Lee Grant – Photography Blog

RIP Mr Sultan

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Well the news is slightly old already (by news standards) but I was saddened to hear of Larry Sultan’s recent passing from cancer. Sultan was one of my favourite photographers, whose series “Pictures from Home” remains an all-time classic. For me, it was the brutal but honest conflict he maintained throughout the images, which largely depicts photographs of his parents. It’s an interesting meditation as well on how we are bound by family ties and how uniquely we deal with this at a personal level. Sultan I’m guessing dealt with this by photographing his domestic origins and family with loving care but was certainly not afraid to push the boundaries of his relationship (particularly with his Dad),  and it’s interesting (familiar?) to note the tensions and banter between his father and himself, who nevertheless posed – along with his Mum – for photographs right up until his death. The following quote from Larry’s Dad, is so Dad-like and the video from BBC’s Genius of Photography series, quite revealing to say the least……

“Any time you show that picture,’ ” Mr. Sultan said his father told him, “‘you tell people that that’s not me sitting on the bed looking all dressed up and nowhere to go, depressed. That’s you sitting on the bed, and I am happy to help you with the project, but let’s get things straight here. ”

Larry Sultan, Dad on Bed, 1985

Larry Sultan, Mum Posing by Green Wall, 1984

RIP Larry, and thanks for your memories……

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Written by Lee Grant

December 30, 2009 at 9:01 am

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