Images as 'keepers of the flame.'
I sincerely wanted to open my new blog with this reflection, or review of sorts. But life, work and diligence have hindered me until now.
I thought it would be fitting on this new blogging venture to compose an ode to photography.
A medium that has carried me so far.
So, why not share a recent viewing of Larry Sultan's work as my nod?
It is rare that museums will host a photographer as their featured exhibitor, so when I heard Sultan was coming to town, I definitely marked my calendar. And of course the show was powerful for me in a myriad of ways, some of which I would like to illuminate...
My relationship with photography has undeniably controlled my psyche for the past 12 years, good and bad. From the highs that came from my initial fascination, to the lows of extreme self doubt, I have certainly gotten a taste of what it is to be a creative professional in this quickly evolving and over-saturated environment.
An artist constantly has to ask, "why do I bother?" Sultan's show grounded me, and helped to reassure me that there is great value in pursuing a challenge such as this, no matter how long it takes to find the right direction. I not only appreciated his subject matter, but that the curator provided insight to the dynamics of photographing loved ones and how it can impact those individuals. There is a lot of vulnerability involved, for both the photographer and the subject, and nerves can overwhelm when asking someone to participate in an abstract idea just as much as sitting in front of the camera. I am not someone with brash and steady courage.
I was also greatly inspired by his life in education. As a teacher myself, I have dealt with a lot of insecurity with the decision to split my life and commit myself to a second career, but the benefits have proved to be far more powerful than any other path I could have taken. The life of a teacher is extremely trying and requires considerable patience, dedication and forgiveness. Forgiveness of self as well as others. What else does a young artist need in aiding their development?