Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Great Aesthetic Crisis...

The last few days I've noticed that I'm suffering from what I can only - quite pompously - call an aesthetic crisis. I'm not sure exactly what triggered it but it was likely the first large portrait coming back from the lab or the Roger Ballen show.

I have this niggling itch that tells me my images should look like this to adhere to some unwritten norm. It's like there is some magical, invisible grid that should lie across the picture plane and tell me where elements must fall.

Opposed to that is the deeply engrained, driving force to be original - whatever that means in our oversat world. This above (almost) everything else.

I should be satisfied that the work looks different but stress because of the same.

I've potentially been exposed to too much in recent times with reading various (far too) heavy critical texts, historical 'stuff' and looking at photographic anthologies. David's mentioning of various artists (Walker Evans, Bill Brandt) has also thrown me a bit.

Adding to that is another (!) crisis in that the portraits are as confrontational as I thought they would be and could be too harsh for the models themselves. They are not flattering and I'm very tempted to soften the blow some what. It's decision I have to make soon as it's an expensive exercise to change my mind too far down the production line.

This is all going to keep me wound up for months!

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