Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Raymond Carver

Today is his birthday. He once said, "I am beginning to feel like a cigarette with a body attached to it." Not about this photograph but spoken to his very first interviewer in 1977, as reported in the introduction to Conversations with Raymond Carver, edited by Marshall Bruce Gentry and William L. Stull. I took this picture in about 1985 in his garage at his house in Syracuse, NY. A print of it is now in the permanent collection at The National Portrait Gallery, DC.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful portrait. So much tonal variety from the whitest whites to the darkest blacks and every bit of gray in between. I love the way the light passes through his fingers; the contrast of mass and void creating a nice visual play opposite the more tactile, radiant features defined on the other side of his face. Then there's that fantastic arc originating on the left with the sweep of the bright collar, to that stare, to the cigarette, and then to the ring. His serious expression evokes weariness and self-containment. No wonder he feels like a cigarette appendage instead of the other way around.


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