My photographs are like someone else’s sketchbooks. They are supposed to be ideas, quick remembrances that lead to bigger more sharply defined projects. But they hardly ever get there. A couple of exceptions: graffiti, Migrant Mother. And of course the “sketchbook” itself.
I’m working on a paper that is supposed to compare Robert Frank’s “The Americans” to some other photographers anthology. I think I’ve settled on comparing his book to Emmet Gowin’s “Photographs”. They are two distinctly different books. One is about the American family and one is about a family. Each book is personal and bears the photographer’s unique stamp. Each photographer is an “outsider”. Frank is Swiss, a visitor. Gowin is an outsider. He photographed his in-laws in Danville, Va.