ART IN BLACK AND WHITE –SEEING THROUGH THEIR EYES, NOT WITH THEM
For years I have belonged to a monthly book club, “Society of the 5th Cave.” In November of 2008, the book selection was Portraits and Observations – The Essays of Truman Capote. Capote’s prose has superb style, as illustrated in this early morning walk in New Orleans:
“…I stopped still in the middle of a block, for I’d caught out of the corner of my eye a tunnel-passage, an overgrown courtyard. A crazy-looking white hound stood stiffly in the green fern light shinning at the tunnel’s end, and compulsively I went toward it. Inside there was a fountain; water spilled delicately from a monkey-statue’s bronze mouth and made on pool pebbles desolated bell-like sounds. He was hanging from a willow, a bandit-faced man with kinky platinum hair; he hung so limply, like the willow itself. There was terror in that silent suffocated garden. Closed windows looked on blindly; sail tracks glittered silver on elephant ears, nothing moved except his shadow.”
I love it, “…nothing moved except his shadow.”
However, the posting is not so much about Truman Capote as it’s about the photographer, Karl Bissinger, who died November 25, 2008. Bissinger photographed many artists, actors, and writers in the 1950’s, among them, Truman Capote.
Gore Vidal has written on the Bissinger image below (from left: ballerina Tanaquil LeClercq, novelist Donald Windham, artist Buffie Johnson, Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal and Karl Bissinger):
“So study this picture, and see what optimistic people looked like as they began what they thought would be lifelong careers, and in some cases indeed lasted as we lost more and more of a country that is no country without Karl Bissinger to make art of it.”
(First posted, November 28, 2008)