Still Life Without Man


Frank Wilson salutes his friend Eric Mencher's photography:

Robert Musil said that “all still lifes are actually paintings of the world on the sixth day of creation, when God and the world were alone together, without man!” This is precisely right, as I think Eric’s photo demonstrates it. Still lifes have a quieting effect on us. They do not merely invite us to contemplate; they actually switch off, however briefly, the interior chatterbox. “So it must have been after the birth of the simple light / In the first, spinning place,” wrote Dylan Thomas.

Art can cast the world in a critical light, but at its best as in this photo what it does is grant us a glimpse of  the world’s original innocence.