Friday, November 13, 2015

Thought for the day:

I went to the Figge for the Thursday night opening reception for Wit + Whimsy The Photographs of Kenneth Josephson. I knew nothing about Mr. Josephson outside of seeing a few photos that had been included in a prior Figge exhibit. I remembered his work being fun and inventive. I liked how he took time to see the odd little things of our everyday life and transform them into Art by shifting the focus of the image ever so slightly. Tire skid marks on a paved road become calligraphy. Distorted lane markings on melted asphalt seen through a mat become a modernistic print.  I looked forward to experiencing more of his unique way of viewing the world.

The 84-year-old photographer spoke sparingly and let an overview of his work do the talking for him. It was quite eloquent. He only needed to add clarification here and there, to explain about lighting, timing, and the lucky gifts that occasionally befell the patient observer with a 35mm camera loaded with film.

His last story of the evening was about his trip over from Iowa City. It seems his car passed through one of our small Iowa towns, one no bigger than a few buildings around an intersection, and something caught his eye. A multitude of cracks in the road had been repaired and what would look like random lines of tar to most of us appeared like an exotic alphabet to him. He had the car stop so he could take a photo.

I can appreciate that level of spontaneity.

I have been known to pull up short and walk back to take a picture of spilled paint on a London sidewalk. The neat thing: pigeons had walked through the wet paint and left trails of intersecting birdie footprints. So much fun. That probably set off my own series of pigeon photos. (The benefit of digital photography—it’s so easy to take and store all the shots you may never get back to. As long as the memory space holds out, I’m good.)

The point I’m trying to make is to stay open to new uses for the familiar. If it works for the visual image, it’s up to us writers to make it work for our written words.

No comments:

Post a Comment