The Experience of Art, Public Space, and Digital Culture

Portraiture and the Experience of Art

One of the most surefire ways to experience art is to participate in making it. Even if you live somewhere far away from a good museum or a gallery scene, you can always count on the process of making art to be as good as it gets. This is especially true for me with portraiture. People are ineffable riddles and using a camera and words to attempt to portray them is an aesthetic adventure, a playing with form and technique and dialogue in order to produce visually interesting photos that say something about the human condition.

The Process of Portraiture

Making photos with someone is an interesting way to get to know them. For this shoot, I met a friend Oona at the Museum of Art and History downtown Santa Cruz to do some portraits. For me, photographing someone is a way of both listening and presenting ideas. You are trying to understand someone and to present an image of them to the world that has meaning and individuality. Through this dialogic back and forth a visual conversation develops.

Portraiture as Performance

So much creative work is being done for the internet these days, but the live experience of creating a photograph still has more interest for me than I could ever imagine deriving from a phone. Doing the work of creativity in public adds another interesting element. With the buzzing energy of a public space the act of making a portrait takes on more of a performative nature. This makes it more challenging, but also very interesting.

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