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The Lovers

The Lovers is a photographic series of couples that have shared their lives for more than 50 years. Inspired by a love letter written by Lauren Fleishman’s grandfather to her grandmother early in their marriage, Lauren was moved to find more intertwined souls like theirs. Through colour photographs, voice recordings and text, she documents the stories of intimacy and commitment of elderly couples across the United States and Europe.

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Author: Lauren Fleishman


Gloria: I’m Gloria Holtzman and this is Sol Holtzman and
we have been married 54 years.
Sol: An eternity!
Gloria: An eternity!
Extract from p.63

Dick: We’ve been together 56 years. A couple of times I’ve thought, yes, I’ve known him longer than I knew my mother. And my mother died in the early ’80s. I’ve known him, and he’s known me longer than anybody else on this earth. I never regretted it. I don’t know just exactly what love is, but he was the person that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with and we have. To us, love meant that we did not want to be apart. We built our life on each other.
Extract from p.76

Esma: The love between us has never changed. Does love ever change?
Extract from p.114

As a photographer, Lauren Fleishman has always been attracted to the beauty of love and lovers. Her project extends this attraction to a domain that is largely unexplored, and more importantly, not well documented visually. Like her other work, this project addresses both artistic and documentary angles: sociology and the human geography of emotions, as well as the aesthetics of the body. In this work, colour photographs are combined with interviews where the subjects, elderly couples intimately involved for over five decades, describe their love and relationship. Couples from different backgrounds provide a look at the realities of love: how the previous generation experienced it, survived it, and, more importantly, how it appears in their lives. The body politics of the project become especially clear when gay and lesbian couples or couples with ill spouses are considered. In this respect, Fleishman’s pictures play a central role in addressing homophobia and increasing awareness of age-related issues.

Fleishman has been working on her project in the very intimate settings of her subjects’ homes. She has even photographed the couple holding the title of longest married in the world. The viewer sees how their love reflects and how this love has grown and adapted over time. The intimacy of the photographs creates an interesting effect on people – both intriguing and surprising – showing that viewers share some of the feelings that she put on her work. The beauty in the pictures might not often be immediate, but the aesthetic is compassionate and tries to almost see as young couples.


Reviews & Features
The New York Times
Interview with The Cut
Le Monde (French)
Sun-Herald & Sunday Age, Australia
Professionele Fotografie (Dutch)
Blog di Lifestyle (Italian)
Virgula (Portuguese)
Nolmus (Turkish)
Hit & Run (Greek)
Kwerfeldein (German)
Swiat Obrazu (Polish)
Resumo Fotografico (Spanish)


Design: LevievanderMeer
ISBN: 9789053308363
23 x 17 cm
160 pages with 76 images in full colour

Additional information

Weight 0.595 kg


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