I always light up when I see Tria Giovan is scheduled to shoot one of our stories here at Traditional Home; her work shows a sensitivity to the subject matter that makes you look, and look again. So I was intrigued when I learned that the photographer/oceanophile (yes, I made that up) has a new book out, composed of the the moody, misty, and magical pictures she has been taking for years of the beaches of Sagaponack, near her home in Sag Harbor. To me, Tria's photographs focus on a scene in a way that is painterly—paring it down to its essence. The photos are the visual equivalent of haiku, the most important element, perhaps, being what has left out. Speaking of, she has culled for the book 63 favorites of the 10,000 images she has captured of the beach for this book.
Tria, who was raised in the Caribbean, is a world traveler whose work has appeared in Vogue, Aperture, Esquire, Elle, and Harper's, and her photographs also reside in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art and The New York Public Library, among other august places.
Photographer Tria Giovan
In an essay about Tria's work that serves as the foreword to the book, Carl Safina, marine conservationist and president of The Blue Ocean Institute, had this to say: "Through a decade of seasons Giovan charted the permutations of tides, wind, sand, and sky. The 63 selected images featured in Sand Sea Sky: The Beaches of Sagaponack document a meteorological drama ranging from the threatening and explosive storm to the suffusing sunlight of midday and incandescent gloaming." (Gloaming, don't you love that word? I love it so much I have to say it again—gloaming.)
Safina went on to say of Tria's images, "In their invitation to become motionless they acquire an affecting intimate immensity that echoes America’s enduring belief in the transcendent spiritual beauty of nature."
I didn't realize Tria was adept with the pen as well as the camera. Here's her musing on why Sagaponack is her True North: "Avid collectors cannot often pinpoint the origins of their obsessions, except to say that there is some stirring association that fuels their passion. I have amassed these images as a collector might, still not completely sure what drives me, but committed to compile a faithful and extensive record of the myriad witnessed moments. These photographs are a meditation paying homage to a place where the spirit is enlivened, primordial forces resonate, and impermanence reigns." Well said—and well photographed.
Published by Daminai, Tria's book is available at amazon.com for $26.50.