Do We See What We See?

Do we see what we see?

I’ve been thinking about the photography and the art that I’ve been drawn to lately and I try to break down fundamentally what it is exactly that I like or love about that particular piece. It helps me to create works that I’m more likely to enjoy rather than work that is just good.

As I examine these other art works by various other artists in a myriad of mediums I see many correlations between them all. This isn’t easy because I have to sift through the debris.

Is it the composition?

I do find that I am a fan of thoughtful composition, especially in photographs, but am not convinced that compositional awareness is always key to discovering works that I enjoy. Sure, the composition of the work needs to be solid, or at the very least it can’t really be distracting, but there’s more.

Is it the subject?

When I look at the photographs that I “fave” in flickr I find that I often “fave” many many portraits of young women. But I don’t really feel that it’s the women in the portraits that I’m drawn to. Not in a classical sense or perhaps a sensual way. Sure, most of the time those portraits are of beautiful women but I find that most of those are self portraits. Perhaps it’s a reverse narcissism of sorts. I don’t do many self portraits myself even though I do know that I am a fairly attractive man. There isn’t much to be ashamed of except for an additional inch or two in the belly. Maybe it’s a jealousy I have of the beauty of women that I don’t see in myself? The curves and the softness that I just know I couldn’t pull off in a self portrait.

Perhaps it’s about a vantage point that I don’t have?

I’m talking about various views that we can have as we go through our typical days. I live in a small city and I long for a bigger city so when I see those ultra hip metropolitan lifestyles displayed I throw myself at the image. I find that I do this with various cityscape photographs, landscape paintings, and just about anything else that seems otherworldly to me.

Is this just the typical response of art? Do we view art and enjoy it more if there’s a connection or if there’s a longing?

What am I longing for?

I know I should be happy with where I’m at in life. I have a wonderful wife and two absolutely beautiful children with a job that pays well. We’re finalizing the paperwork on our new house and there is a very comforting feeling that real roots are being planted. I’m excited to find that Heather and I are in such a great place relationship wise, family wise, and financially.

There we go again. I try to analyze myself as an artist and I only see myself as a family man. Should be nothing wrong with that but I find it somewhat frustrating that I can’t seem to separate the two.

Maybe I’m not supposed to.

Ramblings like these really help to sort things out in my head.

I should do this more often.