As I’ve often noted, it is rare to find serious writing about photography that actually looks at photographs, so don’t miss Joerg Colberg’s Meditations on Photographs: Riverfront by Curran Hatleberg which does just that. And admirably.

Certainly there is more that could be said about this particular picture, and having started with this kind of largely formal analysis I would want to locate it in both a social and political context and in a photographic one. Colberg in his final three sentences instead goes off on in what is to my mind a tangent about staged versus street photography.  It’s a subject about which I have my own views, but I don’t think one that particularly relates to this image, but most photography in any case exists somewhere between these two extremes, and in most of my own pictures although not staged there is some degree of interaction between observer and observed.

But don’t stop when you come to the end of Colberg’s post (though you could perhaps omit the last three paragraphs), follow the link in either his post or here to the work of Curran Hatleberg, new to me. There are two sets of pictures on his site, and ‘Riverfront‘ comes from ‘The Crowded Edge‘. Scroll through the images and after the / you came to the second series, ‘Dogwood‘.

Click on his name and you find the information “Curran Hatleberg was born in 1982 in Washington, D.C. and is currently based in Brooklyn, NY. A graduate of the University of Colorado and the Yale School of Art, his work has been shown in galleries both nationally and internationally and is included in multiple collections. He currently teaches photography at the International Center of Photography and Norwalk Community College.” You can also find a set of his pictures on the Yale University School of Art site, some of which perhaps relates more directly to Riverfront.


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