I think as the New Year rapidly approaches, it’s time once again for the third annual “ask and you shall receive” interview with myself. As always this interview will be conducted by Mr. S, himself.
Mr. S: Your photographs are full of serenity, whimsy, and optimism. Would you describe these sentiments as an integral part of your worldview?
Mr. Smith: Amazing how you get right to the heart of the matter. Although I personally feel that it’s UP to melancholia and that profound thought and wisdom is intimately linked to our sense of mortality, my photographs represent a positive response to all my fears anxiety and limitations. They are me at my very finest.
Mr. S: Do you mean that if one meets you, you are not as gentle, forthcoming, or positive as your photographs?
Mr. Smith: Absolutely! My photographs are me at my transcendent best. They are all I want to be, but never realize. They are intimately entwined with the me that resides in this world, but somehow are much better. Unfortunately, I am a person who is somewhat controlled by my fears, anxiety and sense of fallibility in the world. I try to be a better person, father, friend, husband, but I often fail miserably. I am never as good a person as the people I expose in my photographs.
Mr. S: But you often say that your photographs represent a wide spectrum of humanity, which include fear, anger, sadness, etc. Is this true?
Mr. Smith: You are correct. But somehow the whole range of human experience, ranging from anger to joy, fear to happiness, etc., is an acceptable and downright positive attribute in my pictures. It is nothing to be fearful of. It represents what it means to be a small person in a very large universe and one’s reaction to forces much larger than ourselves. How could one not be anxious, as we are finite, small creatures, surrounded by a large emptiness? People seem to need some resolution to this quandary. I stand at the threshold, where fear cannot and perhaps should not be eliminated.
Yet unfortunately, I cannot accept my own personal failing in my dealings with people. I am critical and at times destructive. As a photographer I succeed, as a person I am prone to constant failure.
Mr. S: Why do you think you make photographs in the first place?
Mr. Smith: Ironically I think the making of photographs resolves two issues for me. First, is the creation of a beautiful artifact. It is the end result of my co-production with the world around me. It is an integration of me with the marvelous world around us. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, I think there is so much feeling welled up in my soul that needs to be expressed and let out into the world. I feel that I have so much to tell, so much to teach, so much I want to help people realize their potential. I want people to realize the powers for good that reside deep within us all. I guess in conclusion there is always also a need for affirmation and therefore love from the world around me.
Mr. S: In conclusion, many of your answers seem to raise more questions than they answer?
Mr. Smith: I guess it is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers. Thank you until next time.