Up until the mid-1800s, art strove to be ever more
realistic. After that, it began to seek other forms of vision and
expression.....impressionism, surrealism, cubism, etc. Increasingly, as
even those forms of vision became widely explored, contemporary art has moved
towards an exaggeratedly individual expression. The universal has been
replaced with this individualism: the more edgy, outre, weird and bizarre the
artist's vision, the better. So we have artists wrapping the Australian
seashore and tossing salads for a thousand people from an abandoned El in lower
Manhattan; conceptual and presentational art.
But while true art has been about making you see the world in a different way, should the difference be merely gratuitous?
Photography suffers from its inherent perfection of pure representation:
the click of the shutter and you have what other art medias struggled millennia to achieve. Yawn.
So contemporary photography struggles to be non-representational:
bizarre, surreal, "obscene" (whatever that might mean), edgy or even unrecognizable of any reality.
What a waste.
What photography can do, that no other art media can, is to
represent exactly what was there.
To see deeply, as we so rarely do, to replace ego's vision with a surrendered witness.
Large format photography can achieve a God's eye,
With this large (8" by 10") film, detail and tonality are rendered with incredible precision and subtlety
...allowing space and light and the mass of detail and tone speak their own truths.
I work towards a meditational witness of Creation, an
opening and a surrender to see the glowing life of Creation.
Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God:
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes
- Aurora Leigh, Elizabeth Barrett Browning