My Creative Hero

Head of Creative

The late Larry Sultan, American photographer, holds a special place in my heart, both as a friend and mentor during our fruitful time together, but also as someone who has influenced my creative path in profound ways.

Just Global’s Head of Creative, Daniel Lorenze, recently shared a piece about his creative hero Larry Sultan with online creative publication LBB Online.  Here’s a short snippet of the interview. 

What piece or pieces of this person’s work do you keep coming back to and why?

The body of work I keep coming back to is called ‘Pictures from home‘. It’s a work of narrative photography – in which Larry returned to his family home over the course of a decade between the 80’s and 90’s — that explores fragments of conversations, original photography and film stills from home movies set with his own writings. His rumination and exploration of his family home is iconic, and archetypal. He brings a critical but loving lens to his own family. There is such a fantastic pictorial archaeology that highlights so much of the strange and delightful artifacts of his family home in the San Fernando valley. The written text is deeply vulnerable, smart, and brutally honest. It’s a beautiful piece of narrative photography that’s difficult to pin down to any one thing and assembles together like a narrative collage – much like the liminal space he would always speak to.

Pictures From Home, Larry Sultan

It reminds me in many ways of why I first picked up a camera – as a way to make meaning of your surroundings. It sticks with me because on deeper reflection, it echoed many of the core values that went into forming my work at CCAC – vulnerability, authenticity, honesty, and empathy. Coming back to this work now was particularly powerful to consider at this time, during our global pandemic. The idea of ‘home’ takes on such an outsized role.
 
Many of us are now facing a reckoning with our relationship to home – stuck with or kept away from our families. The lines between the personal and professional have blurred almost to nonexistence.
 
I’ll leave you with this quote from Larry as he describes this work, which is especially resonant: “What drives me to continue this work is difficult to name. It has more to do with love than with sociology, with being a subject in the drama rather than a witness. And in the odd and jumbled process of working everything shifts; the boundaries blur, my distance slips, the arrogance and illusion of immunity falters. I wake up in the middle of the night, stunned and anguished. These are my parents. From that simple fact, everything follows. I realise that beyond the rolls of film and the few good pictures, the demands of my project and my confusion about its meaning, is the wish to take photography literally. To stop time. I want my parents to live forever.”
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