Rainy Streets of Florence

August 18, 2008

Ponte Vecchio, Florence

I had one of the most wonderful, most eye-opening experiences about a week ago. As many of you know I sell my work on Etsy – a great place to find handmade work by artists & crafters (if you didn’t know that, you should pop on over to my shop and check it out). CBDImagination – another Etsy shop owner – messaged me to tell me how much she loved the picture posted above, that it brought back many memories for her.

I do love this photo, the way the light pours out of the windows and reflects on the rainy streets. The life that is portrayed down the street, the person in the red jacket who pulls your eye down there.

But as much life as I see in my pictures, I sometimes can’t shake the art school feeling. “It’s just a pretty picture,” they would say, “… it has no meaning, no depth, no insight into something greater.” Like everything you have to make as an artist has to make that big, political statement. It has to generate some controversy. And, somehow, any work that doesn’t do that, isn’t as good.

So, CBD, she made me realize that a pretty picture can be more than a pretty picture. Photographs, just like music, just like a scent, can bring back waves of memories for a person. That’s how I feel every time I look at one of my photos – and often how I feel when I look at the work I own from other artists. Photography is documentation of a moment, a particular point in time. And just because something is beautiful, mainstream, doesn’t make it any less worthy of the term “art” for some people.

To each their own – their own feelings, their own memories, their own opinions.

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