Instead of just recording reality, photographs have become the norm for the way things appear to us, thereby changing the very idea of realism. By furnishing this already crowded world with a duplicate one of images, photography makes us feel that the world is more available than it really is. What is true of photographs is true of the world seen photographically. Photographs are miniatures of reality that anyone can make or acquire. Knowing a great deal about what is in the world through photographic images, people are frequently disappointed when they see the real thing. Very often something disturbs us more in photographed form than it does when we actually experience it.
What she sought was always something lying ahead, and even if it was a matter of the past it was a past that changed gradually as she advanced on her journey, because the traveller’s past changes according to the route she has followed: not the immediate past, that is, to which each day that goes by adds a day, but the more remote past. Arriving at each new city, she finds again a past of her that she did not know she had: the foreignness of what you no longer are or no longer possess lies in wait for you in foreign, unpossessed places. She cannot stop; she must go on to another city, where another past awaits her, sight of desperate squalor, with all those low buildings, petrol stations. The more she was lost in unfamiliar quarters of distant cities, the more she understood the other cities she had crossed to arrive there; and she retraced the stages of her journeys, and she came to know the port from which she set sail, and the familiar places of her youth -- and the surroundings of home.
All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s, or thing’s, mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt. Between photographer and subject, there has to be distance. The camera doesn’t rape, though it may presume, intrude, trespass, distort, and at the farthest reach of metaphor, assassinate – all activities that can be conducted from a distance, and with some detachment. Still, there is something predatory in the act of taking a picture.
Anybody can look at a pretty girl and see a pretty girl. An artist can look at a pretty girl and see the old woman she will become. A better artist can look at an old woman and see the pretty girl that she used to be. But a great artist, a master, can look at an old woman, portray her exactly as she is - and force the viewer to see the pretty girl she used to be. And more than that, he can make anyone with the sensitivity of an Armadillo, or even you, see that this lovely young girl is still alive, but simply prisoned inside her body. He can make you feel the quiet, endless tragedy that there was never a girl born who ever grew older than eighteen in her heart, no matter what the merciless hours have done to her. Look at her, my friend - growing old doesn't matter to you and me; we were never meant to be admired -- but it does to them.
Classic cars and beautiful women – the beauty and form of the classic car complemented by an equally beautiful woman. Female grace, beauty and lifestyle combine with timeless cars to create images that are sensual with an atmosphere of the golden era of movies to imply a sense of elegance and mystery. In my automotive work women are used to add a fragrant or spicy story, a slice of life and storytelling. They add a touch of style and beauty, drive you back to past automotive eras -- I frame women not automobiles, women are the allure that vintage cars accentuate.
The Indians say to draw someone’s portrait is to steal their soul, I take photographs, does it mean that I am just borrowing them? But photography is like stealing – you rob someone of a moment that exposes something essential about their character, their soul if you like. To photograph people is to violate them, by seeing them as they never see themselves, by having knowledge of them that they can never have; it turns people into objects that can be symbolically possessed. The terrifying thought that everyone, friend of foe, can get so close to you, look you straight in the eye and judge you without having any control over it or being able to respond. A part of them has become the property of the photographer. To photograph someone is a subliminal murder, appropriate to a sad, frightened time.
You wonder what it is and so you pause along the way. Something lures there waiting, sleek and slim and cold. Better just keep moving, as you were told. But it isn’t all that far from the path you’re on. A couple of steps are all it takes to be there, by her side. So you take just a few steps – what can be the harm? Is she safe to approach or is she only sleeping? Is she waiting until you’re too close to get away? And didn’t your mother ever tell you, you should not go from the path? Didn’t she warn you of the dangers – or did you roll your eyes and laugh? There are things you shouldn’t touch. And things you shouldn’t try. If you’re lucky she’ll make you bleed and cry. And if you aren’t lucky -- say Good Bye!
Yes, maybe that is what they call a Mona Elisa smile I got on my puss. Big Shot, you left me without a Coke in the car! You like to photograph me to sleep? Sometimes you don’t seem to give me credit for very much intelligence at all. Hey, I’m a magazine reader! There’s a need for a girl that hides in a ‘lil truck to stay away from the photographer and I don’t want to be shot by a boy that would make me stay in a car as tiny as a crib! Big Shot, you’re a mess. Do you know what they call such people? Peepin’ Toms! -- Stop taking pictures or I’m gonna plug up your lens with Chewin’ Gum!
Look at children. Of course they may quarrel, but generally speaking they do not harbor ill feelings as much or as long as adults do. Most adults have the advantage of education over children, but what is the use of an education if they show a big smile while hiding negative feelings deep inside. Children don’t act in such a manner. If they feel angry with someone, they express it, and then it is finished. They can still play with that person the following day.
Unfamiliar with the local streets, just as me, she did run up some closed gates. When finally she tried to escape by foot one of her French heels broke off. Still exhausted by the car chase, oh man, I can tell you she really knows how to drive fast, I asked her: “You are Mrs. Columbo?” She looked up at me, surprisingly in a friendly manner, and replied: “Y’know, in all the years we had this car, this is the first time I took the top down. But, oh my little boy, don’t get fooled, Mrs. Columbo has never been seen, and probably never existed.” She was pointing to her headscarf, “I am, hm, can’t you see, I am just Madame De Papillon.” Once more I lifted the Graflex to frame her, but no more film sheets left. She noted my mess and a cheeky little smile surrounded her red lips when she walked away -- with the broken shoes in her hands.
I spend my whole life driving in cars with boys. Riding around town drinking in the white noise. Used to talk about where we be and where we go. Now we know, baby, now we know. I spent my whole life wasted in bars with boys. Playing Rock ‘n’ Roll, dancing in the loud noise. Mommy’s Mercedes or Billy’s pick up truck. Comes out late at night and baby picks me up. Tell him just drive on and don’t ever stop. Don’t take me home again, take me to a new land. Sometimes I wanna give in, but I just have to go on. They say I’m wasting time, they said that I’m no good. Summer of my life, not doing what I should. Call me poison ivy ’cause I’m far from good. Pretty from afar, like a dark star. They think I’m dangerous, they think I’m really bad, I’m just making up for what I never had. Go out every night whenever I feel sad, Oh, this drive by love got me crazy like a drug. Stumble into trouble, siren with a sad song.