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Photo of the Week #264

Ray K. Metzker

Black and white photo of a man walking by a shop window with a flower displayed

From the series City Whispers, 1984
Vintage gelatin silver print
Signed, dated and editioned on verso
Image: 5 ¾ × 7 ½ inches 
Sheet: 10 ½ × 10 ½ inches


September 25, 2023,
Ray K. Metzker was born on 9/10 and passed away on 10/9. Maybe it's not a coincidence that so much of his photographic work was about reflection, reversal, duality. He even constructed a "composite" he titled FLIP FLOP.

As this mid-80's picture features so many of his favorite ingredients, I thought I would present it in memory of Ray, as he would have turned 92 this past September 10th. Close examination reveals a devilish smile on the face of the man, and the more obvious conversation between the man's open palms and floating flower hanging downalong the right edge. Even the vase is divided between light and shadow.

Ray printed an edition of thirty prints of this image, which he gave as gifts of gratitude to his close friends and supporters, on the occasion of his retrospective exhibition UNKNOWN TERRITORY, curated by Anne Tucker for The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in November, 1984.

I happen to possess two prints, and would like to find an appreciative collector and admirer of Ray to acquire one of them. If you are interested, I'd love to know why - what is it that draws you to this picture?

Larry Miller