I enjoy quips, quotes, one-liners and nuggets that I can store in my mental rolodex to retrieve as circumstances warrant. Whether I need to gather myself to complete a task ("In for a penny, in for a pound"), inspiration to hit the gym ("you'll be glad you went"), or just an attitude adjustment if I'm having an off day ("where focus goes, energy flows"), these little gems come in handy. I saw one the other day that I jotted down in my phone's notebook app - "Time is not a renewable resource". It caught my eye because it seems that we are surrounded by marketing messages assuring us that we can re-purpose, recycle, redesign, redecorate, renew, revamp, revitalize and basically rework our entire lives and that with "a healthy diet and exercise" we will live forever to re-do all that we have done. My God I'm exhausted just thinking about it! In our society finite anything is deemed to be problematic when it should be considered a gift. I like reminders that "this is not a dress rehearsal", to keep a level of awareness that this very moment will be a memory in the next few moments and that as long as I am taking steps that bring about good results for myself and those around me, the day has been worthwhile. I don't always succeed in my efforts, but when I don't, I try to find the learning opportunity so that if a similar circumstance presents itself, I will have a higher likelihood of a better outcome...not quite a re-do, but certainly a forward looking will-do!
I grew up in an era when graffiti was considered artistic anarchy - I loved it and still do! (At one time I wrote a paper on the question of art vs. vandalism - a challenging subject!) Recently I was very excited to be able to visit the Beyond The Streets exhibit in Brooklyn (after following this organization on Instagram and enjoying the Los Angeles exhibit from a distance) and it was fantastic. The art form has evolved from the days of my youth from simple tags to the current mega-murals that beautifully occupy the sides of buildings, among other locations. This exhibit does a wonderful job of putting into context the evolution of the art form and the artists who risked life, limb, and police action to produce their pieces. Social commentary and artistic expression are not strange bedfellows, but this art was immediate in an era when mobile communication meant yelling out a window, carrying protest signs, or using a walkie-talkie (but only within range). The political and social environment was challenging and these artists took to the streets to share their opinions and in the process participated in creating legacies that have stood the test of time and helped bring amazingly creative art into the mainstream.
The three pieces above by Dan Witz.
I recently heard an actor / director during an interview explain why he edited his own films. He said that after directing a few films he began to edit so that he could tell a version of the story that he envisioned one frame at a time. I was struck by that interchange because when I initially decided to produce and sell prints of my art I interviewed professional photographers and selected a very talented woman to shoot the pictures; we worked together for a number of years and she was very generous with her time and interest in supporting my goals. When I finally reached a point that I wanted to take more control of the process so that I could take all of the ideas that I had in my head and push them to their limits, she generously guided me in selecting all of the gear that I now have in my studio. Trust me, I have made a lot of mistakes but I have also experienced plenty of happy accidents that in combination have allowed me to appreciate and explore more ideas than I thought possible. While it is true that I could reproduce my art more efficiently if I continued to work with the professional photographer (I shoot between 900 - 1,000 photos of each work of art), but then I wouldn’t have the opportunity to share with you the unique outcomes that I believe add another layer to the original artwork’s story and your viewing experience. I have plenty of ideas for future photographic pieces that will build on my current collection (along with plans for new art that will foster derivative photographic works) – I hope you will enjoy watching them come to fruition!