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Clarence John Laughlin was born in 1905 in Lake Charles Louisiana He lived on a plantation near New Iberia He attended high school for one year in 1918 due to the death of his father He then worked at many jobs from 1924 to 1935 Laughlins interests were with the writings of Baudelaire Rimbaud and the French Symbolists They inspired him to write poems and stories In 1934 he began to take photographs His first one-man show was held in 1936 at the Isaac Delgado Museum New Orleans Laughlin spent one year taking fashion photographs for Vogue magazine He specialized in color photography during World War II Since 1946 Laughlin worked as a freelance photographer of contemporary architecture He published his photographs in a book called Ghosts Along the Mississippi in 1948 Following this he lectured and had many publications and exhibitions displaying his work From about 1970 on Laughlin concentrated on writing about his photographs and the world of fantasy He died in 1985 Laughlin went through a great many style changes in his photographs Only a few will be looked at and discussed During his early career he focused on taking pictures involving glass He was fascinated with glass because it acts so variably and subtly with light offers so many suggestions that so-called reality is not the simple thing we usually conceive it to be that reality embodies many planes and many kinds of meanings Laughlin believed that it gave off a magic quality He also was drawn to taking pictures of the old desolate and worn down buildings of New Orleans Laughlin felt that these buildings due to their appearance were lost in time He treated them as psychological and poetic documents and not as ordinary historical pieces of architecture He brought them meaning During his mid career he began to perform color experiments Laughlin believed that there are a great many more relationships between paintings and photography than are recognized
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