“I have found life to have a tendency to be beautiful,” writes Edward Cushenberry about his new book of photographs, While Nothing Lasts (Candor Arts, 2019), which documents the lives of friends, family and other people close to him over the course of several years.
Cushenberry began the project after photographing a friend who was upset about the impending end of a relationship. “I wanted to do this to better understand how we collectively cope with life, love, heartbreak and death,” Cushenberry writes. People have come and gone from Cushenberry’s life, which has taught him “to embrace life as it is.” The book mixes intimate portraits with observed photographs. We see people comforting one another, having sex, praying and lying in hospital beds—the stuff of life. Cushenberry’s use of light and his attention to gesture and body language exchanged between people create a sense of connection between the photographer and those he photographs.
In an essay for the book, Oriana Koren writes that “Intimacy, really, is a practice in deep observation of those we love.” Cushenberry’s book is just that.