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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.