The divine Donald Diddams (I am working out his nickname- 3D, Triple D, Divine Double D but am verging on Victoria’s Secrets so have to decide on just one) raised an issue on his blog about the cross pollination of influences we all have when making “aahrt” in this global, internet age. We are a click away from someone else’s vision and does it homogenize our view or expand it?
Recently, I went to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and saw three exhibits that triggered my creativity button. I’ve already blogged about Luis Melendez and posted some images here and here which I did after seeing his exhibit. You can view pieces from this exhibit( and two others I’ll talk about) on this website, arttattler.com.
After viewing some of Melendez’s images, I think you’ll agree that no one would look at my images and say, “Damn, that’s a Luis Melendez’s knock-off!” (I wish, btw. I friggin’ wish.)
But, what I took away was being in the presence of an artist with great love of his subject. A subject, I share in common with him. Does it sound too goofy to say after viewing his still-lifes, I wanted to love my subject just a bit more passionately? If this is cribbing, bring me more of it and if some skill comes with it, so much the better.
But, today, it’s Harry Callahan, an American Photographer, whose work was also on display and some of his images I actually have in my own portfolio. What? Yes, images taken by me but images he would recognize. The one posted is exhibit A. Was it taken by Mr. Callahan. No. Had I seen Mr. Callahan’s work when I took it? No. But when I saw his images, I did a double-take. I thought he might have been under the same tree in England, He displayed multiple frames of his tree. All of them were different angles from this image. I took this many years ago, so many years ago that it was in slide form and I had to scan it into digital form.
This exhibit would also be affirming to Razzbuffnik as I saw several of his shots in the Callahan exhibit also. On the arttattler.com, it is the street scene of a woman passing him. It looked the black and white version of many street scenes Razz has taken, most recently on his recent trip to Europe, Spain and Portugal. You can view several of Razz’s street images HERE.
I think my Lucy five cents on this topic of cross-pollination is that while we may stand under the same tree, or walk on the same streets, or strand of beach, what we shoot is invariably different. Our own personalities cannot be “lifted” either consciously or unconsciously. But, our love of our subject can grow more passionate by viewing other artists’ work..
The image from the Callahan’s exhibit that has caused me the most reflection can be seen HERE. Those familiar with this blog know I am totally taken with the architecture of Queen Anne’s Lace in all four seasons. I know I shall be visiting them soon with this image in mind.
And, Divine Triple D, I think that’s a very very good thing, as Martha would say.
Here’s what Harry Callahan said about the subject:
In order to make a statement about one’s photography, there should be some statement about oneself. I started photography as a hobbyist in 1938 at the age of 26. I had had no formal training. In 1941, as a member of the Detroit Photo Guild, I saw and recognized for the first time some fine photography by Ansel Adams. This was a revelation. It led me to search out my own way of photographing intuitively. Searching and stumbling revealed to me that my photography would be one of continual change.
That about covers it, 3D, don’t you think?
Let’s raise our glasses for a toast.
(sounds of “tap tap tap” on a crystal glass)
“Here’s to MORE Pollination!.”
(sounds of bees buzzing and/or mouse clicks)
©Pat Coakley 2010.
PHOTOGRAPHY CANNOT BE USED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION
**Select photographs from this blog and my wider archive can be purchased at www.patcoakley.com