45 DOAS : 03.12.2013

STARTED on the 16th of November 2013, I – Divvya Nirula, brought you “45 DAYS OF ART STORIES” the Below Post was first Published on 03.12.2013

Emmet Gowin and the “Selfie”

The work of art is as much a representation of the self, as the self is a representation of experience.

Emmet Gowin, the American born photographer embodies this dual relationship in a mesmerizing manner. From his approach, framing and muse – his wife Edith, Emmet Gowin through his camera lens was able to initiate a dialogue that was at once unobtrusive in approach, yet resulted in piercing imagery. Revealing the seemingly mundane, no one says it better than the artist and photographer himself –

There are things in your life that only you will see, stories that only you will hear. If you don’t write them down, if you don’t make the picture, these things will not be seen, these things will not be heard.

—Emmet Gowin

All of Gowin’s “selfies” can be found in – Emmet Gowin – a photobook published by Fundación MAPFRE in association with Aperture in 2013. The book, a new publication of old material, was produced in conjunction with the major retrospective of the Artist in Spain, in the year 2013. This bound beauty is a testament to Gowin’s talent, a witness to his passions, and a record of his life. It is somewhere between meditation, myth and madness, as the silence in his pictures have a heavy presence, be it the portraits of Edith and their extended family or then the natural landscapes and aerial shots. Emmet Gowin the man is artist and this book is his work of art. The photographs, the subject, the framing, printing, binding and curation all come together to create one very visual art story.

homepage_emmet gowin

“A photobook is an autonomous art form, comparable with a piece of sculpture, a play, or a film. The photographs lose their own photographic character as things ‘in themselves’ and become parts, translated into printing ink, of a dramatic event called a book.”

—Ralph Prins, photo historian


My Inspiration : I wanted to celebrate the Selfie through Emmet Gowin’s photographs of his wife Edith and extended family. It had been, at the time I wrote this article, compiled in the self titled photobook – Emmet Gowin. My art story looks at the impact of this photographer and photograph.    


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