Artist Project: Lesley Moon on Swimming and Divers

As I was checking out Notes from up in San Francisco this week (somehow meaningfully late last night from the heart of the Sunset on 47th Ave. and Noriega when I discovered my first solid ethernet connection in a week!) I couldn’t help but drift back to this image as I read your reflections on all the swimmers and divers from the last few days. Despite its place as an incredibly important image within early modernist photography, the position and figure always struck me as such a totemic, emotive figure, something speaking presciently and metonymically to the continual struggle artists face as they are  pushed to the margins under difficult personal and cultural conditions and continue to push on – as K did till he was in his 90s. Kertesz went to New York in 1936, and shot that iconic drooping tulip from the States. (I would miss Paris in the Twenties too.) He was 25 when he took this picture in 1917.

Thanks for bringing together the work, as always. As I sat, only a couple blocks from the ocean amidst the fog, I was so glad to remember this other thing, and the idea of swimming underwater, the power of the eroticized and empowered subject and the delicacy I feel for the surface of the water that you spoke about in relation to Abel Gutierrez’s paintings.

Lesley Moon

Underwater Swimmer, © Estate of André Kertész  André Kertész American, negative 1917, print 1970s Gelatin silver print 6 11/16 x 9 3/4 in. 84.XM.193.11. Image is from the Getty, link to Chasing Light blog with historical information about this photograph. Nice stuff.

1 Comment

  1. Thanks.

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