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© Nicholas Nixon, 2022
Nicholas Nixon started photographing his son Sam as soon he was born in 1983. The series Family Pictures (1991) constitutes photographs of Sam, his daughter Clementine, and his wife, Bebe. In it we join the family in their intimate routines from a perspective of physical proximity rooted in the photographer’s love for his family. As Nixon himself has stated about this work, the skin of his family’s bodies seems to be ever changing, akin to that of magical creatures. Cultivating images full of tenderness, Nixon’s perspective conveys an understanding of family that is described precisely by the familiarity of the bodies and their ability to generate affection, their ability to move us.
Nixon’s camera finds a privileged space within his family’s intimacy allowing him to explore some of his favorite motifs: the passing of time and the modulation of bodies. Likewise, his attention to the material richness of the images allows him to obtain almost tactile qualities. Nixon’s focus on composition and on photographic printing in particular can be traced back to a day in 1969 when, according to the artist, he was astounded by the richness and the voluptuous descriptive force of Walker Evans’ photographs.