A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

Vida
Saturday, October 07, 2017




Yesterday I wrote this about my friend Juan Manuel Sánchez who died on October 5, 2016.
From him I learned lots about art and how to become more human. I learned patience and that inspiration comes if one looks for it.

But of all that he taught me, he was the only one who made it seem normal (is it?) for an artist or this amateur to contemplate and then accept an obsession to record the body and soul of a woman with the least amount of trappings.

In the almost 15 years that we were friends he and his wife Nora Patrich were the only ones who gave me comfort (by example) that my need to photograph women in any way or form (but preferably undraped). By example I mean that both Sánchez and Patrich painted, drew and sketched the female form.

Sánchez’s particular obsession was more acute than mine. He would stare at a blank canvas and then he would begin to work. He called the blank canvas a problem in need of a resolution. Through his long life that resolution meant to simplify form to its bare minimum and still convey the essence of what he was painting.In most cases that would be the ultimate woman as a Platonic Essence.



But I can also here contrast what he did and what I did. He could paint from memory. He did not need to paint from life although he welcomed the many opportunities to sit in my studio with his wife and sketch a parade of women that I brought in. As a photographer I cannot point my camera at nothing. I need a subject. If that subject is exposed as a photograph there will always be that marked difference on how we look an accept a reproduction on canvas and how in most cases we will reject a photographic version.

Of all that he tried to explain that it was as normal as eating, talking or anything else.
Living in a conservative and many times extreme politically correct city his words seemed to be of one “crying in the wilderness”.

One of my daughters thinks I am a pornographer. My wife simply tolerates what I do. Perhaps there is a barrier between would-be artists (me) and those who do not contemplate being one.
With Sánchez gone from my life as a tactile presence I can only find refuge in his words in my memory.

Claudia en la pared de Nora Patrich

I could explain to him (and he would have listened with interest) that now at my age of 75 that obsession to photograph the erotic has become more subtle, elegant, less extreme and obviously springs out from above my belt and deep inside my brain. I like that idea. That extreme is becoming less so. Is this a Sánchez resolution of a problem?




     

Previous Posts
Missing a Friend & Mentor - Juan Manuel Sánchez

1 Hour Photo - One Man Show - Not

An October Fall in Lillooet BC

The Goblin Market - It Takes Two to Tango on the T...

Its temple stands, alway,

The Woman in White

Twenty Fingers & No Thumbs & UBC's Barnett Hall

Her Grace is (not) all she has

Photographic Inspiration in Unpredictable Places

Standing Wave & Safeway Cardboard Bread



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1/8/17 - 1/15/17

1/15/17 - 1/22/17

1/22/17 - 1/29/17

1/29/17 - 2/5/17

2/5/17 - 2/12/17

2/12/17 - 2/19/17

2/19/17 - 2/26/17

2/26/17 - 3/5/17

3/5/17 - 3/12/17

3/12/17 - 3/19/17

3/19/17 - 3/26/17

3/26/17 - 4/2/17

4/2/17 - 4/9/17

4/9/17 - 4/16/17

4/16/17 - 4/23/17

4/23/17 - 4/30/17

4/30/17 - 5/7/17

5/7/17 - 5/14/17

5/14/17 - 5/21/17

5/21/17 - 5/28/17

5/28/17 - 6/4/17

6/4/17 - 6/11/17

6/11/17 - 6/18/17

6/18/17 - 6/25/17

6/25/17 - 7/2/17

7/2/17 - 7/9/17

7/9/17 - 7/16/17

7/16/17 - 7/23/17

7/23/17 - 7/30/17

7/30/17 - 8/6/17

8/6/17 - 8/13/17

8/13/17 - 8/20/17

8/20/17 - 8/27/17

8/27/17 - 9/3/17

9/3/17 - 9/10/17

9/10/17 - 9/17/17

9/17/17 - 9/24/17

9/24/17 - 10/1/17

10/1/17 - 10/8/17

10/8/17 - 10/15/17

10/15/17 - 10/22/17

10/22/17 - 10/29/17

10/29/17 - 11/5/17

11/5/17 - 11/12/17

11/12/17 - 11/19/17

11/19/17 - 11/26/17

11/26/17 - 12/3/17

12/3/17 - 12/10/17

12/10/17 - 12/17/17