The Primacy of Proximity

The Whisper, 2009
acrylic, tea, toner, and graphite on cheesecloth wrapped panel
6" x 6"

It really is true, what they say, about reproductions of artwork being unable to capture the presence of the actual work. Regardless of scanner fidelity, Photoshop trickery, and color corrected light sources, there's just no way to trap the subtlety of the marks in this little drawing. Honestly, it only seems successful when viewed from six inches away and the light of a room is allowed to cut under the graphite. I suppose that might actually make it a failure, that it requires someone's physical presence to appreciate it, but isn't that what so much of our visual culture is lacking— the necessity of proximity; of intimacy? 

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This grass sweeps across Yaquina Head just north of Newport, Oregon. It was shot just outside the imposing lighthouse that stands there using a modified Holga camera. I've never made a print of the image, the scan for this drawing was derived from a barely passable contact sheet I made years ago.

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