Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Photo History and Cats

Recently being tagged in Facebook to share 25 random things about myself, the details of which I will spare you, caused me to think about something I hadn’t really thought about much lately. Photography. I love it, and I miss being submerged in it. Not the technical details of it. Or the writing of research papers. Or the tests. I miss the intense discussions of their cultural meanings and their historical significance.

I used to be a cat person. During college I had three cats at various times named Witkin, Sherman, and Arbus. I had Witkin the longest. He was a black cuddlebug. Oh, and needy something fierce. He was named after one of the most intriguing and frightening photographers that I ever learned about in my History of Photography classes, taught by a brilliant photographer, Peter Goin. Joel Peter Witkin was certainly the inspiration for musical artists such as Nine Inch Nails. There are several images that come to mind when I think of him. One of them is The Kiss:

TheKissThe Kiss, New Mexico, 1982

If you look closely enough you will see that is two sides of the same face. There is an interesting story behind much of his work about cadavers, but suffice it to say this was not done digitally. His work provides profound uneasiness that is beautiful in its thought-provoking craziness.

Then there was the insane cat, Sherman, that I named after Cindy Sherman. In all honesty I couldn’t wait to get rid of her; she was a kitten capable of magnitude destruction.

Here is one of Cindy Sherman’s pieces:

Sherman Untitled (#156), 1985

Lastly, there was Arbus, named after the photographer Diane Arbus. Arbus’ photography explored the marginalized, the fringe of society. It evokes a strong sense of “the other” in art.

ArbusChild with Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park, New York City, 1962

It has been fun looking at these images again, even if it does make me wonder what my mental state was really like in college. I mean really, I liked CATS?

1 comment:

  1. A nice trip down memory lane...except...I don't miss the cats. I am sorry.

    I think that if Sherman had his way, he would have killed me in his sleep. Seriously.