The Metaphors Created Between Photographs

The great photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson once said, ‘During the work, you have to be sure that you haven’t left any holes, that you’ve captured everything, because afterwards it will be too late,’ but as for Stephen Posen’s photographs in ‘Ellipsis: Dual Vision By Stephen Posen’, published by Glitterati Incorporated, it’s exactly those holes that make his work stand out, leaving a lasting impression.

But the same goes without saying about metaphors, which is what these eighty seven images therein are likened to. In the foreword, Colin Cheney, the internationally regarded poet, describes the two parts of a metaphor as being the tenor + the vehicle. But how Posen makes the connection between two shots that don’t mix-‘as with a metaphor, the viewer is left to close the connection.’

Just look at the two pics above where you have a putting green flagstick paired with the side profile of a woman with wingtip eyeliner. At first glance, you look at both pics + wonder where’s the connection but for me it was the shadow cast by the flagstick to that of the wingtip eyeliner. True, there is no real relation between them both, but it is this conclusion that fills the gap for me.

His daughter Alexandra Posen, a visual artist, wrote, ‘Within the series Title, he constructs poetic phrases by pairing images –  each image receive its full weight + identity face-to-face with its chosen twin.’ By redoubling his work of perception + pairs photo-to-photo, Alexandra said her father was able to find unexpected parallels + echoes amongst visions.

What’s even most amazing about Posen’s work is how it would sometimes take months or even years apart, for that moment of realization of connection between two photos come alive, making his process that much more intriguing. This is probably how ‘He lovingly toys with the substance of each captured picture-its perceptual bones, contextual flesh + the mystery it exhales,’ according to daughter Alexandra, allowing him to decide which pics to keep for however long + I’m assuming, discard all the rest.

The line between the abstract + figurative but involving a lot more thought, bridges the juxtapositions  of the kind of mixed metaphors Stephen always appreciated. Not only will this photography book often entertain, with its mysterious pairings throughout, regardless of how many times you’ve looked at it, there will always be some nuance found in the Stephen’s pictures.

To pick up a copy of ‘Ellipsis: Dual Vision By Stephen Posen’, published by Glitterati Incorporated, click here.

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