Here’s another attempt at seeing what’s happening around me instead of looking for the image I’m expecting to make.  I walked into the LACMA book store right after the guy in the picture.  Anna Maria and the kids were already wondering around inside looking at books and posters and little ceramic mugs with Pantone swatches printed on them.   There are so many compact references to art surrounding you in those museum bookshops–it’s like a cliff-notes version of the real experience, completely bite-size and ready for immediate and mass consumption.  And like the cliff-notes you might have the broad strokes of it all but all the minutia has been sanded away with 30-grit paper in the shape of Blue Nude II.  

It’s neither here nor there I guess, and it’s “the way it’s always been” but it stings a bit to think of all the money that’s been made from the pure and unadulterated creations of some deceased artist’s penniless, shit-ball existence.  There’s always someone there to make a catalog, or a coffee mug or a limited-edition-collector’s-print-specially-numbered-by-the-art-preservation-society-of-wherever-for-only-100-dollars.  But that’s how it works.  Things don’t happen in the art world unless they make financial sense ultimately as it appears that capitalism has indeed become the world’s most prevalent religion.  Incidentally, I saw a documentary the other night about a woman who’s father brought one of Warhol’s Brillo Boxes for $1000 bucks.  The doco goes on to tell the story of how that same Brillo Box changed hands a few more times and eventually sold at auction forty years later for 3 million US.    But I digress.  

So I’m wandering in and out of isles scanning for anything photography related because I guess I’m just as much a consumer as everyone else (and perhaps even more so when it comes to photography books), but it’s always the same books: 

100 Ideas that changed Photography

Friedkin’s Gay Essay 

…and like 50 books by Maplethorpe and I can only look at so much cock. 

So I drift back to the original task at hand.  I’m emptying my mind and trying to see.  I wander here and I wander there, only seeing things 1.5 meters or closer.  While weaving in and out of the isles I almost weave straight into the patron I walked in with.   I take a step back, hoping he didn’t notice me nearly mowing him over.  The whole situation was a bit confusing for a second and then I understood that I was seeing his reflection in the mirror.  I frame up and make the image above as he turns to ask me what I am doing.  

“Twinning” I reply with a little smirk.  He smiles back, a book of Frida Carlo’s work still open in his hands.     

Shot on my Leica M7 with an amber filter on the trusty 35mm Cron, using Kodak Tri-X 400 pushed to 800 at the Icon.  

Using Format