Danny Lyon’s best photograph: two boys and a puppy in Knoxville | The Guardian

‘It’s an emotional picture. The dog looks hurt, the kid looks hurt and the car won’t start’I travelled to Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1967 to visit the home of the late novelist and critic James Agee. Nobody, until maybe Susan Sontag, understood photography better than him. I went to the block where he grew up and found his house has been demolished and replaced by a condominium, an extraordinarily ugly, two-storey brick building with a wrought iron entrance. It was a horror of architecture.I spotted these two boys at the end of the street and I knew I had found my subject. But you don’t just creep up and take a picture, so I got talking to them. One of the boys was a mechanic, and they wanted to go for a drive around town but the car wouldn’t start. It was a beautiful machine, all heavy steel and chrome from an era when American cars were just astounding. Continue reading…

‘It’s an emotional picture. The dog looks hurt, the kid looks hurt and the car won’t start’

I travelled to Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1967 to visit the home of the late novelist and critic James Agee. Nobody, until maybe Susan Sontag, understood photography better than him. I went to the block where he grew up and found his house has been demolished and replaced by a condominium, an extraordinarily ugly, two-storey brick building with a wrought iron entrance. It was a horror of architecture.

I spotted these two boys at the end of the street and I knew I had found my subject. But you don’t just creep up and take a picture, so I got talking to them. One of the boys was a mechanic, and they wanted to go for a drive around town but the car wouldn’t start. It was a beautiful machine, all heavy steel and chrome from an era when American cars were just astounding.

Continue reading…


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