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Hidden youth and humor: Jason Yarmosky painting his grandparents
March 14, 2014 12:08 PM   Subscribe

'Madeline L’Engle said, “The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.” I know that when I’m meeting older people, anyone for that matter, you look in the person’s eyes and their eyes are behind the façade. You feel more connected with somebody’s soul in that sense. So instead of judging a book by its cover, looking at this old person like maybe they’re not capable of this or that, I wanted to show how full and beautiful they are. They’ve already lived what I’m living. They have so much knowledge, and they’re still living.' Jason Bard Yarmosky on the portraits of his grandparents: Elder Kinder (2011), Elder Kinder (2012), Dream of the Soft Look (2013) [via Everlasting Blort] posted by filthy light thief (7 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
These are wonderful. And this one is an American Gothic for our time.
posted by chavenet at 12:17 PM on March 14


Cool.

Brings to mind this Flickr stream by Paul Wright, who's been using water colours and several iPad painting apps to document the progress of his mother's dementia over the last several years.
posted by bonobothegreat at 12:51 PM on March 14 [2 favorites]


These are nice, but to me they also evoke the more common and depressing sense in which old age is a second childhood.
posted by Beardman at 1:15 PM on March 14 [3 favorites]


These are nice, but to me they also evoke the more common and depressing sense in which old age is a second childhood.

Yeah, a lifetime of struggle just to get back where you were, just a whole lot less cute and mobile...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 1:27 PM on March 14 [1 favorite]


I think that's part of what Yarmosky is addressing, and saying that doesn't have to be the case. There's a key line from the second interview in the OP:
There is an idea that you can approach life with the same exuberance and interest as you age–exploring, learning, etc.
Aging doesn't have to be about becoming less of who you once were. While the dour expressions can be a bit heart-breaking in some of those images, other moments capture more life and joy and less of the costumes.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:32 PM on March 14


Aging doesn't have to be about becoming less of who you once were.

Sometimes it does. As the caregiver of my now disabled grandmother, old age is that sort of hideous prison. She once could literally build a house on her own, now she is reduced to being a toddler.

It is the reality that spits in my face every day and I cannot be blind to it.

Only if you have health do you have a chance to escape that Hell, but it is not the warm and fuzzy message one hopes it is -- but a grim reminder that nothing can infantilize even the mightiest than time...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 1:37 PM on March 14 [3 favorites]


John Prine's "Hello In There" (SLYT, plus sadness trigger--but you knew that).
posted by datawrangler at 5:08 PM on March 14 [1 favorite]


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