I recently came across Alex Leme’s photographs on the Hey Hot Shot blog and really liked his approach to photographing libraries–yet another institution that has been changed by the Internet. Brazilian born, Mr. Leme studied business in London and moved to San Francisco to enter the world of finance. He now has changed direction and followed his heart to Little Rock, Arkansas to pursue a degree in Art History. He has also been busy with numerous exhibitions, accepting awards, and producing his blog, A photographer’s Journey. His statement for the featured project, Literary Ghosts, follows:
“For many years, while my friends were playing out in the streets, I spent my time in the public library near my house. For reasons known only by my heart, I felt comfortable and safe, as if I belonged there. Perhaps it was the mystery and bewitching diversity that had seduced my soul. The ghosts of countless individuals, of distinct minds and varied thoughts, dwelt peacefully together under the same ceiling – in one world.
The long, winding corridors of endless books were fascinating worlds with new paths of infinite knowledge for me to discover. This labyrinth of passageways lined with crammed bookshelves seemed the perfect place in which to lose oneself. Conceived within the geometric spaces, the distinctive shapes, patterns, colors and perspectives beckoned my imagination, and it was there that my love of geometry and mathematics was born.
Literary Ghosts is a photo essay depicting the elusive and poetic qualities of libraries. My hope is to provide an investigation into the beauty and magic of these places with this photo interview – a romantic, haunting, and beautiful visual reference to the essence of these timeless institutions. As the great American author Ray Bradbury once recalled: “my childhood would have been very different without the books in the public library near my home. I would have gotten through, but I would have been a whole lot lonelier.”
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