“Photography is not like painting,” Cartier-Bresson told the Washington Post in 1957. “There is a creative fraction of a second when you are taking a picture. Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera. That is the moment the photographer is creative,” he said. “Oop! The Moment! Once you miss it, it is gone forever.”
(quoted from Wikipedia)
I’m liking the photography of Laura Letinsky today. One article from New York Magazine described her images as “…elegant undone tables, always suggesting decadent meals shared, perhaps, between ballerinas.” It can be difficult to identify what it is about an image that you really like. You try to dive in based on color and composition…etc, but the aforementioned quote really nailed it for me. It’s the elegance, the delicate touch, the painstakingly beautiful mess. It’s really lovely!
This summer has been a complete blur so far! Rob and I have been living out of our photography studio as we finish our basement apartment. We have been working very hard doing what we love to do: working with people and taking pictures. No complaints there…except that once again, art making has taken a back seat. I have rented a small studio space nearby my house and had many aspirations for days of photographing, art making and sipping lattes in between. I definitely have a rosy outlook on the expectations for my life…not that that is a bad thing!
Even though I haven’t spent much time making, I have been thinking about what is important to me as an artist and what I like in art I see. Despite a full year of grad school, I seem to be holding on to the same basic idea that I came in with–although I understand it much differently now. Grad school is worth it, I promise!
I am still interested in the moments and space in between. Here is a new manifestation of this idea based on work I’ve been looking at as well as older pieces that still haven’t quite found their place in my mind. They were shot with one of my 85mm 1.4 lens. Look. Focus. Step back. Capture. Kind of a nice mantra, I think.
Here’s to beginning to work & starting to focus!
A new combination.
Photo: 22×33 inches
These new images come from a desire to treat the women in the fashion magazines more as a portrait subject. The more I look into my interest in taking these images, the more I realize that I actually really love the imagery. I was talking a lot about light, disregard for fashion images by combining them, the way advertising uses anything we feel we lack to sell us on what we need. I’m not sure I’m actually that objective. There is a reason that I choose to use fashion images over news. I am also seduced by the intangibility of the allure of these ads. They’re strange and unrealistic, yet, they fit into our real lives. It felt good to take the images in the way that I did today. It’s like I took a little bit of control back from the process. Rather than sticking to rules about documentation (page on the window -> shoot straight on), I was able to manipulate, frame, use the texture of the page and printing, while still revealing the front/back relationship that is my primary interest.
My work is visually inspired by materiality and the demotic; and conceptually inspired by intangibility, entropy and personal experiences. It explores the spaces that exist in between one thing and another that tends to go unnoticed. Whether it is between one page and the next or one definition and another, there is an intangible beauty in these changing times.
Finding ways to translate the moments between two things has found many outputs for me. I have created a series of photographs that compress the images on the front and backside of a printed page by shining light through and capturing the image at the moment when they are both showing at the same time. In another vein, by coating balloons with various materials while they are blown up I am able to allude to both the state of inflation and deflation as the shell shrivels around the collapsing balloon. They are depictions of something unattainable, yet the result is something new and strange in and of themselves. Each of these illustrated moments about these non-states can translate as anything from uncanny to feelings of loss or gain. I am interested in seeing what happens when each of these representations are combined with each other as they embody a similar idea but exude such different content.
I first consciously connected with this idea of transient beauty in Reineke Dijkstra’s beach series. The subjects of these photographs were neither children nor adults, they were neither clothed nor naked, they stood partly in the water and partly on land. The scenes are completely awkward and beautiful at the same time which was completely riveting for me.
I finally own the book that contains these images! What a great Christmas gift…thank you!
[algorithm – lossy – data compression – artifact – stress – tension – buckling]