Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Lindbergh + Rilke

After falling in love with Manifest Destiny by Peter Lindbergh in this month's Vogue I decided to look him up and put the name to the photographs. I know, he's kind of a big deal but, better late than never! What I found is that he is responsible for some of my favorite images.

What I love about his images are the simplicity or, in some cases, absence of clothes. Although clothes can be works of art and a means of creative expression, they can also be masks covering the person underneath. Lindbergh's photographs seem to go beyond fashion and into the personal.

His photos remind me of one of my favorite letters by Rainer Maria Rilke, 8, in which he discusses the importance of acknowledging sadness and the transformation that occurs within. One of my favorite quotes in it is: "Do you remember how that life yearned out of childhood toward the "great thing"? I see that it is now yearning forth beyond the great thing toward the greater one. That is why it does not cease to be difficult, but that is also why it will not cease to grow." It reminds me of the notion that we always want more, more, more. However, it is suggestive of improvement rather than indulgence. There is danger in remaining static and beauty in change and transformation that Lindbergh, in my opinion, visually expresses.

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