St. Francis from Empty Spaces Series by ///Brian Henry
The Polaroids by André Kertész, 1979-84
Emotionally and physically exchausted after the loss of Elizabeth, his wife and lifelong companion, André Kertész was admittedly a broken man who had lost his direction. His remarkable recovery began when he was inspired by a small glass bust and he embraced the new Polaroid SX-70.
This sets the stage for the beautiful and often moving images, all of which were made in Kertész’ apartment, just north of New York City’s Washington Square. Many of the photographs were shot either from his window or in the windowsill.
The (last) image above is a third interpretation of what was originally his 1933 wedding photo. However in the 1960s Kertész severely cropped the original version to only include Elizabeth’s face and his hand on her shoulder. He claimed the sixties crop was a visual metaphor for the Hungarian saying “my better half.” In the Polaroid version above titled “January 1981″ Kertész returned to this image one last time and created a still life in which he placed a crown of thorns over his own hand. [ftp]