Rosemary - My Faithful CompanionSunday, April 28, 2013
|Rosemary & Alexandra
As per her usual Irish/Canadian heritage self she said nothing. If anything I would describe my wife as being an intensely interior, almost hermetic kind of woman. And yet I have noticed in our 45 years of marriage that what she thinks, I think, what I say publicly is most often what she says in her head.
If there is a big difference between us it has to be my pretentions of being an artist, and that as such I cannot retire, stay in bed, read books and wtd (wait to die).
I am having a show at the Duthie Gallery which opens on May 4. I am not too sure if my wife will make the trek with me to Salt Spring Island.
I have had many shows in the past that included or where only about the undraped female. For some time she urged me to have a show of my “famous” people. I tried to explain that for one of those shows I had invites that featured my portrait of Sting.
A man called me and asked, “Did you really photograph Sting?”
Another time I was very happy with an Equity Magazine cover of Edgar Kaiser. It was my era of carrying a pager. I received an urgent page, “Are you the man who photographed Edgar Kaiser?” I was thinking, “Finally I am going to land an lucrative portrait assignment!” The man then asked, “Could you tell me where Kaiser purchased the chess set you photographed him with?”
Fame and fortune will not come in my direction with my portraits of now mostly dead people. Fame photographs have to be of the presently famous.
Now my scans of my roses and other plants from my garden and converted into exquisite giclées by Grant Simmons at DISC have been generally admired and wowed. But with the exception of one that I sold to lawyer Christopher Dafoe to decorate (splendidly I might add here, subjectively) his office, have not been purchased by anybody. There seems to be a negative reticence of protest from those I tell that they are not photographs but scans. Then they think I’m a looney when I further inform them that my roses talk to me and tell me when to cut them for the scan. They have no concept of the idea of scanning plants that one grows.
Then there are my erotic photographs. People stare at them and few make any comments. It could be part of that Scottish/Canadian heritage that my wife so splendidly keeps to herself.
I am not sure if my Rosemary understands the artistic imperative (as my imperative in having to pun when I have the opportunity). I remember reading at least 20 years ago in Time that punning was a specific disease of the mind. Those who have it cannot but pun. Why have painters, sculptors and photographers so often painted the nude human figure? I call it an imperative.
To be very fair my wife has allowed me without much vocal objection to my taking pictures of undraped women all these years. She has not threatened to divorce me or given me any ultimatums. Of this I am very grateful. I wish she might understand. But then she just might understand but keeps it internal.
Just a few days ago I told her that I had sent some of my recent erotic files to a photographer friend. I told Rosemary, “I expected some kind of comment or opinion. There was nothing.” Rosemary said, “Perhaps he is tired of your constant theme.”
At the very least when I am present at my opening, accompanied by Rosemary or not, I will not feel ashamed or concerned about the pictures on the wall. I will know that in person or not Rosemary is always there.