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Emmet Gowin

Text from Michael Frizot, A New History of Photography

Another straight photographer who began exploring the enigmas of daily life was Emmet Gowin. First known for his pictures of his wife Edith and his family in Danville, Virginia, Gowin started experimenting, about 1970, with a circular lens, whose strange perspectives transformed everyday portraits into romantic, almost ritual images. Seen in this way, fish, his wife's necklace, and even a child's dance costume became mysteries steeped in blackness or bathed in light. Deeply influenced by Frederick Sommer, Gowin, at his best, uses the transforming properties of the camera to, as James Agee said, "perceive simply the cruel radiance of what is".


 


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