Sunday, October 21

Emotional Charge

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Have noticed how quickly we lose interest in a picture? Our attention even toward a great one that embodies a large slice of the artist's effort, ideas, personality, and feelings quickly becomes flat. And yet, if we return to it days, months, and even better, years later - somehow it glimmers again. I wonder about that because it doesn't seem to happen with other sorts of art which may hold our attention initially for longer, but once lost, rarely regain it.

Here's a Roman street scene. It is entirely typical of a life-moment within the walled city. See the street? The sidewalk? The walls, the ancient arched doorway? And the tiny shop spilling over with fruit and flowers? And packed in tight against it is a scooter. The elements are all there. Here's what Rome looks like. It looks different from Seattle, Davenport, Springfield, Atlanta, and Lancaster. The pieces add up to an explosively colorful moment. It is charged with the casual effort of the shop owner who assembled this atop the millennia-old streets, in front of the walls first built just as long ago. This is the outdoor day-time furniture of Rome in October. I suspect that it will strike your fancy today: become forgettable in moments, and yet... if you should return to it in a couple of years, or decades from now, I'm guessing it will be at least more interesting then.

Why is it that photographic images are like that? It's a mystery.

7 comments:

pnfphotography said...

I agree with your statement and wonder the same thing. I will say a photo as much a piece of art as a painting. I have paintings in my home I view every day and really must say they are my favorite things in my home and I have photos in my home that I walk by each day and do not take the time to view over and over again. Pondering on this....myself.

You are such a deep thinker.... you really do raise some good points.

pnfphotography said...

Ted check out this blog I would love to hear your thoughts....

http://jsaphotography.blogspot.com


the entry- "Not older...just better?"

I can not wait to hear your thoughts...

me....gotta scoot...

Ted Byrne said...

(pnf) Yoa! Went to Jack's site. Had a splat moment. Thanks for that.

John Roberts said...

I like the contrast between the "old" of the arch and sidewalk, and the "new" of the modern looking motor scooter. Yes, Rome is quite different!

Ted Byrne said...

(John) A friend, Michael McMurma (see his link on the main page of this blog), is posting images of his recent trip to the mountains of rural Utah. There people live concurrently with topographical things that are eons old. In Rome the historical detrius was, by geological standards, only born yesterday. Still, for us in the states, watching people live concurrently with the legacy of two thousand year old engineering is what? Humbling? Astonishing?

We can't live with twenty year old plumbing!

ian_mac said...

I wonder if it has something to do with how we normally view photographs? Could it be that we expect a series of photos (like 'My trip in Italy' or 'Rome's streets') and therefore expect that this is just one of several photographs and that the others will fill-in the rest of the story so we want to move on? Whereas with paintings or other works of art we see them as unique or stand-alone? Later, when we come back we realise that this is actually a unique work as well???

Ashley said...

I love Rome and your photos really bring my memories to life!