Nicholas Nixon

Aging Through Photography

“But the more we study the images, the more we see that aging does not define these women. Even as the images tell us, in no uncertain terms, that this is what it looks like to grow old, this is the irrefutable truth, we also learn: This is what endurance looks like.” – Susan Minot, Forty Portraits in Forty Years, NYT Magazine.

Photographer Nicholas Nixon has taken the same portrait of his wife and her three sisters every year since 1975. Go look at them. Her writing interspersed through the gallery, Susan Minot reflects beautifully:

To watch a person change over time can trick us into thinking we share an intimacy, and yet somehow we don’t believe that these poses and expressions are the final reflection of the Brown sisters. The sisters allow us to observe them, but we are not allowed in… These subjects are not after attention, a rare quality in this age when everyone is not only a photographer but often his own favorite subject. In this, Nixon has pulled off a paradox: The creation of photographs in which privacy is also the subject.

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From Future Journalism Project Producers and Editors.