Paul Caponigro sez

A week hence we’ll zip down to Boston to the opening of Paul Caponigro’s new show. I got out my copy of Aperture 13:1, the 1967 issue devoted entirely to Caponigro’s work, and enjoyed a deep dive into images that greatly affected me when I first saw them 50 years ago. They are as wonderful now as I found them then, and Caponigro’s words are similarly ever fresh and green:

Of all my photographs, the ones that have the most meaning for me are those I was moved to make from a certain vantage point, at a certain moment and no other, and for which I did not draw on my abilities to fabricate a picture, composition-wise or other-wise. You might say that I was taken in. Who or what takes one to a vantage point or moves one at a certain moment is a mystery to me. I have always felt after such experiences that there was more than myself involved. It is not chance. It happens often. In looking back at a particular picture and trying to recall the experience which led to it, that inexplicable element is still present. I have no other way to express what I mean than to say that more than myself is present. I cannot deny or put aside these subtle inner experiences. They are real. I feel and know them to be so. I cannot pass it off as wild imagination or hallucination. It is illusive, but the strength of it makes me yearn for it, as if trying to recall or remember an actual time, or place, or person, long past or forgotten. I hope, sometime in my life, to reach the source of it.

Is it only a bowl of fruit? Or is it invested with something that makes it more than a bowl of fruit? Or am I doing the investing when I look at the picture? Then why do I invest or shape? In themselves, images mean little. what one brings to them or what one hopes or expects from them constitutes a meaning…

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