The Exotic Montanan

I met another photographer yesterday and spent the entire afternoon and into the evening talking with him. He has been in Paris for 5 years and his work seems to center around experimental black and white architecture. This city is so full of fascinating structure with a beautiful balance of form and function. It seems to be a city that continually renews itself, through either refurbish what is historic or complete destruction and rebuilding of something new and original. Christopher took me on a walking tour of the city and began to explain its process of reinvention. The thing that strikes me most is the extraordinary gardens everywhere you wander. Nothing seems happen chance here and is all very, very meticulously designed. They have put together some of the most extraordinary combinations of fauna and botanical. Things beyond imagination for us in the USA. Beautiful ivy fences that were a simple chain link over grown and manicured. In the US we only think of our gardens as a lawn, while here is it a total garden culture of amazing grandeur with precise symmetry and balance. The gardens are very historic and an integral part of the city structure. It somehow makes the entire place feel mystical and enchanted.

Christopher also says that I will become exotic to the Europeans that they will become both captivated by my work as well as being from Montana. This is one place perhaps it will work to my advantage. He also notices the American obsessions with porn and how dull it seems to have become to everyone but the Americans. It is a one-note style that is oversaturated and, though it is constantly changing, has no room for growth but functions as a cash cow without a soul. In Europe it seems that people are more drawn to my style and here it is referred to as erotica.

After Christopher left I wandered the streets of the Marias area, very narrow streets filled with people. It is a lonely place to be alone here. It is alarming how being from Montana where I am used to such open space to be caught in the meandering streets of this area. There are many photographic artists that have their images taped to the walls of the windows of a closed shop, poor, destitute. Smoking hoping someone will stop and notice their work. I do not know if they are trying to sell it or just seeming to want some sort of recognition. I recognize their desperation within myself. Do I exist on their plane of existence? In the same area I pass a shop of original photographic prints, it is filled with patrons browsing the bins of fine art photography, most of it nature and structural design. The clerks attired with pristine white gloves as they show these works of art. I wonder and ponder where do I belong and where my images will actually end up. I feel that I have put so much of myself in the images, the men with white gloves is where I belong in my heart, but it is the latter where I may end up. I then pass a bookstore, in the gay area, filled with many books on erotica, the windows are lined with people gazing into its mystery and allure and I somehow know I have found my home.

Today I am in the airport heading to Berlin.