Thursday, September 21, 2006

Just Look

by Alessandra Sanguinetti

I may be no Sebastião Salgado, but I’ve been enjoying playing with my camera, which has led me to surfing Flickr, which has brought back both my appreciation of photography as an art and journalistic form and the wide array of talent out there. I haven’t been semi-serious about taking photos or films since early in college, but I think my disappointment at realizing I didn’t have the drive, talent and boldness necessary to work seriously in the field (or in music, for that matter, although that was more due to a lack of self-confidence, I believe) caused me to shut it out of my daily life. A perfectionist since I can remember, studying the arts made me somewhat harshly critical - more toward my own work than others', but enough so that I still rarely go to movies or live music shows (I paid how much for this crap? And why am I not exhibiting/up on that stage?). It’s only in the last few years, as my angst-ridden creative past fades in memory and I learn how to enjoy some things just for what they are (dumb reality TV shows, for example), that I can allow myself to both dabble without demanding utter excellence from myself and truly be blown away by some artists’ work without undue resentment.

by Alessandra Sanguinetti

It’s with this in mind that I hope to get to a photography exhibit by Alessandra Sanguinetti and a local gallery. I just found out about her in the New Yorker, and I am profoundly moved by and taken with her pictures, particularly those in her show The Sixth Day. Her portraits are occasionally contrived, but highly skillful, and my skepticism is washed away by much of this series. The horror and beauty of human and animal life and death on a farm make me feel both crushed and full of wonder at the intricacy of the design of living bodies. On the sixth day, it is said, God created animals and man, and Sanguinetti conveys the beauty and harshness of that creation as it appears in everyday life in her work.

by Alessandra Sanguinetti

For more of her photos, go here and here.


BEAST said...

Picture one has a message....moisturise....moisturise....moisturise

First Nations said...

very cool. i looked at them all.
where was the 'dreams' and 'sixth day'
series taken? texas??
i like the girls drinking wine beneath the old studio portraits and the head-on of the elderly greyhound.

Da Nator said...

BEAST - Yes, the woman on the right used Oil of Olay - they're actually the same age. ;o)

FN - from the press release for Sixth Day:

'In On the Sixth Day (1996-2004), Alessandra Sanguinetti draws on myth and fable, focusing on the interaction and interdependence between humans and domesticated animals in the countryside outside Buenos Aires, Argentina. Frequently photographing from the vantage point of her subjects – including lambs, cows, horses, pigs, chickens, dogs, and rabbits – the artist acts as a witness to moments where life and death hang in the balance. Local roadsides, woods, and farm fields provide a backdrop for each scene.

Utilizing the trope of the fable, Sanguinetti makes images in which animals and humans act as doubles for each other. The artist states, “To portray an animal is to name it. Once named it acquires a new life, and then, is spared death. Each sacrifice gives us back a disturbing image of the border we cross when we end a life, and what it entails to have sole dominion over another living creature. It is possible that by exploring the fine line that separates us from what we rule, we may reach a better understanding of our own nature.”'

I believe Dreams was done in Argentina, too, as she spends her time there and in NYC.

First Nations said...

ive tiptoed through some of your images as well-yaint no slouch neither.
i'm all for being as critical as you want or need to be about your own work. thats part of the journey to finding your voice. if you can live up to your own standards (which change over time) you are invinceable.

unable to be vinced?
who's vince?

BigAssBelle said...

wow. what a beautiful post. those photos, your words, your talent.

have you ever read "the artist's way?" i am also a frustrated artist, and that book led me to a place where i could let out the art while refraining from judgment. . .