How often do you walk down a city street and pass by people like the ones above and never give them a second thought. How often do we pass by and never even see them, wrapped up in our own comfortable world. How often do you see them, but you just glance and try not to make eye contact. How often do you stop to give a dollar, because you feel a little guilty, but you keep the words to a minimum and you walk away quickly, uncomfortable with them. Do you ever stop and talk to them. Because they have names and stories and experiences. One is a musician and the other a graphic designer, artist and writer. One tunes his guitar and complains about the cold, not because he is cold but because it makes tuning difficult. The other reads his newspaper, folding and unfolding it, and he smokes. But you can see in his face the ideas and the creativity that are working. They talk to us and share their stories. One tells us about a short story he’s working on set in the future where people rely on electricity to live and they have to plug in and recharge. We move on and we will probably never see them again, but I know I will remember them. And there are countless more like them. We talk to a woman who has a cat with her, trying to get money to feed herself and the two cats she has saved. We talk to a man happier than most of the well dressed and well fed people around him who gladly poses for pictures with the biggest grin I have seen in a while. We talk to another man who has been sitting in the cold and rain, wrapped up in a coat, all day. By this time we have given away our cash and we apologize. He says, “Don’t worry about it. I try to earn it by giving directions and helping people find things. I’ve been here two years so I know the city really well.” These people are real and they are all around us. It’s good to stop and talk with them and hear their stories, because everyone has a story to tell and this is reality.
This photo goes along with my other “Dream” shot. Taking what is a very real piece of art and turning it into something dream or vision-like. Blurring lines between reality and illusions. Photographers have a wonderful power to turn reality into something else. To make fantasy collide with fact. These images are a delight to make and they inspire me to continue to experiment.
This week we assigned a project to shoot experimental photos in the style of some photographers we had discussed in class. We covered people like Duane Michals, Gregory Crewdson, Andreas Gursky, and Cindy Sherman. For the photos I tried to do something similar to the style of Michals. It was late tonight when I got this shot along with a series of others. I saw her wall and the dramatic light that illuminates the art work on the wall and the bed. I worked with this lighting, using the shadows and in other images a slow shutter speed to create blurs and false double exposures. I wanted to convey this idea of sleep and what is real and what is just a dream. The figure is dark, completely shadowed, up from the bed. Is the figure real and awake or just a shadow from a dream?
On our date today we found this sculpture that was made up of hundreds of little blue plastic squares like this one that each had something written on them. Some were stupid, many were cliche, a few were funny, some made you think and then this one made me stop and take a picture. It reads “You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” This quote is wonderfully true, at least for me. She really is better than dreams. And there have been so many times where we work to stay awake just so we can be together.
I find it more common than not that we share what we are often afraid to disclose about our self, with those close to us.
We don’t disclose our darkest of demons because we live in fear of judgement, betrayal, loss of respect, even if those demons are ones we didn’t create. Being trapped in your own personal hell of thoughts & emotions will slowly kill what makes you you.
Listening to someone share their thoughts, someone I thought I knew. Seeing someone I care about be so vulnerable. Hurt so badly. Crying with them, not because of their tears but because I could feel the pain in their heart. Their mind. It was just as real to me as it was to them. I wonder how things would be different between us had we gone ‘demon hunting’ together.
I don’t know that I’ve ever hurt for someone the way I hurt for you. Seeing your pain. This changes nothing, other than making sense of some things. I also happen to love fishing especially with a Snoopy fishing pole!!
I’ll never be able to give you those 10 seconds or more that you often dream of but I can promise you I can give you love & trust. Fear is only felt until you realize the love and trust are real.
Thank you for loving me enough to trust me.
Remember how I said everyone is an asshole. Well that applies to life too. Life itself is an asshole. It always seems like there’s something. There’s always something dragging you down. As soon as something good happens, something bad happens. Life kicks you in the balls, laughs in your face and then keeps kicking. Sorry if it sounds pessimistic, but it’s the truth. Life just piles and piles up on top of you, slowly crushing until you can’t move, can’t breathe, can’t do anything. Life, work, school, tests, grades, assignments, relationships. You get depressed, paralysed. Bad thoughts creep in. Thoughts of ending things. You don’t care if you’re alive or not. Everything seems insignificant. You just want to sleep and not wake up. You want to pass out just so things will stop for awhile. I and many others have felt this and thought these things. And it pisses me off. I guess I know I’m a little better because I’m angry. I feel something at least. I’m furious that life is this way. That life does this to people. That life tears you apart and then expects you to keep going like nothing happened. It’s not right. I’m furious and I want to punch life in the face. I want to fight back, but really what can I do? Nothing. So we stand up, brush the dirt off, and keep going, pretending that everything is okay and that we can do this.