Tamara Hill Murphy
July 28, 2015
Face, Bruce Gilden's collection of close-up photos, reminds us of Jesus' love for the pockmarked people He encountered.
I am new to this site. I am not real clear on what. this new site is offering and IWould like to understand mre. Respectfully Robin
In Reply to Robin Hallengren (comment #27337)
Welcome to TC! It would probably be most helpful to point you to two places:
Our About Us page has some basic information: http://thinkchristian.reframemedia.com/about/
Our Best of TC page gives you an idea of the sort of articles we're especially proud of (including this one!): http://thinkchristian.reframemedia.com/best-of-tc
I hope that helps,
Josh (TC editor)
This article was challenging. Sadly our culture values beauty and what is beneath the exterior is valued less. Porn stars are not valued for their good heart. People who are good looking are more successful at getting jobs. People with disabilities make people feel uncomfortable. People with facial disfigurement have more challenges than most. Most people won't comment directly to them in our culture but every day they have the risk when they go out of being humiliated by someone who comments negatively on their appearance. Circuses no longer have people with deformities on show as in the past but some television programs continue to satisfy the curiosity of those of us who want to stare. I felt uncomfortable with the photos at the beginning of this article because I wondered whether their permission had been given for their photos to be put into the book and elsewhere i.e. in this article. I imagined what would I feel if I had seen a photo of my daughter or mother in this article. I suspect I would have been upset. What do you think?
I completely understand your concern. I had the same concern.
Since I'm not a photographer, it was hard for me to judge if the techniques Gilden used (extreme close up, flash lit right in their face, etc.) actually exploited the individuals. I did some research to discover that Gilden does get his subjects' permission to publish the photos. Across the body of reviews and interviews I read, this question that you are asking comes up almost every time. While Gilden's methods are purposefully unconventional, he spends a lot of time interacting with and getting to know his subjects. In some cases (e.g., the people of Haiti) he has actually formed deep relationships.
I'm so glad for your comment, Glenn. It's helped me keep thinking through the nature of photography and the nature of our response to the people we encounter -- in real life and every other way. I also am hoping to continue to learn my definition of beauty from the words and life of Christ. I have a long way to go, and am so grateful for this conversation.
Thanks for taking time to respond. Very gracious and thoughtful. It was helpful to me as well but I don't think I'll be buying the book.
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