Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Reading List…. THEN

In each picture there is a reflection of a state of mind. ¬†Photography does not tolerate a fixed version of the beings we photograph. ¬†In many pictures we want to please. We say, ‘Smile.’ These are photos de politesse, or courtesy shots. But try as one might, the mystery that photography confers on the simplest situations prevails. There is something intangible there, an aura of the unseeable, life beyond the visible. You may call this chance, or randomness, but it is the ability of the film and the lens to capture something beyond the obvious that is, in the end, the glory of the most humble snapshot…

So here is a record of a life and a time, in pictures. The mystery that photographs impose on this record is perhaps why I took them.”

-Alexander Liberman, THEN: Photographs 1925- 1995 




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  1. Michael Tornato

    February 28, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Great pictures! I love how so much emotion and realism is captured. It’s not posed or fake but very real.

    Check out my New York Fashion Week pictures!

  2. Natasha Fatah

    February 28, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    I love these beautiful, expressive, full-life faces.

  3. April

    February 28, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    “Life beyond the visible,” the motivation for many to continue searching, for possibly a nonexistent answer.


  4. Marcel Da Chump

    February 28, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    The ineffable Truman Capote. May I add Breakfast At Tiffany’s to the reading list?

  5. Maria

    February 28, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    great zoom on shots. Original


  6. j

    February 28, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Not sure whether to type, “That herringbone is amazing!” or “Great snapshots!”

    So I guess I’ll just type that the guy up top reminds me of T.E. Lawrence coming out of a steam bath.”

    *I don’t know who the guy is up top and don’t really care. I’m a savage, I know. Sue me.

  7. Natalie

    February 28, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    I completely agree. Although they are snapshots of a split second in time they are full of life and energy that will last forever…

    Visit http://www.offdutychic.com

  8. Stephanie

    February 28, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    When someone makes a portrait for me it’s important that the soul is reflected in the eyes!!!
    This has nothing to do with smiles and colors and has to do with moments feelings and specially rich internal lifes!!
    That’s what these photos transmit!!

  9. Amy

    February 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm


    Please follow me on: http://www.thepinkshades.blogspot.com

    Xx Amy.

  10. Remy

    February 28, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    I think we all have our own interpretation of these beautiful portraits because we know these men, their past and their future and the enormity of the lives behind their eyes. Very, very moving.
    Greetings from Amsterdam.

  11. Aurélie & Angelo

    February 28, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Incredible genuine emotion, great to see!


  12. Ivy

    February 28, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    I hope this site starts to have some sort of focus. It’s really all over the place, but not in a good way. Just scattered and trying to include so much but without any real commitment. Ironically, it feels more amateurish now than it did as simple street style blog.

  13. michael

    February 28, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    i enthusiastically recommend “the impossible cool” as a website for those of who enjoy black and white photos of the famous and the beautiful. very enjoyable.

  14. LIZPR

    February 28, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Capote! Stravinsky!

    Bravi, bravi, bravi!!


  15. Alda Mori

    February 28, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    “Something is ironic in the world and it has to do with the fact that what you intend never comes out like you intend it. (…) it’s impossible to get out of your skin into somebody else’s. And that’s what all this is a little bit about. That somebody else’s tragedy is not the same as your own.”
    Diane Arbus


  16. macfer

    February 28, 2012 at 4:53 pm

  17. Aga's suitcase

    February 28, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Beautiful, so expresive…


  18. Marielle

    February 28, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Great words. Wise and talented photographer that Mr. Liberman.

  19. Deborah Newton

    February 28, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Since I am often more interested in THEN than NOW this book is very appealing.

  20. Johnny

    February 28, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Love the photography philosophy!

  21. koolphoto

    February 28, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Great words!…I love this

  22. Jane Alisa

    February 28, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Beautiful post, I adore the expressions of both the gentlemen in the pictures.


  23. Boxer's Adventures

    February 28, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    The eyes full of life.
    Thanks for the exposure!

    International Blog and Shop

  24. Steph C.

    February 28, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    wow. these are extremely interesting…
    wonderful quote and gorgeous find :)



  25. frank

    February 28, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    Igor. fucking brilliant.

  26. swingkids

    February 28, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    is always the eye of the camera. although i do adore the neps which make the subjects slower and transparent. they just compliment the people well.

  27. FashionUm

    February 29, 2012 at 1:29 am

    great photos! full of emotions and life…
    Show Your Outfit!

  28. maria

    February 29, 2012 at 3:28 am

    Brilliantly well said.

  29. bonnie, clyde and marni

    February 29, 2012 at 3:30 am

    amazing photos!!!!!!!!!

  30. Tweedmans Vintage - Vintage Menwear

    February 29, 2012 at 6:35 am

    A photo speaks a thousand words … great images!


  31. melissa

    February 29, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Great personality photo’s.. Even when we try to hide, we often are found, and what others find is not what we think they are finding…


  32. Isabella Rossa

    February 29, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Bravo, Ivy (Feb 28).
    Absolutely….’but not in a good way’.
    Scattered. no commitment. more amateur-ish now …
    So – incredibly – insightful.

    For those with eyes to see and ears to hear…

  33. antique engagement rings

    March 1, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    I love your black and white photos!

  34. Mezzanine

    March 1, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    “A picture is worth a thousand words”

  35. Linda

    March 14, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    Looking at the ‘untangible’ and ‘unseeable’ is like a glimpse into our own soul; a glimpse of the sublime. ‘The artist here has photographed not merely what he saw in front of him, but has captured what he sees within himself’. (This is a loose quote by the 17th century Romantic artist Caspar David Friedrich). There’s a great new book about the resurgence of Romanticism in contemporary art which explores this theme of the sublime. It’s an awesome read for artists. It’s called “New Romantics – Darkness and Light in AustralianArt” by curator Simon Gregg. I’m about half way through and loving learning, what I somehow already know, about the mysteries and emotions contained in images.
    Ciao, L. x x

  36. Stoken

    July 4, 2012 at 3:52 am

    What’s the name of the man in the top photo? He looks very similar to my grandfather.

  37. Barnabas

    August 19, 2013 at 3:00 am

    Perfectly zoomed, even in gray scale picture.

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