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Author Topic: W. Eugene Smith  (Read 825 times)

Rob C

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W. Eugene Smith
« on: July 15, 2018, 02:14:08 pm »

farbschlurf

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Re: W. Eugene Smith
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2018, 09:09:14 am »

Thanks for posting, interesting. Although I know his work, I didn't know a lot about him. What puzzles me is his productivity. Probably really some mania in his case. It seems he paid a high price for his photography.
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JNB_Rare

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Re: W. Eugene Smith
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2018, 09:41:18 am »

For many of us, there is one name (or a small group) that immediately springs to mind when thinking about a photographic genre. W. Eugene Smith is THE photographer who seems to epitomize photojournalism for me. It is not a genre that I have have ever been suited, or psychologically equipped, to pursue. But I have the greatest respect and admiration for the individuals who do, and the work that they produce.
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RSL

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Re: W. Eugene Smith
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2018, 08:42:51 am »

Right on, James. Gene was a magnificent photojournalist, but he also was a magnificent artist. I don't think he had both oars in the water, but that may have been part of what led him to create his art. Country Doctor was much, much more than photojournalism. It was fine art. And that was only one of his masterpieces. He drove the people at Life magazine, and at Magnum photo agency nuts because he was such a perfectionist. But the results will live on after the complainers are long gone.

ripgriffith

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Re: W. Eugene Smith
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2018, 11:15:56 am »

The work that finally cost him his life, "Minimata", is perhaps the most compelling piece of photojournalism I had ever encountered up to that point (1975). Of course, I was familiar with "The Country Doctor" and "Pittsburgh", but "Minimata" literally stripped the skin from my eyes, and made me seriously consider giving up photography forever, since I knew that I could never achieve that level of both intimacy and power.
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RSL

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Re: W. Eugene Smith
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2018, 03:35:06 pm »

I'd agree, Rip, that Minimata probably was the peak, though I'd put Country Doctor and Nurse Midwife right up there with it.

Rob C

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Re: W. Eugene Smith
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2018, 05:31:26 pm »

My introduction to him came via the sections of Pittsburgh published in one of those great Popular Photography Annuals they used to do, which was also where I discovered Saul Leiter around 1959?

Wonderful source.

Rob
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