Which photographer would you choose?
While I was in grad school in the mid 80's I reluctantly became in charge of the visiting artist program. I was the grad student representative. My job was to help select visiting artists for the various art disciplines. The job of the visiting artist was to exhibit work, to give a gallery talk, to interact with graduate students and to generally allow a bit of themselves to rub off. I was, at first, not enthusiastic about this increased responsibility but slowly I saw it as a golden opportunity. When the time came to select a visiting photographic artist I made the choice without consulting any other grad students. I chose Emmet Gowin. It was a very selfish choice. My reason was quite simple. I wanted to see his prints. Reproductions just didn't do it. I also wanted to see him working in the darkroom and using his "contour printing mask". My selection was, to put it mildly, not popular. "He's too conservative" "He's too apolitical" He's too non- conceptual". The objections went on and on. I stood my ground. I didn't make any friends in the program when I told them that the real reason they did not want Gowin was because they were afraid of him. I said that they feared him because when they looked at his work they realized how good it was and they knew they were not willing to pay the price to become this accomplished (grist for another thread?).
Anyway, after much haggling Gowin did accept the offer made by the University and fulfilled all the obligations. I had accomplished all of my objectives and the other students became completely satisfied and in fact charmed by him.
My question, if you were King or Queen and could make the same decision I did, which living photographer would you pick and why?
Severian, Autarch of Urth, Journeyman in the Society of the Seekers of Truth and Penitience , aka Jack B