All Day Every Day.
Photographs by David Armstrong.
Scalo Publishers, Zurich, 2002. 144 pp., 85 color illustrations, 12x16½".
Beauty never was a dirty word to David Armstrong. Untroubled by a puritan fear of sensuality and the follies of any kind of zeitgeist, he has pursued his twin vision of urban romance and bucolic serenity. The book presents his landscapes, interiors, and citiscapes, wistful and evocative images that discreetly suggest stories of love and loss, and the solitary pleasures of a flaneur adrift on urban streets and rural roads.
'It's a large part of what I am, and the work is, of course, an expression of that, my identity. You might say, it is the reverence I have for beauty. More importantly, the belief I have in the capability of a work of art to resonate, that it can reveal more, if you look at it with more contemplation, rather than the reverse. And this is possible exactly because there is content beneath the surface and aside from the subject matter. And that content is emotion.'
A street corner, the facade of a skyscraper, blossoming trees, a chair in a room on a late afternoon: These are the elusive quotidian promises of happiness that Armstrong elegantly captures, generously inviting the viewers to interweave their desires and reveries with his own intricately languid images. Underlying Armstrong’s radical aestheticism, we sense the utopian fervor of a revolt against utilitarianism, dogmatic narrow-mindedness, and the stifling fear of the senses and the body that still pervades our culture.
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