Work From the Heart

Truck, Highway 7, Mississippi 2005

Today I did a portfolio review with a photographer who is making a new body of work to try to fit into certain art shows. This artist seems to feel that her prior work wasn't taken as seriously as it should be by certain reviewers. I feel torn with this idea. Personally I am a bit stubborn when it comes to the how and why that I make my photographs, so the idea of trying to fit has never crossed my mind. I figure that people will either get it or they won't, I will continue down my path.

For this artist, I believe that both (or all three) bodies of work are valid and honest and deserve equal attention. I feel also that as photographers we react to what we feel as we see the world. By this I mean that our heart tells our hands to react to what our eyes see. The part of the equation that matters most is the heart. I understand, very much, the need to show and have our work accepted by our peers and judges, yet I hope that all photographers see the value in creating art from ourselves and letting the rest fall into place. Sometimes I think that we don't need to explain or justify our decisions, sometimes we just take pictures that we feel are important.

1 comment:

Nicholas G. said...

Interesting. This seems like it's always an issue that comes up with photography, though, given the lack of strict boundaries between "art photography," "photojournalism," and "commerical" work. Any given photo can be all three, depending on context.

And there's always a "choose your ancestors" question. If the photographer you mention got to pick a well-known photographer to have a two-person show with, would she choose Lewis Baltz? Jeff Wall? Nan Goldin? Douglas Huebler? Those are arbitrary divisions and yet they mean a lot.