“When I was in school, I wanted to be W. Eugene Smith. He was a legendary staffer at Life, a consummate photojournalist, and an architect of the photo essay. He was also kinda crazy. That was obvious when he came to lecture at Syracuse University and put a glass of milk and a glass of vodka on the lectern. Both were gone at the end of the talk. He was taking questions and I was in the front row, hanging on every word. Mr. Smith, is the only good light available light?” came the question. He leaned into the microphone. “Yes,” he baritoned, and paused. A shudder ran through all of us. That was it! No more flash! God’s light or nothing!
But then he leaned back into the mic, “By that, I mean, any &*%%@$ light that’s available.”
I thought this quote was an excellent lead in to the pictures I shot at St John The Divine yesterday. They have an extraordinary exhibit, Phoenix: XU Bing at the Cathedral, that will be up through 2014. These are two 12 ton sculptures suspended from the ceiling each constructed of debris from a building site.