“The Camera Cannot Lie, Neither Can It Tell The Truth. It Can Only Transform.” – Johnathan Greene

This quote from Johnathan Greene’s American Photography, really resonates with me. Sometimes it puts my mind at ease, but most of the time I become more confused. I understand the world differently through the lens of a camera… I see that in my photographs, but for a while I thought I was gaining some level of truth. Now, I question if what I gain from photography is a different reality. A different sliver in time represented in an artistic form. That is frustrating to me and I often times find myself believing what I see in my pictures.

However, the trasnformative relationship photography has with the world is incredible. I admire it dearly and know this quality is what guides me through understanding many things and experiences in this world.

 

Why Art?

Communication through words has always been difficult for me. Language muddles things up and proves a path of resistance. I have no trouble talking a lot, I’m just not always clear. When I tell stories I give every single detail… what the weather was, how it smelled, how I felt like, and how I thought the other person felt. The problem is that I am constantly struggling to be understood. Delivering a clear verbal description of anything can be a challenge. Art clears that up for me, it’s a tool I use to encompass and demonstrate my thoughts. I understand things visually because they translate more quickly that way.

In elementary school I used to be asked constantly during lessons, to stop singing to myself, to stop talking to my table mates, and to stop coloring. I was always in my own imaginative world. I want other people in that world with me. I need to be understood as much as I need to understand other people.

When I was 11 or 12 my dad sort of vanished from my life. He was dealing with the divorce between him and my mother alone. He just dealt with things alone; I guess it just made sense to him that way. I didn’t recognize that then. I felt and still feel abandoned and forgotten by him. Despite these feelings, as I mature and become more self aware, the similarities between us become more obvious. It’s becoming more clear to me why he left and made the choices he made. He is often misunderstood as I am… I feel like I want to be understood more than him. Maybe he has an easier time disconnecting himself than I do.

You see, I am a very emotional person. I tend to react to most things emotionally and intuitively. This is where things get funky… who can really explain an emotion and be definite?