermeister’s Daughter, Leipzig, Germany, 1945



Robert Wiles, The peaceful portrait of Evelyn McHale, who leapt to her
death from the Empire State Building on May 1st, 1947.



Fritz Fabert



Francesca Woodmann



Arthur Tress, Mummified Woman, Mexico City, 1964



Bettina Rheims, Orang-outang, Paris, 1985



Bruno Réquillart, Lions, 1977
Série: Gros plans Lieu de prise de vue. Museum d’Histoire Naturelle


5 comments:

  1. I can't help but notice in Jessie and the Deer that the child's smile is echoed by the cut on the deer's neck (it's like an upside down smile).

    I wonder what took place in the photographers' minds when these photographs were taken? It reminds me of a story my teacher told me about Claude Monet painting his wife on her death bed. This is apparently what he told his friend afterwards:

    "I caught myself watching her tragic forehead, almost mechanically observing the sequence of changing colours that death was imposing on her rigid face. Blue, yellow, grey and so on… my reflexes compelled me to take unconscious action in spite of myself."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. May be the gap between observing and experiencing is never deeper than when it comes to death and dying.

      To quote one of the most famous stories about the subject:

      There was no deceiving himself: something terrible, new, and more important than anything before in his life, was taking place within him of which he alone was aware.

      from: "The Death of Ivan Ilych" by Leo Tolstoy

      Delete
  2. Stunning images, beautifully curated, thanks.

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