Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Splendor of an aristocratic past

Today I came across that post on http://theerrantaesthete.com/ and I felt a vibrant emotion about that picture. I've seen that type of interior in Egypt especially, where old aristocracies was totally deprived of their belongings and properties by a government overthrown.

Cuba or Cairo, many glorious countries suffered deeply in their beauty and pride. We shall never forget that a safe today is fragile enough to appreciate our bounty.

The work of photographer Michael Eastman rarely shows human subjects. Absent from the photos themselves, the person in Eastman’s work becomes the viewer whose imagination takes them through the empty door, up a spiral stair, or into a room where the story of a life can hang from a clothesline beneath a baroque chandelier.

His images from his Cuba series present a past, now frayed at the edges, but unlike America, not cast away or abandoned, but captured in the here and now, frozen in time. From the photographer’s perspective, the present now co-exists in the degraded splendor of an aristocratic, colonial past. Castro’s Havana has neither the interest or the resources to eradicate what the revolution rejected. Were it for us such places would be restored, gentrified perhaps. But then the very people whose lives hang from the clothesline beneath the baroque chandelier of Isabella’s Two Chairs would once again be invited to enter such spaces only by invitation.

John Keats once wrote “beauty is truth, truth beauty. That is all ye know on Earth and all ye need to know.” Which is why Eastman’s image of a fadingly corroded beauty infused with a narrative that speaks of romantic decay and genteel decline is This Day’s Notable Aesthetic. Beg to differ?

Michael Eastman: Isabella’s Two Chairs, 2000


Paris Atelier said...

Oh My Goodness! Zelda, what a beautiful post. Makes one thin. I love that image it evokes so much emotion. It's beautiful. Thank you for this today!!! I hope you are well and business is doing good. I'm sorry I have been so absent but I am back now and I can't wait to catch up on your gorgeous posts!

Anonymous said...

That photo is absolutely gorgeous!

Love Your Homes said...

I have but to agree, such a divine post.
Seen through the eye of true appretiation for beauty, such a splendid capture of genuine timeless craftswork. It is even more beautiful as faded and worn, touches one's heart.

Love your posts,

Mélanie said...

I love this kind of ambiance , too !!Eastman photos are breathtaking