Foreword by Norman Mailer

Joel Meyerowitz has the patience of a skilled hunter. It accounts for the authority of his photographs. Is there one of his prints that does not express his ongoing quest for the instant when nature can reveal itself through mood, light, mist, seaweed, wind, or the endless vortices of water in its dialogue with sand? To his lens, the hours of the day are a changing of the guard, and the declarations of afternoon are an era removed from the discoveries of morning; high tide and low tide speak across the gulf of their separated existence. Meyerowitz's relation to nature is as private as the conception we can hold of a great beauty who is ready to reveal her nude secrets to but one photographer, her own private court photographer. So he treads with the lightest touch and the most exquisite sense of the moment into those turns of the atmosphere that inform us of the wayward and not always unsinister whims that breathe in colloquies between cloud and sky, as if it is in the flux itself, and nowhere else, that we can find our few absolute statements of existence. No art is more obdurate at resisting the development of profound seriousness in its artists than photography. Meyerowitz leaves us with the uneasy sensation that he has traversed the impasse—that we can speak of him therefore with all the lack of ease that constricts one's voice as it declares a photographer to be a great artist; yet a study of his photographs insists on the word, and the resonance of his prints warms one's hesitations—he is, yes, profoundly serious and a great photographer.



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