Why I Photograph
The camera excels at freezing time and space, at capturing a moment, at rendering a scene in exact and vivid detail. Our long standing acceptance of this, our unconscious conviction that something must have been before the lens, imbues a photograph with a sense of reality, of truth. For me what the camera leaves out is as important as what it captures. The camera becomes a sort of Kokopelli, a trickster with the ability to distort, to isolate, to flatten, to merge, and in doing so to reveal mystery and beauty often bypassed or hidden within everyday scenes My photos reveal empty places, stage sets awaiting actors. fragments extracted from context, glimpses into a different world. However, these works are incomplete without your active participation. Therefore I invite you, the viewer, to enter, to populate these empty scenes, to imagine what has happened and what is about to take place. I invite you to shape these fragments to your imagination. I invite you to find context, to provide content, a place, a beginning or an end. I invite you to open the doors of your imagining to these images as you would to shapes in the sky or stories in the fire.
Arno Rafael Minkkinen has been asked whether the astonishing photographs he has made of his body in improbable landscapes are self portraits. His answer has been, “No, none of these is a self portrait, but the body of my work taken in its entirety might comprise a kind of self portrait.”
My images are a glimpse of my world, through my eyes. They are a brief catalog of what has compelled my gaze, invited exploration, commanded capture.
Perhaps, they may be viewed as a kind of self portrait from the inside, looking through my eyes.
Would you find these images richer, more beautiful, more compelling if you were to learn:
Where and When I was born?
The Schools I have attended and the Degrees they have bestowed?
My Mentors and My Formal Training in Art?
Or to read:
A Lengthy Catalog of where my Works have been hung?
A List of What I have Written?
A Litany of Praise and Prizes Received?
If the images are silent and do not speak to you, could any of the above give them eloquent tongues?
Bob Hesse, Winchester, MA.