I was walking through the living room when this slash of light caught my attention. It dissolved the wall in a way that made the mirror’s rectangle, and the space within it, part of the graphic energy of the place, with the doorways and windows behind. And there I was; looking into the image and suddenly a self portrait suggested itself.
I don’t make a lot of self portraits, or I haven’t for many years, and seeing myself there, on the first year of living in Europe, I sensed that it was time to record who I was at that moment, and perhaps make more of them now and then so that at this age, (75) I could watch myself in the process of aging, just to see how it all turns out.
This day 2 years ago I visited Cortona to see my exhibition in the Cortona On The Move photo festival. Cortona is a beautiful hill town above a plain between 2 ranges of hills. On the other side of the far range is our valley and it always surprises me how different each terrain is even when they are only a few miles apart.
At lunchtime we entered a local restaurant, and immediately inside the front room I saw this image of a young girl in her dream state of wonder and illusion, like an Alice in Wonderland girl fallen into the depths of the mirror’s space, except this one seemed to be loving herself in a way that brought to mind all seductive and playful charms of the putti one sees hovering in the corners of Italian paintings, or holding up the edges of the ceilings in palazzo rooms.
These associations I find myself making come instantly to mind, and there is barely a moment between seeing what’s in front of me, raising my camera, and reading the underlying text that the image gives off. And reading it this way it doesn’t mean that it is true, or anything that even makes sense, it is just what comes at me from the world, and which only I am susceptible to, and I never expect anyone else to read it in the same way I do, but I am helpless in front of these associations.
I have long felt that it is a way of seeing that I have tuned my instrument to, and that by this associative verbalizing, even if it is just a flash thought, I can then see more clearly what its affinity is to me. I have long believed that if you can say it you can see it.