I mentioned a while ago how much it meant to me to discover the still life images Joseph Sudek and Andre Kertesz made in the windows of their studios. (You’ll want to scroll down about a third of the way through the linked article to find the related photographs.) I was feeling very alone, making my little compositions – and worried that my vision was just banal. Within the threshold of their home’s view on the outside world, however, each artist had shaped work of the tenderest, most intimate sort. Embracing the fleeting intensity of pure perception and love, their windows reveal everything. To see what was right in front of them, to open so completely to something small and close – Kertesz and Sudek must have needed courage, too. Of course, their vision gave me hope.
I am not denying that Sudek’s large plates, and Kertesz’s diminutive polaroids made a home in my imagination. Their photographs freed me to cherish my modest stage with curiosity and faith. A window is an explicitly liminal space, where we stand between the inside and outside world of our very own lives. If anything magical is going to happen – this will be the place. I don’t think it really matters what I find when set myself there, in my four foot daylight studio, beside the parking lot and stone retaining wall and trees that daily grow noisier with bird-song. I think what matters is that I keep looking.