Monday, March 28, 2011

Ian and Willy

I love this photo of my roommate Ian, but actually he hates it. I took it one the morning before Ian had his panic attack, which was a day before we fled Tokyo. It was the last photo on the roll, so immediately afterwards I dropped it off at the one-hour photo lab. After I got it back, I showed it proudly to Ian, thinking he would be delighted, but instead he did the sneer he always does when he is unhappy and said that he looks just like his grandfather these days, which scares him… On top of that, he pointed out that you could see his double chin.

All I see when I look at this photo is my best friend. When we decided to skip town, Ian bought me a shinkansen ticket because he knew I couldn’t afford it even though he was saving money for his wedding in October. And now that I am unemployed and applying for jobs, Ian Photoshopped my passport photo yesterday, upgrading my old clothes to a swank Armani suit.

Because that’s what Ian does… and that’s why he’s my best friend… and that’s why I can’t see his double chin...


  1. you see the beauty in him
    and you were able to transmit it to us.

    i can read that kind of beauty

  2. Amazing photo. He looks extraordinarily knowledgeable and crazy; a bit like a benevolent version of Gargamel from the smurfs.

  3. Gargamel was one of my influences when I began photography.

  4. That's a good influence. I guess Susan Sontag was implicitly referencing Gargamel when she was talking about photographers trying to capture and collect the world through photographs. Gargamel's endless and fruitless search for the smurfs is a beautiful analogy of taking photos. Another good influence is Pokemon, but I think pokemon is much more unrealistic because pokemon master Ash always lets Pikachu live free outside the confines of his poké-ball. There is no way (yet) for us to allow our captured experiences to really live free, outside the boundaries of a photo. Gargamel is a better influence that pokemon for sure.

  5. haha,
    the smurfs is a beautiful analogy. i was a little bit too old (high school? when pokemon came out in America to get into i don't know much about it... but since I am a few years older than u, I think u were at the ripe age to understand all there is to know about the philosophy behind the genius that is Pokemon.

    I always wanted to read Sontag's book as well as Berger's about photography, but the writing was always too hard for me to understand.

    anyways about what u said:
    "There is no way (yet) for us to allow our captured experiences to really live free, outside the boundaries of a photo."

    I think that's what I am trying to do now with this blog/series which is to combine photo with thoughts/ideas/and words... to make it more than 2D... and to make it stick with people. and actually i think that's what u have been doing as well for much longer...

  6. So, it seems that you can also tell stories with words.. the photoshop episode is very touching, what a lovely friend!

  7. if u come to japan, juliette, you can stay with us and meet him!