Monday, January 16, 2012

Portrait of man looking at a Portrait

This happens to me every year. My partner will spot a photo opportunity and I moan and groan about the light. But I then I go for it and it turns out well. It's shot in the ancient Jewish Ghetto of Rome in one of these narrow streets with artisan shops - and the only light is from the window. With this kind of picture I always wonder about the subject. He was much too absorbed in his search to notice me or my camera. How nice that is. The search for the object is at least as important as its acquisition. And the joy of finding something one was looking for after a long search is exquisite. It really is beyond price and even value. Any collector will be pleased tell you of the journey to find that elusive book, album or print - often at length. It's part of the object's provenance. I like to find a book that has some kind of history inscribed on the inside pages. Perhaps it was a gift and the giver pondered for a long time over how delighted the recipient would be to receive it. That relationship sabotages a gift relationship that demands we give a like object in return. Yet I like to think this man has found something he was looking for - for himself. Perhaps it meant something very special to him. I hope it did - and that he purchased it and took it home joyfully.