Friday, September 18, 2009

Put On Face

Amber Shields makes seemingly simple, domestic portraits of her grandmother, Johanne. I find them endearing for maybe the wrong reasons but for good reasons nonetheless. The typical kind of naturally well-lit, medium-format, mostly looking-at-the-camera portraits that grow old for me with other photographers actually appear to be tools of real intimacy here, not a false sense of it. I don't feel as if I'm talking to Johanne or that I know her because of these photographs but rather that her life, like most, is filled with accidental beauty, grand and taken-for-granted wonder and an ever-present weight.