Monday 27 February 2012
what is beauty
things are going to change around here.
i have been thinking for a long while about this question of beauty. and the question of art.
when i first started taking pictures some three or four years ago, everything i shot was very instinctive. i am a visual person. i feel drawn to light and shadows, contrast, shapes, colours. i frame certain things, and that i do in a particular way. a way that is informed by a certain aesthetic.
only this aesthetic has been changing rather radically in the past year.
i feel more and more at odds with my own photography. i'm looking at images and think: pretty, but i don't like it. or rather: that's not what i want at all. it may be beautiful, but it's got nothing at all to do with my vision.
more and more often i feel i'm not being true to myself in posting pretty pictures that are falling far behind what i'm really after. i've been debating this for a long time. i wondered whether i'm being precious. or deluding myself in thinking that i'm even able to do anything else than pretty pictures.
i also realise that many people might like pretty pictures far better than what i have in mind. that i might be on my own if i go through with this. i don't want to disappoint, i don't want to offend. but at the end of the day, i have to stick to what i believe in.
this is all tied in with the big questions about beauty, about art. it would be too easy to emulate the style of artists i admire, and it wouldn't be true. i've had very close ties with art book publishing, including art photography, for many years, and i've been an avid reader online, following many inspiring photographers' work over time. i could rattle off a list of names, i could analyse the kind of aesthetic that gets me. but what would it help? even in art photography, there are trends. morbid poses, stark lighting, melancholia, crudeness, vast landscapes, night shots, flash etc. etc. and what good would it do to mindlessly imitate.
i'm not saying ugly is the new pretty. but i guess i'm saying beauty is more profound than a beautiful surface. and that it is tied in, for me, with a certain depth that is fed by something beyond that particular picture i'm taking this moment.
the bottom line is, i have to find my own way. and it may be a bumpy road indeed. there may be stretches of silence. there may be work you'd find very odd. i don't even know myself.
you know, take care in high winds.