WonderWorks 2-enVision Introduction - October 17, 2017
I have been inspired by many fine art photographers during my career. George DeWolfe was the first. He not only inspired me with his work, but taught me the path to creating my own. Ansel Adams taught us all; you can’t be a fine art photographer without having studied his masterful works and reading his books. His work was and is absolutely amazing. Sebastião Salgado, Lois Conner, Edward Weston, there are more.
The early part of my career was focused on capturing the beauty, the majesty, and the incomparable subject matter of Nature. My mission was to awaken the inner chid of my viewers in order to to help them to see the world around them once again with childlike wonderment. After almost losing this wonderful world to a monster that grew within me, I wanted to do that and I wanted to share that with everyone I could reach. I reached a lot and I am grateful for that.
I do not mean to minimize that part of my career. I learned so much and shared so much; but something was missing for me. I not only wanted to produce images that my viewers loved, took home and enjoyed, but I wanted to have a shared artistic experience with them. I wanted to reach into them and them into me, tell them a story and have them experience its meaning. Thats when I found Julia Anna Gospodarou and her associate Joel Tjintjelaar; and while they occupy an artistic space different than mine as architectural photographers, they helped release me from some self imposed shackles and barriers to my artistic expression.
Many of you know that my roots are in music. I was classically trained. Along the way, however, I fell in love with jazz; pure jazz. Bear with me a minute while I provide a definition of Jazz and then tie those ideas back into this narrative about my emerging 2-enVision Series.
This is an excerpt from an article written by pianist/composer DC DowDell. It is an excerpt of a copyrighted article from his website “A Passion forJazz" which he kindly allowed me to reproduce here. www.apassion4jazz.net/jazz.html
Jazz is not the result of playing a tune, it is an idea that is created in the mind. It is a language, sometimes intimate, often boisterous, but always layered with experience and life. Jazz is not found in websites or books or even written down in sheet music. It is in the act of creating the form itself, that we find Jazz.
Art in general hosts an invitation for a viewer or a listener to invest a personal attentiveness; emotional rather than intellectual. It is this personal connection with music and with all art that enables the patron to actually experience what is being communicated, rather than merely understanding the information.
Most genres of music involve the listener in the realm of the completed work as it was scored. Jazz draws the onlooker to a deeper place, that of a partnership with the artist, of being with the artist when each spontaneous phrase is created.
In college I formed a small trio. Electric piano, string bass and vibes. We played in smoky little bars and nightclubs. We would take a song that we hoped the audience found familiar, play it through one time in its familiar form and then use the chord progressions and rhythms of that song to spontaneously create new melodies and rhythms. The intimacy among us and the emotional bond with the audience was magical. Some of them knew, as we did, that what they were experiencing was a once in a lifetime, never to be repeated event. An adaptation of a musical idea created by someone else and then re-created in our minds, on that stage, in that place, in that moment, just for them.
Look to the classical paint artists. Van Gogh, Monet, Picasso, and so many others. Their paintings are not stroke for stroke, line for line, perfect, and accurate replications of their subjects. No, they are images that use the form of their subject to draw the viewer into an experience, a vision that those artists want to share with their viewer. Their paintings are their interpretation of their subjects, their personal adaption, their personal vision.
Photography artists have been strapped too long with the title of Photographer, rather than artist. As Julia Anna Gospodarou explained so well her in her book: Photography is from the greek photos, genitive of phos meaning “light” and graphe “representation by means of lines” or “drawing”, together meaning “drawing with light”. Like an artist with a pencil in their hand, or a pen, or any other tool, photographers have the technology available to them today to manipulate the shapes and volumes in their photographs with the light delivered by Mother Nature to create inspiring, visionary, meaningful, and artistic expressions of the subject matter before them that is consistent with their vision; and do this in such a way as to draw their viewer into a shared experience. My tools in my hands are just as useful, and some would argue more useful, in achieving those goals than any tools that may have preceded me. Taking you back to my roots for a moment: one of my professors who loved Ian Anderson and what he could do with a flute on the Jethro Tull albums (given his classical training) used to tell us “if Mozart were alive today, I can assure you he would not be playing a harpsichord".
So I hope you’ll join me on this journey. And as Minor White taught us in his paper on Equivalence: The Perennial Journey (http://www.jnevins.com/whitereadiung.htm): what I present to you may seem like an abstraction, as obscure or ambiguous because it will be a combination of design and an aesthetic object. But the images I present will be designed to be “extractions” not abstractions and, provided you do not reject them at first glance, my hope is that they will cause you to dig deep inside and invent your own personal subject for the images. It is that process that will hopefully cause us, you and I, to mirror one another and share the vision and the experience that I hope to deliver.
I will take my time with this journey. I will write more often and share what I am up to. Each concept with be a 4-part series. However, I will not disclose the intended vision of each series. It is my goal, my hope that they will accomplish that on their own.
From Basics to Fine Art, Julia Anna Gospodarou and Joel TjintJelaar
Black and White Printing, George DeWolfe
www.apassion4jazz.net/jazz.html, DC DowDell
Equivalence: The Perennial Journey, Minor White