Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Muse - "Standing Woman" by Gaston Lachaise

Many years ago I wandered into the Hirshorn Museums Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. with my friend Graham and my girlfriend at the time Nikki. As soon as we walked in here was this amazing sculpture of an idealized woman. I was taken aback. My girlfriend snickered and said that was the kind of woman I went for. And she was right. I have always enjoyed all kinds of women, but if I had to choose an ideal woman's shape this would be it. Full breasted, wide hipped, round bottom with a strong muscular frame.

This sculpture struck a chord inside me and stayed with me, and was definitely in mind when I decided to start my "Perfect: Urban Nudes Project." The women that this work of art idealized were out there and too often felt that their shape and size were undesirable.Or at least not echoed in today's media in a favorable light.

One day I hope that my book helps change that and dispel the idea of any ideal to aspire to. Until that day... here's to the zaftig women! Long may they reign.

"Standing Woman", By Gaston Lachaise

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Poem - Marianne Williamson

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking 

so that other people will not feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone 

and as we let our own light shine, 

we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

- Marianne Williamson, from her book A Return To Love

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Quote, Unquote - Audre Lorde

It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences. - Audre Lorde

Monday, March 3, 2014

Photos - Time of the Wolf

Picked up Michael Haneke's film "Time of the Wolf" off Netflix a number of years ago. It was a genre I enjoy - end of the world as we know it movies. I tend to wonder as I watch what I would do in a similar circumstance. The end of the movie is this scene with this pre-teen boy standing half naked by a fire marking the edge of a refugee camp. It's an affecting visual. I kept it with me all these years. 

So last June when the chance to do a photo at an aqueduct in Virginia that I often pass by finally came I knew I wanted to do a photo in this spirit. However, I was in a good mood that day and the woman I was working with for the first time was down for whatever and didn't mind going deep into the tunnel. So the vibe was hopeful, not bleak as Haneke's vision was. 

For years I had been looking at the tunnel thinking - one day. And when that day came I did not waste the chance. Little did I know this would be one of the last photos I would take for the "Perfect" project and before my retirement. I'm glad I got it in when I did. All praises due...

Gazelle in Tunnel by Vincent Lee Smith 2013

Monday, January 27, 2014

Quote, Unquote - William James

Any sequence of mental action which has been frequently repeated tends to perpetuate itself; so that we find ourselves automatically prompted to think, feel, or do what we have been before accustomed to think, feel, or do, under like circumstances, without any consciously formed purpose, or anticipation of results. … The great thing, then, in all education, is to make automatic and habitual, as early as possible, as many useful actions as we can, and to guard against the growing into ways that are likely to be disadvantageous to us, as we should guard against the plague. - William James

Monday, January 6, 2014

Quote, Unquote - Louis Aragon

"Light is meaningful only in relation to darkness, and truth presupposes error. It is these mingled opposites which people our life, which make it pungent, intoxicating. We only exist in terms of conflict, in the zone where black and white clash." - Louis Aragon from the introduction to the book "Modern Mythology"