Thursday, November 16, 2017



MEL ROSENTHAL.. ( 1940-2017)

  I have seen Mel's photographs many times  . He was a great master in portraying Urban decay through his frames. Inspite of the frigidity  that he captured, human face with hope was central to his frames. 

Mel was born and brought up at Bronx in New York state. It was painful for him to see his Bronx getting ruined by industrialization and trash dumping. Then the violence created Burnt and looted buildings, Desolate streets and yet people living with hope however elusive . This was during the decade of 1970s . These photographs were exhibited at various Galleries to present a human face of BRONX. The Museum of New York also exhibited his images . Through these images ,You can see Boys looking for a ground to play . A lonely boy looking in desolate locality with hope over riding his despair. A mother and daughter smiling with hope even after losing everything that they had . Every frame had a  bleak story to tell  yet  simultaneously  reflect  hope .

Mel had a doctorate in literature but taught photography at Empire State college of Arts , New York. He travelled to Africa, Cuba, Puerto Rico ,Vietnam and many other countries to capture hope in overall bleakness. Refugees , immigrants , sufferers and children are the the focus of his work. Mel died some days back due to Dementia complications. He was a family man . His father was a Lawyer and his mother was a Painter. He is survived by his wife Roberta Perrymapp , son Josh Klinefelter and a sister Brenda Rosenthal Nailboff.

He would say:

" I use camera as a weapon against desensitization. Photography may create victims but at least it forces someone to look at them. And a photographer may not solve mysteries with his camera but he should illuminate conditions and social dynamics ."

Peace be to his soul.

( Autar Mota)

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CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
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