Monday, December 8, 2014

Three Interiors and a Statement of Faith

Three drawings, 9x12 charcoal, pastel, (and ink in the last one) of interiors, with and without windows. I'm visualizing out loud, feeling my way forward with some new (and old) ideas for me.  

An essay by Robert Hass on the photographer Robert Adams led me to the book Why People Photograph by Robert Adams.  I discovered that he's as brilliant a writer as a photographer.   He writes,

"The plateau [north of Denver] has been a focus of my work for twenty years both because it was near my home and because the location was and is characteristic of the American West in general, and even of the world.  Though not many landscapes are at once as beautiful and as damaged as this one, most are, as we have invaded them, similarly discordant. A typical vacant lot today is likely to have in it not only scattered vegetation but broken asphalt, styrofoam, and abandoned appliances; the air many times smells of wildflowers and rain, but as likely also of oil or sewage; there may be audible the call of the dove, but often against some sterility as the flapping of a plastic bag caught on barbed wire.

  If the state of our geography appears to be newly chaotic because of our heedlessness, the problem that this presents to the spirit is, it seems to me, an old one that art has long addressed.  As defined by hundreds of years of practice--I think this history is vitally important--art is a discovery of harmony, a vision of disparities reconciled, of shape beneath confusion.  Art does not deny that evil is real, but it places evil in a context that implies an affirmation; the structure of the picture, which is a metaphor of the Creation, suggests that evil is not final."

Indeed, this is what I believe, and want to believe, despite the often encountered contrary evidence.

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