Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Too stark"

As we wait for the subway to pull away, the bald man with the close-cropped beard is telling us all, through the woman he's technically solely addressing, that "Ansel Adams is this famous American photographer" and that "I really don't like his work. It's too stark." This is, apparently, in response to questions arising from the news on the front page of the free transit daily that 65 glass plate negatives have been authenticated as being from Adams's early career, long since considered lost in a fire, and valued at approximately $200 million dollars. All for 45 bucks ten years ago in a garage sale; about 70¢ a plate for things worth over $4 million each. I should be marvelling at the fickleness of fate, wondering at the artistic glories the world has recovered, thrilling to the acumen of the owner who has done both humanity and himself a great service. And I do. But mostly, above all, I can't help thinking that somewhere in the world there's a guy buying 45 dollars worth of shotgun shells with which to blow his brains out.

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