Friday, July 9, 2010

Gestures of Positivity

Ye olde photoblog has been pretty quite this week, huh? I've been in the Bay Area, enjoying a mix of work and play. We're visiting friends and clients, soaking in the cool summer air, and rejoicing in the slightest glimmer of sunshine.

You may have heard about Oakland's Big Event last night. I've gotta say it's really bumming me out. After living in Oakland for roughly ten years, I feel qualified in saying it's a complicated city. Everything you've heard about about Oakland is true. Probably. But there are also many cool things about this town that you don't hear much about. Things that inspire people to wear t-shirts that say "I hella love Oakland" and mean it.

Factors that lead up to a riot are complicated too, I know. Riot is a form of expression. Good, impassioned intentions can turn into desperate, destructive expression.

I'm reminded of these words by John Updike and I start to feel better:

"The artist brings something into the world that didn't exist before,
and he does it without destroying something else."

Art is a form of expression. A simple, but important truth. Art can express hurt without causing more hurt. The ability to create or recognize art is a gift. The mere realization that Art is an Option is a gift too.

Though I've recently moved, I'll always consider Oakland home, in a way. When I visit now, I guess I want to see my home in one piece. I want to think that things have gotten better, not worse.

These photographs of "Beep's Burgers" have nothing to do with Oakland, or rioting, or much of anything too serious I suppose. Maybe that's why I thought they were a good fit for today. To me they are a reminder of light and sky, and a simple gesture of non-destructive expression.

I often photograph subjects that are well-worn, bumped and bruised, and I suddenly realize that I don't like to cause the bruises. I want to turn the bruises into something else, something that feels better. They're still there, but they're not all that's there.

Anyway, I hope you have a very Happy Friday, Saturday, Sunday... see you next week.


  1. Ate lunch today in a small shop with broken out windows.

    Nice post and perspective. Thanks Jen!