3 Pictures – Aesthetics, Unconditional Love and Portraits in Honesty
August 28, 2010 § Leave a comment
When I see things, I am 100% opinionated. This is a bad side effect of going to art school and learning how to turn abstract ideas in to concrete arguments. Which is interesting sometimes, like why I decided I really liked my boyfriend’s band and why I didn’t like the footstool used in the installation in the display space at MECA on my walk home (it is too big, and too navy. it should have been more of an aqua).
One thing I did like for sure was Mike and Rebecca’s wedding in Orono last month, on July 3rd. I don’t very much like Orono, and I don’t very much like driving, but I do think celebrating your love with BBQ and buying all your champagne flutes at Goodwills/Thrift shops all over the state are two items at the apex of aesthetics.
So, I may have been “rapped at” on Congress St. walking home (“She’s swingin’ her keys, watch out for them GAnGSTAS!“) right outside of Angela Adams, of all place. And I might have been put in the strange position of wondering about a good friend’s parenting practices, while still feeling overwhelmingly unsure about questioning seeing as I have not lived with children since I WAS one. And the girl at Otto’s might have blatantly ignored me, reluctantly took my order, then played with her hair, then started eating behind the counter, then touched her face and made me feel super confused since all my previous experiences there have been big city, efficient and wonderful.
All those things might have happened but I’m not really worried about it when at the end of the day this little girl, swinging boldly off a branch of our family tree, clings to my leg when she’s unsure of things; she thinks I’m great fun when I chase her on my hands and knees. That she disappeared in to the kitchen for a minute and quietly pushed the kitchen chair to the sink, climbed up, and started pretending to do the dishes. And when she finally figured out how to climb in to the chair that was just a liiiiiittle to high for her we applauded her and she clapped and blew kisses to the room.
As long as all those things are true, all the other shit of life can fall away and I can be really really psyched.
So now lastly I’ve just dug way deep (almost two years back) in the photo archives. I wanted to find and see a portrait that truly honestly showed who that person is at the very core of them. I snap a lot of shots of ‘camera face’ – a phenomena in portraiture where people actually end up making themselves look worse in an attempt to make themselves look better. A thrust jaw, weight purposefully on one leg, puffed out lips: the list goes on.
But nothing nothing nothing looks more wonderful in photographs than unabashed honesty.
When I see this one I see a wise woman, watching thoughtfully. Her distraction looks intentional like she is making sure a conversation in the other corner of the room is going well for both parties. Her white hair flits around her head like a dove and although she is 81 years old there is warmth and energy under her cheeks that could go on for 81 more. Her clothing makes her look cultured, a traveler. Because I know her well, I know that all these things are true. But I think and hope that if someone just stumbled across the picture they might feel at least a couple of those things, too.
This all was a bit serious, I promise I’ll be funny again next time.