There Are Only Points of View

“I don’t think there is any truth. There are only points of view. ”

Allen Ginsberg


Allen Ginsberg With Contact Sheet, photo by Abe Frajndlich, 1991


Penelope’s Hungry Eyes

Self-portrait, London, 1972


Abe Frajndlich was born in 1946 to in Frankfurt. At the age of ten he moved to the United States via Israel, France and Brazil. His role model and mentor was photographer Minor White, from whom he learnt “the art of seeing”.

It is with “hungry eyes”, but also with a tenacity and patience only equaled by Penelope’s firm belief in the return of her husband Odysseus, that over the last 30 years Abe Frajndlich has taken portraits of his famous fellow photographers. A selection of over 100 pictures from the ever growing portrait collection has been published in book form for the first time under the title Penelope’s Hungry Eyes. It features grand old masters of the art and photographic artists, contemporaries of the author and younger masters from the Düsseldorf School.

Abe Frajndlich has succeeded in luring the world’s most famous photographers out from behind their cameras and in front of his. With extraordinary skill, he has trained his lens on people used to hiding their own eyes behind a camera. For each of his portraits (some in color, some black and white) Frajndlich has conceived an individual setup that brings into focus in diverse ways the photographer’s primary organ, namely their eyes, which are as special as the voice of talented singers. Some of the photographers shy away by closing their eyes, wearing a mask or turning away (Cindy Sherman, Annie Leibovitz, Thomas Struth or Hans Namuth). Others use props such as glasses, mirrors or magnifying glasses to set their eyes in scene (Bill Brandt, Duane Michals, Andreas Feininger, Lillian Bassman) and still others draw attention to the vulnerability of their eyes using knives and scissors (Imogen Cunningham, Lucas Samaras). Yet many of the subjects respond to the unfamiliar “change of perspective” by looking directly into Frajndlich’s camera (Candida Höfer, Berenice Abbott, Gordon Parks).

Abe Frajndlich has presented a Who’s Who of recent photographic history, enriched with a highly subtle eye for humorous situations. In images and text (the photographer has added a personal note to each portrait) Frajndlich sets out to discover the ever enigmatic relationship between the real person and their own legend.


Lucas Samaras

Bill Brandt


Josef Koudelka


Arnold Newman


Robert Lebeck


Imogen Cunningham


Elliott Erwitt


William Wegman


Marc Riboud


Ruth Bernhard


Lillian Bassman


Louise Dalh-Wolfe


Ilse Bing


Dennis Hopper


David Hockney


Richard Avedon


Annie Leibovitz


Cindy Sherman


Andres Serrano


Harold Edgerton


Horst P. Horst


Norman Parkinson


Gordon Parks


Masahisa Fukase


Daidō Moriyama


Eikoh Hosoe


The Ones You Want to Have as Ancestors

“Some people are your relatives but others are your ancestors, and you choose the ones you want to have as ancestors. You create yourself out of those values.”

Ralph Ellison
The Invisible Man


Homage to Yukio Mishima, Abe Frajndlich


When I Discover Who I am

“When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.”

Ralph Ellison
The Invisible Man


Duane Michals photographed by Abe Frajndlich, NYC, 2001