Friday, June 26, 2009

Evolutionary Teething

9 comments:

WM Photographics said...

Bill,
In my work, I aspire to make the abstract thought a priority over literal interpetation.
You have succeded in both. Can't get enough of your work.

William

Frieda Babbley said...

Gross, and WOW! Fantastic. The lighting is perfect!

Joette said...

This is horrendously amazing! Vonnegut is giving two thumbs up from the grave. Thumbs are actually, like teeth, human tools, good for opening difficult to open things.

Jerry B. said...

Last Friday I watched a movie called "Zodiac" about a serial killer in California. In one absolutely creepy part of the movie the police go into the killer's trailer. In the trailer are squirrels, some caged, some running free. The caged squirrels had a hug "yuck" factor about them, giving the impression of being in the presence of a sick mind. The evolutionary teeth image gave me that feeling. Repulsive. Now keep in mind that I'm not one to criticize sex and violence in photography. If I were judging an exhibit this photograph would make it in because of its originality and visceral quality. I do think it lacks some of the irony and humour in some of your other work. I think part of what creeped me out was the peg-board tool rack in back. What had been done with those tools? Is this some kind of torture chamber? Once again, I like the original content of the image. Photographers in general kind of piss me off with their love of the "scenic" and the "beautiful."

Bill Zuback said...

Thanks for the feedback Jerry. Especially the more critical observations on the lack of irony and humor. I'll have to think about that. I guess when I create images I don't consciously try to put that in my work but it obviously ends up in many pieces. I'll have to think that through and why? Thanks so much for your critical eye and respected critique.

Bill Zuback said...

Frieda, "gross"? That's funny. Don't know why but it made me laugh out loud.

Joette, Thanks so much for the passage. I'm thrilled you enjoy the photo so much. It will be living in your closet until you move or have a rummage sale.

Bill M, Thanks for the kind words. We definitely have parallel thoughts with our imagery.

Jerry B said...

I've been doing a little more thinking about your image. You say that you don't "consciously try to put that in my work, but it obviously ends up in many pieces." Are you trying to hide that element in your work? Do you consider it to be critically unacceptable? And that brings up the whole issue of "who the hell are you trying to please?" I just spent a disspiriting weekend at an Art Fair here in Racine. I did win a prize and got all kinds of interesting feedback, including some from the judge himself. However, I didn't sell a hell of a lot of stuff and basically just held an open house for two days, listening to remarks that ranged from the disparaging to the glowing. I guess what started to get to me was the fact that the watercolor hacks were doing a great business while I sat there being the resident original artist. So what am I supposed to do? Alter what I do to please that masses so that I can buy a new bigger T.V.? Sounds horrible to me, but on the other side of the coin it can get a little lonely out there. You put so much time and energy into this stuff that you naturally expect some kind of reward, if only positive recognition.

The teacher part of me says "Why don't you do a whole series of photos that get as gross and god-awful as you can make?" What would that look like? What does the shadow side of Bill want to do? You have nothing to waste but your time, in one sense. You're not the type to do lovely Wisconsin countrysides. You're made of something different, something more complex. Frankly I appreciate the artists who expose the shadow, which I think your art does. Well, I'm just thinking here. Maybe trying to heal myself. JB

Bill Zuback said...

No I'd never try to hide anything or create in a way that isn't honest to myself. I am first trying to please myself. If others get it, like it, hate it... I like to hear all views. I think that is the student in me. Where I went to school the critiques were sometimes so harsh that people would walk out mid-class in tears. I frankly like to see things through the eyes of others and then filter that information. Use it or lose it, it's always worth hearing and understanding.

What am I after or want out of all this? It's interesting that you ask because I had this conversation yesterday with another individual. What I want is to be respected as an artist. I didn't go to school for art but for photography. I don't have the art history background nor the liberal arts background that most fine art artists have. As I pursue this avenue in my life I feel that there is a certain resistance among some galleries to show or give the same level of respect to a "self taught" artist compared to an academic liberal arts trained artist.I want people to walk away from one of my prints visually satisfied but intellectually curious. In conversation I don't want to be referenced as a photographer but rather as an artist. When I see that, hear that and feel that, I'll be satisfied. I don't think I'm there yet. If I sell something, added bonus but I know that what I create is not going to hang in most peoples homes and I'm fine with that.

Naomi said...

This image makes me squeamish, even at its smaller size. I didn't even see the teeth until I clicked on it. As if the meat hanging up isn't horrible enough (actually, it looks like it could also be the shell of an animal), the teeth add an extra predatory element. Nice interpretation of the excerpt.