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.
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.
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.
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.
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