Tag Archives: Robert Capa

C’mon Billy

I have two more weeks to finish. I have more time but I am trying to finish everything before my family comes out for a visit. That is, the parts that I have control over. Finish all the edits, write the press release, make sure the banner has been sent to Overtone, send out all invitations, send files to Orms, set up interviews with the press etc etc.
I am a bit in two minds as to what to do with the invitations. On the one I think it is good to send them out 3 weeks in advance but on the other I think a lot of people, especially those that don’t know me but who are interested in photography or in any of the artists taking part, may just decide a week or so in advance. I know that’s what I do. You check the current events calendars and see if you have time. Or you’re simply in the mood for free drinks, socializing and some art. Unless somebody tells that there will be an Anton Corbijn exhibition or Robert Capa one or something like that cause then I’ll book and make sure I’m there. Sigh, if only. It’s so odd to me that the World Press Photo doesn’t travel to Cape Town. Why not actually? That would almost be a dream job. Set it up over here and do my own work at the same time…
 
I saw Tim Burton’s ‘Big Fish’ again last night. Love, love, love that movie. Albert Finney and Jessica Lange. Wow. Love the colors, the imagination behind it, and who wouldn’t want an Edward Bloom day once a year where everything is just fabulous and magical? And I totally want someone who’ll climb into the bath with me when I’m old and sick. 
 
It’s funny eh how some images influence you or stay with you for a long time. I think the photo below of Bob Dylan by Barry Feinstein is such an image. It’s such a fantastic image, so well composed, such awesome black&white tones and sums up feelings of isolation, adoration, estrangement, intrusion, boredom, ouside world vs inner world, trying to just do your thing… Or like the first image above, by Edward Hopper ‘Excursions in Philosophy’.  He has such an awesome sense of composition and light, often using light as a way of showing revelation and casting long, symbolic shadows and depicting scenes of extreme loneliness, regret and maybe even estrangement within the American rural and urban landscape.
There are so many inspiring portrait and music photographers out there but being a Dutchie and growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, I grew up with images taken by Anton Corbijn, Niels van Iperen and Charles Peterson. When Anton Corbijn still had his one page in music magazine OOR a gazillion years ago, I would buy the magazine just for that. I would always be a little jealous while looking at his work. I’m jealous in any case of people who are being paid to travel, who get to see the world and meet people for a living. I know you can say the same thing f.e. about flight attendants but it’s not quite the same:-)
 
I have a photo shoot with a young ADFA graduate trying to make it as a director this afternoon. Should be interesting:-) Will talk about it later.
Listening to Agnes Obel ‘Philharmonic’, The Sore Losers self titled album and still Mark Ronson and the Business Intl’s ‘Record Collection’ and bang bang bang is still my favorite:-)
left: PJ Harvey by Anton Corbijn.
And yes, the title is a P.J. Harvey song:-)
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Slightly out of focus

Here I am today, recovering from National Braai Day, listening to Sharon van Etten and trying to finish #5 of my 5 Must Do’s of this week. I am unfocused and my mind’s all over the place. I am trying to ignore my financial worries and the looming end of my stay in SA. It’s too depressing. Then I try to imagine myself living in the NL again and hmmm, not really want I want, even if my friends and family are there. In two days time it’s the birthday of one of my best friends, Suzanne. She’s expecting a baby. I won’t be there. And no matter how much I want to stay here and also to *not* be in the NL, I do miss my friends. I love my friends here, they’re awesome but my friends in my other life are awesome too.
On another note, you know how they say you must verbalize your wishes and the universe will hear you?
Well, this is it:
I want funding to come through for the Swimming Upstream exhibition and for the exhibition to be awesome and successful;
I want to generate work from it so I can stay in SA, at least until June/July next year;
I want to travel… I want to travel in Southern Africa; I want to see more of SA, I want to go to Zim. I want to go to Mozambique and Botswana and frankly, I still want to go to Tristan da Cuñha but that can wait;
I want to work for magazines; 
I want to stay.
 
 
There’s gotta be a way, there always is… I am just slightly out of focus and missing the obvious or too unwilling to accept the inevitable but I am still in denial about that. Just so you know:-)
The title for this post comes from Robert Capa’s memoir ‘Slighty Out of Focus’. He’s my all time favorite photographer. Fellow photographer and friend Henri Cartier-Bresson may have taken the slightly more high-brow and aesthetically perfect images but to me Robert Capa’s images are better, rawer, less observing, more present.
 
I remember this this conversation I had once with an American Jazz musician at a random train station in the NL. I was reading Billie Holiday’s biography and he came up to me to chat. According to him I should listen more to the likes of Ella Fitzgerald as she was the better singer (compared to BH), always on the beat, always perfect. My reply was that that was exactly why I like Billie Holiday so much more. It’s also why I love Robert Capa’s work so much. Maker of haunting images on D-Day ’44 and of  amazingly beautiful and somehow very human Spanish Civil War portraits. Traveler, with John Steinbeck, to Russia. Awesome, adventurous, inspiring, co-founder of Magnum, beautiful eye, a little dangerous, loner and ever so handsome.  
(photo: Gerda Taro)