The Camera Has Spoken. It’s My Turn

11 x 14 oil on canvas (JMN 2021).

And out comes a tenderly belabored prospect of dilapidation. Looking at a photograph I didn’t take, I painted a quaint tranche of unleveled-up Britain from the plein air of the shed I inhabit. Painting my two-bit canvases from photos lets me riff at easel on what the lens saw without being arrested for skill. But enough easel talk. Palaver is otiose — a picture says what it says.

On photography, I think of a bygone flurry of pushback to Christopher Isherwood’s assertion (premise? taunt?), “I am a camera.” Objection was raised that a writer could not “record” even in the most dispassionate way and still not introduce subjectivity into the account. Did Isherwood really think otherwise, I wonder? No more than a good photographer would allege being absent from the photograph. (At the atomic level, isn’t matter changed somehow when observed?) I linger fondly on how in “Goodbye to Berlin” her tenant was “Herr Issyvoo” to his German landlady.

(c) 2021 JMN — EthicalDative. All rights reserved

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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