I'm a landscape painter in a generally realistic manner. My job is to make a scene interesting and attractive. Seeing Todd's photos reminds me that it's okay for art to be uncomfortable. It's just fine when images don't fit neatly into pre-conceived packages, to be hung on walls and matched to the color of the divan. And I don't have to 'get it'. It's hard for me not to have the back story, the why behind the conception. I want to know why this texture, why this shape, why this subject. Sometimes it's 'just because', and that's enough.
My favorite photo in this exhibit is a front view of a young woman from the chest down, lanky legs sticking out from a shapeless shift. She's holding a branch at a 90 degree angle to her torso. Of course, my first thought was 'what does it mean??' And there was no answer. There was no paragraph beside the photo explaining Todd's deep, personal beliefs about peanut butter and it's relationship to the environment. There was no catalog reference to deeply held religious dogma and how it relates to the fact that Todd sometimes wears a kilt. It was just the photo. I don't know what it means, except that I know I love that photo. I love looking at it. I love thinking about it. I love that her lanky legs are sort of twiggy, like the branch she's holding. And I love that others are looking at it as well, and probably putting their own history to it. And that Todd is hanging out in the back, sipping a beer and enjoying the spectacle, thinking 'it's just a girl with a branch.'
This image is for my exhibit at the Minden Opera House, March 2 - April 15.
What does this image mean? In a nutshell, the fractured textures of the branches represent the frailty of ...well ... um, actually, I just like the way the yellow leaves float on the dark blue water.
What does your art mean to you?