Last year I visited the Taylor Wessing portrait exhibition finalists at the national portrait gallery, http://www.npg.org.uk/photoprize1/site12/index.php, this new habit I intend to keep - with a London visit each November. I like the challenge of portrait, and the consideration when viewing each image of how much the image truly reflects the sitter versus the impression and intention created by the photograph taker. It's an interesting question which is nigh on impossible to really grasp as a viewer.
This year however, there is even more reason to visit London in November, with the William Klein + Daido Moriyama exhibition, http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/william-klein-daido-moriyama.
Although the two artists are often quoted together, it is the work of Moriyama I find the most inspirational! If ever a photographer wore his heart on his sleeve, his intention and mood being plainly obvious in each image, the stark black and white chiaroscuro images offer insight into an intense and destructive mindset. If ever I had to quote an inspiration into my own images - it is the work of Moriyama I would quote first; A painterly style of photography that I adored before I had heard of Daido Moriyama.
Perversely when compared to the question of portrait photography - the enigma of what you see as the viewer versus what the photographer and the sitter all felt and intended you the viewer to gather, there is no doubt with the work of Moriyama,
Moriyama's Stray Dog Image observed at (http://thinkinpictures.wordpress.com/2007/06/07/stray-dog/)
his view is bleak, his eye on society is dark, his sense of self is seperate - the photographer looking in - isolated from the action as related to by Sontag (1977). his high contrast black and white images present his unerring dialogue with you the viewer.
Currently studying for the third assignment of TAOP, I struggle to find joy in colour, and Moriyama's work reminds me of self in so many ways...