I really and truly do love art. I feel as though my ability to care, appreciate, understand and interpret art is a gift, as many simply just do not have a reverence for it or even feel the need for it, personal or otherwise.
What I love most about art is, like it’s creative counterparts; music, fashion etc is that it’s never wrong and can never be wrong. No matter the individual or the group or even sometimes the subject- it can’t be wrong as it’s always the expression from within. Yes it can be shocking, offensive and even politically incorrect but it’s never wrong.
My most recent find of an exhibition online was one that you may regard as simple or even something that you would totally pass by and ignore. But I’m so happy I did stumble across this gem.
A photographer by the name of Nicholas Nixon, came up with the idea to photograph his wife’s sisters every year without fail and spanned a collection over 40 years.
The first thing that hit me instantly from the first image captured in 1975 was the sheer introduction of the separate characters pictured. Here we don’t know their names but just by looking at their faces ‘..the hard mouthed lines, guarded poses and even the mood evoked from the lighting..’ tells us that each girl here ‘is’ someone individually despite being photographed together. It’s all about independence.
As we skip on to 1980, the same girls are captured again in the same lineup but this time it seems the two on the end (right) are closer and are very obvious with their affection, as if to say that they both protect each other, even though one is slightly hidden behind the face of the other.
Being a 90s baby myself, it’s instantly my favorite decade. One that society is trying to recapture through the mediums of fashion; with crop tops, oversized bombers, jelly shoes and even ‘mom jeans’.(poetic justice anyone?)
These ladies look like the type to wear the ‘mom jeans’ in stonewash blue along with a cable knit jumper in cream. But it’s here in the 1995 shot that they all feature ‘softer smiles’ with hardened ‘features’ from the process of aging, except this time all their arms are interlinked with each other- showing that the ‘need for independence’ has fallen away and unity is more noticeable in their relationship as sisters.
I especially love the compositions of all the images. Although commented as ‘not being planned’, it all just works. The changes in fashion are highlighted ever so slightly- I see it as incredibly intriguing that in the 1997 shot it’s the only image that you see the women in a formal fashion context of ‘suits or power suits/workwear’. Everything else is informal; cable knit jumpers, cotton tees, jeans and summer dresses. It has showcased and made me understand American sportswear in a whole new way.
King Henry VIII as portrayed by Jonathan Rhys Mayers in ‘The Tudors’ was quoted saying “…what loss to man is most irrecoverable?....the loss of time’
As true as that statement is, Nicholas Nixon has somehow managed to make a body of work that 'seems' irrelevant in this 'social media virtual world' that we have created for ourselves,and instead capture the lives of four people in a very relevant way and has achieved a timeless quality.