Walker Evans by Belinda Rathbone

This spring/summer seems to be turning into biography time so far. I’ve been picking up books at Visible Voice, and the Walker Evans biography was one of them. For the most part it is an interesting well-written and informative look at the personal life and motivations of my favorite photographer. Chronologically it gets a bit boring toward the end, mainly because Evans wasn’t doing much with his life but rest on his laurels. It succeeds admirably in defining Evans’ initial quest for direction and the important relationships that provided him with the necessary impetus to actually complete his work. Namely, James Agee. The fact that Evans is known mainly for the 18 months of work he did for the FSA is a bit telling about his entire career. I’m left with the distinct impression that no matter how much I admire his photography, I wouldn’t have enjoyed his company very much.