Eadweard Muybridge at Tate Britain.
Murderer, scientist and artist all describe Edward Muggeridge the birth name of one of England's most pioneering photographers. The exhibition at the Tate is big. It is difficult to appreciate the broad range of Muybridge's work that includes a panoramic cityscape of San Francisco, stop motion pictures and landscape images of Yosemite. The recent work that I have done with time-lapse photography ignited a profound interest in the man and his legacy. Why is Muybridge worthy of your attention and valuable time?
It is not important if you consider photography an art or a science or a mixture of the two. One must have some technical grasp to make consistently well exposed photographs and this you can learn in a variety of ways. Creativity is much harder to learn if you consider that it is a skill to learn as opposed to instinct. Creativity in my opinion is shaped by everything that influences you from books to films, how much it affects you depends on how open you are to it. Eadweard Muybridge was a master technician and also a creative who fused these two qualities together making a lasting impression on the world. Do you like U2 or know someone who does? Their video 'Lemon' is a homage to Muybridge and I have included a link below.
Marcel Duchamp 'Nude Descending a Staircase' is also heavily influenced by you know who. Muybridge's work bridged the gap between how we think we see things and how they are in reality. Naturally this had a profound impact on artists ever since and Francis Bacon's work is clearly guided by the photographers images. It is for these reasons that Muybridge is a photographer that can offer inspiration for pushing technical boundaries and for self-promotion something he did with great skill. It is rare to find all of these qualities rolled into one person however; Eadweard Muybridge worked incredible hard and was a risk taker who earned his place in history.With his influence affecting so many different types of artists and still shaping the world in which we live this is why you should at least consider investigating his achievements further. None of us are perfect and Muybridge was no exception. Not long after shooting Harry Larkyn who was the lover of Muybridge's wife, she died suddenly. Believing that his only son was fathered by the dead man Muybridge sent him to an orphanage. There is no proof of who the biological father was. The story is all the more tragic as the boy grew up having a very strong resemblance to Eadweard Muybridge....
Please see previous blogs to find out more about this fascinating man. If you are interested in the history of photography click on the photography podcast link and listen to History of Photography by Jeff Curto.
"All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth." Richard Avedon.
Introduction to 5x4 -