My photographs are a reflection of what I respond to in both life and others' artistic creations. I may try to be open to new ways of thinking & viewing; but I don't force myself to appreciate what others find as valuable. If it doesn't grab me, it doesn't influence me.
Wow. You have summed up what I believe about art better than I ever have. I would like to take the liberty of saving your comments for future inspiration.
Originally Posted by cahayapemburu
An article by David Gates in this week's "Newsweek" addresses this issue, and I found his comments quite interesting:
Originally Posted by Alden
Working to "please myself" isn't quite what I am after. Rather, I try to stay true to myself. Pleasing myself can be too hard... I'm often discouraged by my work, and not pleased with it.
But I can't seem to stop making photographs, despite those frustrations. And having gone through those painful moments of doubt, I think my work has improved over the last year. Of course, I don't want to jinx myself, as I am sure I will go through a bout of doubt and frustration again. And I often look at more contemporary work when I am feeling that way. It offers me questions and ideas to push through those doubts.
With any luck it will lead to work that satisfies, and rings true to me. And hopefully,the work will resonate with viewers, too.
I make photos to primarily please myself, although of course I hope other people will like my work and Iím thrilled when they do. Undoubtedly this influences me, as does the artistic environment around me, but I think itís rather shallow to consciously chase fads and fashion.
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Last edited by jnanian; 01-01-2008 at 07:31 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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Good questions, Alden.
I do take pictures primarily to please or satisfy myself - that's what motivates me. But also in taking pictures I hope to communicate, so some sort of feeling of recognition from other people feels vital too, by which I mean a 'connection' rather than public recognition or 'success' - very much in inverted commas here - but I 'm not saying either that I'm totally disinterested in wider recognition - just that I don't seek it very much, or haven't done yet, so it's obviously not THAT important to me. Ultimately I can't be bothered expending the energy on that side of things, and would always prefer to be getting on with it... I'm someone who needs an agent, or an assistant, in that regard! (I've always been like this, possibly it's a failing... But I hope to at least finish a fuller website in the near future). Public recognition is in any case a fickle beast - and not something I trust, or value unduly.
As for feeling a little out of the current.....I know that feeling, and I guess anyone who works in this day and age in film and in black and white will tend to feel that way. But... it's what I want to do at the moment, and so I'm sticking with it, though I never would say 'for ever' for anything, and will I hope ALWAYS be prepared to move on and change artistically if I feel drawn to do so. I think you have to do what you feel comfortable with, forcing rarely works or is worth it, UNLESS you do really feel stuck and dissatisfied with what you are doing you have to make yourself try something new, and strike out of your comfort zone. But feeling maybe you 'ought' to change, because of outside forces, without really wishing it within yourself, is something that I think should be ignored.
As for the conceptual emphasis of modern art and photography - I am interested in it, but a lot of it has become fashionable and vacuous. I think there are ideas present in my photos, but I would say it all comes from the heart, and it's only after or in the midst of taking photos that I realise what I've been doing, and where it comes from. Then I can pull it together a bit. My 'personal work' IS very personal, and this may not work so much for a more distanced approach.
I don't think you can separate concepts and intuition, or certainly not in my case.
If there's enough of 'you' in what you do, whatever it is and whatever approach you take, it will work, and is worth doing.
Last edited by catem; 01-01-2008 at 07:20 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Thanks to all of you for these wise words. I'm very gratified to find this forum where the interior tumult is not shunned. I have in the past brought up conflicting thoughts to other more materials oriented sites and the hatred of going near doubt set them off like a flock of ducks.
To be honest I am in the regretful fifities now, and have seen alot of oppourtunity pass me by. I indulged my inner whims ( and outer party animal ) maybe a little too much, so what you have here now is whats known as overcompensation. I still feel that I " coulda been a contenda " instead of a bum.... "
We're not all called, not all aggressively competitive, not all filled with a mission to show others our critical cause. Myself, I just love photography, and I'm still struggling to understand that thats enough. I admire too much the work of others, then use it to bash my head in. Tragically stupid, but the result of having blown an education, and a thousand chances in NY, LA, Seattle, and everywhere in between. Pardon me if this is tooooo sad, but
I really need to get to the next level and accept where I am. I appreciate your thoughts very much.
Julia Margaret Cameron took her first photograph at age 47...
Originally Posted by Alden
You are only in your fifties? Surely there's room and time for anything you want - so it's a matter of deciding what that is, but not feeling it's 'too late' for anything? No time like the present...
I believe that Cy DeCosse (http://www.johnstevenson-gallery.com...e_2007_tn.html) was in his eighties when he was discovered.