Paper Reduction as an Art Form - Breathing Space Blog
While most artists consider the destruction of their work a tragedy, as reported in Time magazine, photographer Brett Weston always considered it a necessity. Best known for haunting semi-abstract nature studies in the tradition of his famous father Edward, Weston vowed for years to destroy his negatives so that others could not make new prints from them after his death.
On his 80th birthday, Weston kept his vow. Surrounded by friends and family, he tossed hundreds of negatives into the living-room fireplace of his home in Carmel, California. Art historians and photography curators were horrified. The Center for Creative Photography, a photographic archive in Tucson, even sent a representative to Weston’s home in an unsuccessful effort to persuade him to change his mind. Weston insisted that he was merely limiting his legacy to work fashioned by his own hand. “Nobody can print it the way I do,” Weston explained. “It wouldn’t be my work.”