ANGELS WITH DEMONS

Is there a direct relationship with torment and seeking the will to create art? or are we creative first, and then tormented as our demons seek to destroy us?

I’ve always enjoyed what Francis Bacon paintings do to me (the Irish one). The first time I saw an exhibition I had to sit down right away – I couldn’t move. Time stopped. The paintings pulled me apart. I felt similarly when first seeing some of Francesca Woodman’s photographs. To me, Francesca Woodman is to photography as Francis Bacon is to painting – seems logical in perhaps an obvious academic comparison. Well, whatever I don’t know about them I’ve fallen for the capture of motion in their dark worlds. The ability to capture time at a slower rate than it passes is one of the more useful tools a camera can offer up. I’ve felt like describing my profession this way many times – stopping time for a living.

So, what to do when you want to take a portrait of a friend and¬†gear and lighting is limited? You slow down time over and over and see what happens and do everything you told your students never to do – copy Francesca Woodman. Now I think about it, does it matter anymore if it’s right for whom you are photographing at that moment?

My friend, a New York artist, has survived many harrowing times – I’ve learned over the years, and layers of personal data is embedded into our friendship. Even if these images parallel or are influenced by Woodman and, or Bacon, if you can’t exercise demons through art, then how would you?