• Symen A. Brouwers

Borrowed Scenery: The Street Life of Saul Leiter

I love these pictures of 1940s/50s NYC street life by photographer Saul Leiter. They do not only have these great colors, but more specially, a unique creation of perspective.

Very different from painting in which we may see linear, inverted, or even false perspective, these photographs by Saul Leiter are much more cluttered. I am reminded of the Japanese gardening principle Shakkei, or Borrowed Scenery.

Through layers and fracturing, these photos bring in elements and views from outside the scene. Rather than separate environments, physical or psychological, they are a single, very complex creation. In every moment, everything comes together, creating a unique, flowing and passionate state of mind, ready to shift soon again.


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