Portraits from Philippe Halsman’s Jump series
"Starting in the early 1950s I asked every famous or important person I photographed to jump for me. I was motivated by a genuine curiosity. After all, life has taught us to control and disguise our facial expressions, but it has not taught us to control our jumps. I wanted to see famous people reveal in a jump their ambition or their lack of it, their self-importance or their insecurity, and many other traits."
First row: Anthony Perkins, Ava Gardner, William Holden
Second Row: Eartha Kitt, Danny Kaye, Eva Marie Saint
Third Row: Donald O’Connor, Kim Novak, Harold Lloyd
Fourth Row: Marilyn Monroe, Maurice Chevalier, Lena Horne
Fifth Row: Groucho Marx, Grace Kelly, Ray Bolger
Sixth Row: Sophia Loren, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, Audrey Hepburn
We human beings far too often tend to codify God, to feel that we know where he is and where he is not […]
We live by revelation, as Christians, as artists, which means that we must be careful never to get set into rigid molds. The minute we begin to think we know all the answers, we forget the questions, and we become smug like the Pharisee who listed all his considerable virtues and thanked God that he was not like other men.” — Madeleine L’Engle (Walking On Water)
“The unconscious obsession that we photographers have is that wherever we go, we want to find the theme that we carry inside ourselves.” — Graciela Iturbide
“We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” — 2 Corinthians 4:10
Two years ago I worried about college, about art, (maybe a teensy bit about my faith)—would I be overwhelmed by the art school atmosphere and rigor? (my mom thought pure art school was too much for me. And looking back, perhaps I was being too proud, too judgmental). A year ago, I wondered how I could work for the glory of God, how I could express my faith through my work in a time when contemporary art is often so dark. But God is faithful, and I think, a year later, now, God has taught me a lot about being an artist for Him (although I’m always learning more).
He’s taught me that He can’t simply be turned into some concept, and stuffed inside an artwork, that I cannot affect people by somehow forcefully imposing my faith—my work does not have to be about “religion” (not to say that good artwork cannot be about that though); in a broader sense it is about the way my relationship with God has changed me, it is about the way the gospel has changed my worldview.
He’s taught me a bit of what it means to be more sensitive, more watchful, more patient, and more dependent on Him. He’s taught me a bit more about looking at the world and at my life with hope in the restoration He is bringing and in the grace He’s given, and to consider the brokenness of things in light of these. He’s taught me to be more confident in the hope I want to express in my work and not to be ashamed of it, not to consider it naive since after all, He has already won the victory—the life that He gives is so rich and deep. And He’s given me so much more joy and satisfaction in working for His glory than I’ve ever had in working for my own status and gain.
I still have a lot to learn about glorifying God, being humble in my work, about boldness, and what it means to boast in Jesus and only Jesus—indeed I can only express these things in my work because of Him, even my ability to make art at all comes from Him. But I’m grateful for what He has taught me this semester. I’m grateful that as a human being among other human beings, I can appreciate and think deeply about art. And I’m grateful that God is so real and true and present, and makes Himself known to us in even the littlest details of life.
You are the strength that keeps me walking,
You are the hope that keeps me trusting,
You are the light to my soul.
You are my purpose, You’re everything.
How can I stand here with You, and not be moved by You?
Would You tell me, how could it be any better than this?
Christo & Jeanne-Claude - Wrapped Walkways (1977-8) - Finished installation and charcoal studies
Here, There, Anywhere (x)
The room is empty save for the dust and the leaves, and something resembling a blanket or a rug spread on the concrete floor. The thing is almost not a blanket—too small for the average adult and seemingly too fragile for use, patches of fabric held together only by scraps of worn clothing meticulously tied and woven together. Indeed, it’s not the utility (or lack thereof) of the object that is attractive. It’s the presence of softness on hard concrete, faded familiar color on muted browns, the presence of contrast, the presence of human care, the possibility of connection.
There is a desperation and beauty to how humans can adapt to places, adapt and connect to each other, and preserve histories through memory. And there is truth to the common-felt sense of never feeling truly at home in the world. This piece is an exploration of finding home, cultivating a place, preservation of memory, childhood, and the simplicity of care.
Place: a place, your place, home, changing places, space, history, care, hope.
Vienna Teng - Landsailor (live) + a nice little explanation beforehand