I have a photography exhibition at Washington University.
Fifteen photographs, all chosen by me. No competition, no outside selection. All stuff I like.
They will be there for another two months.
I didn’t have to hustle for this show, nor put out any money beyond the prints themselves. It came my way based solely on appreciation of my work as displayed in earlier art shows. All I had to do was to make sure the work was available to hang and display.
I’ve never considered myself as an artist. Photography has been a simple pleasure, a method of recording my life, and a way to get me to get out the house and look at things anew. It’s a hobby. But now? Even if I’m not calling myself an artist, others are. I already feel that weird sense of being looked at differently. “He has a show, he must be good” – and similar sentiments. Perceptions altered, even if little else seems to have been.
None of this has changed my own view of my work. I take a lot of photographs. A few I really like. Even the ones that I like less are still meaningful. It’s all personal – wrapped around my own life. I’ve never given any real thought to making art for others. Perhaps that explains my persistent lack of sympathy for most popular photography; somehow much of that does seem tailored to appeal to others and, in doing so, loses any character or individuality.
This show may well be the pinnacle of my public photographic career. A career that is no career at all. If it is, I will be perfectly satisfied. One thing I will not do is change to fit any alteration of perception of me or my work.
I guess this means I’m some sort of accidental artist. If I am, well, that’s just fine.