We wandered through the space sticking our faces up to each photograph, one more breathtaking then the next. Most are self portraits, many nude. I was relieved and inspired that there was another human that had some of the same inclinations as myself, the same desire to document FEELING. In each of her photographs I feel her urge to say something, however painful.
But what struck me the most about her work is that it had no regard for me. The photographs let you feel her solitude, like we are able to see inside of her emotion. She did not need me to like her, to accept her, to catagorize her in any way. This is freedom. And then to put this work out for us to see her guts, her insides, as if she did the work and walked away. (She committed suicide very early in life, and did walk away.)
Great art asks us to be TRUE.
This is the only goal. And the most difficult.
As we walked out I said that my renewed goal was to please no one. To aim for allegiance only to the voice that comes through me. I’d like to grow bolder and work towards UN-DILUTING, knowing that we water ourselves down every day to be accepted.
To accept yourself is the goal. And to let everyone else contend with themselves.
What would you write if you were in a vacuum? What would you paint?
I try to work this way. I’ve stopped checking stats or twitter feeds and let go (mostly!) of needing you to give me direction and acceptance. I encourage you to try a little bit of this in your creative world.
(I would never reproduce one of her photographs here- if you live near NY try to get to her show. Below- my own photograph shot with iphone.)
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