Art + Design

No Place Like Someone Else’s Home

When you’re traveling in a foreign city, it’s a blessing to be able to go into somebody’s home. Especially when the city is big, loud, expensive, and a machine for tourism, like Paris. You see the insides of hotels, gardens, parks, museums, restaurants, but so rarely a home, a place where people actually live.

Millie and Jim Casper with Chronicle author Jenn Shreve

That’s one reason why it was very pleasant to recently visit Jim Casper and his wife Millie at their apartment in Paris, on the site where the Bastille used to be. One of the best ways to keep on top of contemporary photography is Jim’s Lens Culture. Lens Culture is a magazine/blog/review site and print store; it’s hugely informative and a joy to read.

Lens Culture Magazine website

Jim and Millie were entertaining a friend for her birthday when we stopped by. Then a few other visitors dropped in: super-sharp Japanese publisher Masakazu Takei, whose Foil magazine and gallery feature excellent new art and photography, and Korean photographer Han Sungpil, whose evocative photos of nuclear plant cooling towers in pastoral landscapes graced the current issue of Foil.

Photographer Han Sungpil and publisher Masakazu Takei

Something about all of us being from elsewhere, sheltered from a sudden storm, made Jim and Millie’s apartment that much more comforting. Maybe this is specious advice, but if you can get invited into the homes of friends and acquaintances while abroad, do. And read Lens Culture.

-Alan Rapp

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