Wednesday, 23 April 2014

The perfect image

There are photographs that are great because they are so compositionally and aesthetically. There are portraits that are great because they are are flattering or seem to capture the spirit of the person portrayed and then there are photographs that are great because they are a souvenir of something you never want to forget. This portrait of my grandfather is the latter. It was most likely taken for a publication or some other purpose where 'Executive Portrait' was what had been requested. It isn't particularly flattering and captures about as much about his personality as a stock photo would have. It had even faded unevenly and blotchy over time. For some reason though (of all the images -some that fit the former criteria exactly) this was the one that was hanging above the television in her bedroom when he passed away and once someone passes away it somehow doesn't seem right to move their picture so above the television it stayed.
As with most people as my grandmother aged her world became smaller -save for long drives along Mulholland to greet the ocean in Malibu she spent most of her time in her bedroom sitting in her favorite chair facing the television. In the last years of her life she had dementia and the conversations would circle endlessly and could be very confusing and frustrating for her. On a good day though, when chatting with her, if my grandfather came up she would smile when remembering him, calling him her 'dear husband' and in one graceful motion she'd look at the faded, stiff portrait crookedly hanging above the television and blow it a kiss.

No comments:

Post a Comment