New York, NY
* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
That a photograph is unlikely to be a laboratory record is evident when we think about how it is made. Most photographers are people of immense enthusiasms whose work involves many choices – to brake the car, grab the yellow instead of the green filter, wait out the cloud, and at the second everything looks inexplicably right, to release the shutter. Behind these decisions stands the photographer’s individual framework of recollections and meditations about the way he perceived that place or places like it before. Without such a background there would be no knowing whether the scene on the ground glass was characteristic of the geography and of his experience of it and intuition of it – in short, whether it was true.
Making photographs has to be, then, a personal matter; when it is not, the results are not persuasive. Only the artist’s presence in the work can convince us that its affirmation resulted from and has been tested by human experience. Without the photographer in the photograph the view is no more compelling than the product of some annoying record camera, a machine perhaps capable of happy accident but not response to form.
Beauty in Photography by Robert Adams
Comments are welcome!
Posted in 2014, An Artist's Life, Art in general, Creative Process, Inspiration, New York, NY, Pearls from Artists, Photography, Quotes, Working methods
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Barbara in her favorite sarong; photo by Donna Tang
A: There is always a long gestation period as I reflect on the new experiences, sights, sounds, etc. after a trip. Bali is a fascinating place – the only Hindu outpost in the world’s most populous Muslim country – so I’m reading everything I can find. I’ve finished an historical novel, Love and Death in Bali, about the 1906 mass suicide of the royal family during the Dutch invasion. I’m slowly making my way through Bali: Sekala and Niskala, a densely packed book about the intricacies of Hinduism, rituals, and art, written with the help of our guide, Budi. In the short term I’m using more green pastels in my paintings. Amidst all of the tropical lushness, I must have seen thousands of shades of green. The volcano shapes in “Absence,” a pastel painting completed last week (see post of JUL 20), resulted from this trip. Other, more pronounced effects will probably show up later.
Posted in 2012, An Artist's Life, Bali and Java, Inspiration, Travel
Tags: "Absence", "Love and Death in Bali", art, Bali: Sekala and Niskala, book, Budi, Dutch invasion, experiences, gestation, green, Hindu, historical novel, lushness, mass suicide, paintings, pastels, reading, rituals, royal family, sights, sounds, trip, tropical