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Book of the Week: A Pick by Christian Michael Filardo

Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Christian Michael Filardo Christian Michael Filardo selects Where I Find Myself: A Lifetime Retrospective by Joel Meyerowitz as Book of the Week.
Where I Find Myself: A Lifetime Retrospective 
By Joel Meyerowitz 
Laurence King Publishing, 2018.
Christian Michael Filardo selects Where I Find Myself: A Lifetime Retrospective, by Joel Meyerowitz, from Laurence King Publishing, as Book of the Week.

"The first time I ever met Joel Meyerowitz was in 2009 when I was eighteen years old. I had submitted three photographs to a show at Arizona State University that he was the primary juror for and he rejected all three. Strangely enough, every print submitted was set out on a table, each print Joel didn’t feel was appropriate for the show he would subsequently turn over. Like most 18-year-olds I was a bit crestfallen and my ego was bigger than I could comprehend at the time. I was annoyed, but to be fair, the photographs were bad.

Later the same evening Joel was lecturing on his body of work Aftermath about September 11th, as the privileged child of a professor I asked my father to get me tickets to the lecture in hopes that I would be able to meet Joel and ask him why he didn’t select my images for the show. Lo and behold, I end up in the VIP area at the ASU art museum pre-lecture and get my time with Mr. Meyerowitz. I approached Joel with fear and no shame simultaneously. We spoke about why we make pictures and what image making really means to us. I liken Meyerowitz’s presence to that of a monk — he is tall, bald, his clothing is simple and functional, and he speaks with a soft gentle voice. I was surprised when I confronted him that I wasn’t treated like an annoyance but a peer. Ultimately, my conversation with Meyerowitz would lead me to understand that photography can be just as much about what is in the photo as it is about what isn’t in the photo. It was the first time I can remember understanding the concept of stepping back and allowing myself to see more of the scene, an image.

Many years later, working here at photo-eye, I would meet Joel again in Santa Fe. Strangely, I couldn’t find the courage to talk to him about the night his wisdom altered my photographic life. Sure I was nervous to see him again, but I suppose I didn’t feel like reminding the oracle of the wisdom that he had bestowed upon me. The new Meyerowitz retrospective Where I Find Myself is a dense and varied look at the life of an individual that has transformed the medium of photography. Joel has done everything from street to landscape, still life to portraits, and color to black-and-white. His practice has taken him all over the world and his life, while earned, is surely one that many image-makers envy.

Where I Find Myself offers a look at the career of an individual who earned it every step of the way. It allows you to watch a master age. It is a true document that reveals the many lives we live in a single lifetime. To me, Joel’s journey is a reminder to never be defeated, but to look difficulty in the eye and forge a new path regardless of the obstacle. Ultimately, you need Meyerowitz in your library and this is the chance to get a broad look at one of most advanced photographic minds of a generation."  — Christian Michael Filardo

Purchase Book

Where I Find Myself: A Lifetime Retrospective By Joel MeyerowitzLaurence King Publishing, 2018.
Where I Find Myself: A Lifetime Retrospective By Joel MeyerowitzLaurence King Publishing, 2018.

Christian Michael Filardo is a Filipino American photographer, curator, and composer living and working in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This year they released their second book The Voyeur’s Gambit through Lime Lodge. Currently, they help run the gallery and performance space Etiquette and write critically for photo-eye and Phroom. Filardo is the current shipping manager at photo-eye Bookstore.