debbie millman

Wednesday, June 04, 2008



Few artists have the access (let alone the perseverance) to follow the same subject for decades. So when the artist’s muse is his own child, it presents a unique opportunity. Case in point: photographer Jack Radcliffe's haunting portfolio documenting the life of his daughter from infancy to adulthood, titled simply Alison.

A stunning series in black and white, the photos walk a fine line between exquisite and intrusive, caring and unsettling, as Alison grows from thoughtful child to striking punk teenager to obviously troubled adult. “I wanted to photograph her in all her extremes,” Radcliffe writes in his introduction, “and to be part of these times in her life without judging or censoring.”

In her book "On Photography," Susan Sontag called photographs “an ethics of seeing.” It’s difficult to look at this work and not wonder what would have happened, to both his art and to Alison, if Radcliffe had censored or judged — or chosen a different subject altogether.

Via the always wonderful Very Short List.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is fascinating!

- amanda woodward

6/04/2008 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger Tania Rochelle said...

This series made me cry.

6/05/2008 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger debbie millman said...

me too...

6/05/2008 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger Beach Local said...

This was both wonderful and haunting. Wow.


6/05/2008 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger Claudio Gil said...

In fact, your blog is fantastic.
Nice to meet.
Kind regards.

6/05/2008 02:27:00 PM  
Blogger TheMediaDude said...

I loved this series. Having a daughter myself, I related to the feeling of unconditional love in each picture. You get the sense that this man is infatuated with his daughter without trying to change or control her. It was only after I saw all the images that I realized Allison is my age. Put a whole new spin on it.

6/13/2008 09:55:00 AM  

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Location: new york city, United States

Debbie Millman has worked in the design business for over 25 years. She is President of the design division at Sterling Brands. She has been there for nearly 15 years and in that time she has worked on the redesign of global brands for Pepsi, Procter & Gamble, Campbell’s, Colgate, Nestle and Hasbro. Prior to Sterling, she was a Senior Vice President at Interbrand and a Marketing Director at Frankfurt Balkind. Debbie is President of the AIGA, the largest professional association for design. She is a contributing editor at Print Magazine, a design writer at and Brand New and Chair of the Masters in Branding Program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. In 2005, she began hosting the first weekly radio talk show about design on the Internet. The show is titled “Design Matters with Debbie Millman” and it is now featured on In addition to “Look Both Ways: Illustrated Essays on the Intersection of Life and Design,” (HOW Books, 2009, she is the author of "How To Think Like A Great Graphic Designer" (Allworth Press, 2007) and “The Essential Principles of Graphic Design” (Rotovision, 2008).

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