Excerpted from SSENSE.com -
Joel Meyerowitz has spent his life in a state of creative attunement. Listen to him speak about his photography for even a few moments, and you understand the intensity of his perception, the pleasure that radiates from his desire to make the “humble everyday gesture turn into the sublime”, as he notes in the new edition of his 1983 book Wild Flowers. Turning the everyday into the sublime — it's a succinct but perfect summation of his artistic ethos, and it’s also the gift he gives to those who immerse themselves in his work. To be taken in by Meyerowitz, whether it’s through his kinetic early 35mm street photography, his gentle large-format seascapes and elegiac Provincetown portraits, or his observational snapshots of life in motion, is to not only inhabit an ephemeral moment, but to, like the artist himself, become more observant and open to the details and sensations in the world around you.
It’s how I felt when first encountering his images of vacant motel swimming pools at daybreak or Manhattan streets punctured by midday light and congested with bygone life. Through his lens, my experience with those spaces thereafter was distinctly altered, charged with a new sense of awareness. The more time I spent with Wild Flowers — a playful and romantic assemblage of photographs from 1965 through 2020 in which he uses the motif of flowers as a through line to connect disparate moments of beauty, ritual, and connection—the more I found myself noticing the presence of flowers around me, especially in an urban environment.