QUESTION: So what have you been up to in the new year?
ANSWER: Not much. I've been catching up on sleep mostly.
QUESTION: Any thoughts about what you are going to do differently in the New Year? I mean, in terms of photography?
ANSWER: I have been thinking about it. I can't put my finger on
it, but there does seem to be some secret formula for creating beauty -
a nexus between the commerical and the form. And it might turn
out that that nexus, as opposed to be something to look down on, is
actually a higher form of art.
QUESTION: That's interesting. Can you tell us what you mean by that - more specifically?
ANSWER: You know, what happened was - I did that last picture of Poet's
Walk in the winter - and I began to get a lot of complements on it -
not only over the web which I didn't think meant that much, but from
people who were around the apartment over the holidays. And it
struck me, that my two most popular pictures are of the same thing;
different lenses, different cameras, similar times of year... and I
began to think about popular writers. Who were the most popular
writers and Agatha Christie came to mind.
I'm not sure if she's sold the most books, but she has sold billions of
them. All mysteries. And I've been reading a lot of Nero
Wolfe again - and anyway, I was seeing that these books - and perhaps
one element of art - is not how original it is - but a sort of
variation on a theme.
You have the same thing in music. There are certain forms that
for unknown - at least to me - reasons - are just pleasing to human
beings. And the trick isn't so much in finding new forms, but in
doing variations of the old forms. Think of it as a sonnet or a
hiaku. This idea was so foreign to me - because here I am
wandering around for years and years thinking that you've got to do
something original for it to be good.
QUESTION: But you took the Promenade and Poet's Walk pictures. Were you trying to make a buck?
ANSWER: Actually - no. I think I was just as struck by the
feeling of that place as everyone else. When I took the first
Promenade picture, I don't think I had ever even seen the place before,
or a picture of it. And when I do return to that spot - even
though I've been there so many times - there is something about it that
still does something to me. And I've read all the Agatha Christie
books like everyone else. In other words, what I'm trying to say
- is that maybe in the new year - I will not try so hard at creating
anything new - but will just go with the flow. Go with the
variation. Try to understand the core of the variation.
QUESTION: Well, you know - Agatha Christie is not considered a great artist.
ANSWER: That's too bad.
QUESTION: Well, thank you.
ANSWER: Thank you. Now I think I'll take a nap.