"I cannot live without books." -- Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rosa Brogden's book of photographs "Metamorphosis"

Every once in awhile I come upon something so unique and unforgettable, that it’s hard for me to come to terms with it. At the moment I am obsessing over Rosa Brogden’s book of photographs “Metamorphosis.”

Rosa is a Japanese artist/photographer who lives in London and has a child named “Oscar.”

A small boy that may not be unique in turn-of-the-century London, but in 2008 is a force of nature that really stands out (side) in contemporary London. Even though there are no outside location shots, or even a mention of contemporary London, it seems to be a world that is shut out. And I love that.

I am a huge fan of Joris-Karl Huysmans’s book “Against Nature” (A rebours) and I think of it when I look at Rosa’s photographs. It’s a world that is totally artificial and woman-made. A very dandified environment where the outside world is closed off.

But what you do get is a very rich world with two very unique and wonderful figures. In “Metamorphosis” there are only portraits of her son Oscar and self-portraits of the artist. It’s a mixture of early 20th Century vaudeville and life that is thought out and lived.

One can think of contemporary photographer Cindy Sherman, but this is something more personal and therefore more urgent and live. It’s one of the few new books that came out this year that has a strong positive affect on me.

All photographs © by Rosa Brogden.

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