Thursday, December 29, 2016

Golden Days Before They End

Klaus Pichler- Golden Days Before They End

Haven't bought a photo book since some time in the beginning of 2016, not to say that there isn't anything good out there- but living on modest means certainly has a way of curtailing unnecessary acquisitions. And at this point in life, hoarding is a very unattractive proposition all around, so one learns to be hesitant, selective, and ultimately- appreciative. 

Recently I've been asking all the wrong people (ie- people my age)- how do young people afford their fun these days? Everywhere one goes, there are no more dives, no cheap thrills where fun is had at discount. Again, perhaps it's because I no longer know where, or even how to look. Everywhere is gentrified, everywhere is upscale, everywhere is seven and eight dollar beers! How do the young afford it?

Of course, think of the good ol' days of suds and yore, and Anders Petersen's Cafe Lehmitz immediately comes to mind. And that's not a bad precedent, but Golden Days Before They End manages to rise to it's own level of originality and authenticity. Cafe Lehmitz foresaw the the future, documenting the loosening of sexual mores and attitudes within a small community that would soon spread worldwide. Klaus Pichler records a paean to dives past; those darkened, dank and familiar places of sticky beer, worn out floors and denizens well past their primes, establishments beyond endangered and well into extinction. Ever walk into one of those "Traditional Irish Pubs" with the 200in TV monitors that have been pillars of  the community for all of three months after being sold, reconditioned and remodeled? Makes me wanna puke right into one of their authentic $25 pub food platters.

One of the things Petersen didn't usually get credit for was the technical proficiency of his available light B&W portraiture, you won't find better in the analog kingdom. Like Lehmitz, Golden Days' images are also technically impressive, almost painterly at times, even though available light is not the rule. And also like Lehmitz, Golden Days' images will endure and outlive its subject matter- full of the quirks and characters that makes life well worth remembering...

Klaus Pichler- Golden Days Before They End

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