What is it about black and white photography that is so appealing? Why do we flock to black and whites like flies to fluorescent lights? There is something all too comforting about the simplicity of black and white photos that is seeped in some sort of je ne sais quoi—we could call it mysticism if we were inclined to name such a thing.
Casey McGonagle’s work speaks of this unnamable quality. Perhaps, it is the simplicity of the subject matter that pulls us in. The subjects of McGonagle’s work are recognizable; they are attainable, plausible, and real. We are neither swept away by overpowering colors nor are we confounded by unintelligible abstractions. They are simple, speaking to the everyday, to the commonplace.
The world is rampant with photography and photographers (thanks, Urban Outfitters). The name photographer, like writer, connotes a certain pejorative quality. To simply take pictures (or wear 35mm cameras as an accessory) is not to be a photographer. To master photographic theory (you know: the stuff that was vaguely discussed in that photo class you took in high school to pad your GPA) is still not to be a photographer. There is something else needed. The photos must leave the viewer with a certain somethingness—maybe it is a certain type of pathos.
Whatever it is, McGonagle’s got it in spades.
For more of that je ne sais quoi, go to: http://www.caseymcgonagle.com/