As an artist I spend a lot of time thinking about the permanence of objects. Creativity comes in so many forms- music, speech, and performance art all exists within a temporal space where there is never a true physical object created. Recordings can be made and played back, but the actual moment of creation can never truly be experienced more than once. That is what makes watching a play or a live music performance so powerful- the viewer is allowed into the space and moment of creation on a very intimate level, and once it is over it is gone forever. We are experience something as it simultaneously dissappears. That is why we are intrigued by performances. Photography is still such a young medium in comparison to music and performance, and even painting, drawing and sculpture. But it's place within the canon of art history has become jeopardized by the incredible invention of digital art which encourages us to keep photography an art without a physical object. A digital photograph or digital illustration can be created on a digital device and never get processed into an art object that we can actually touch and feel and interact with. Watching something on a screen distances us from that piece of art, which pushes digital art into a secluded space. There are many digital artists who are creating very powerful work in the worlds of experimental video/projection/etc, but when it comes to photography that overlap feels very hollow to me. It is as if the process of photography has been digitally disrupted because the end product very rarely gets achieved- images are created and processed, but our world now expects the work flow to end there. Which is disappointing.
This is why it is important to go to musems. This is why it is important to own original art works, and to let ourselves interact with a piece of art on a personal level. Photographs tell such an amazing story because they are actual representations of our world, frozen in time at the very moment of creation. Placing a photograph on your wall allows you to experience and re-experience a moment (whether in your life or someone else's) that actually happened, that represents reality. And I think that as humans we crave photographs because it reminds us that we are social beings, and that life actually does happen and time passes. The final printed photograph is a true document of that experience because an artist has intentionally enlarged and made tangible an untouchable moment in time. There is the power of the printed photograph- an intangible experience made tangible forever.
When clients commission me, my one true goal is to give them the gift of tangible emotion. That takes spending a large amount of time getting to know the intricacies of their relationships and their animal companions, spending time pulling out the most powerful story I can, and spending time creating and printing and producing photographic prints that only exist for them. The physical print is just as important to me as the moment of creation, and it is equally important to my clients which makes my job truly special.