Monday, December 14, 2009

Larry Sultan

Larry Sultan died yesterday of cancer at the age of 63. I paid monumental late fees at the Purchase College Library because I had kept out "Pictures From Home" for an entire semester because I just couldn't stop looking at it. I carried that book around with me everywhere I went for most of the fall of 2003. It was, and still is, one of the most influential books and bodies of work I've ever come across in my life. I am currently in the process of applying to the California College of the Arts, mainly because I wanted to study with him.

A really great description of his father's reactions to his photographs of him that ran in his obituary in the times this morning:
"Mr. Sultan’s father, Irving, speaking of a picture of himself in a suit sitting on the edge of a bed with a vacant stare on his face, related how his son had instructed him not to smile and had created a portrait that the elder Mr. Sultan felt was much more about the photographer than the photographed.

“ ‘Any time you show that picture,’ ” Mr. Sultan said his father told him, “‘you tell people that that’s not me sitting on the bed looking all dressed up and nowhere to go, depressed. That’s you sitting on the bed, and I am happy to help you with the project, but let’s get things straight here.’ ” His parents died not long after the work was completed."

Rest in peace, Larry.

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