Dead Blogging ‘Prifti: Drawn by Light’ at the Griffin Museum

Well the Missus and I trundled out to Winchester yesterday to catch the David Prifti exhibit at the Griffin Museum and, say, it was swell.

(As was our breakfast at the Swanton Street Diner.)

From the museum’s website:


In an artist statement Concord resident, David Prifti once wrote that is was his desire to explore his life through the things that shaped his life. These formative elements were his relationships, his memories, his sense of family, rites of passage, aging and death. The creative process that led to all of his photographs was indirectly a very personal journey for him.

Boston Globe columnist Mark Feeney captured Prifti’s art much better than we ever could in this piece.

Time is of the essence at Griffin


WINCHESTER — Every photograph is rooted in the past. Click the shutter even on some super-slick digital camera, one that makes photography seem all but instantaneous, and the super-slickness doesn’t help. No matter how quickly you look to see the image just taken — even if you had split-second reflexes and the dexterity of a demigod — what you see is always the past preserved, never the present framed. The click demarcates then and now. The image bridges them.

That’s obvious enough. To connect then with now is why people take pictures. Grammatically, a photograph manages the neat trick of being in the past tense while seeming to be in the eternal present.

What makes David Prifti’s show “Drawn by Light” so arresting is how the images strive to eliminate any illusion of mixed tenses. They embrace pastness. They proclaim their past state, doing so either through a distressed corporeality or the elegant sneakiness of process substitution. The show is one of several at the Griffin Museum of Photography that run through March 2.

The Missus and I were lucky enough some years ago to meet David Prifti, a relentlessly likable, immensely talented man. The Griffin Museum exhibit does justice to both sides of him.


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