Jim Goldberg / photos & words

bartjeej

Hall of Famer
Nov 12, 2010
124
bart
When I get tired of working on my thesis, I flick through a couple of pages in the Magnum Magnum book that's in my university's library. Yesterday I saw the work of Jim Goldberg and it blew me away. For me, photos and words have always belonged together, that's just how I like to get my thoughts or feelings across, but his work takes combining photos and words to a whole different level. Several of the photos in that book were truly heartbreaking. It strengthens me in my resolve to ignore those who say good photos should stand on their own and not need text (although many of his photos are also really strong stand-alone). It also makes me want to get a polaroid camera for when I travel, to allow the people I meet to provide the words with their photos.
 

bartjeej

Hall of Famer
Nov 12, 2010
124
bart
it's not generally very happy stuff, is it? I think it's the sort of work you go through in one sitting, that makes an impact on you and gets you thinking about things for quite some time, but not the sort of thing you want to look at on a daily basis, even though for his subjects it's the daily reality of life.
 

BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
123
betwixt and between
BB
I began looking...and then started to feel the way you did, Luke. There were a couple that seemed quite posed - which doesn't mean they're "bad", that's just my observation. Sometimes it seemed as though he could have been influenced by Diane Arbus, though that may well only be my inference.
 

bartjeej

Hall of Famer
Nov 12, 2010
124
bart
^ Yes, BB, that's the one I meant. It is very bleak indeed. Thankfully in the Netherlands we don't have quite so many of those situations (because of our welfare state perhaps), although I once lived in an appartment where the other resident was a more-or-less single mom in these sort of circumstances. It was absolutely heartbreaking to see her two young children already having a massive lack of development compared to kids in more favorable circumstances, like I had growing up. Like you said, Luke, it's the utter hopelessness that's the worst.

To me, adding the words of the subjects to the photos really adds to the impact, which is why I admire his work, as saddening as it is to look at.
 
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pdh

Legend
Jan 2, 2011
123
This is good stuff.

The 14 year old pregnant with triplets is appallingly beautiful.

Appallingly.

I would want to see his work on a wall though
 

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