I go to museums. Enjoy it immensely. I pour through photography magazines and compendiums of artists’ production. Often inspiring. I can’t seem to sate the yearning to view images I’ve not seen before, to learn of a photographer, classic or contemporary, I’ve not known before. Usually, almost by definition, these are artists who’ve garnered some measure of acclaim, whose work has come to light and been enjoyed by many.
But, every now and then – rarely, really – I’m the first on the scene, so to speak. I am shown, by some grace, an artist’s mostly hidden treasury of beauty. That was the case this morning when a friend stopped by to deliver some vintage cameras I’m using in an upcoming exhibition. She’s also a photographer, and, although I’ve known her for years, had only seen an image or two of hers. Before leaving, she asked if I had just another minute, ran to the car, returned with her smartphone and began to shyly unveil photo after photo that was unlike any I have seen. Filled with color, imagination, whimsy…a feast I helped myself to. Ideas that have never occurred to me seem like child’s play to her. She weaves portions of images with others to create story, fantasy, a new reality. Technically superb and emotionally pure.
After pleading with her to step from behind the curtain and let other aficionados in on her trove, I said goodbye and began to wonder and marvel at the gift she has been given. We are all, and I mean all, gifted in some extraordinary, intentional way. No one is born without the need and capacity to create, to submit into the world our offerings, unique only to us. Perhaps not in a manner the world might typically define as art, but, regardless of conventional definition, art, nonetheless. Any honest expression of our own thoughts or skills given freely is a creation of art. And, cumulatively, the observation and taking in of each others’ calling is what fills out our daily enjoyment of life. If we just look around, if we’re fortunate enough to be shown new craft, then we add hues to our own palette that color and enrich our existence.
So, if you haven’t already, discover yours and let us all see it. Give us that moment, that lovely moment of exquisite discovery.