David Armstrong, an interview. by Silvia Bombardini



Dear Shaded Viewers and Diane,

It was such an honor for me to have the opportunity of this conversation with Mr. David Armstrong, who gently agreed to share with us a bit of his poetry, and thoughts about love, talent, and life.

S.B.: Youth seems to be a fundamental interest of yours. It is the vanishing, melting subject your photos are to preserve from life's sneaky ways of calling it away, slowly, unnoticed, while we're busy elsewhere. It blossoms in your models with much more than their honest, breathtaking beauty; it gives them that careless hope, a wild vulnerability, a mind willingly leant towards the future. But in your portraits also transpires the sudden realization of its impermanence, too fresh to be regret or resignation, but a delicate hint of worry under terribly tender flesh, as if you managed to suspend that abrupt moment of awareness when growth begins. If you really could, would you do that? Would you let your pictures age and the boys enjoy a Wildean everlasting youth, or is art a way for you to gain a part of it, too important to let it fade?

D.A.: No I wouldn't have the images age and the subjects stay as they were at that instant. And yes if it is art, it's a way not to gain it but a way to record it. What meaning would that brief magical time have if it were everlasting? Life's irrelevant without the notion of death in the equation. For me the sense of longing never fades, but not necessarily for a specific person. Maybe for myself at that time in my life, who knows really? I certainly do feel that this is "the moment" in regard to various of the people I've photographed, and it is important that it be acknowledged and documented.



S.B.: Nobuyoshi Araki once said, speaking about flowers, "I