Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Sincerest Form of Flattery

Optic Parable, 1931, Manuel Alvarez Bravo

Kitashinagawa, Shinagawa, Tokyo, 1986, Hiroh Kikai

In a recent interview with Marc Feustel, Hiroh Kikai says that he never looks at the work of other photographers, worried that "I will be destabilised by the fact that some of them are much better than I am." Assuming that is true, the pair of photographs above seems remarkable. How could two photographers working 55 years apart come up with such similar images independently?

Of course there is the possibility that Kikai knew of Bravo's image, in which case his pays homage. Who knows which explanation is right? Perhaps it's better not to know, since wonder tends to be a stabilizing effect.

Addendum 2/15: Reo Speedwagon guitarist Bruce Hall, who is an avid amateur photographer, sent me the following photo today which I think goes nicely with the first two:

1 comment:

alkos said...

How about this one: ? (featured comment #2)

It might be in the subconcious memory, it might be in common visual archetypes as well, if you ask me. If I'd encounter such pair of eyes, I'd certainly made it like the second one.