A powerful visual diary; a year in the life of a great photographer in his 70's. Taken on a point and shoot camera, every day is described by a photograph. A vital and robust account of a photographers craft. Not every image is a masterpiece, but the power builds in the miriad of fragments accumulated through a year of close observation (rather a lifetime of learning to see). One point I felt lacking, would have been more text with the images, more diaristic. There are some notes at the back of the book, but I'd have liked more. Still, the visual generosity is the important factor and this is a book anyone interested in photography should own.
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Beautifully honest snapshots of life.4 April 2001
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"I would rather that this work be seen as a sort of inventory of my visual horizon; but also - and without the two aspects contradicting each other - as an expression of my gratitude to destiny, for being born (and surviving) in such an exceptional and crucial period." And with these words, Frank Horvat brings forth 1999 A Visual Diary, with a snapshot of his own visual horizon for everyday of the year. Some resonating with social implications, exposing the face of modern Europe, some lovely and ephermal portraits of his grandchildren. There is no elaborate artistry to this diary, just a collection of color snapshots. The book is slightly larger than the prints, and gives the impression of a flipbook. You glide through Mr. Horvat's travels, Rome, Paris, his country house, his grandchildren. Some photographs are overwhelmed by the human subject, others are quiet glimpses of unusual cityscapes. Horvat's diary is characterized by an attention to rich and usual color, as well as interesting faces. And ultimately, the photographs that you find most memorable reflect something about yourself. Looking back, perhaps the most interesting aspect of 1999 A Visual Diary is the inconsistency that arises when my friends are asked to choose their favorites photographs from a collection that escapes any categorization other than snapshots of life.