meaning?

a short rant:

a friend of mine had a confrontation with a teacher over the meaning of his work, which got me thinking about the meaning of my own work. sometimes i think that people place too much importance on certain kinds of meaning. it seems like for some people, art has to be politically or emotionally charged to be respected.

what if my photography isn’t revolutionary? what if it doesn’t start riots or provoke life-altering conversation? what if it just makes you notice something small, about the beauty of someone’s skin or the lines the body creates in relation to its surroundings?

when you look at my work, you are seeing what i see, and because of that, you’re seeing me. and i think the most important thing for me about art is to truly see each other. to connect with each other, and with each other’s perceptions and insights.

i am not discounting the value of gritty, intense, in-your-face work. but you know what? i’ve been through a lot in life. the art i made during the worst time in my life is interesting, and i would probably get a lot more attention if all my work were like that, but i’ve changed. and i am a beauty-lover now. i love the way the shadows form under someone’s features. i love the muted tones of natural light. i love fuzzy halos of hair, a splashy colored wall, the way the lines converge on a horizon. i really really love seeing simple lovely pieces of this crazy life.

i still respect ugliness. there are dark pieces of each of us, and it’s important to recognize those. but it’s not required to do that all the time. even if you haven’t got anything really earth-shaking to say, say it anyway! someone’s going to appreciate it. even if it’s just you.

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