I believe that my choice of other activities can provide some insight into my photography and my artistic process. My career was spent as a computer software engineer. One of my other hobbies involves teaching high-performance driving with the BMW Car Club of America. Not only do I instruct student in the art of high-performance driving, but I am co-chief instructor for the Boston Chapter of the BMW Car Club and I have spent a lot of energy on developing the process of providing quality instructor training.
The typical reaction when people hear of my interest in photography, computers and cars is that I am working from both left and right sides of my brain. I think that these three disciplines have much more in common with each other and there are differences. In addition, current neuroscience dismisses the right brain-left brain split. But that is a discussion for another day.
All three disciplines incorporate many differing fields of study. And what draws me to each of these fields is the intersection of physics, chemistry, human factors and beauty. Photography, computers and high-performance driving incorporate the same features of technology. And a well-designed computer program involves the underlying requirements of how we see and perceive information, which is also important in art. And automobiles have painted by Stella, Lichtenstein and Calder to race as rolling art. In addition, the Ralph Lauren car collection has been displayed at the Boston Museum of Art.
Photography is a recent newcomer to the arts and many detractors claim that it is not art. It is my opinion that all art uses technology. The first cave paintings involved the making of pigments to apply to the wall. Canvas and watercolors are not found in nature, they are manufactured. The noted authority, Google, defines art as; “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.” Nowhere does this definition limit the type of tools that are to be used.
I hope you enjoy my images.
January 29, 2015
Black and Still Life Artist’s Statement
Homage to Pepper No. 30
Photographs by Barry Tarr – Sea Change Photography
We live in an attention deficit disorder world. A world where made up reality shows replace what is reality. Our times are one of turmoil. In the course of human history we have experienced a number of inflection points; we had the discovery of fire, the agricultural revolution and the industrial revolution. We are in the middle of the information revolution. The amount of ‘data’ that comes to us by various means is overwhelming and because we are in the initial phases of the revolution we have not yet figured out what to do with all of that information. This type of revolution causes society to be disassembled in order for the impact of the revolution take effect.
The Homage to Pepper No. 30 is a reflection back to the late 1920’s when Edward Weston and others were trying to break free of the photographic norms of the day. He called his prints ‘still lifes’. Years after producing the images of peppers Edward Weston wrote: I have done perhaps fifty negatives of peppers: because of the endless variety in form manifestations, because of their extraordinary surface texture, because of the power, the force suggested in their amazing convolutions…
My series is an attempt to provide an updated interpretation of that form. If the viewer stops and breaks out of sound-bite mode for a couple of minutes with one of my images, and it captures his or her attention then I have accomplished my goal. Yes there is turmoil around us as we struggle as a society to regain our footing, but there is still beauty in the world all around us and we are not obligated to thrash about every waking moment.