The photographs of N.P. Thompson

Author Archive

schizophrenics by moonlight

schizophrenics by moonlight


summer portrait

summer portrait


shelf life

shelf life


arms


Minneapolis polar bear

Minneapolis polar bear

Summer of ’94…


eye of a monster

eye of a monster

Posted with Edel Sokol, German-born proprietress of the Ann Starrett Mansion, in mind.


unattended crossings

unattended crossings

See also: pinned.


sunlit curtain

sunlit curtain “When he came out of the house the last intense light of the winter day was pouring over the town below him, and the bushy tree-tops and the church steeples gleamed like copper…

…he would never go away from Haverford; he had been through too much here ever to quit the place for good. What was a man’s ‘home town’ anyway, but the place where he had had disappointments and had learned to bear them?”

— Willa Cather, from Lucy Gayheart, 1935


Noah

Noah

open, to Spring


dirt and shadows


a long dream

a long dream


an afternoon

an afternoon


being somewhere else

being somewhere else

Merry Christmas!


the Hannon eye

the Hannon eye


the jitterbug waltz

jwaltz

“Arbus’s work is a good instance of a leading tendency of high art in capitalist countries: to suppress (or at least reduce) moral and sensory queasiness. Much of modern art is devoted to lowering the threshold of what is terrible. By getting us used to what, formerly, we could not bear to see or hear, because it was too shocking, painful, or embarrassing, art changes morals—that body of psychic custom and public sanctions that draws a vague boundary between what is emotionally and spontaneously intolerable and what is not. The gradual suppression of queasiness does bring us closer to a rather formal truth—that of the arbitrariness of the taboos constructed by art and morals. But our ability to stomach this rising grotesqueness in images (moving and still) and in print has a stiff price. In the long run, it works out not as a liberation of but as a subtraction from the self ; a pseudo-familiarity with the horrible reinforces alienation, making one less able to react in real life. What happens to people’s feelings on first exposure to today’s neighborhood pornographic film or to tonight’s televised atrocity is not so different from what happens when they first look at Arbus’s photographs.”

—Susan Sontag, from “America, Seen Through Photographs, Darkly”

(italics mine)


New York winter

New York winter


somewhere in the garden

somewhere in the garden


dark palms

dark palms


Palace

In memory of P.J.S. on her fifty-eighth birthday.


swans

swans


Riverwalk Park

Riverwalk Park


hydrangeas, just beginning

hydrangeas just beginning


in the web

in the web


such secret journeys

such secret journeys

“The way to get there is the all-important, all-absorbing problem… Your only guide, too, is your sureness about your subject…you work all your life to find your way, through all the obstructions and the false appearances and the upsets you may have brought on yourself, to reach a meaning—using inventions of your imagination, perhaps helped out by your dreams and bits of good luck. And finally…you have to assume that what you are working in aid of is life, not death.

But you would make the trip anyway—wouldn’t you?—just on hope.”

— Eudora Welty in 1974, from The Eye of the Story


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