Everything changes all the time, even art, especially for the artist.
I was thinking about Edward Weston who photographed bell peppers with an idea about sensuality in mind. In the final black-and-white form, they are some of the most seductive and curvaceous figures ever imagined. They suggest tenderness, resignation, vitality, submission, and many other things to other people. That they are capable of suggesting ideas is the art of his work.
When I was first learning about photography back in the day, Mr. Weston's images were interesting on a technical level to me because they were simple objects with interesting textures and lighting. I was not sophisticated at all. Back then, as a novice shutterbug, I took a picture of something and moved on to the next thing, did not understand iconic imagery or metaphor or other intellectualizations of shape and form.
I had heard about artists creating multiple images of one subject, but I didn't then realize what it meant to be in pursuit of an idea through image making. I joked about being in my fencepost period or my apple period and didn't understand transcendence as an artistic pursuit. Few teenagers do.
But now, as a novice writer in a different phase of life, one who wishes to express some exact concept or idea, I can relate to the images made by Weston. The idea's inception is instantaneous, but the execution of the idea takes forever sometimes. It seems always elusive, always tantalizing, sometimes discouraging but still fascinating.
Producing a beautiful bell pepper - one that becomes something much more than a bell pepper - an image suggestive of a curving female form is quite a feat, as is writing intense passion or playing love through music or dancing jealousy on stage. Those concepts are variable and hard to define, almost impossible to pin down for more than a moment. They are ephemeral, like a bubble that lands on your fingertip and then bursts. But that quality of being delicate and exquisite is what makes it so satisfying to come close to attainment, always realizing that perfection is impossible in the end.
Causes Christine Bottaro Supports
The Nature Conservancy, California State Parks, The United Way