Rosalind Fox Solomon’s work is a curious mix of the worldly and the deeply personal. At 85, she has travelled the globe photographing everywhere from Israel and Zimbabwe, to Northern Ireland and Guatemala chronicling issues such as race relations and the AIDS epidemic. But it’s not just global events that she is interested in; she also finds beauty in the everyday.
In fact, the New Yorker tells Refinery29 she is mostly attracted to “a complicated face with emotional intensity… I’m interested in substance rather than veneer. I embrace wrinkles and blemishes.”
She was late to the world of photography and only fell under its spell at 38. Now, with almost half a century of experience, she is releasing Got To Go, a collection of photographs that is part memoir, part fiction. Many of the pictures are accompanied with short poems, reprinted ahead.
It was the rise of feminism in the 60s that encouraged Solomon to look beyond her role as a wife and mother, and pick up a camera.
“I am aware of how little girls can be crushed by adults who have unrealistic expectations of how they should behave,” she says.
Her work has now been shown in nearly 30 solo exhibitions and 100 group exhibitions, and is in the collections of over 50 museums around the globe. Not bad for a late starter.
Despite being in her ninth decade, she shows no sign of slowing down. And when asked why she chose the title of the book that she did, Fox paraphrases one of her poems: “Because when I told my mother ‘I've got to go’ she sent me out to the woods. Because I said ‘got to go, got to go outside’. And ‘got to go’ is still what I need to do.”