Monday, November 15, 2010


It seems today that I have reached an impasse in my thinking about photography, so I will have to use the thoughts of a truly horrible photographer and truly gifted painter (Carl-from-Iowa) as a spring board for today's missive.

 I quote the illustrious Carl,"It seems to me that you have figured out how to make photos of value with your portrait work. You "photograph feelings" modify the image in subtle ways , and then make as archival a print as possible. Portraiture has the advantage in that it just has to reach the one person and not necessarily "enter into the realm that strikes a universal cord".

For the last 49 years I have been self aware of myself as an "art photographer", and maybe only recently questioning whether there is  such a thing as "art photography", and if there is, whether I have actually produced any. I have the right credentials, certainly, as at the age of 14, I was taking stark black and white photos of black birds atop gravestones and a man in a hat pretending to play a trashed and weather-beaten upright piano in an old shack in the woods whose roof had collapsed.  It don't get much artier than that, folks.

I am moved to reminisce about a thought I had in the decade before last as I was plying my trade as a avant garde cutting-edge child portraitist employing photojournalistic techniques ( faux journalism these days being quite standard and boring fare among studio photographers).  Mothers would weep at the depth and sensitivity of my work with little Johnny and little Suzy.  No one has yet wept at  my black birds on gravestones or whatever the hell art shit I was doing then.

I realized that if I am remembered as an artist, or even remembered at all, that it will be for my child portraits not my "art photography". With Carl's quote above, I have retuned to that thought about the usefulness of my life's work in photography,

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