Paul Melcher's selection
Love and photography. Quite a long subject. Initially, photography is an extension of love mostly because we capture what we love. It is the perfect tool to extend and reach out beyond the emotion and single out the people, object or places that we love. Who doesn't have a photograph, somewhere on their desk, office, phone or computer desktop of a love one, be it parents, siblings, friends, spouse or children. Furthermore, it is the emotion most shared when sharing a photograph.
Those that we go and revisit over and over again are those photographs that inspire us love. Love of the place, situation or even object depicted.
Finally, how many great photographs have almost perfectly captured the emotion, be it a subtle stolen kiss, an embrace or two holding hands. There is a lot to write about love and photography.
But one aspect that is rarely approach is how love can inspire the act of photographing. How, instead of the purpose it becomes the reason, the motivator.
That is how photographer Bob Carey has approached it. ^ months after moving to the East Coast of america, his wife, Linda, was diagnostic with breast cancer. While she was able to fight it off, it came back in 2006. He writes : “During these past nine years, I’ve been in awe of her power, her beauty, and her spirit. Oddly enough, her cancer has taught us that life is good, dealing with it can be hard, and sometimes the very best thing—no, the only thing—we can do to face another day is to laugh at ourselves, and share a laugh with others.”
Enter his project, called Ballerina. Armed with only his camera, his solitude and a pink tutu – yes, a pink tutu, Bob Carey went about photographing himself only dressed up in the tutu in various places. The result are prints that can be bought online and a book due to be out this fall. All proceeds go to pay to cure his wife Linda
Bob took his most formidable skill and applied it to his love of his wife. His love inspired his project and it shows. Instead of falling into the ridiculous and funny, Bob's images are extremely well composed and graphically amazing. With only himself as a subject at various locations, he has been able to convey a combine message of sadness, loneliness, irony, fantasy, and melancholy. His unfit body into a pink tutu creates a statement of terrible conflict within while his always far away gazing eyes seem to point to an almost unreachable hope.
It is not an accident that Bob works on his own and has only himself as a subject. It is the reflection of his immense solitude in face of such adversity and how his journey into this painful experience is one he can only take alone. The absence of his wife makes her presence even more felt.
If a love story could be photographed, this would probably be one of the closest example.