Substance and Style

I love Barbara’s style of photography, which she just described to me as “vernacular – the everyday, but an expressive approach that conveys a deeper, conceptual meaning in an effort to get at some sort of truth.”
Mateo, the local barber at legendary Quintana’s Barbershop.

My style does the same thing, I would guess, but usually through the depiction of people – as if they were characters in a play, frozen in time to form an interesting narrative or to make an editorial/cultural comment. Going around with Barbara on this trip I find myself looking more through her lens; this is good. We have a similar point of view on the world anyway, so when I pause to point my lens at something I would normally just acknowledge it forces me to compose my thoughts on the subject, and perhaps extract a deeper meaning in my effort to make an interesting picture.

I’m thinking of the oddity (to us anyway – we’re visitors) of the Hereford steer painted on the side of a grain container alongside the road, or the Donald Judd outdoor installation outside of Marfa. Not a lot of people milling around on a prairie, to be sure, but certainly plenty to contemplate through the framing of his minimalist art, especially when you know a little something about his creative intention. I hardly think that image of the receding squares does the quarter-mile installation much justice, but I bet he’d like that his work made me think a little deeper about the world in my effort to interact with the shapes and their assorted relationships.

I’m big into quantum physics and the intersection of science and the spiritual.  Judd’s contemporary structures can be seen as an expression of science and philosophy, and to me that aligns perfectly with the quirky, often thought-provoking perspectives we’re getting.

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