Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Oldest Child Prodigy

I've finally figured it out. I am a child prodigy. I mean, if you think about my abilities in terms of what a 5 or 6-year-old might do, I'm really quite amazing. I'm just a bit of a late bloomer, that's all. I don't see any reason why being 3-(mumble) years old should preclude me from being considered a child prodigy. Just look at my sense of humor! Fart jokes galore! So there.

My lamp, midmorning
(Lamp made by Claudia Aguilera, MFA
graduate of UNCG Interiors program 2013)
Anyway. My parents got me a book called 20th Century Photography, sort of a dictionary of photographers each with at least one example of their work and a bit of a bio + surface analysis. I'm really enjoying it - I've got some things I want to try shooting after looking at some of the work. I think it would be interesting to restage some of the more famous photos with objects or people from street photographs or something. I am letting that idea percolate…On the other hand, the I've always told my students that the word 'interesting' is rarely the adjective that you want people to use when describing your work (or your cooking…or child rearing techniques…) Maybe that's only true when you are doing things that have practical end results though. Maybe sometimes art should be interesting - after all, that's what I want from a book or an idea or a play. At its core, I want it to be interesting. After that, anything else is just icing. Things have to be interesting before all else (although not in the same way and not in that surface way that people would misinterpret me meaning, if anybody were reading this.)

I'm really impressed by these photographers who can stage wonderful shots. I cannot figure out how to get good images out of anything staged, I have to rely on wonderful things happening while I'm around. This makes it somewhat difficult here in uber-sub-urban Greensboro where there aren't a lot of things to look at. There are still things here, but it's not like being in Mexico or on the back roads of Southwestern VA. It's just sameness and absence. Nobody is to be seen and anything that is to be seen exists within the bounds of mediocrity, trimmed, pruned, mutely colored, and utterly superficial. Maybe this is something that will actually strengthen my abilities. On the other hand…

It does give me time to organize the images I have collected and to work with them. When I was in Mexico, it was akin to unraveling a cloth with one hand while weaving with the other. I would finish working with one image and have 260 new ones I had created that day that needed to be culled and sorted and contemplated. 

Maybe a triptych on boredom would be just interesting enough to make me feel productive while doing the useful but unglamorous work of organizing my work. Ooh, that sounds just pretentious enough to work!