“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.”
This is a scan of a solar plate I produced in a printmaking class about ten years ago. The object itself, I find, holds my interest and wonder more than the prints that I drew from the plate. After being inked and pressed to make a series of prints, the stained metal plate had all of these lovely textures that just didn’t translate onto the paper prints.
The base image? Pretty boring. The aluminum louvers of window blinds, a photograph taken of a shop window while in Bisbee, Arizona during a New Year’s trip with my girlfriend at the time. This is precisely why I love photography – a casual image can be twisted, turned, processed, manipulated into something entirely different. Experimenting with printmaking and photography – both film and digital – and looking at the world through the camera lens, I have learned a whole new way of looking at the world and appreciating it.
Today’s image comes from a long walk I took along the Rillito River; there’s a walking path along the wash that cuts east-west across the northern area of midtown Tucson. There’s something to be said about walking along a nature trail and seeing these massive, man-made structures of concrete, steel, and rebar. To me, the straight line is a marvelous symbol – it’s the exact opposite of nature.
The trajectory of perfectly straight lines does exist in nature, but this kind of vector doesn’t occur because of the presence of other influences. For instance, trees would grow perfectly straight, but shifting soils, uneven distribution of nutrients, wind, and other naturally-occurring factors produce randomly mutated fractal patterns.
Day three is over, and ‘Abstract April’ continues tomorrow.
No, this is not a photograph of a flag. But for me, in the editing room, as I sculpted the image’s contrast and color, it began to remind me of the American flag, with a chipped-paint and rustic, aged texture. More than a week after the inauguration of Donal Trump, and all of the chaos that has followed after his controversial executive orders and the backlash from civil rights advocates, this image became a symbol to me of the erosion of American ideals.
As I have said about my other abstract compositions, there is beauty in simplicity – this image can mean any number of things to any number of people. But for me, this image is a meditation on America.
I would be curious to know what you think of this image, what your interpretation might be.
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“There are few genuine conservatives within the U.S. political system, and it is a sign of the intellectual corruption of the age that the honorable term ‘conservatism’ can be appropriated to disguise the advocacy of a powerful, lawless, aggressive and violent state, a welfare state for the rich dedicated to a lunatic form of Keynesian economic intervention that enhances state and private power while mortgaging the country’s future.”