cover photo : Arte Di Tre
The more I study art in general and photography more specifically, the pioneers and their work, the more I discover that I become better not only as a future artist but also as a person. As I become more mature, the notions are infused and translated into new dimensions that are dispatched from the strict circle of their “literal” application.
When we first decided to introduce photography to other people and organise photography seminars in our studio, our primary goal was to share a kind of knowledge, which apart from being put in action, it can also inspire and guide someone to find a new goal or discover a new truth aspect of their life.
This concerns everyone, not only those who want to deal more thoroughly with photography. That was when the idea of sharing these thoughts with other restless seekers came to me. We may not share the same passion for photography but we are all concerned with the constant seek of happiness, true love and a deeper meaning in life.
In this post I will paraphrase Aaron Siskind’s saying and how his words are interpreted by me. Before doing that though, I will say a few words about the photographer.
A characteristic part of Siskind’s work adopts the abstract expressionism style of New York in the 50’s and 60’s. Abstract pictures of familiar topics in tight frames that make you come so close that you have no choice but to look, not only see. You are obliged to perceive them with more senses than the obvious one…
“If you look very intensely and slowly, things will happen that you never dreamed of before…” That holds true. Anyone who deals with photography learns to actually look, to discover the world once again, to redefine the meaning of beauty and truth known so far. Their shoots will reveal these new discoveries to others. Truth is not one and only and beauty has no face. You have to deeply want, you have to search tirelessly until everything unfolds to you little by little. You have to look for hidden treasures. A roughly plastered, old, musty wall becomes an eerie winter landscape, whose beauty can fill you with awe… If you do not see it, it is only because you are not ready yet…
Let’s apply that to our lives. How many times haven’t we heard the saying “do not judge a book by its cover”? How many times haven’t we realised that we have known people for a lifetime without really knowing them? How many times have we conducted conversations on the pointless pursuit of the fictitious, ephemeral happiness? The answer is a million times. These are timeless issues but nowadays more relevant than ever.
The answer is to look at the person standing next to you. Closely. Very closely. To come close enough to understand their texture, their smell, their dimension, their individual beauty that is revealed only in the selflessness of the broad-eyed true love, the love that can hug ugliness as well. Do not let your life pass by without knowing anything else than the things your eyes can see.
Besides, if you do not believe me or Aaron, you have to know that our beloved Antoine St Exupery’s little prince said the same: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye”. A prince would never say inaccuracies or lies…
It is true that we do not know how to do that, no manuals exist. The only way is to not be afraid, to let yourself loose, to deeply want, to insist, to be true, to refuse the safeties of the digital means and to love. Love that musty old wall, take a closer look and let it reward you. For sure, “things will happen that you never dreamed of before…”