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Lucio Fontana

Lucio Fontana

Artist: How to Dress Well
Title: Repeat Pleasure
Album: “What is this Heart?”


Romualdas Rakauskas, 1981

Romualdas Rakauskas, 1981

It’s about vagabonding, sitting down under a tree anywhere. It’s about wandering in the universe by yourself: you will start looking again. The conventional world puts a veil over your eyes, it’s a matter of taking it off during your time as a photographer.

—Sergio Larrain
Great Britain. ENGLAND. London. The City, 1958-1959. Sergio Larrain

Great Britain. ENGLAND. London. The City, 1958-1959. Sergio Larrain

CHILE. Valparaiso, 1963. Sergio Larrain

CHILE. Valparaiso, 1963. Sergio Larrain

Left: CHILE. Valparaiso, 1963. Right: CHILE. Eastern Island, 1961.

A notoriously reclusive artist, Sergio Larrain has nonetheless become a touchstone for those who have come to know and love his work, including authors Roberto Bolaño and Julio Cortázar. His images have left generations of viewers in awe of the simultaneous serenity and spontaneity that a camera can capture—when placed, that is, in the hands of an artist with such rare meditative passion. “A good image is born from a state of grace,” the artist once explained.

Sergio Larrain (1931–2012, born in Valparaiso, Chile) grew up in Chile, but left at age eighteen to study at the University of California, Berkeley. Upon his return he began taking photographs in the streets of Santiago and Valparaiso; the early purchase of two images by the Museum of Modern Art, New York, reassured him in his chosen profession. Impressed by Henri Cartier-Bresson’s photographs, Larrain presented the photographer his work on los abandonados (street children in Santiago) during a trip to Europe. Cartier-Bresson then invited Larrain to join Magnum in 1960; around this time he also began what would become a legendary project on Valparaiso with a text by poet Pablo Neruda. Unsure if he was suited to working for the press, Larrain retreated to the Chilean countryside and dedicated himself to yoga, meditation, and drawing until his death in February 2012.

Fred has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, and has started saying the most wonderfully strange things. […] We’ve been together for a long time, and I’ve known him over many incarnations. There’s the infatuation Fred, there’s the long-term Fred, and this is the last of the Freds. But of all of the Freds that I’ve known, this is maybe the best one. This is Fred exiting. There’s no subterfuge—he says exactly what he feels. [I] asked Fred, “Why do you think we’re here?” And he replied, “To take care of each other.” I thought that was brilliant. That’s the only meaning! Asked and answered.

The Last Sentimentalist: A Q. & A. with Duane Michals

Why do farmers farm, given their economic adversities on top of the many frustrations and difficulties normal to farming? And always the answer is: “Love. They must do it for the love.” Farmers farm for the love of farming. They love to watch and nurture the growth of plants. They love to live in the presence of animals. They love to work outdoors. They love the weather, maybe even when it is making them miserable. They love to live where they work and to work where they live. If the scale of their farming is small enough, they like to work in the company of their children and with the help of their children. They love the measure of independence that farm life can still provide. I have an idea that a lot of farmers have gone to a lot of trouble merely to be self-employed, to live at least a part of their lives without a boss.

—Wendell Berry