Recently, maybe because of the art fairs going on in New York some of my discussions have been centered around ideas of beauty and desire . These words have few universal meanings that we all can agree on . They are spiked with a truth that sometimes reveal too much.
One of the argument in Plato's Symposium is that beauty is truth.Truth is beauty.Which raise the question, whose truth ? A lot more about this in future musing. It is often said by others that I tend to favor the image that is simple non demanding maybe sentimental even,I tend to think that I do not want confrontation in my home ,I do not want pictures that fight me, why ?
I think of my collection , like I feel about my lovers we do not have to talk, but after being together for a while there is always something revealed in the silence.A comfort, a question it doesn't scream but you notice and respond .Light moving across surface maybe that is a secret language we are forgetting.
So the other day after a screaming match with someone about another non-subject time and place(really why we did not see each other at 2 oclock).The discussion turned to photographs I am looking at and a new argument started about these two.I feel they are beautiful. They are both formal and have ties to art history that is immediate .They both have back stories but I will speak about only one.
The portrait is by Deborah Luster's from her Opus One Big Self.A series of portraits taken in the Angola Prison Farms over a period of time the photographs evolved,they started out seeking answer to a terrible tragedy and ended empowering the sitters,If I remember the story correctly this prisoner would stand at the edge of the photo sessions quiet and shy... but he attended them all, never saying anything until one day he spoke , he wanted his picture taken ... but felt Deborah would not be interested because of his scars.She was but did not want to offend and so here we have a extraordinary beautiful picture of a beautiful man.
I once model for Mark Kessell an artist that created a group of images called The Stranger Inside. So many images were made of me that his gallery asked for him to stop most of the images were not recognizable just blips of light and shadow on a silver plate funny people how knew me, knew my spirit a lot of these images went into museum collections.The one I kept is the one that say most definitely you are looking at John.There is a sadness that hint at the 19th century
We never know, I sometimes think, how can we see who others really are.Is it the perfect exterior,their acts.Being A big Picture of Dorian Gray feeling neither tells the whole story. I lay around most of the time like a guarded shape shifter, the public person being very out going. Remember, new nick name Big Happiness, may only be a public mask.and then again maybe not.