Photo ©Larry Fink

Photo ©Larry Fink
(Click above photo for Larry's website)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Part III

Aesthetics / Sociology


“Nonstop imagery (television, streaming video, movies) is our surround, but when it comes to remembering, the photograph has a deeper bite. Memory freeze-frames; its basic unit is the single image. In an era of information overload, the photograph provides a quick way of apprehending something and a compact form for memorizing it. The photograph is like a quotation, or a maxim or proverb. Each of us mentally stocks hundreds of photographs, subject to instant recall.”

-Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others, pg. 22

“All of Harlem is pervaded by a sense of cognition, rather like the insistent, maddening, claustrophobic pounding in the skull that comes from trying to breathe in a very small room with all the windows shut. Yet the white man walking through Harlem is not at all likely to find it sinister or more wretched than any other slum.”

-James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son, Pg.47


Normalcy is a public mask, a necessity, a means of navigating the often perverse conditions of social life. It covers over the tragic and obvious truth implied by James Baldwin in his quote, that social inequality has produced a reality in which one event, say a walk through Harlem, is experienced in two different forms, which are dependent on ethnicity.

Acknowledging racially coded experience as a social reality leads to the question of the degree to which art/photography is able to present social truth? To what degree is the creator of such art able to act as a transmitter of truths beyond their immediate experience and social consciousness?

The sense of narrative created by a sequence of photographs is only the beginning of the story. We must remember that the lives and memories of the photographed subjects did not freeze in the frame. We must be willing to consider outcomes we can never truly know. Beyond art, the life of the subject pulses as deeply as our own.

-M.C. Newton & Dani Bogenhagen

Malcolm X

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Part II

"I tremble for my country."

-Thomas Jefferson


"America became a country that was a nation because it had made a covenant with itself...The promises...were so great that their betrayal was part of the promise. The betrayal of that ideal became the national drama, the engine of American history—the discovery that the promises one had been made were false, the attempt to make them true, battles over slavery and suffrage, property and speech, for all time. As it was inevitable that the promises the nation had made would be betrayed, it was inevitable that America would produce prophetic figures of its own."

-Greil Marcus, The Shape of Things to Come, pg. 11


The contradiction embodied in the contrast between promise and betrayal is the true reality of the American Dream. The goal of the American national narrative is to render this contradiction unproblematic. Harnessed as a tool by the power structure, the national narrative is used to enforce standards of conduct and patterns of behavior beneficial to the status quo. However, the national narrative can never be totally controlled by any one party or group of individuals. Ultimately, it is a mirror, which shows the true conditions of the country. The reflection of race reveals a deep gulf between the reality of American life and the rhetoric of the American Dream.

We see here faces of intolerance and struggle. Despite their difference both are grounded in some form of vision of an ideal America. The meeting of these two forces produces an uneasy mixture, a beginning born in violence, where the stakes are the form of the Dream and the question of who will have the ability to add their voice to it.

-M.C. Newton & Dani Bogenhagen

Coretta Scott King

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Part I

R i g h t s

Essentially a portraiture study, this post is the first in a three part series profiling Larry’s documentation of Civil Rights and Racism in America.

The face is the subject of these photographs. Through them we are allowed entrance into stories of progress and it's abrupt limits. The sum total of all these studies is the creation of the larger character of America; an America both integrated and segregated, in which equality is the law if not the spirit of the country. The characters of these photographs live within this reality. Their faces are the mark of their reaction to it. We see tiredness and sorrow. We see innocence and creativity. The mystery of possibility emerges; intangible hope drawn from the depth of the soul. It is bitter, long in coming and brutalized on arrival.

The mystery of hope, and the reality of society where hope merges with oppression, are given voice through faces which themselves remain silent. Though their expressions betray some measure of the truth of experience, the real story, the whole truth, cannot be known. Personal subjectivity, ideological interpretation, unwillingness to tell, and an unwillingness to look, mark some of the reasons why these stories, which are out in the open remain untold. The face tells us what we cannot know, do not want to know.

-M.C. Newton & Dani Bogenhagen

Monday, March 15, 2010

S p r i n g

Human clocks are set forward,
wild grasses push through the crust.
Rain washes winter's debris
and every day is an enterprise with potential rapture.
Turbulence shows its muscle and improbability invades the process.
Violent up turnings of temperament.

After all good things are always won from bad.

These pictures are an offering to the next seasons thrust and logic, incrementally they ease the grist of frozen days and call out unabashedly for the sun...


Fink Farm, 1975

Fink Farm, 2006

Fink Farm, 2005

Fink Farm, 2006

Fink Farm, 1985

Martins Creek, 2007

Thursday, March 11, 2010

B i r t h

Larry would like to celebrate his Birthday with you by sharing a few images.




Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Death is silent. The body, sodden, is swept up in decompositions quiet process.

This renders deaths grave message as part of the organic nature of all physical things but doesn't take into consideration memory, which is based on life's movement. Life has a miraculous power to transform the everyday into tides of spiritual intelligence. The soul lives on within the memory of the living. Memories do not decompose, they transform within time and the spirit floating through interpretative cognition. Memory is held for as long as those living are allowed to live. In each aftermath we have more and more souls to care for.

Eternity is never cheap.


France, 7/1988

Sylvia and Norman, 9/1997

Portugal, 6/1991

France, 7/1988