Friday, July 30, 2010

Art, Photography, Me

Alice. Angelic Alice. Photographed in the late afternoon light. Near the garden. The yet-to-ripen tomatoes. The purple cosmos. The Lime basil. The blue forget-me-nots. Her blue eyes. Here; see:

Yesterday, I photographed flowers. Today--Alice.

An artist once asked me, “Bruce, what’s your favorite photograph.”

I closed my eyes and imagined my photographs. I answered, “I have favorites, of course, but my most favorite image is always the next photograph." Like this one, from this morning, the wind in the wildflowers:


Often, I ask myself "What am I called to do?" And "How can I make the world a better place."

To paraphrase Rumi; I remind myself: I need to be permanently astonished. The second thing I need is love; draw upon love for vision and energy. And the third thing is sacrifice--give the drop that is myself. To be astonished, to become more like a child, to be nourished by being amazed—and by giving.

Photography is my passion. The pursuit of wow. This is the way I try to live my life. Every where I turn and see I truly am astonished. I celebrate life and the spiritual ties that bind us together and I do this by trying to be always astonished. Simone Weil said: "Absolute attention is prayer."

When I photograph an icon, for example,  I both draw upon my degree in art history and years working as a documentary photographer, and in a profound sense I also forget the past , turn toward the icon in a prayerful manner and I become truly astonished. 


Tielhard de Chardin wrote: "Seeing: We might say that the whole of life lies in that verb - if not ultimately, at least essentially."

We design the world by the way we choose to see it. I choose to see beauty and to share that wonder, that astonishment with people.

Of course, my goal is not to change the world all at once, but one person at a time; by reaching out with my eyes wide open--seeing; being astonished; mending the part of he world that is within my reach--to bring light where there is darkness. Peace and Beauty.

I truly see myself as an artist, whether I'm photographing people, nature, or wedding. And, I believe, I work with my camera in the same manner a painter works with a brush or  a pianist a piano--every day.

A few facts: I graduated from Manhattanville College in 1974 with a degree in Art History and in English. It was at this time I began developing my photographic vision, specializing in nature, creative documentary photography and portraiture. My first job was working as a corporate writer and photographer at Hearst Magazines where I had the opportunity to shoot portraits of many editors and writers and business professionals. During lunch I could be found wandering the streets of New York City camera-in-hand, often with a quote stuck in my pocket: "I never look for a photograph. The photograph finds me and says, "I'm here."


I have been making original fine art photography for over 20 years. And although my work is included in many private collections around the world, I have always had to support myself as a sales and marketing professional. Alas, photography is my passion. And I think I love portraits so much because I love people so much--and people seem to love me.

Admirers of my photography have said:

"Thanks You for making my life more beautiful with each of your photographs."

"You have enriched my vision in the most; in the gentlest, softest, least intrusive way. It has been like a prolonged class in photography."

"I guess there is a reasons people pay to get portraits taken......stunning......it also takes a very special artist to make such a portrait. The connection and human understanding are vital. I expect that few people trully have such an opportunity--to see their souls in their own faces."

"Browsing your website is like walking through a museum and watching a documentary on the history of photography......moments in time captured in one frame of film. Just moments that once were and now are gone, but oh, how much they say to us. They are but just one frame of millions that compose our lives, our history and out culture. And some how you manage to capture a whole life, a complete story in history and those details that define us as a society in just that one frame..."

And yesterday a friends writes:

"Well, you know, I am one of your biggest fans. And my friend...you are an artist...we do not make much room for people like you. It's a shame. However, you have your friendship with Susan, your garden, your cooking...all kinds of ways to put beauty into the world. I think that is what you should expect of yourself, as an artist. As long as you have a roof, food, emotional comfort, what else do you really need? It takes great courage to be authentic..."

And this morning, I read: "Combine all your healthy wishes, dreams and hopes into investing your talent and in the acquisition of knowledge and wisdom. If your art contributes to society, or to the the art enthusiasts around you, then you are rewarded honestly, and more so it you make yourself useful to the world around you." ~Samuel Adoquie

1 comment:

  1. Oh, she`s so cute! A beautiful picture! :-)

    Greetings from Austria!

    Nora

    ReplyDelete