Jacqueline & My Bell CurveFriday, November 02, 2012
My grandmother was the most understanding member of my family. Many a time when my parents were about to severely punish me for something I should not have done she would step in and say, “Alex is an artista. We are both artistas. Artistas are different. You have to understand that." More often than not my grandmother saved me from a whipping by my mother using her slipper or my father using his hand (both on my behind).
Some still see in me elements of the artist and I even act the artist but deep inside me I live with the logic of mathematics. I see most problems with a Spockian logic. From the very beginning that I saw La Odisea del Espacio (Star Trek) in late 1969 when they had been dubbed into Spanish in Mexico, I identified with the logical mind of Spock. His very opposite was the all human Doctor McCoy. Only Captain Kirk had elements of both in balance to be the starship captain that he was.
When I learned about sine waves, and parabolas and bell curves (in statistics) I saw how our human actions could almost be explained or in some cases foreseen. It was the inverted parabola, one that hugs the ends of the Y and X axis and touches them at infinity (this is called an asymptote) that I began to understand how my wife's emotions worked. Alex, I will smile and be pleasant. I will relax. I will be the carefree wife you long for only when I am free of this present worry that is our finances. Our finances might become a problem of a car that went kaput or our daughters getting bad grades at school. My wife's asymptote was like Lucy taking away the football at the last moment. Maybe this time, this time only the football would stay and Charlie Brown would kick the ball and not fall. Happiness was around the corner even if that parabola showed otherwise.
In a nutshell I am a photographer who finds inspiration in logic. I find inspiration in scanning a situation (Spock-like) and only doing what I think is possible.
A photographer's career you might think would follow the pattern of the statistical bell curve. It might in some situations be a sine wave curve with ups and downs but in the end that curve would be the wrong side of the bell curve (down there, on the right side) A statistical exception might be a talented artist suddenly found dead at the height of fame. We wonder what would have been of Modigliani if he had lived more years.
I was telling a subject of mine yesterday that at age 70 paying work was all but gone. I told him, I am an old man. I am 70. My subject (older than I and quite active) said, "Well you are at an age when you should be retired."
Since January 2006 I have posted in this daily blog, daily. I have inserted photographs, many that come from my extensive files. But there have been many other photographs that are recent. Of late, and at age 70 I have made it a point (for myself at least) to think that I am not at the bottom of a bell curve. In fact I may be on the upswing of a sine wave or on the top of a positive parabola pointing up and not about to reach zero on any axis at infinity, but somewhere up there!
I think of Manuel Alvarez Bravo's El Trapo Negro, an exquisite nude taken when he was 85. I have lots to go still if my curve might just resemble Bravo's. I am no Bravo but I can dream!
Posted here is one Fuji Instant Print of my new subject the 25 year-old Jacqueline who posed today for my red shawl series. It is a good photograph. I am very excited about it. And I took it ( I only took one) just a few hours ago. That must mean something at the very least at the top of that statistical bell curve. And now down I go?