Q&A With Robert McCabe, Pt. 3: Favorite Photographs

Robert McCabe is a celebrated photographer whose most recent exhibition took place in Corfu, Greece. This week he selected some of his favorite shots from his two Abbeville Press books, The Ramble in Central Park and Weekend in Havana.

Q. What are some of your favorite shots from The Ramble in Central Park?

A: P 31 Reflections in the Lake. I got inspired by the reflections in the lake several times and there are a couple of others included in the book. The success of these reflection photos depends on what was in the foreground, what was reflected, and how the light fell on all the components. One could do whole book of them!
P 66 The Oven. I like the sense of tranquility and the distance from the bustle of the city. The only link is the Times.
P 81. Fall Wedding. Luck plays an important role in photography. This was one of those lucky shots where all the players are visible and doing what they are supposed to be doing. If they had been my models and I had taken 1000 shots I doubt I would have gotten one as good.
P 109 Winter near Azalea Pond. This spot is exceptionally photogenic. And I picked the winter scene just because it’s rarer. There are other shots in the book of this spot in the fall.
P 118 A tranquil spot on the banks of the Gill. When I see this I think to myself, no one will believe this exists in New York.

Q. How about from Weekend in Havana?

A: P 87 The Man. The Bronze. The communist bronze ideal juxtaposed against the lanky human reality. But there are structural similarities which make the two figures seem related.
P 103 School pals. The sense of two children in rapport is strong in this–something difficult to capture in images. I have a series of the two of them together.
P 114 Woman and her dog. The color palette I like, as well as the sense of the emotional attachment between the woman and her dog.
P 119 The Three Graces. A lucky shot, with everyone in exactly the right position.
P 125 Toy vendor. This summarizes some of the heartbreak of Havana–no toys for children except these handmade “toys,” and the sadness of the maker.
P 137 Untitled. The local and foreign visitor. The positions and expressions speak 10,000 words.

Q. Tell us about your most recent work, including your recent exhibition in Corfu?

A. I am currently working on two books relating to Greece. This year I had the opportunity to photograph in a number of Greek islands that have beautiful topography, including Ithaca and Patmos.

I have an exhibition in progress now on the island of Corfu. It is titled “China Greece–Ancient Peoples, Changing Worlds.” It is in the Old Palace in Corfu, which is now the Museum of Asian Art. It consists of 40 color photographs of Greece in the 1950s and ’60s and 45 color photos of China in 2006. There are in addition 25 black and white photos of Greece in the 1950s. The venue is the most beautiful in Greece, and the island certainly one of the most beautiful and pleasant. So I hope you will try to visit before the May 12 closing date.

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Images by Robert McCabe. All rights reserved. Click here to purchase a copy of The Ramble in Central Park, published by Abbeville Press.

Images by Robert McCabe. All rights reserved. Click here to purchase a copy of Weekend in Havana, published by Abbeville Press.

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