“The painter constructs, the photographer discloses.”
This quote from Susan Sontag completely feeds into my insecurities as an artist. My medium is easily accessible and now that every smart phone has a pretty amazing camera and processing images no longer requires a darkroom, just about everyone considers themselves a photographer, or at least looks at a picture and says “I can do that.”
I’ve existed for years somewhere in the realm between artist and crafter. I gave up the darkroom when I started moving every year or two and after I had children. I drifted towards portable creating….water-based screen printing for a while then cross-stitching, quilting, and finally paper crafting. I was okay with the crafter in me taking an upper hand to the artist. I was still expressing myself and breathing life into my artist’s soul.
Then photography went digital and twenty-some years after I graduated from college with a BFA I once again found my muse. For decades I was using my camera to document our lives but now I was back to using it to “see.” I was composing. Or was I simply disclosing?
Photography, always a somewhat hands off experience, because so much of it happened in the camera and due to chemical reactions, became even more questionable in my perception of the art world. Once I was no longer in the dark room for hours with my hands in fixer and stop baths, anticipating and watching the images emerge, the process of “making art” was less definable.
Perhaps I really am just disclosing.
Each picture, standing alone, is simply the capture of a moment that I’ve paused in the midst of, and recorded.
Duets, which I started creating and posting to a Facebook page several months ago, are my attempt at constructing more than a stand alone image. They’re meant to play with or against each other. They’re paired because of sameness or dichotomy, because line or color plays with or against each other, because alone they might be fine but together they’re so much more.
Duets are together because they shout at each other or maybe you need to lean in close to hear them whispering. Occasionally they chuckle.
So there you have them. Twenty-eight silent dialogues that possibly help me define myself as an artist because instead of simply disclosing, I constructed them.
And here’s a disclaimer: I don’t question any other photographers as artists. It seems to be an internal struggle.
*This is my response so WordPress.com’s weekly photo challenge: Dialogue