Thursday, November 03, 2022

Raw Essence

"Photography, used as a fine art, is what any artist makes of it. For the analytical artist, photography is a tool to record his visual curiosity, his visual understanding, and his visual contemplation of the world. For the objective artist, photography can reveal the meanings of things and render surfaces with love and beauty. The subjective artist can use photography as a means of self-expression – simply by dissociating the subject from its connotations. When photography is used in this manner, the unconscious mind can be reached through the reading of the photograph’s design. Discarding the connotations of subjects leaves them symbols that can be read like dreams. The world of the unconscious mind is turned into the raw material of art.
To reach essence, the photographer cannot work as the painter does. The photographer cannot pile up characteristics until an essence is synthesized. He must wait until a face, gesture, or place goes ‘transparent’ and thereby reveals the essence underneath. This exact instant, when the subject bares its inner core is a transitory and fleeting moment. It is never repeated exactly. The expressive function of the camera is to make photographs that reveal the essence of the subject along with the facts."

Minor White (1908 - 1976)
Quoted in The Aesthetic Theories Of Minor White,
by Stuart Oring

No comments: