Sunday, 29 April 2007

St Regis hotel - Some Truth about Photography and Bloody Mary

Posted by Olivier Lalin -

There is a truth in photographs that comes from seeing the world as it really is: sometimes messy, sometimes nearly formless in its “organicity,” often unexpected and always fleeting. These photos share a common characteristic, you could never take the same shot the next day. They emerge from “the river into which no man steps twice.” In that respect they come closer to life than many other photographs.

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When we consider these photos in The Space Between, we think in the usual terms of movement, color and texture. However, we require more of the photos and of our viewers. Sometimes they are tempted to venture further into The Space Between where we believe their mind engages in extra effort. Integral to that engagement is a shared understanding that these photographs capture a real image at a specific moment in time, but that it has been removed from the contextual frame that makes its meaning and reality understood. In that sense such an image may then be seen as a metaphor for the greater study required in navigating global truths. Context may not be everything but truth can be independent of context.

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At one level all of photography is about ordering the world into pattern and light, repetition and disjunction, compression and expansion. These are the rules we were all taught when first we picked up a camera: look for a different perspective, frame the shot, follow the rule of three… there are even rules for breaking the rules: use the lens flare, keep the center of interest out of focus, vary the depth of field, shoot for the blur. Everyone serious about photography has followed the rules, broken the rules, gone back to the rules, and tried to find new rules. That’s not what these special photos are about. They are not even about “a new way of seeing.” These photos are simply about finding a complexity in everyday scenes that might otherwise be overlooked.

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Photos taken at The St. Regis Hotel,
This historical Beaux-Arts landmark has been serving the privileged since 1904, and thanks to a recent $100 million restoration, the Midtown gem continues to impress. Built by Col. John Jacob Astor IV of ill-fated Titanic fame, the St. Regis’s 315 guest rooms and suites feature Louis XVI furniture, crystal chandeliers, soaring ceilings, marble baths and silk-covered walls. Need more? For a whopping $12,500 or more a night, the Presidential Suite comes with a dining room for eight, fully-equipped kitchen, library, three bedrooms and four-and-a-half bathrooms. Each floor has 24-hour butler service to tend to a guest’s every whim—including, even to unpack the suitcases. The legendary King Cole Bar and Lounge is home to Maxfield Parrish's famed 1895 mural of Old King Cole, and claims to be the birthplace of the Bloody Mary. Every inch of the property screams opulence—down to the mini chandeliers in each of the stalls on the first floor men's room.
New York
Two East 55th Street,
at Fifth Avenue ·
New York, New York 10022
United States
Phone: (212) 753-4500

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photographe © Olivier Lalin © photographer
text courtesy of keenpress

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