Deborah Turbeville & Lou Reed

News October 28, 2013 7:52 am

Note — So I wrote this little thing about Deborah Turbeville a couple of days ago when I first found out, and then last night read about losing the amazing Lou Reed and now feeling overwhelmed by the goings of such creative and magical people and so close together. People that I never, will never know but affected so many of us. So very much. Everyone says it goes by too fast but really its just too damn short and even on the shit days we may all need to step back and remember just that. Life is short but its wide. Life is short but its W I D E.

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My dad who first introduced me to Deborah Turbeville’s alerted me of her passing on Thursday evening. I don’t remember the first time I saw her work, but he bought me Studio St. Petersburg for a Birthday and I fell for her instantly. At the time I was so focused on photojournalism, war photography, that I didn’t take anything else very seriously. Her work was different, it was scary and beautiful and confusing and she was a she. And she was awesome. I love this quote from her obituary in the Times:

She began taking photographs on her own in the 1960s, and in 1966, having had no previous instruction, enrolled in a six-month workshop taught by the photographer Richard Avedon and the art director Marvin Israel.

“If it hadn’t been for the two of them, I wouldn’t have taken my photography seriously,” Ms. Turbeville told The Times Magazine in 1981. “It was so out of focus and terrible. The first evening in class, they held up pictures. They said, ‘It isn’t important to have technique, but you must have an idea or inspiration, and we feel the only one who has is this person who’s never taken a photograph before.’ I became very unpopular in the class.”

My mom keeps the obituaries of women she finds inspiring. As a child, I found the thought morbid and frightening but now I absolutely understand. This one gets kept. What a life.

Deborah Turbeville - the New York Times

Deborah Turbeville – the New York Times

Deborah Turbeville - the New York Times

Deborah Turbeville – the New York Times

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