I tell my models:
Is Photography an easy way to make art?
"While photography is the easiest medium in which to be confident it is the hardest medium in which to have a distinct personal vision" Chuck Close
Photography is the easiest form of art of mimesis "the copy of reality". And is the copy of reality on which people are usually more attract of. And is the copy of reality most people will pre judge as good quality creation.
But when trying to do something else a part from mimesis photography can be even more challenging than other form of art. Because it quite completely copy of reality, especially now a days with digital technology that most people don't even need to craft their work in order to have a image ready to print, so most people with a camera will be confident that they are doing a good photo as soon as they can see a good image quality (not good art) in their LCD screen.
It means, if you want to go beyond mimesis you will better served though painting, sculpture, etc, since for abstract creation they are easier than photography. It also means that to self expression photography may be more difficult because you have to work with real things that you photograph instead of create from pure imagination. And that's why photography is the hardest medium to have a distinct personal vision.
You don't need much skills to press a button on the automatic camera or to throw paintings or mixing colour on canvas, or even to create shapes in sculpture, as far you can do it with good composition, harmony or even message, etc. But photography and other medias can demand more skills and craft if you want to make something else.
Try to do a platinum print with a view camera and tell me if it is easy.
If you ask a child if painting is easy they will tell that it is very easy because they feel confident doing so. Until they grow up while being told that the good stuff looks like tangible things like reality.
Photographing in two visual languages.
I have being photographing in two languages. The first one is the demanding language about the materialistic and tangible realism, that publicity and entertainment has being influencing the public as standard quality, although its quality is mainly on its technical aspect but empty essence, and which I have being trying to work less with.
The second one is the language referring to the world of ideas. The kind of work that when we look at, it gives a tick, and suddenly we are nowhere and everywhere, as if the time has stopped and is restrained in the work itself. This is what I have being looking for and its is not an easy task.
What most people haven't realized yet, is that the media has a lot to do about the message content. As Nail Postman once said, "technology is the biggest ideology of all". This is the main reason I photograph with analog cameras and pinhole. It is not about being wistful but about what Cicero would call the avoidance of the sense corruption. After all, soon or later we always go back to our roots, looking for something left behind. Specially when a culture becomes dominated by entertainment language.
Pinhole is photography at its essence.
The hard traces from tribal, pre-historical and greek vases are associated with nobility, strenght, innocence and sincerity. And the "soft" traces that art has being developed towards the imitation of nature and tangibility was identified with vulgarity, effeminance, corruption and meretriciousness.
Tribal, pre-historical, even medieval religious works and expressionism, with their hard traces, they have the meaning to reach not the material or the physical but the essence, the transcendence, the world of idea and abstraction.
While Greek sculptures and the renascence works are from a culture that was looking to reach the material, the goods, the meaning of being strong and beautiful or the meaning of have possessions and power. Even saints in the renascence paintings are pictured as desirable, tangible, Noble.
While the tangible imitation of nature is an appeal to the mundane pleasures (reason why it is associated to corruption of the senses), the "primitive" has the idea of pure and innocence beyond the material appeal.
Nude: Body Expression
Among many kinds or definition of love, there is the love for the missing, meaning the desire to posses what is not yet possessed, or what is not there. This first attempt to define or explain love was made by Plato.
Love was called by ancient Greeks as Eros, the god of love. Known as Cupid by the Romans. Therefore, the interpretation about love made by Plato - the desired for what is not yet possessed - associated to Eros, is known as Erotic love.
The feeling of missing something that is part of you, that can make sense to you or mean to you, but you don't have. The big empty inside.
I try this interpretation through her hand gesture. Trying to hold something that is not there. Trying to contain the feeling inside.
Her head is spinning in imagination about her desire. Looking away trying to escape from her own imagination boosting her pain.
I like to represent movements, she is not static but dynamic. There are movements not only through her body and gesture, but also from the backdrop.
Backdrops represents what hides others affairs, others intimacies. What we see is an invasion. The spectator looking at the photograph is a voyeur. She is seen without knowing her exposure.
The backdrop represents also a stage, it is an allegory, or an act, narrating the moment or the feeling to the photo spectator. Like in sculpture or in theater.