We are not mayflies. We have known afternoons, and we live day after day for a great many days. This long experience of how days turn—how afternoon becomes late afternoon and late afternoon becomes night—informs any photographic work we do with natural light. The time of day at which the light is at its most glorious photographers call the golden hour: you’ve seen them toting cameras on street corners and in abandoned lots, coming at 5.30 pm or 6.30 or later, depending on the latitude and time of year. They wait for a certain intensity of shadow, for the yellow sunlight to spill just so, before it dies away into the night. But Gueorgui Pinkhassov (Russian, b. 1952, based in Paris) has done something more than wait: he has detected the golden hour in unexpected hours. A low and fractured light shimmers across his ouevre. A fluency in the language of the light at rest in all things, at rest and invisible to most eyes.
Pinkhassov’s work has come to the world in the usual way: photojournalism, print magazines, exhibitions, a book (Sightwalk, about Tokyo), and awards. He is a member of Magnum. On his art he is elusive and insightful: “The power of our Muse lies in her meaninglessness. Even the style can turn one into a slave if one does not run away from it, and then one is doomed to repeat oneself.” Thus: he changes. New approaches, new subjects, new equipment; but always rescuing the small light in things.
Excerpt on article written by Teju Cole at The New Inquiry. Continue HERE