Photograph As Art

Central Valley (dark L) is on display at:

La Crosse County Administrative Center

212 N 6th Street La Crosse, WI

This is the Artist Statement

These photographs were made in the Art fashion. They are not Documentary, Street, Landscape, or other modes of photography, although they do borrow from those other areas of photographic intertest.

Having some interest in Art, I have read much about it, not just photographers like Stephen Shore, Todd Hido, and William Eggleston, but also painters, auteurs, architects, and musicians.

Art, first and foremost, is made out of compulsion. An artist must make art. It is immensely fulfilling and satisfying to lay paint, find the just right words or chords, or release the shutter, in this case. Art is practice, both in the law sense, and the football sense. Art involves lifelong studying; of the work of others, of tools and techniques, of the world.

Art has the result of communication. The interesting thing about this, is that what is communicated seems to be variable and completely subjective. A picture is not worth a thousand words, can barely be adequately described in words. Words can only rarely be adequately represented in pictures.

I decline to title my photographs or expand on the title of the body. The works meant something to me when I took them, and now when I look at them. They do have some commonalities, which should be obvious. They, hopefully, will mean something to you. And it will probably be something different for each individual. David Lynch believes that there should be some mystery, and I agree.

I will expand on how I make photographs. Stephen Shore points out that seeing happens in the mind, not the eye. My method is to put headphones in, and just walk with my camera. I study the world and things will stand out in my mind that need to be captured. Edward Hopper said he just wanted to paint sunlight on the side of a building. Sometimes, I am taking photographs of a sunbeam in my basement.

The challenge is to get the camera to accurately reproduce what my mind saw. My practice involves the goal of only taking one shot and having it work, or discarding it. The only adjustments I make in a computer are for the purposes of eliminating the technical differences between my camera lens and the lens of my eye.