Sunday, June 14, 2015

Anger and Blood--or something like that

I am in an angry mood—okay, I stay in an angry mood. Just jumped into a Facebook conversation that I should have stayed out of but sometimes I just have to throw the BS flag.

People that do not understand that photography is a visual language and not a technical exercise eventually bore me—eventually is defined as very quickly in my lexicon.

Anyway I am doing crucifix again. I am fully aware that religiously themed art is out of favor and even to some offensive—good! I don’t photograph for other people I do it for me. I need something new to go on my wall for the next open studio so I am reworking photographs of the crucifix, which I frankly, Scarlet, think of as religious art.

Life sized crucifix at a Catholic
cemetery in Galveston
The photograph below is one that I had never processed because at the time I was involved with a project that it did not fit into. It was taken at an antique store on Yale not far from the studio. It was like finding a mother lode of crucifix.
On the original image I included the price tag because it was taken when I was still working on The Price of Christ images. On the ones I am redoing now I am removing the price tag when it is convenient. If not I leave it. And, No, they don’t look like photographs. I don’t consider them photographs. And if THAT offends you, I don't care. They are images that just happened to have been given birth inside a camera rather than at the end of a brush or pen and brought to fruition in my somewhat convoluted thought processes. A couple of them I like.

original with tag
reworked without tag
There is so much that I would like to say about this photograph—this is still a photograph. It has not been converted to an image yet—but it probably will be. The crucifix is only hinted at but I think I have included enough that anyone that is familiar with crucifix will get the picture. It is like any language, it does require some prior knowledge of the 'words.' I do not know that the iris, or as my mother would have called it, the flag, has any religious connotation. But as my friend Paul says, “It drew me.” It did. Even now it does. Do I know exactly why I took this photograph?  Do I know what meaning I find in it? Not exactly but I have some fairly strong suspicions. When elements are placed within the frame of a photograph they take on relationships and I find an interesting relationship between the flower and the legs and feet of Christ. Could I verbalize that relationship? With a little effort I could come close probably to several different thoughts. Right now that to me is not important.  I just know that having this bright burst of color, having the meaning associated with flowers, especially the delicacy of the iris, at the foot of Christ on the cross says something to me that seems to be of importance. The color of the iris, purple, that I have chosen to enrich,  has an association to royalty, nobility which adds its own metaphorical note.

This is what I work for in most of my personal photography. I don’t often succeed but I still find it necessary to try. As an explanation, I distinguish between my personal photography and my throw away photography. On rare occasions they are the same or one sneaks into the other, but generally they are miles apart.

There is a verse from a Stephen Crane poem that comes to mind. At the line where it says, "What? You define me God with these trinkets," Janet always left the room when I read A Little Ink More or Less, because she swore that I was going to be struck by lightning at any moment and she didn’t want to become collateral damage.

“Where is Hell, Show me some bastard mushroom, Sprung from a pollution of blood, It is better.”

I can read that with a considerable degree of conviction which it what primarily concerned Janet.

Maybe the iris has sprung from a pollution of blood. I am not sure what I see that makes the image important; just to suffice, to me it is.

Here are a few of the others…

1 comment:

  1. I like it,cannot put it into words (you are so much better at that)It is powerful.