Location & Year: Malibu, California / 2023
20”x20” / Edition Size of 5 / $1000 (artist proofs)
*All of my photos are hand-signed and numbered and come with a certificate of authenticity.
*Hahnemuhle fine art gallery paper, 100% cotton, 308 gas using archival pigment inks.
Description: Life can be challenging. We’ve all been there at some point in our lives. While driving home from a visit with my 93-year-old mom, I stopped along California’s famed Pacific Coast Highway to inhale the fresh ocean air. The sun was setting rapidly toward the horizon and its reflections off the serene ocean’s surface felt unusually calming…quite the contrast to the steep, jagged rocks. As I quickly surveyed the coastline, my eyes immediately found focus on someone walking toward the cliff’s edge. I readied my camera and watched to see what would unfold. Just wanting to observe the moment without intruding, I maintained my distance. As she knelt in prayer, I quickly snapped the shutter capturing a beautifully poignant moment in time. My hope by sharing this photograph is that you too will be able to make the time to find solace in a setting as majestic as Malibu’s coastline.
ARTIST STATEMENT: As though by a magnet, I’ve always felt the world pulling me, luring me to explore its mysteries and wonder. For a long time, I put my dreams on hold. Then one day in my practice as a radiologist, I met a patient whose journey would forever change my outlook.
In the Fall of 2006, a man came to me with a nagging discomfort in his chest. At 38 years old, he was so young that I thought surely it must be something benign or otherwise inconsequential. In a matter of a few short hours, his CT scan revealed that he was suffering from terminal lung cancer. His story is a reminder to us all that each day must be viewed as a very special gift.
I’ve witnessed hundreds of patients whose lives have been abruptly changed by a life-altering or life-ending diagnosis. At times we may convince ourselves that we are immortal, and that cancer or some other catastrophe only affects others, but we have no guarantees in this life. Time is too short to get lost in a blur of days, weeks, and months.
And so, I began to think more seriously about all those overseas adventures waiting for me, and soon enough, I grabbed my camera and voyaged to all 7 continents. I’ve observed Tibetan monks in prayer, hiked up the Virunga mountains of Rwanda to marvel at the Silverback gorillas in their natural habitat, and watched Bengal tigers cool off in a shallow lake to escape India’s searing heat.
I’ve met people, young and old, who have lived amazing yet ordinary lives. Along the way, I’ve spent several decades honing my craft as a portrait photographer. Whether I’m making candid images of women immersed in prayer in Abu Dhabi or portraits of television actors in my Venice Beach studio, I’ve continuously sought to capture life’s fragility and beauty.
There are no rewinds in life, so find the time to discover your inspiration, explore the extraordinary, create the unimaginable, and then leave nothing on the table.
~ Harv Greenberg, M.D.