JPG Magazine: MsB

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Can't stop at 55

Been out cruising' the photo blogs tonight. There is some amazing work out there. And done by people I keep thinking of as kids. Wrong, I'm just old. I'm waiting to see my profile turn over tonite. Do you suppose it will. Like an odometer. Is 55 the magic number?

Anyway the fotos. By twenty somethings. Amazing what they see. Or what I've missed. My peers, my hero's, my generation, Diane Arbus in B&W. She took normal and made it odd and odd and treated it as normal. She was my personal favorite, dark and tortured artist. I read somewhere she photographed two rolls a day and developed and printed them by night. I had to do that. For over a year. My whole house became a darkroom. sometimes I would loose a day.

And then it was Cindy Shermon. So grand, more like theater. I became my photo. My dream girl. And the props. Never got tired of dressing up. I became my own personal photo Barbie. Or Jackie O. or the Ho on the corner. Ended up dark too. I had to shoot slides because I could develop them my self. I wanted color and the one hour photo wouldn't print them.

My favorite Ken was gay. Those were the Mapplethorpe (careful with this link) days. No bullwhips for my muse. Cigarettes and smoke, Betty Davis eyes. But the flowers were exquisite, well to me. I do tend to be a bit narcissistic. Those were the days my friend, I thought they would never end.

But life got in the way. Mainstream, student loans, back taxes, accountability. The tortured struggling artist had to go. I lost my drive and Passion in my quest for the real. What ever the fuck that means. All that came out of my camera was the mundane. No vision. And I settled for what I got. I accepted life as it became and learned to be ok.

And I stopped taking pictures. Husbands and business became the muse. because for me, I only knew how to be a tortured artist. I, not an artist that can take the world and undo its mundane and make it beautiful. These new photographers take edgy and hip and not have to resort to shock for value. No need for Joel Peter-Witken creepy attached to almost unrelated intellectual thesis. No pics of family children snapped in a way as to try and define the distinction between soft porn and exquisite family photos.

And the pictures I am seeing are not a gesture at gross manipulation. What as been contrived is almost indiscernible. Good cameras and good eye for wimsey in a cutting sort of way. And did I mention beautiful. Breathtaking some. Thoughtful, unpretentious, fun. I'm sure there's plenty of the other stuff out there and granted I have been flipping through the pages of JEPG. But all I know is I like it.

I don't know, maybe at 55 I have become a prude. I suppose it all had its place and now I am moving on. It may be a sign that I have finally arrived solidly in adulthood or I have finally begun my next journey. The move is to find beauty. No questions asked. Or than maybe just no answers. Only unsolved beauty.


asha said...

Happy Birthday. It's all good.

Christine said...

Happy Birthday to you!