Constellation Cafe Books : A Critic’s Eye By Richard Bartholomew

I picked up quite a lot of books from the Jaipur Literature Festival and one of them was a photo book by Richard Bartholomew. Titled “A Critic’s Eye”, the book showcases work by Richard, mostly focused towards his family and a little bit towards his travels.

Printed by Photoink, its the only series of photographs ever by Richard

Extremely personal, all pictures are in black and white. They trace Richard’s life not only as a family man but also as a art critic, with portraits of artists as if in the middle of a conversation. The book doesn’t start with a preface but has a afterword by his son, Pablo (himself a photographer and winner of World Press Photo Award along with Raghu Rai) in which he talks about his fathers life and what these pictures could interpret.

One of the sections from the book

Personally I feel that these pictures are expressions of affection, moments of time that the photographer was afraid to lose. Its almost as if he takes a deep breath, looks at the scene which exists in that moment, dives underwater because he just must, hoping desperately that the moment exists when he resurfaces. Its like a game of Russian Roulette in photographs, of love and of a painful cry for the time to stop.

Party in New Delhi '67

Poetic and simple, Richard’s photographs talk about what we all feel and are exposed to, human emotions and values. And because of that I think its a great book to have, to look through and to imagine. Printed beautifully, its not expensive, just a little tough to find in a store as Photoink doesn’t really have a great distribution. But you can easily find it online I think.

Richard's wife Rati makes quite many appearances in the book

Cast up into silence
I shall discern that ultimate beach of your being
And I see you for the first time, perhaps,
As God must see you,
The fiction of time destroyed,
Free from love, from me..

– Extract from the book

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5 thoughts on “Constellation Cafe Books : A Critic’s Eye By Richard Bartholomew

  1. This book is simply splendid! I remember having seen an exhibition by the same name at the Photoink, Delhi. His work is so intense & intimate, especially the ones he took at his home.
    Also, Chronicles of Past LIfe is currently running at the Photoink, Delhi! Me going today 🙂

  2. These are beautiful vignettes. What could be better that a book on photography is reviewed so visually? And oh, I read a review by the Caravan about this book.

  3. That cover photo, i had seen it in a newspaper article about a photographer, long back. Been looking for the name of the photographer for long. Thank you for letting me know.

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