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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Vision To Visuals: A Moment In Time

Julian Lennon’s personal and profound Timeless exhibition


Image from Julian Lennon’s exhibition, Timeless

 
I have always felt that I have observed life, in a different way than others; probably because my life has been very different than most. Music has always been one creative outlet for me, but now I’m happy to add another one too, that being photography. —Julian Lennon
 
A photographer, etymologically speaking, is one who “writes” (graphe) with “light” (photos). When this authorship with light occurs instinctively as a natural correspondence of a deep inner self, the outcome is such that the viewer can’t be anything but enraptured in contemplation, a qual-ity that makes some works of art timeless. Clive Bell, the famous art critic from the nineteenth century once said, “We have no other means of recognizing a work of art than our feeling for it,” a feeling he calls “aesthetic exaltation.” Were you to experience the photographs exhibited in September at the Morrison Hotel Gallery in New York City, I’m quite sure you’d feel that exaltation Bell refers to.


Image from Julian Lennon’s exhibition, Timeless
The “author” of these photographs is none other than Julian Lennon, the tremendously versatile artist who, after winning accolades for his many musical achievements, picked up a camera one day and started taking pictures with a depth and clarity that make him seem like a lifelong professional photographer. The opportunity of working with Lennon to produce his works for his debut photographic exhibition, Timeless, allowed me a glimpse into the mind of a rare artist whose poetic dexterity across genres as different as music and photography render him a true renaissance man.

Having worked with as many celebrity photographers as I have over the last 45 years, I can surely attest to one thing—under the constant scru-tiny of the media, it’s extremely difficult for an artist to create work that can express emotions simply and effort-lessly. The subliminal fear of being judged by the entire world robs most wonderful artists of their unique voice, and often the work that’s produced becomes purely technical, devoid of an aesthetic depth. The first time I saw Lennon’s works, I was surprised at the originality of his images. It’s as if he were able to imprint his heart onto every single picture, arresting viewers in an intimate conversation with himself through the photographs.

Each photograph in Timeless communicates a profoundly personal story. His pictorial landscapes and cloudscapes, which are like poetic vignettes of an emotionally powerful life, and portraits that seamlessly connect the viewer to the soul of the subject as if the camera were absent, paint a wonderful portrait of Lennon’s photographic mind.

 

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