Remember, this started with the photo art. I began adding prose this past October at first as a lark, then kept it up because I like doing it, then committed to it because writing arguably drives me more than photography. Or at least as much. It didn’t take long for it to get more attention than the photo art. But this – this the blogging and the social media - started as a means of marketing the photo art.
I created 118 works of photo art this past year. A little less than the year before, and a lot less than the year before that, and deliberately so. My work has become much more complex in the last couple years and takes much more time to create. I wanted to emphasize quality over quantity; just a couple posts a week. Of those, I’ve added 69 of them to my permanent portfolio; a much greater percentage than normally winds up there, so the quality over quantity thing is working. Of those, certain works become my favorites.
To be the best of something during a year like this may be depreciating, and by any measurement it was a weird year. I started the year focusing on crowds and people, and then the pandemic hit and everybody went home. I promised myself I wouldn’t do florals this year and ended up doing some of the best florals of my life. I captured images more with the iPhone more than the Nikon because I found myself in situations in which I needed to be discrete. Weird. So without further ado, here are my five personal favorites from the year as the door hits its ass on the way out.
1. Alone In A Crowd
I love the color, the abstraction, the detail of the individual and the color bleed. It became one of my favorite works the moment it was finished. And I can never exhibit it or sell it. The work emerged from photographs captured at the St. Louis Art Museum, and as it features another artist’s work it can never stand as my own. It will live in a prominent location on a computer, and otherwise hardly see the light of day. Life’s like that.
2. Color Of The Day
Probably got the most attention this year, as far as social media hits. This rack of T-shirts was a marketing gimmick for the opening of a local ice cream shop, and shows why I consider it necessary to have a camera in my pocket (iPhone, in this case) at all times. Taken about six weeks after I completed ‘Alone In A Crowd’, it’s fairly clear how the earlier work informed the photographic capture for this one.
3. From The Labors Of Starving Artists
Particular corporations pay good money for staffs that design just exactly how to put products on shelves, in this case, vegetables picked by migrant workers for pennies an hour. It’s art. It’s just sitting there. But unlike ‘Alone In A Crowd’, it’s part of a constantly changing landscape, and doesn’t become art until somebody captures it and does something with it. Happy to be that someone. It’s interesting to me that my favorite three works are all wider than the standard 2:3 scale. Don’t know that it means anything, but it’s interesting.
4. Pickin’ Veggies
No, the initial photographic capture here did not come at the same time as the previous work, but it did come from the same place, the same aisle, even, just further down. I like the colors, the use of extrusions, and the contrasting human figures. Mostly, I suppose I like that I was able to produce a work involving people when Covid was making that difficult. Which I suppose is not a good reason. Critically, the work doesn’t really have a focal point (an ongoing weakness of mine) and it can seem sort of a blob. But, hey, art is personal.
5. High And Madison
Call this one the Top 5’s token noir work; there weren’t a lot but there were other noir works this year, as the following slide show demonstrates, and some of them actually sold (not this one). And, I suppose, the same lack of focal point mentioned with the previous work could be reflected here as well, though I personally am very happy with the composition. I love the infrared effect of this one and the eeriness the filtering achieved. There are techniques here I’d love to use more often, but the lighting has to be very specific for it to work.
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Finally, in no particular order, the rest of my top 25 works are here in this slide show.
All my life I have had to learn to do things differently. To see the world differently.