After reading or hearing about André Kertész’s The Polaroids, it lived on my wish list for several years, and thanks to Mom (or was it my darling wife?) one appeared for my birthday!
Don’t get excited. My birthday isn’t for a couple of months, and if you check the date on the video, it was shot and uploaded awhile ago.
So Kertész. Near the end of his long life of photography, a friend gave Kertész a Polaroid camera. It seems he took to it! With a couple of glass figures and some other baubles, plus one of his distortion mirrors (from a much earlier project), the beautiful light in his Manhattan apartment, and the close focus abilities of his SX-70, it seems like he had some fun in his later years.
There are many pictures of these glass figurines, lit beautifully by the morning or evening light, gazing out over the city or contemplating the sunset, together or singly, holding down papers (as is, despite the anthropomorphic aspect, likely their intended function), shot through to create some mildly disturbing abstractions that harken back to his earlier work with distortion mirrors and etc., plus a few portraits, a couple of landscapes, and some other interior shots. Together, the set is by turns melancholy and joyous, and it makes me want to dig into Kertész’s earlier work (and save up enough money to buy a Mint SLR670… though I’ll try to hold off by shooting a few more packs of square Instax with the Lomo’Instant Square that I didn’t really get along with the first time I tried it).
André Kertész The Polaroids appeared alongside an exhibition of Kertész’s late work at the Southeast Museum of Photography in Daytona Beach, FL (3 Nov. 2007-15 Feb 2008) and later exhibitions at Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto, Stephen Daiter Gallery, Chicago, and Silverstein Photography, NY. It’s cheap and readily available used and new.
And, if you read this far, I received 2 copies of this great little book: 1 from Mom and 1 from my darling, adorable wife… I don’t know which one I unwrapped for the unboxing video, or flipped through years later for this brief review, but the other one, still in its wrapper and wasting away, is… no longer available. Apologies: you were just too slow…