Photo Essay

The Art of Turning to Stone

self portrait in this guy's back

A few thousand years ago this sort of thing would turn you to stone. Nowadays it's as common as a digital camera. Anyone can take a self-portrait. You just have to be in love with yourself enough to see yourself in everything around yourself.

Now, the novice might stick to obvious things like bathroom mirrors, rear-view mirrors and various other mirrors. Mirrors are easy and left for the truly amateur and vain. Then there are those who graduate to things like hubcaps, bumpers and possibly the odd spit-shined wing-tip. I know of a lot of folks who look for just such vantage points. Then there are the accidentals, the surreptitious and those with the keen, ninja/klutzy observational skills. This is where vanity, art and chance get together and do a happy little dance. This is epiphany with a camera. This is magic masturbating because it feels so damned good about itself.

My first self portrait (in a box 3000 miles away from me at the moment) was taken with a good friend in a roadside toaster. One day six years ago my friend Pam and I were wandering aimlessly (talking about the futility of talking about art or whatever other nonsense we were prone to in them days) around Vancouver when she pointed out a toaster. It was laying, forgotten in the grass by the side of the road. I hadn't seen it and Pam, knowing my fondness for the dejected, pointed it out. I wasn't about to pass up a roadside toaster! I ambled up to it to find the perfect sad angle and something caught my eye. Something familiar. It was me. Little and in the side of this forgotten toaster. Oh, how perfect! Life reflected in garbage! How relevant! How self-effacing!

Giggling like a moron I took a shot or two. I told Pam to come over and look. She could see the stupid toaster from where she was so she was dubious as to why I was asking her over. When she got next to me it clicked for her. She laughed. I put my arm around her and took a shot of us in a garbage toaster.

It was an accident. Is was happened upon. It inspired me.

Since then, though never intentionally sought, I've spied myself in everything from a dumpster to a lover's eye. So yeah, I guess that makes me vain, but really, it's just a little game I play. I'm not standing there admiring the oblong and bulbous reflections of myself in car bumpers.

Not... really.

It's about the joy of perspective.

It's about the magic of discovery.

It's that final brush stroke on a frustrated canvass that gives you goosebumps.

...alright it's vanity!

there's a few others here at my old 1.0 site:

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2 responses


        gave props (8 Mar 2009):

    Nice theme & collection...

  • Roxana Brivent-Barnes

    Roxana Brivent-Barnes said (29 Sep 2010):

    he he, if you were a woman, I bet you would have double mirrors. Love the shots, and the irony in your comments, well done!

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