Today, I will be seeing some of my own work for the first time.
Is this a riddle? A koan? No, nothing so exotic.
Late this afternoon, I’ll be attending an “office warming” gathering at the San Francisco Parks Alliance, an organization dedicated to the health and future of parks in The City. The Parks Alliance, I am honored to say, has used a number of my images in their spanking new offices. Over a number of years, I took the pictures for these images, and I worked on and reimagined them on the digital easel. A couple of months ago I submitted a number of possibilites to the Parks Alliance and, when the choices were made, prepared digital files as carefully as I know how. But after that the matter left my hands. These images, you see, have been printed as large wall art, in some cases floor-to-ceiling large. I have neither the experience nor the printing equipment for such a task, which has instead been in the expert and capable hands of Media Solutions here in San Francisco.
To many artists this is old hat. Projects of a certain scale obviously require collaboration. (Can one imagine Calder hauling his five-story stabiles into public squares all by himself?) And some photographers prefer to send out even their smaller pieces, trusting in the men and women who make it their life’s work to know every nuance of their craft. But for me, the printing – the realization in ink and paper of what began as light on a sensor and diodes on a monitor – is an important part of my creative process. (The only exception has been the small bit of online stock photography I do … though in that instance, one almost never knows who has bought an image and where it has ended up.) Making the giclee print is challenging and sometimes frustrating, certainly, but to me it’s an integral part of doing photographic art.
So today I expand my horizons. I’ve often wondered how some of my work would look enlarged, and now I’ll have a first look. I’m proud to have this “experiment” associated with a group so vital to civic life here in San Francisco.