Friday, December 30, 2011

A Dead Great White Shark at Sea World

1975 - A dead Great White Shark at Sea World. An early attempt of my photographic Muse to make a social statement. I set up the reflection and waitied for the moment when this poor, natural creature was posed in a permanent unnatural position, in a glass case, surround by gawkers and reflected palm trees as it "swims" through the sky.

I like the dynamics and balance of this composition - the two faces in the back, flanking or boxing in the shark as they stare, the companion composition of the two folks in front, seen over their shoulders, the unnatural bar across the top which also serves to frame the shot, the counterpoint of the foreign element of the sky above and the plastic of the faux water below.

I've often felt the best definition of art is "That which you put a frame around." In other words, anything that you elevate from its surroundings - anything you paste an exclamation point on, is a way of saying to other people, "Look here" or "look at this!" or (conversely) "Don't look out there" at what's outside the frame.

An old film instructor of mine in "junior" college before I transferred to USC Cinema used to say, "They tell you the camera never lies, but the camera ALWAYS lies - at the very least in what it frames out to create a context that is not complete." Brilliant guy.

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