Photographer Cig Harvey Haunted by Masao Yamamoto’s “Goal” Photograph

Cig Havey

from the 2paragraphs photographer interviews

Q: What image has affected you most profoundly?

There’s a photograph by Masao Yamamoto that has haunted me for years; it’s a tiny 4x6 toned black and white picture of a lone white cloud suspended over a goal post in a dark empty field. It was like a punch to the stomach when I first saw this piece hanging on a wall at an art fair. I couldn’t afford it so I spent all day hovering around it. Every year after that I would go visit this photograph, sneaking up on it to see if I still felt the same way. I constantly search for a similar goal post when I am out in the world but that picture cannot exist twice. That’s what is so amazing about photography.

Seven years later it was given to me as a surprise gift by a very dear friend. It now hangs in my studio right next to my desk. I stare at it every day and it’s as magical and mysterious to me today as the day I first saw it. How is that possible?


Masao Yamamota, Goal

Cig Harvey had her first solo museum show at the Stenersen Museum in Oslo, Norway in 2012 in conjunction with the release of her monograph, You Look At Me Like An Emergency. She is represented by the following galleries: Robert Klein (Boston), Joel Soroka (Basalt, CO), Dowling Walsh (Rockland, ME), Robin Rice (NY), and Kopeikin (LA). Harvey is also Assistant Professor of Photography at the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University. (Photo of Harvey: © Cig Harvey)


  • Charlton

    Obviously you have never been punched in the stomach.

  • j m rowland

    Was there a point to this “article”?

    • 2Paragraphs

      Thanks for writing. Cig Harvey’s piece is part of a 2paragraphs Interview series you can find here: (Or by clicking Interviews in the top navigation.) We asked 14 photographers about the image that influenced them most profoundly.

  • Nate

    that image is creepy as hell. law of attraction brought him closer and then in winded up in his office freaking sweet if you ask me!

  • Asgarrd

    Point to the article was there are photographs that can give a person a haunting feeling.
    Kicked in the stomach…na…that is pain and not haunting.
    Many years ago I had a school friend die on a similar kind of day, playing goaltender on a soccer(football) team. He was swinging on the cross bar and the posts gave way and crashed down.
    Even though I consider it poorly composed it is haunting to me from my history.

  • Robert L.

    I’ve read the interviews …. From my point of view … The point is that there was some type of emotional or intellectual connection for each of the interviewers … It doesn’t matter what it means to anyone else …. It’s what it means to the viewer … Weird or not ?