A New Appreciation

I like museums and some forms of art. In Los Angeles, I often visited LACMA, Norton Simon and the Hammer, but also occasionally went MOCA and the Temporary Contemporary. Can’t forget the twisted gem that is The Museum of Jurassic Technology.

While beach walking I’m seeing the same subjects in different light, against changing backgrounds, on different phases and heights of the tide. The changes have prompted my imagination. I’ve photographed one particular squid boat half a dozen times because I notice the differences and then move to find a composition that might capture what I experience. I’d like to play with f stops, shutter speed and focal length, but my cell camera doesn’t do that.

I’ve known some artists return to the same subject or model, like Ansel Adams shooting Yosemite Valley in different seasons or Picasso painting his mistresses but I knew it intellectually, I hadn’t experienced it. Now I get why they do it. I’d like to review some series of works to see if also now get more out of them.

My favorite quote from Buckaroo Banzi is “Wherever you go, there you are”. Articles on self assessment of one’s potential to enjoy being an expat usually recommend not to expect one to be a different person just because of the geo-cultural shift. I figured retiring and shifting cultures would give me a self inventory whether I wanted it or not. I feared my worst parts would become dominant, hoped that the best facets would come to the fore but expected little change.

The realization about an artist’s relation to a single subject might be personal growth. Could be just another soon forgotten ‘ah-ha’ moment. Maybe I’m paying more attention to my surroundings because of all the factors that have lowered my blood pressure 20 points since leaving the states. Maybe the universe has offered me a lesson for decades and I’m now able to see it through an art metaphor. Perhaps the growth here is realizing there may be facets of life I’ve treated as mostly static that are better realized as essentially dynamic.


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