Thursday, 11 October 2018

More than just a fleeting look back

Tod Papageorge moved to New York in his mid-twenties and his friends Gerry Winogrand and Joel Meyerowitz suggested taking street photos as a possible entrance to getting commercial work. The sixty-one images in the book show his budding potential. He had a fondness for windows, especially shop ones, the book's title is from the name of an optometrist's shop next door to a florist, shown on the title spread. I think these window photos are the strongest in the book, they have a natural framing especially when taken head on which doesn’t allow for any distortion and the viewer can appreciate the objects within the frame.

The non-window photos are a mix of typical New York street scenery but actually with a twist because Papageorge managed to capture some wonderfully quirky shots, for example, a, man minus his jacket, with his back to the camera, hands on hips and bent over the engine of a Cadillac that’s parked at the kerb or a beautifully framed shot of five young women sitting on a stone step and talking but all of them have a cigarette in their hand.

The photos are all in color and printed on an excellent matt art with a 175 screen and unusually for a photo book these days with the images only on the right-hand page. The book’s size, eleven by twelve inches, also makes looking through it a pleasure.

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