I was very struck by these very different photographs of faces. They are from In Focus in the Atlantic.
They connect to each other aesthetically and in immediacy of life and art in this moment.
French photographer and street artist Philippe Echaroux projects a portrait on trees above Barcelona, Spain, on April 24, 2017
The face of an owl is drawn on the muddy back of a truck by artist Nikita Golubev in Moscow, Russia, on April 22, 2017. The grimy trucks traversing the polluted and dusty streets of Moscow have inspired Golubev to use them as his canvas to create this ephemeral street art, signing his drawings ‘Pro Boy Nick’. Pavel Golovkin / AP
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny poses for a photo after unknown attackers doused him with green antiseptic outside a conference venue in Moscow, Russia, on April 27, 2017. Navalny, who authored a documentary about the Russian prime minister’s alleged corrupt wealth that was viewed more than 20 million times online, was the key force behind nationwide anti-government rallies in March, Russia’s largest and most widespread in years. # Evgeny Feldman / Pool Photo via AP
A Nepalese activist stands wrapped in a plastic sheet with a rope tied around her neck as a mark of protest against air pollution on Earth Day in Kathmandu, Nepal, on April 22, 2017. Kathmandu is considered one of the most polluted cities in the world. Niranjan Shrestha / AP
Laurie and Debbie say
We were both taken with this series of photographs by Nicholas Nixon. In 1975, he was visiting his wife’s family, and he asked her and her three sisters if they would pose for a photograph. The next year at a wedding, he asked them to pose again in the same order. And then they made it a yearly tradition.
Now, they have forty annual photographs of four women: Heather, Mimi, Bebe, and Laurie, the Brown sisters. Bebe is Nixon’s wife.
Susan Minot’s article provides the basic facts about the photographs. We recommend that you ignore her gender-essentialist, ageist simplifications and just look at the pictures.
Nixon chose to make these photographs about the women, and not about the photographer. The women almost certainly had a lot to do with that decision; these do not look like women you could easily manipulate. Everyone’s life gets written into our bodies and our faces as we age, and this is a rare opportunity to watch that being written, year on year. It’s no surprise that they each look more complex and interesting as they age, and the photos get even more satisfying.
The Brown sisters appear in these photographs as women with full, complex lives who take themselves seriously, women who are connected with their sisters, women who are comfortable enough with themselves to interact directly with the camera.
Give yourself a present; take the time to look at them all.
Thanks to Lynn Kendall for the link.