I was hoping to be forgotten. I aspire to be unimportant.
I spent Thursday evening at the Orange County Museum of Art for the July installment of Cinema Orange. This month’s film was “In No Great Hurry,” a documentary by Tomas Leach about Saul Leiter, a photographer whose works would help to define the influential New York School. Completed in 2012, this little film followed Leiter around his New York City neighborhood as he snapped photos on his now-digital camera and interviewed him in his apartment, full of boxes and books of prints, film, slides and paintings.
So much struck me about this man, who people praise for his artful interpretation and vast influence, but whose humility comes off as so combative that it was endearing. He was an artist who created for the sake of creating, and creating things that are beautiful and putting them out in the world. There is something to be said about an artist who doesn’t ambitiously seek recognition—not to knock those who do, but I still romanticize the idea of quiet (and in this case curmudgeonly) observers and makers who just end up effecting a large group of people, unwittingly.
If you have the chance, I would definitely recommend checking out this film. Leiter passed away in November 2013 and I think it is a beautifully made and fitting tribute.
As a sidebar, I also had the opportunity, before the screening, to view the “Sarkisian & Sarkisian” exhibition on view at OCMA currently—wow, some really amazing artworks in there. If anyone is planning to go and needs a companion, let me know and I will make the time to go again.