Sunday, June 10, 2018


How did it happen that clicking "like" has become the highest response to art? I don’t want you to “like” my art. I want you slow down and be moved by it. I want to make you think. To perhaps make you uncomfortable. I want it to raise questions. Or stir people to wonder. If not my art, well, then the art of someone else... and I want your art to do the same. It’s a noble and worthy goal. Part of the way that I started down the road of this craft was tearing images from magazines and putting them into scrapbooks. I collected photography books. I revered those images. I lived with them and thought about them for years. I knew the names of the men and women that made those incredible images and I wondered what it would take to be as them. It never occurred to me to ask what lens they used because I suspected deep down that whatever it took to makes those images was so much more a part of the artists themselves than the particular gear. It had something to do with determination, grit, a stubborn & patient refusal to do anything but whatever it took to make the photograph. I wonder if they got to their best work because they were busy doing it— not posting their initial successes on Instagram instead of digging deeper. Instead of taking the long slow road to mastering a craft. We are not teaching people to revere our work. We’re putting it so quickly into the world and it’s forgotten almost as fast. We’re treating it as though it’s disposable. Shoot. Share. Move on. There so often seems to be so little room on screens for depth. Please understand that this is not a rant against social media. As so many others do, I use it, and it has it's place. No, this is not a rant, it’s a plea— that we transcend social media and do something more with our work. It’s a plea to print our work, and live with it, and be slow to sign it. The way it used to be done, for a good reason. It’s a plea to put it in books or in places we can thoughtfully react to it, not merely consume it as typical mass media. Don't just fluidly scroll through, and occasionally click "Like". Slow down and thoughtfully react.

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