Notes on a Work in Progress

I’ve attached a couple of pictures below from a work in progress, a new experiment for me.

A few weeks ago, I posted an ad online for a model. I’ve never worked with the figure before, at least nothing more than pictures of girlfriends. It seemed like a new challenge, and since I find myself between projects, it seemed like the right time to take it on.

I got a few responses to the ad, but only acknowledged one of them. I’m still not sure why, but in the end this is precisely what I find most engaging about these photographs.

After exchanging a few emails with this woman, we finally got together to make some pictures. Our time together came easily; she was relaxed, confident, expressive, and poised. I suppose I felt the same way; the pictures came quickly, and it all felt very comfortable.

Upon further reflection, I have become more and more engaged by the photographs. The pictures are good, certainly not my best work, but also strong enough to make me want to make more. What I find most meaningful here, however, is the communication between us. We found ourselves working together, two strangers basically, and yet there was a feeling of open communication. As I reflect on it today, I see that we are two people of disparate experiences, and yet with a meaningful common ground. We both have something to say, and have met to find a way to say it. There is a sense of trust, which I like, and no sense of shame. This is honest, and however we got here together doesn’t matter, as long as we have the chance to voice these experiences together.

If you back up a few pages, and read my notes on Metempsychosis and James Joyce, I think you will find that this is precisely what I was trying to write about the other day. Here we are, two people brought together by a common need. Strangers in many ways, and yet able to connect and identifying something in ourselves and each other. Perhaps more than the pictures themselves, this is what I find most meaningful. As I said before, we are all in this together, and it’s too infrequent that we have the chance to actually voice this kind of experience.

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