PICTURE ONLY GALLERY LINKS
The The Forks ~ there's no place like home gallery is here
The ART ~ conveys / transports / reflects gallery is here
The Decay & Disgust work/book is here
Another weekend has passed and so has another getaway. This time it was a trip to the Catskill PARK - a down-state mini Adirondack PARK of sorts - and the village of Phonicia. The purpose of the trip was to attend a birthday party for one of the wife's brothers.
That purpose aside, one of the things I like about Phonicia is the fact that the village is art oriented - live theater, galleries, craft shops / boutiques and the like, not to mention several excellent small eateries and a classic diner. And add to those features the fact that there is a rather large contingent of past-their-prime hippies (lots of white hair, beards, and pot). Suffice it to state, it's a very mellow place to be.
When staying in Phonicia, the wife and I never know what our sleeping accommodations will be - a bedroom in main house, a tent in the backyard or the Magic House. On this visit we were surprised and quite pleased with a new option, the art studio - a detached art studio with a bedroom. A place I found to be a rather inspiring place to sleep and dream.
All of that written, there is no question, in my mind at least, that an art oriented community is an all together pleasant and somewhat inspiring place to be. And, I might add, a the wife's family get together without the 100˚ heat and 100% humidity of the South Jersey Shore is also quite enjoyable as well.
There is a difference between looking at photographs - which has become a common cultural practice - or seeing the image. The latter refers to reconstructing the photograph by exploring the deep structure of the image--which involves the application of practical knowledge and creative insights and relies on the cultural or historical consciousness of the reader. Looking is the visual routine of readers, seeing is the visual practice of the literate. ~ Hanno Hardt
After a couple stress filled weeks for the wife and I - family and work related issues - we decided, at the last minute, that we needed the soothing tonic of a quick getaway and our anniversary provided the perfect excuse.
As always (except for those rare occasions on which we don't), we thoroughly enjoyed each other's company. And, since we always stay at the same outstanding, comfortable, and extremely friendly hotel when visiting Old Montreal - Auberge du Vieux-Port, recipient of a Travel+Leisure World's Best Award - our relaxation was virtually guaranteed.
One of my many candidates for my Best-Moment-of-the-Weekend Award was on Sunday morning when I was relaxing in bed reading the NY Times and the wife, who likes to take a morning walk, was out and about seeking a couple Tim Horton donuts for my morning pleasure. Needless to write, since she rarely disappoints, her mission was accomplished.
Consequently and amongst a host of other reasons, my advice is simple .... marriage to a good woman is highly recommended. And of course, as the wife will attest, the inverse is also highly recommended.
In the interest of complete disclosure, picture viewing bias wise, let me write that both Colberg's opinions regarding Wittmar's pictures and the pictures themselves are well within the wheel house of my picture viewing preferences of that which constitutes and defines good / interesting work. To be certain, not the only type / genre of picture preferences in my wheel house, but one that ranks in upper reaches of my picture making / viewing hierarchy.
That written, here are some excerpts from Colberg's essay:
.... If you look at photography to get first and foremost entertained, to get a quick and easy thrill, then it’s incredibly unlikely that Medebach is your cup of tea. It’s incredibly likely you will find these photographs “boring" .... I vehemently reject the correlation between a lack of visual drama and something being boring. Phrased alternatively, photographs with a lot of visual drama can still be incredibly boring, while the most minimalist pictures can contain large amounts of wonder (however you want to define that “wonder”) ....
.... The photographer’s approach...conforms to what most non-Germans typically think of as “German photography”: Carefully organized and seemingly distanced from its subject matter, using muted colours .... The photographs’ compositions are carefully considered, allowing the viewer to study the images carefully, looking for traces of what might be going on here.
No surprise, I'm in complete accord with those general thoughts and opinions. However, in an even more specific manner, I also agree with Colberg's thoughts and opinions on the depicted referents:
.... Given that so many of us live in places that have a Medebach feel to them (ed. - "dreariness, neatness", and the lack of "any kind of visual drama") – isn’t America’s Suburbia an even more extreme form of Medebach? – why would we want to look at pictures of them, when all we’d have to do is to look out of the window? For a start, we usually tend to not engage with the places we live in all that deeply. We do not look outside of the bubbles of our homes ....
One of the types of pictures which I especially like to look at (and "study" / contemplate) are those made by picture makers in relatively close proximity to their home environment - a referent with which they are very familiar and know in a manner that the casual observer / visitor does not. I consider the resultant pictures to be a visual form of insider information - perhaps more appropriately labeled as "in"sight - which, in the best of cases, imparts a very personal way to see a place / thing / people / event.
A manner of picture making which Colberg describes quite well:
As a photographic artist, you pluck certain notes from the world, and you then let those notes work together, to create your own sound.
IMO, hearing or being attuned to those "sounds" made by others can help one to be better attuned to the notes found his/her own world and consequently enable him/her to make their own very personal (and melodic) sounds.
One of my first reactions to yesterday's award notification was an affirmation of my long held belief of, if you want to create anything of lasting substance / note with your picture making, the absolute best way to do it, is with series of pictures in a focused body of work.
That conviction, and the fact that I don't believe picture / art making is a competitive sport, is why I have never really been a fan of photo competitions which, for the most part, are mainly single greatest-picture events. The idea of concentrating on making one-off stand-alone greatest pictures is, IMO, the antithesis of good picture making.
Be that as it may, I am prepping for a full out assault on a portion of the gallery world. In doing so, I am working on how to best present my work - that is, all of my individual bodies of work - online to that world. Obviously, online presentation is not the only way to do it so I'm putting together printed folios and books of my work as well. Re: the online presentation - I am exploring a couple of gallery creation / hosting services, one of which can be viewed here - take note of the autumn colors • 2013 album/series. It is a continuation of the single picture in this entry.
Feedback on the viewbook format / look / presentation would be appreciated.