Pearls from artists* # 96
* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
My final day at the magic shop [in Disneyland, where he worked as a teenager], I stood behind the counter where I had pitched Svengali decks and the Incredible Shrinking Die, and I felt an emotional contradiction: nostalgia for the present. Somehow, even though I had stopped working only minutes earlier, my future fondness for the store was clear, and I experienced a sadness like that of looking at a photo of an old, favorite pooch. It was dusk by the time I left the shop, and I was redirected by a security guard who explained that a photographer was taking a picture and would I please use the side exit.
I did, and saw a small, thin woman with hacked brown hair aim her large-format camera directly at the dramatically lit castle, where white swans floated in the moat underneath the functioning drawbridge. Almost forty years later, when I was in my early fifties, I purchased that photo as a collectible, and it still hangs in my house. The photographer, it turned out, was Diane Arbus. I try to square the photo’s breathtaking romantic image with the rest of her extreme subject matter, and I assume she saw this facsimile of a castle as though it were a kitsch roadside statue of Paul Bunyan. Or perhaps she saw it as I did: beautiful.
Quoted by A.D. Coleman in Photocritical, May 28, 2014, from Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life by Steve Martin
Comments are welcome!
Posted on June 18, 2014, in An Artist's Life, Art in general, Creative Process, Inspiration, Pearls from Artists, Photography, Quotes and tagged "Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life", "Diane Arbus Revelations", "Photocritical", assume, beautiful, behind, breathtaking, CA.D. Coleman, camera, castle, collectible, contradiction, counter, decks, Diane Arbus, Disneyland, dramatically, drawbridge, dusk, earlier, emotional, exit, experienced, explained, extreme, fascimile, favorite, fifties, final, floated, fondness, functioning, future, hacked, hangs, house, image, Incredible Shrinking Die, kitsch, large-format, lit, looking, magic shop, minutes, moat, nostalgia, Paul Bunyan, photo, photographer, picture, pitched, pooch, present, purchased, redirected, roadside, romantic, sadness, security guard, side, somehow, square, statue, Steve Martin, stopped, store, subject matter, Svengali, swans, taking, teenager, underneath, white, woman. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.