Thursday, December 17, 2009

Lower Level

John Huftalen (American, New Yorker, 1948-)
Lower Level
Metropolitan Museum


Hi Dad! It had to happen, here is a wonderful work by my father. I do hope it is okay. I believe it was taken with his Diana camera which he began to experiment with in the last few years (is that right?). There isn't much control with the camera (simple, plastic camera, prone to light leaks) so the shot relies so much on the intuition and eye of the photographer. I had a little trouble choosing between a few from dad's urban photos, oddly enough it came down to a scene of a Manhattan crowd and this image empty of people.

What is interesting to me is that while there are no figures in the image there it still doesn't seem isolated. As I gaze I keep expecting someone to walk into the shot, or one of the trees to turn into a figure. As quiet and still as the image appears the juxtaposition of the sharpness of the center of the image and the blur around the edges creates a movement (also in the shadows of the branches on the building).

As the title shows, this is a small portion of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a megolith of a building full of treasures and beauty, yet it is awesome to see how simple, pure and beautiful this little corner of it's outside world can be through the eyes of an artist. Yet, this could be any corner in any city and that brings an additional wonder. Thanks Dad, for your passion and your eye. Happy Birthday to you again!

Check out more of John Huftalen's work at

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