Just caught Robert Flynn Johnson on KQED’s Forum talking about his new book, “The Face in the Lens. Anonymous Photographs.” Robert, the former curator of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, is a good friend of the ICA. He recently led an ICA Talking Art session – sharing his views and knowledge of Monotype Prints in support of our Annual Monotype Marathon. During the KQED radio interview Robert made an interesting observation, saying that photographs outlive commitments – something that we all “get” when we look at our own photos of friends and family. He noted that the connection or commitment captured by the lens in many instances no longer exits. Sad but true. After listening to Robert, I’m inspired to drag out my dusty boxes of pre-digital age photos and count the commitments that have kept up with those captured in my photos.
Two final notes: A selection of Robert’s private collection of photographs is on view at Modernism on Market St. in SF thru August 29. And, Robert recommended his favorite book on the subject of photography: “Camera Lucida” by Roland Barthes.