Addiction to Perfection…

An early morning is never my favorite way to start a day. It seems I can’t stop adding an extra 3 or 5 minute period to my resting eyes. This morning it wasn’t as challenging as I kicked off the covers, tied my black American Apparel wrap dress and took a stroll over the brick walkways to Olin Hall. The Professor pushed in the cassette and a Richard Avedon documentary began to roll on the screen in front of us. I feel ignorant saying I’m an avid fan of art, yet just today I finally put a name with so many of the photographs I’ve enjoyed viewing over time. Fashion photography is an understatement, because much of Avedon’s work goes beyond attire and into the complexity of a face.
Faces are like an explosion, within his portraits the subjects eyes are able to look directly at you, exposing everything.
My passion when it comes to sketching is portraits, as difficult as they may be there is always an overwhelming satisfaction once its complete. At the time when I was pursuing a career in art, my AP portfolio contained portraits shaded through the gray scale with a splash of color on the lips. Varieties of tones were used to express an emotion, as sunglasses or the squinting grin hid the eyes from the viewer. I believed that a persons eyes were not the only window to the soul and that a mouth gave just as much influence through an expression. A sensual passion through a kiss, a smirk, or even the gentle touch of lips to a cool and dripping ice cream cone.
Critics stated that they had a, “belief that in the end, there is nothing but the face… It’s how we know each other,” and when you ponder on that statement I feel it exposes some form of truth. The verbal and nonverbal expressions can all be given through even the slightest glance.
Avedon thrives on anxiety, for those who know me that sounds familiar to one of my most exposed traits, yet its a way of life. An internal emotion that never let’s you sit still, it’s the push that some need to constantly strive for something more. Finding a deeper understanding, even if it is only in a moment of truth.
If you haven’t seen much of Avedon’s work, it is worth searching and finding some of his pieces. I added him to the list of things I would want if I had three wishes in life. The first to sit and interact with Audrey Hepburn, my idol, and pick up traits on her simplicity yet beyond human passion in caring for others. She’s an inspiration even though she’s been gone for many years, a legend and an icon that will always be prominent. And then there’s Avedon, oh how I would love to see the type of exposure he was able to bring about through my portrait. A talent is someone who can make a photo expose an internal feeling that so many photographs hide. It makes you wonder what image on the negatives would be his final selection… We live in a time that pushes us quickly through every moment. A constant movement that makes moments pass us by. So I’ll leave you with a piece of advice from Avedon and the critics who either love or hate his work (you can’t please everyone) and it is this… Always, “leave room for the unexpected,” I don’t think anyone can argue with that.


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