“ I don’t think there’s any artist of any value who doesn’t doubt what they’re doing.”
Interviewer: What do you see as some of the major differences between being a kid and an adult?
Tupac: Children see things so great. What happens is that adults complicate things, and children don’t. It’s as simple as this: “the sky is blue”. And the adults wanna go “Well, the sky is blue because..” Everything wasn’t meant to be analysed. And that’s where our problems come from and I think kids are happier. Kids are definitely happier, and more relaxed than adults.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg of his wisdom, perspective and incredible sense of awareness of the self and society.
It’s fascinating to me to imagine his life since then, the events contributing to his bitterness and disillusion with society, forcing him to adopt a more violent and aggressive spin on his own idealisms.
He was ultimately gunned down to death by a faceless killer at the tender age of 25, but I feel if he had only retained this sense of respect - a clear moralistic drive for him at the age of 17 - the final chapter of his life might have been drastically different.
His mistake was that he chose to be loud; not just loud, but the LOUDEST. But it’s that very same characteristic flaw that makes him the baddest-ass in town. I love him for that.
But could he have been smarter? Louder not for the aim of “doing what I wanna do”, but for the sake of things he wanted to change?
Considering he is dead (and most likely won’t be returning as Black Jesus), I suppose this is a pointless question. But perhaps there is a lesson for any of us who want to live, take a stand, and make a statement that changes the way people think about their own lives and the society around it.
Be a badass, do what you want, do it really f**kin’ loud. But take a step back every once a while. Listen to yourself. Then pick up that guitar, pen, camera - whatever is your creative weapon of choice. And be the loudest (but sensible) badass you can be.
“ The right idea will fly.”
I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m about to do today?” If the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I have to change something. Remembering I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything, all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death.
- Steve Jobs, 2005 Stanford Commencement Address
Pablo Picasso, Bull (plates I - XI) 1945 - 46. A good summary of the idea of creativity embodied in a single image.
Picasso’s arrogance sometimes appeared rude in his self- descriptions of his work. He was straight forward and candid in explaining why he painted like he did. He stated that a “painter paints to unload himself of feelings and visions, and to express [his/her] conception of what nature is not”. Picasso continued his hatred for those that followed all the rules of art when he wrote:
What a miserable fate for a painter who adores blondes to have to stop himself putting them into a picture because they don’t go with the basket of fruit! How awful for a painter who loathes apples to have to use them all the time because they go so well with the cloth. I put all the things I like into my pictures. The things-so much the worse for them: they [the viewer] just have to put up with it.
Picasso continued his analogy by saying “a picture used to be a sum of additions. In my case a picture is a sum of destruction. I do a picture –then I destroy it”. Perhaps this refers to his idea that there really is no abstract art: “You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality”. He wanted only emotion projected by his art.
An excerpt from THE LANGUAGE OF ART: A conversation between Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso (references removed) by Marisa Jones Hooser.
In Explosure, Gearon continues these personal investigations, again photographing at home and on family trips to upstate New York, India, Italy, and South Africa. But instead of taking single shots she creates surprising, chance-narratives using the classic technique of double exposure in camera that she then prints without retouching or post work. By superimposing two, quite unrelated images into one, she invents scenes that are startling, surreal, and engaging yet also fleeting and ephemeral. They are vastly different in character from all of her previous photographs in that they present a multi-dimensional (sometimes kaleidoscopic) view of Gearon’s world that challenges perceptions of time, scale, and space. Her method of composing creates, within each work, contrasts of settings and the juxtaposing of themes.
I open the shutter when the movie begins, when the title shows up. Then I just leave the camera open for two, three hours - whatever the length of the movie is. When the ending credit shows up, I just close the shutter. So I photograph the entire movie images. When I process the film no images from the movie show, just showing a white light left on the screen. Interiors of the theatre shows, reflecting the white light coming out from the screen. The people who were in the theatre all disappear receiving this radiant white light from the screen, which means I probably want to say too much information ends up in nothingness. How do you show the nothingness, emptiness? You have to have something surrounding the nothingness. In this case, the movie theatre is the “case” that holds this emptiness.
- Hiroshi Sugimoto, from Contacts, Vol. 2 (1992).
Photos: Hiroshi Sugimoto, Theatres.
I’ve realised that my posts have been highly concentrated in the realm of photography lately, so I’ve decided to do something else and share two interviews with Morrissey. For those who don’t know him, he’s the singer from The Smith, the godfather of all the irony-loving indie kids/had been indie-kids in the 80’s. Seriously, if you ever see the kind of indie-kid who wears tight jeans, listens to music with big headphones on a double-decker bus (and hang around in a corner of the room at house parties), at least 12% of their soul has been expressed or assuaged by Morrissey at some point in their lives. Naturally, people would describe or judge him in different ways, but many would agree that there is none quite like him.
But enough on my perspective. The first one is from 1984 when The Smiths just broke through with their self-titled debut album, The Smiths.
The second interview is from when he was nominated as the Greatest Living Icon for the BBC 2 Culture Show.
I find it tremendously interesting that a man with such fragile roots can develop to be so arrogant in the image of his own brilliance. The funny thing is, both the fragility and the arrogance (along with his poetic genius + great sense of humour) are equally manifested, and equally essential in his music and words. Morrissey, is possibly comical/profound passive-aggressiveness at its best.
If his strange yet fascinating being has piqued your interest, you can listen to Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now - one of The Smiths’ many, many great songs.
Of all the means of expression, photography is the only one that fixes forever the precise and transitory instant. We photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing, and when they have vanished, there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again. We cannot develop and print a memory.
Memory is very important, the memory of each photo taken, flowing at the same speed as the event. During the work, you have to be sure that you haven’t left any holes, that you’ve captured everything, because afterwards it will be too late.