One of the subjects I look for when capturing photographs is anything that can seem completely ridiculous if perceived in a certain context.
It’s not that simple, of course. The art I create is fueled by a number of elements that may, I stress MAY, have no relationship to the actual subject. This is not an especially wise philosophy for an artist in a world in which sales are driven, as one veteran told me, “Not by how well I draw, but by WHAT I draw”. Putting it another way, commercially successful artists start with the subject and create art from there. I start with artsy elements that appeal to me and worry about the subject last. But, once more I digress.
The shopping mall closest to me is about 1/5 empty and often can take canon shot down its concourse without inflicting injury. Its largest customer base are the “older” citizens who walk laps within it to get their exercise, and I found that wonderfully funny until I started doing it myself. Several corners of this concourse are home to a dozen large gumball machines backed up to each other in large squares, three machines to a side. I’m convinced the mall owners had them placed there for esthetics rather than consumption – c’mon, who eats gumballs! The machines are filled with different colored balls, so they create splashes of abstract color in space that would otherwise be drab and lifeless. The more I thought about it the more absurd they seemed. But, yeah, color. I gave the capture a tight crop to a 1x3 scale, pushed it towards abstraction and changed the lighting to add a sense of mystery, which should add to the absurdity. We’re talking gumballs that have sat in those machines for years – you bet your ass biting into one would be a mystery!
All my life I have had to learn to do things differently. To see the world differently.