My Mother - James Friedman
My Mother (1,029,398 Cigarettes)
My mother began smoking when she was eleven years old and we determined, towards the end of her life, she had smoked approximately 1,029,398 cigarettes during her lifetime. 1,029,398 Cigarettes shows the life and death of my mother through photographs I made starting when I was nine years old and continuing for three decades, until her death.
Mom with her older brother, 1929
The project reveals the transformation of an attractive, charismatic woman to one suffering the torturous physical ravages of emphysema caused by forty-seven years of smoking.
Mom with her brothers, 1986
Contrary to her camera-shy nature, my mother actually encouraged me to photograph her during the harrowing last eight months of her life, all spent either in a hospital or a nursing home.
The most significant benefit of our photographic collaboration was discovering ways to express affection toward one another; I don’t remember any kissing or even minimal displays of affection between members of my family as I was growing up.
Mom with her brothers, 1990
Me kissing Mom, 1990
After visiting my mother in the hospital on a daily basis for eight months and photographing frequently, we began—for the first time in our lives—to kiss goodbye when I departed for the day. Our newly discovered demonstrations of affection were poignant and bittersweet, as we knew she had only a short time to live.
© James Friedman
It is a touching and loving portrait that James Friedman has created. He calls it "1,029,398 Cigarettes" - I want to suggest an alternative title; "My Mother", because this is all about his mother. You will get to know more of James Friedman's work in the coming weeks on 591 Photography - he is a great photographer from Columbus, Ohio, USA. - Mr Urbano
the slowly process of dissolution
is hard to bear....as shown in james photos.
his series is a great hommage to life !