"It is said that the poetic part of a person's life is when he is young, but the mature part of the artist is when he is old. I think I have begun to understand that now, and I know it relates to my own photography."Harry Callahan
I am wondering what Callahan meant by this. The quote comes from a book published in 1996 as a companion to the exhibit Harry Callahan at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.
Obviously we mature with age, gain wisdom through life's experiences. But is the poetic nature of an artist limited to youth? Did he mean that the poetry matures, or does it fade away? Harry Callahan was 84 years old in 1996 and died three years later. This quote is at the start of a section in the book labeled Later Work 1972-1992, work he did between the ages of sixty and eighty years old. I wish I could find an explanation to the full meaning of this quote. Callahan's work is very poetic, and it would be very instructive to know how that sensibility changed for him as he grew old.