Posts Tagged ‘photographs


reflections: self-portrait and el camino (& how i cleaned out the ‘drafts’)

i’ve spent the week cleaning out my “drafts” here at robert patrick. posts that for whatever reason have not seen the light of day — or at least your day, obviously they’ve seen my day, but i’ve taken the photos and the text and let them languish in the “drafts” pile. Sometimes the text has taken on a life of its own with some other imagery and made it to the published blog and other times, it has not (and rightly so–it could have been written better or it was something i decided not to share with you, one must have one’s secrets, mustn’t one, after all.)

it’s also possible that i lost interest in the photos, because it is a bit of a photographic vomitorium here at robert patrick and after a while, even though i’ve loaded up the drafts with my favorites, times change, moods change, aesthetic decisions are made or those that have been made are forgotten or displaced by more acute decisions regarding the merit of one image over another. it may also be that i have just grown weary and forgotten them.

whatever, here they languish, until this week when i’ve published them (or not, some did manage to find their way into the ether of the internet through the precise use of the ‘delete’ button, a surgeon wielding his blade.)


tree and fog (on the installation of art)

it has always been my contention that the best way to install an exhibition of paintings, prints, photographs (or a collection of all three), is to use your eye and not a tape measure.  you are creating a dialogue (or even an argument), but more than likely a conversation between the art, the artists, and the viewers that will blossom more freely if the structure of the installation is less rigid and more natural.

there are those in the art world who would differ with me on this subject, but i can finally announce some vindication by quoting nick serota of the tate modern (and all of the tates: britain, liverpool, et al): “working with david [david sylvester, writer and critic), was a pretty special experience. i learned not to use a tape measure when installing, for starters. use your eye.” (via the july 2, 2012 the new yorker‘s calvin tomkins “the modern man” profile of serota). not that that statement is the be-all, end-all, but it is nick serota after all, and his opinion should carry some weight with my detractors.


your succulence

when you are writing your blog, are you predicting your future? isn’t what you’ll post tomorrow as foreordained as it is to put one foot in front of the other to walk across the room? the subject may change, but the intent has been decided; you have your tropes, rhythms, synecdoches (i thought i would never see the day that i would use ‘synecdoche’ in a sentence), just as i do: a photograph as springboard for thoughts, random or intended, memories, predictions; it is not unlike walking along the edge of a cliff. you have decisions to make; how safe will you be today, what risks will you take tomorrow, how close to the truth will you hew, how far are you willing to go to get to that truth, how much will you lie to yourself (no one who reads your words will know whether or not you’re being truthful, at least not those who do not know you well, and those that do, what of it?)


the palms at 6:02, 6:07, and 6:11 a.m. on may 18, 2012

it’s possible that i’m lying.

we all do. everyday we embellish and expand, omit and conveniently forget the truth.

even these photographs are lies for they tell not the actual truth of the moments in which they were captured (time being the first fact to evaporate into the ether of “it doesn’t matter”).

they’ve been manipulated and saturated, the contrast has been swung to the right while the brightness has been toned down/up, but they come close to the way i saw them for the briefest moment yesterday morning sometime after 6 and before 6:30 while taking the dogs for their morning walk (the dogs on a morning walk is true.)


clouds over the ocean (a challenge)


how often can you write about the clouds, the sunrise, the canyon, the bluffs, the palms, the pacific ocean?  when do you think  you’ve said, you’ve written, you’ve photographed these same things enough?

you’re not expecting me to answer those questions, are you?

aren’t these photographs enough proof for you that there is no limit to the variations, the subtleties, the grand gestures nature provides us each and every day?  do you not see beauty everyday?

i challenge you to prove me wrong.  tell me of the day you did not encounter one beautiful thing, moment, animal, word, thought, deed, action, heartbeat, kiss, look.


the subject was a rose (a conversation among friends of this blog’s author)

“oh, there he goes again,” declares one, “another fricking photograph of some rose he can’t even identify properly–stuck right into our noses, like he wants to rub our faces in it.”

“he’s just so confrontational.”  sighs another.

“what’s to be done?” laments a third.

“well, it’s obvious we must do something.  perhaps an intervention?” suggests his _________, without crossing the _______/patient confidentiality line.

“is there a cure?  i didn’t realize that there was any help for this, this disease,” whispers his _________ eerily from the great beyond.  (yes, they’re psychic too.)

“you know, we could blame you, after all you were the one that set him on this path of self-___________,” retorted the _________.

“you have a lot of room to talk, mister, why i’ve half a mind to give you a good spanking.  except why should i give you the pleasure?” the ghost of his _______ rejoins.

“people, people, please.  let’s not turn this into a blame game,” says his most ardent admirer, “we’re here to solve the problem of his constant posting of photos of flowers–it’s really just too too much to bear; to watch him suffer so, the constant photo-taking at the slightest sight of a bloom, the time spent adjusting and manipulating the photograph afterwards, his posting of the images hither and yon; it’s all quite out of hand.”

“short of taking his camera and his phone from him what are we to do?  aren’t you afraid that he might crack if he were to quit cold turkey?  that we might not ever have our dear, dear friend robert, as we know and love him now, back again?” cried an online acquaintance who had, up ’til now, remained quiet, standing at the back of the crowd.  [author’s note: the use of the word ‘crowd’, of course, is wish-fulfillment at its most pathetic.  mea culpa.]

“there may be nothing we can do, really,” said a more reasoned voice, “shouldn’t we just let him do as he pleases?  what harm is there in his sharing the beauty he sees around him, after all?  i think you’re all quite silly. let’s take a watch-and-wait attitude and enjoy what he gives us without questioning his motives or his sanity.”

everyone concurred, sipped their coffees, picked up their bags, and went on about their lives.


a sunday morning w/saturday photographs (foreword)

if you’re not careful, one day can run into the other quite easily out here.  the weather, on saturday for instance, was not that different from the weather on sunday, he said saturday night at around 9:50 p.m.  he’s even said that there are subtle differences between one sunrise from the  next, & we all know that that is not really true.  for evidence, please note photo above.  that is the sun rising on the right.  need there be more explanation?

but if you are paying attention, there are details that change everything one day to the next.  that statement is not true.  please direct your eye (& what else would you direct?) to the seascape in the photograph directly above this paragraph (a paragraph you’ll note that has no indentation, it’s only considered a paragraph because he has said it is, but that does not make it so, the reader is advised to maintain their distance & to not impose their own righteousness upon the text,) but back to the photograph, what was to be said?  the sea, the sky, some vegetation framing it.  a political act?

you would think not, but you would be wrong.  the very existence of the image is a revolution, a fight for freedom, & even this trite saccharine scene (a tree fern frond unfurls its edwardian moustaches) embodies the power to upend the status quo.

this then is the message that you will find throughout this forthcoming group of posts, a book, serialized if you will, that begins today & ends this coming friday.



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© Robert Patrick, and Cultivar, 2008-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photographs and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Robert Patrick and Cultivar with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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