I’d like to leave you with a quote that stings me most, a piercing insight by photographer Robert Adams in his book, Beauty in Photography (1996):
…though not everyone would share the fullness of my admiration for [Edward] Hopper, few now would criticize him, as some of his contemporaries did, for not directly addressing the problems of the Depression. Had he made those issues his first concern he would presumably not have given his attention as fully to a consolation that we sense was uniquely his to explore, the beauty of light on buildings. (Emphasis added.)
I cannot overestimate how deeply these words pain me; they are my conviction. If there is such a thing as one’s calling, this is mine.
As an artist, it is my utmost priority to continually seek what is uniquely mine to explore. This is my burden. It’s the source of my stress, heartache, and hope.
Equally fierce, Adams’ notion sheds light on the futility of didactic, and often heavy-handed, theme-driven material so many folks set out to produce. Though their effort may be honorable, setting out to produce work in order to preach a point is dishonest to oneself, and ultimately, to society. Film, and art at-large, would no doubt be elevated and be more meaningful if more of us set out to uniquely explore what is ours to explore, even if the light on buildings during a depression…
It’s been great sharing my favorite quotes with you this week and I sure hope you will take time to share them with others. I would not have come across some of these quotes had others not shared them with me!