Lillian Bassman, a photographer most known for her black and white fashion pictures passed away earlier this year in February and I had been holding on to the obit link from the New York Times. Ironically, she was most known for that work at the early part of her career and now again post-humously. At some point she tired of the genre and tossed out nearly all of the fashion work that she did, part and parcel in trashbags to her attic, and it was all found in the 1990's and had a bit of a renaissance. I can't help but think that's such a gutsy move to completely part ways from something you are known for artistiscally. But then again, when you're so known for that, maybe you need to make a dramatic break of that level in order to really change direction if your interests change.
What I also admire about her is that that in her older age she lept into digital photography and digital manipulation - and while it's her classic work that personally I aesthetically admire (and can we also take a second to admire the fashion itself? oh and the hats too), there is really something to be said for an artist who advances and is willing to explore newer media or newer avenues. Kind of a neat turn. I've always been of the thought that your past always informs your future so in my mind the two can co-exist - no need for trashbags. But then again, when you create at an artist's level maybe that's not possible.
Have you ever thrown out anything wholesale so that you could start a new project with a clean slate?
All photographs by Lillian Bassman.