What More Can I Say

Growing up in New York City was the best thing for a budding photographer like me. There were fabulous exhibits everywhere. At the museum of Modern Art, I saw a wonderful Cartier-Bresson exhibit and first became acquainted with the work of Edward Weston and Andre Kertesz. There was a cooperative gallery called the Association of Heliographers where I could see work by Paul Caponigro, David Heath, Larry Clark and others. There was lots to look at and take in, but very little to read.

What I’m saying is, there were photographs and maybe a short bio of the artist, but nothing telling us what the artist was trying to accomplish. Even an exhibit of Larry Clark’s that consisted of people shooting up and getting high had no text to go with it.

That was fine with me. The photographs said it all. What more was there to say.

That was then. Everywhere I look today there is a brief or long article by the photographer telling me why they produced the photographs, what inspired them and what they are exploring. That’s okay if that’s what they want to do, but I don’t think and operate that way. Finally, I saw a contest that I could enter where they just wanted one image. I got all excited until I read further and they just don’t want one image. They also want a paragraph describing the image.

I appreciate visual art the way I appreciate music. I just want to get into it and if I have thoughts, they are inspired by what I’m seeing or hearing. Do I need to know Mozart’s motivation when listening to The Magic Flute? Do I need to know Eric Satie’s, Edward Weston’s…

If when you look at an image of mine, you need a paragraph of my motivation and what I’m trying to accomplish in order to appreciate it, then I’ve failed.

~ by danbaumbach on April 26, 2015.

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