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Arabian Mountain and other stuff.

Just came from my first ever hiking trip to the Arabian Mountain trails. Took a lot of good photos I plan to use for my final project involving compositing images for Suellen's DIgital Craft class. In other news, I had a major breakthrough this week regarding my work. I switched back to Luster paper, which allows me to interact with the actual photograph instead of just painting over it. I'm happier with the overall results of the images and the direction the work has begun to take. I had a conversation with Dawoud Bey on Facebook about the process of letting the work take it's own direction. He said that I should begin with an idea but that my idea shouldn't be so rigid that I don't allow the work to become something else on it's own. It was so weird when it happened. Something just clicked. I merged everything that had been successful over the past 8 weeks into one photograph and I was immediately happy. Steph came over and we discussed the frustrations of the artistic process. We agreed that those frustrating days and many failed prints were necessary to get to the end. It's hard to admit that because I don't necessarily enjoy that journey and would much rather begin knowing exactly what I want and how to produce. I'm sure everyone would prefer to work in that manner. I don't think the end result would be so fulfilling though.

The project topic has also changed. It is now about the objectification of the black male body throughout history and the weathering effect I believe it has begun to take. I have thrown around a few titles but I'm pretty much set on "Treasured" given the color palette I  have chosen for the work. Evan asked me if this work was apart of the "(Re)Negotiated Spaces" series and he was right to think so. The work still aims to renegotiate the space, but to talk about something specific this time instead of my broad chaotic experiences as a gay black man.  

That's all I can think of right now. I'll write more when I know more. 

Ervin Johnson1 Comment