I did not write a blog last month. I couldn’t. My brain was, and still is, numb. Words had no meaning. My friend, an incredible artist, is dying from brain cancer. Chemo. Radiation. Pain. Confusion. Wheelchair.
We talked about life. We talked about art. We couldn’t understand why he was handed a death sentence one year ago and how vastly his life had changed overnight.
How do you continue to do your art? Do you continue to do your art? Depends on who you are.
We laughed watching an old episode of Bonanza where cowboy life was so clean and simple, they would sit around and harmonize with “Pa” after dinner, and their current dilemma was whether or not to put down an old horse. Another life and death situation – but we laughed until we could not laugh anymore.
We created art also. Yes, the Collodion camera and chemistry made the trip to 100 degree, hot, dry, Sacramento. Tough shoot physically. Tough shoot emotionally. Had to do it but it was another out of body experience. I have talked about it before. The camera can be responsible for many things. It opens doors, it allows you to be someone else, it facilitates interpretation, it communicates, it can be a true sense of joy. It can also be a mask, a buffer to pain. I brought it to interrupt the emotions, to give us a reason to be thankful for what was, and for whatever was left, and as a bond with which we still could create. A final portrait of a man in a wheelchair, dying, yet remembering and still pursuing art.
He called me when the print arrived. We discussed how the chemistry had once again added to the narrative in it’s mysterious and truthful ways. He said he loved the print and that it gave him goosebumps. He thanked me.