Sylvia Plachy
February 8, 2005 1:39 PM   Subscribe

'Falling in love with the truth'. On Dec. 10, 1956, exactly one month after Soviet troops crushed the last hopes of the Hungarian Revolution, 13-year-old Sylvia Plachy lay hidden in a farm cart that was carrying her toward the Austrian border. That night, Plachy and her parents escaped, finally making their way to the United States. The family settled in Queens, New York, where the teenager grew up to become one of the most incisive photographers of her generation. Many of the photographs will be displayed this spring at the Rose Gallery in Los Angeles, and are on view now at New York's Hunter Fox Gallery, where Plachy (scroll down) recently talked about the book and her career. Her pictures "have to do with what memory looks like,' she explains. "How you remember things. Not so much how they are, but how they get translated." Oh, she's Adrien Brody's mom and she uses a Holga.
posted by matteo (15 comments total)
What's up with all the Hungarian stuff today? Nice pics.
posted by jsavimbi at 1:48 PM on February 8, 2005

a misconception about Plachy is that her work is consistently gloomy -- it isn't, really
posted by matteo at 1:58 PM on February 8, 2005

really? Bear or no bear, I find high contrast black and white -- while strikingly beautiful -- almost always gloomy if the composition is more than half black.

no misconception here -- wonderful links -- and thank you -- but that isn't really, link, well, uh, I would color that in the gloomy side.

maybe it's just my dark nature.
posted by cavalier at 2:05 PM on February 8, 2005

nice one, matteo.
posted by shoepal at 2:08 PM on February 8, 2005

cavalier, I remember the puzzled expression on Sebastiao Salgado's face when a clueless fan asked him why he didn't shoot color. how do you say "wtf?" in Portuguese?
posted by matteo at 2:09 PM on February 8, 2005

Beautifully done-- a truly excellent post.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 2:10 PM on February 8, 2005

I love, love, love Sylvia Plachy and was extremely pissed off when the Voice dumped her. And that current show is certainly making me regret leaving NYC. Thanks for this post, matteo.
posted by languagehat at 2:22 PM on February 8, 2005

Top hole as always.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 2:24 PM on February 8, 2005

"What makes you push the shutter has to do with seeking a kind of perfection, a harmony in the world," Plachy says. "You are instinctively aware it's there, but you've got to be completely alert and quick and so deeply awake that it moves you."

Sweet. Great post.
posted by scheptech at 3:29 PM on February 8, 2005

awesome post. the incisive photo is instantly one of my all-time favorites.
posted by blendor at 5:22 PM on February 8, 2005

Terrific post. Be sure to dig upwards from some of matteo's links for more great photographs such as this. Plachy was surely one of the masters of light and dark and shadows and fog. Here's one of my favorites that wasn't included in the original post.
posted by portage at 6:12 PM on February 8, 2005

Gah! I meant here's a larger version of the image from the first link, always one of my favorites, that wasn't in the original post.
posted by portage at 6:16 PM on February 8, 2005

Lovely, matteo. Here's a gallery of some of her photos of Adrien, including some childhood images. This one is spectacular (click pic for larger image).
posted by taz at 1:17 AM on February 9, 2005

matteo, OMG, I can't imagine how I would have replied. Especially if I had blunt objects near by. The greatest pain of an artist, heck, anyone, is to not be understood in such a way..

posted by cavalier at 7:18 AM on February 9, 2005

One reason I'm reluctant to stick around for Q&A sessions with my favorite directors is the inevitability of the stupid/insulting questions they will be subjected to. "What did the ending mean?" "Why don't you show more postive images?" "Why do you hate your country so much?" &c &c ad nauseam. I don't like the urge to kill that comes over me at such times.
posted by languagehat at 8:08 AM on February 9, 2005

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