Who Is The Artist?

We recently had the “heating and air conditioning guy” visit to perform service on our unit. When he was done with the service, he walked into the office to talk to me. As he entered the room, he glanced at the bookcase at the end of the credenza, spotting the shelf dedicated to camera storage, then asked, “Who is the artist?”

I looked at the bookcase and shook my head. “I just take a lot of photos.” I said, “I’m a writer.”

The definition of an “Artist” is rather ambiguous from my viewpoint, but I suspect that I am one. I know people who are definitely artists. The first three people who come to mind are my daughter Megan and friends Gail Morrow and Jeannie Barroga. There are plenty of others.

On occasion, people have even called me an artist. But I don’t take it very seriously. I don’t try to promote the idea that the label fits and I’m not engaged in the “struggle as an Artist”. The way I see it, I’m just a guy who is curious about an infinite number of things. In the midst of being curious about something, I quite often photograph it.

Most times I’m just playing around, like when I shot the sequence of photographs shown here. I don’t care for the way that I look in photographs, but I was an available subject element on the afternoon when I wanted to play with the Yashica Electro 35 rangefinder, black and white film, and the soft light flowing through the curtains in the spare bedroom of my house. Is the sequence of photos art? My answers are “Who knows?” and “Who cares?”.

I’m sure there are several ready-made definitions of what an artist is, but I haven’t done any investigation to find one or a handful that might fit me. I’m not particularly interested. I’m simply curious about many things, but not curious enough about finding that definition.

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