One aspect of life that we take for granted but is really unique to the universe is social media. Viewed from the 'outside' it looks like another commercial vehicle for the internet industry to profit. However, it has grabbed many areas of our daily lives from politics to business, entertainment to news, art and community, and on and on. Once inside the platform, social media has a very strong pull and is very powerful. The reality of the matter is that it holds truth and lies, love and hate, and good and bad. It will be interesting to see how society copes with these dichotomies.
That being said, I've jumped into the Instagram game. I find it the most interesting of the social media games (I've played with others). As a photographer, Instagram provides a vehicle to create your own living art gallery. It grows and breathes and moves very fast. That said, there are many very talented people out there doing amazing things on Instagram. On a practical level, I get a chance to post photos that I do not have room for on my website. However, Instagram is like a hungry dog, you must keep feeding it more and more. And I'm trying. That said, please stop by, check out my postings and say "Hi."
There is an interesting trend with photography galleries and their exhibitions. While this is a tough business, the best galleries exhibit their shows both online and in their 'physical' gallery space. Each month there is an exhibition theme with a well-known juror familiar with that topic. Photographers submit their photos (usually 3) along with a fee to have their work juried for the exhibition. The shows can be viewed on the gallery's website. With Covid lifting, many galleries are starting to have receptions again. Also, a book of the exhibition work (often from Blurb books) is available for purchase.
This is an excellent model for both the galleries and the artists. The galleries are making money from the submission fees, art sales and books. The photographers have the opportunity to exhibit in a variety of established galleries and sell their work. Also this is good exposure for the jurors.
I'm happy to say that I've been accepted into many of these shows. Currently, one of my photos is in a show at the Praxis Gallery in Minneapolis.
I've always enjoyed reading inspiring quotes! The best ones make you think twice - here's a few of my favorites...
Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art. - Andy Warhol/ Artist
Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. - Pablo Picasso/ Artist
Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist. - Pablo Picasso/ Artist
The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between. – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart/ Composer
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. - Albert Einstein/ Scientist
You don’t take a photograph, you make it. - Ansel Adams/ Photographer
It's one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it's another thing to make a portrait of who they are.
- Paul Caponigro/ Photographer
I believe that the power of photography is to mark time. - Masayoshi Sukita/ Photographer
Photograph the adjectives not the nouns. - Bryan Peterson/ Photographer
My specialty is not to specialize. - Rick Sammon/ Photographer
I'm happy to say that Vassar Brothers Medical Center (VBMC) has purchased 11 of my photos for their collection. VBMC is a medical facility located in Poughkeepsie, NY with 72 physicians covering 22 specialty areas of medicine with 2,200 employees. The hospital has been recognized for 'America's 50 Best Hospitals Award.' My photos (along with several other photographers) will be displayed in their new 8 story building which is a half-billion dollar construction project!
While life with Covid has been challenging for all of us, it has really taken it's toll on the art world. Gone are the days of concerts and festivals, art openings, conferences, workshops and exhibitions. Since many 'normal' activities are on hold, many photographers are out of work.
These circumstances have had a profound effect on photographers and other artists. I've talked to numerous creative people who are so discouraged with the situation that they've given up making art. There has also been an increase in depression with the population at large.
On the other hand, many artists have turned 'inward' and found this time to be an opportunity to move deeper into the creative process. I fall into this later category. I'm creating more work now than I ever have. It's a matter of letting go and connecting with inspiration and spirit at a deeper level.
While this global crisis will pass, being inside of it today seems like an eternity. As bad as the situation is, it's up to us to decide how we will respond to it.