Mixed Me­dia Pho­tog­ra­pher Arthur Mey­er­son

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In Rope Trick, Al­co­cer, 2015, pho­tog­ra­pher Arthur Mey­er­son cap­tures a young va­quero from Spain per­form­ing in a midair jump. Strip Cen­ter, Arkansas, 2007 shows psy­che­delic store-win­dow re­flec­tions on a wet street. The im­ages are ar­rest­ing in their own ways, but sim­i­larly spec­tac­u­larly col­or­ful — and just two ex­am­ples from the hun­dreds re­pro­duced in Mey­er­son’s new book, The Jour­ney (Arthur Mey­er­son Edi­tions). The pho­tog­ra­pher signs copies at 3 p.m. on Satur­day, July 1, at Photo-eye Book­store and Project Space (376-A Gar­cia St., 505-988-5152 Ext. 201).

As a boy, Mey­er­son be­gan us­ing an Ar­gus rangefinder cam­era that was his grand­fa­ther’s. He has now been shoot­ing pro­fes­sion­ally since about 1974, and 2017 is his 25th year as an in­struc­tor for Santa Fe Pho­to­graphic Work­shops. The na­tive Texan has trav­eled the world pho­tograph­ing for ad­ver­tis­ing, cor­po­rate, and editorial clients such as Na­tional Ge­o­graphic and Coca-Cola. The new book fea­tures an amaz­ing gallery of color pho­to­graphs of peo­ple and places. Other stand­outs are Mus­lim Girls, In­done­sia, 1988; an im­age of par­tially sub­merged men play­ing chess in The Baths, Bu­dapest, 1995; the awe­some Ice­berg, Antarc­tica, 2012; a mut­ed­col­ors con­certo of stone in Ru­ins, Po­zos, 2013; and the phan­tas­magor­i­cal book-cover im­age Water Wall, Tokyo, 2016.

Mey­er­son has em­pha­sized the im­por­tance of aware­ness, pa­tience, vig­i­lance, and es­pe­cially in­tu­ition in his work, in the pur­suit of spe­cial pho­to­graphic mo­ments, and he is not in­ter­ested in com­pro­mis­ing re­al­ity by adding some­thing or stretch­ing the truth with Pho­to­shop. “In my per­sonal work, the last thing I want to do is make some­thing hap­pen,” he tells Anne Wilkes Tucker, cu­ra­tor emerita of pho­tog­ra­phy at the Mu­seum of Fine Arts in Houston, in a sub­stan­tial in­ter­view pub­lished in The Jour­ney. “I want to record the mo­ment. It’s one of those un­writ­ten rules I make for my­self. If it means I have to wait for that mo­ment, then I wait. If the mo­ment doesn’t oc­cur, and some­times it doesn’t, or the per­son in the right out­fit with the per­fect color that I’m hop­ing for doesn’t ap­pear, then I have to make the de­ci­sion to go with what I have or not shoot at all.” — Paul Wei­de­man

Arthur Mey­er­son: Mus­lim Girls, In­done­sia, 1988; be­low, Rope Trick, Al­co­cer, 2015

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