Stieglitz Clouds 1926

After writing the posting below, about clouds, I was reminded of
Alfred Stieglitz 1864-1946
I began photographing in my early 30’s, for some reason or other not being the least bit interested in the camera until then. I was fortunate to have studied for a B.A in English from Auckland University at a time when Tim Shadbolt was making speeches in the university quad, promoting books such as Bullshit and Jellybeans. Students in Paris were rioting, Vietnam war sinking deeper into the quagmire. The English department was a crown jewel in the university.

These were times when Marxist interpretations about art were popular. I have respect for these and am glad that I caught this philosphy when it was in its heyday. There are still Marxist interpreters around and I’m glad about this too because one of the basic maxims of Marxism is that the bourgeousie will overwhelm the proletariat ie the managerial class will always tend to exploit the workers, and I think that it is important for me to remember this. In my career in the arts I deal with ‘managers’ most days.

From Auckland University, I have an MA in Education. I was interested especially in how to design and evaluate a curriculum. How do you teach someone how to be a poet, for example?
Not going to art school I had to design my own programme for learning about photography and it was natural for me to follow the example that I had experienced when studying English. I studied great works, the lives and context of those who made them. Read a little bit of comment from time to time, but not a great deal. There didn’t seem to be as much ‘theory around then. My guess is that in schools, theory has well and truly supplanted history.

I still read biographies of artists. It helps me to keep my courage up.

Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz were two that I was interested in and read a lot about. Georgia O’Keeffe was one of the first American artists to forsake Paris and head for the American hinterland, in this case the desert of New Mexico, and I think that this appealed to me.

Not just their work inspired me, but their commitment to their work.

The relationship between Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O’Keeffe is a great love story.

Georgia O’Keeffe- Shell and Shingle 1926
(this is the actual colour. click on any image in my site to see it on a larger scale.)