Sunday, June 1, 2014

An Oxymoronic Stumble

Stumbling in the darkness, I happened on a patch of light and discovered I had actually taken a leap!  It seemed like a stumble because I had been aware of the facts for sometime but hadn't quite assimilated them until now.  What am I really saying?  What's the point?  Photography can't and shouldn't be just visual pleasure-seeking.  The endless quest for technical perfection will never satisfy, only the delivery of a message that describes (and or encapsulates) the elusive vision.  And for an artist, that message is far more important than the tool used to deliver it.  The painter doesn't glorify his paints, nor the sculptor his chisels.  The message, the vision, the image is ultimately why I create and why you look.

Perhaps I should apologize for this error or perhaps I should celebrate? My good sense has re-surfaced and its sort of like a homecoming and boy is there a lot of work for me to do here!  For a start, take the images below, samples of my recent discovery of just one facet of my camera's functioning - Multiple Exposures. Granted, its an old concept but I would never have ventured into this territory using film. I'm quickly learning to use it and am excited about the prospects! But its still just a tool. In all the history of photography this process would have required much time in the darkroom and today, the four images below can be (and were) created in a total of five minutes.

I am excited about where this can lead with more time an planning and if I find the courage/voice, my blog will take quite a different turn. In concert with this stumble/leap, I quite suddenly decided to re-work my blog's masthead and found myself with what you see here, giving the impression of a blog rich in metaphor and myth, quite the opposite of what it has been.  Of course the story-telling possibilities of photoshop and digital cameras has never really been my thing, my favored modus for art being Abstraction. But for now, armed with a measure of accomplishment in photography, I find the story-telling possibilities very tempting.

The central figure in each image below is a sculpture in our living room created in the 1960s by family friend the late Ann Graubard (wife of late Prof. Mark Graubard Univ. of Minnesota) from Minneapolis. The piece, carved from what I believe to be ebony, depicts two very slender figures intertwined in an embrace of love. I believe it is titled "The Lovers".  Extraneous imagery is also from our living room:  A piece of African fabric; An Asian vase; An ashtray embedded with large glass beads; The wooden surface of our coffee table.

The series gives new dimensions to a favorite work of art, extending it beyond its solitary perch and reaching out via the web.  For the future, perhaps narrative will reign or perhaps abstraction will find a new foothold in my vision.  Either way I hope you'll enjoy the work, liberated as I hope it will be from the breadth of digital ether! (Edited and re-posted June 2nd, 2014, 7:23 a.m.)

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