What is it?!
Sometimes, I guess, stupid questions are all that's left, and this morning I ran head-first into one of them. And, as a means of finding out precisely how stupid I was being, I wrote a note to a former newspaper colleague, photographer Bob Stern, and asked for his thoughts. I can't do better than to cut and paste the email I sent:
Bob -- I
remember that once you and Mieke and perhaps a couple of others were
considering starting a photo business -- something that would focus on
portraits that would be, for lack of a better word, "alive." If I guess
correctly, the business never got off the ground because it was a hard,
if not impossible, sell.
Today, I was looking at the Gazette as I
do each morning. My eye, like others, was drawn to the photos first
and, not for the first time, I realized without checking the credit
line, that a particular photo was by Jerrey Roberts, a guy who used to
be (and perhaps still is) Lu Feorino's main squeeze. Whether the picture
is pedestrian or exciting, Jerrey's got something that I recognize
without being able to put a name to it. "Magic" or "a gift" is too
airy-fairy, but saying it is nothing special isn't quite right either.
And this morning I wondered again, "what the fuck is it?!" The
photographs of others range from mediocre to adequate, but Jerrey's stuff resonates and transmits ... something.
I was just wondering if you had a name for it. It seems to be
conscious, but to pick it apart with analyses falls on its face. It is
an instantaneous recognition and yet imagining I could say what it was a recognition of is purely stupid.
I don't really expect you to have an answer -- and if you did have an answer, I suspect I would never accept it -- but ... well ... what are your thoughts?
Hope all is well.