Nisyros, History and Architecture of an Aegean Island
Richard Economakis with Photography Cornelis de Vries
Publisher: Athens, Melissa,
English ISBN: 960-204-232-X
Greek ISBN: 960-204-231-1
Reviewed by Dr. Paul Campanis firstname.lastname@example.org
This book by Economakis and de Vries is the best thing I have read over
the last several years on Nisyro. Mostly you get badly translated rehashes
of some history and local lore. This book is heavily researched and Richard
Economakis, a son of Mandraki, has so much love and care in his words.
The words overwhelmed me on occasion. His words are artful and deep.
Dear Kornelios de Vries is an adopted child of Nisyro who does beautiful
pictures. I spent my early years of work at Polaroid and have a kind of
feel for photos. I am no expert, but a mere amateur, a lover of sorts.
I love his photos and would not know where to start in praise of his work.
The pictures of doors, the lone tree facing out on a stormy sea, the flowers
at the kastro. Where do you start? He is a complement to the text of Richard
and the wisdom of his words. The photos bring me right back to the homeplace.
What more could one ask of a photograph?
I remember meeting Ansel Adams and hanging a bit with him when I worked
at Polaroid. I had no idea then of his place in American photography but
I now have seen many of his photos of the American West and have a sense
of the grandeur he describes. I am more prone to care about the WPA (Works
Progress Administration, the agency created by President Franklin Roosevelt
in 1935 to help with the economic depression in the USA at that time)
photos of other American photographers who told the times of hardship
and the Depression.
What I look for in a photo mainly is caring. When caring is present it
seems to me the picture does its work. Like when I water the flowers in
my yard or when I clean the bathroom sink. The picture has work to do.
I am not prone to the icy grandeur Adams gets from his work. It just does
not move me. But other pictures do tremendously. I rush to a good library
to find books of photos, travel, historical, fashion whatever.
In a way I live in photos, they move me so. I simply cannot live without
them. You can imagine then what Kornelios's pictures do to me, a child
of Nisyro who has gone there for some many years now.
Dr. Paul Campanis