For some, the prospect of notching up 50 years with a significant other is incredibly romantic, while other couples will just be wondering how they are going to get to the end of the week without killing each other. It doesn’t take long studying the work of Lauren Fleishman to figure out which camp the American photographer is in. The Lovers is a photographic series inspired by a personal story; Fleishman began the work after discovering a love letter written by her grandfather to her grandmother, prompting her to embark on a journey to document long-lasting love.
The Brooklyn artist, now based in the UK, set about seeking out more extraordinary couples across Europe and America who had been together 50 years or more, documenting their stories through photography, voice recordings and text in the subjects’ own homes. Although the series is an extraordinarily tender body of work, The Lovers does not shy away from the realities of long long-term relationships, and explores issues of illness and incapacity, historically taboo relationships and other universal aspects which translate across age groups. Fleishman’s images are presented in a 160-page book from Schilt; The Lovers is available to pre-order from the Dutch publisher and is due to ship this month.