Friday, April 11, 2014

Untitled (the dance)

This beautiful portrait is one of a small but growing series I'll be showing at the Racine Arts Council, part of "Time Share Exchange", a collaborative curatorial project by Frank Juarez and Maureen Fritchen. Opens May 2.

© William Zuback 2014

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Somewhere over the Rainbow

Yesterday, my wife had to talk me off of the proverbial ledge. I was in one of those, "why do I continue to do this" moods with my photography. The great thing is that she knows me so well and since writing her first novel, she too experiences all of the questions and doubts that go into putting yourself out there in such a vulnerable way.

I've done a lot of soul searching this year as to "who am I" with the work I create? So far I have decided that I'm more photographer than artist, especially since I've gone back to portraits as my main area of emphasis. So then the next logical step is "who am I creating the work for"? Obviously, first and foremost, it's for my sitter and myself. A collaboration of creative participation that hopefully manifests into photographs that represent the beauty, confidence and imagination of our connected experience. I would be remiss in denying the desire to have the work resonate to a larger audience (whatever larger is defined as). The problem, for me, lies in this last observation.

When I first started to create this work that was different than my commercial work, it was done with child like eyes and behavior. There was no other expectation than the experience of creating a visual that was in my mind and needed to see the light of day. Once that action was completed it was time to move on to the next one. Then someone comes along and asks, "Have you ever shown these to anyone?" and the answer is no but they have a connection to someone who has a gallery and they help get your work seen. Soon you are showing this work that was hidden to the general public and it has a certain amount of resonance. You do more and show that as well but soon your mind becomes corrupted with expectations both self imposed and external and you begin to wonder what happened to that innocence that brought you true happiness when creating your very personal visual observations? Your happiness is compromised and the feeling of the creative process is changed.

This continues to be a year of regaining that child like innocence and naïveté with my work. Making sure that my intention and motivation is genuine and honest to my creative process and personal growth. Magic is the child, born with open arms!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sunday, January 19, 2014

What are you working on?

As a creative, this is often one of the first questions asked when you attend an event in the area of your genre whether it be the visual arts, music or literature. It is a way of starting a dialog with your peers that allows for a conversation of similar interest in the arts. I guess it's no different than being asked, "How is work" or "How is the family"? We need to find a common thread that can connect us to a shared value or idea so that the conversation can begin. I open conversations with a line like this often yet when asked of me, I am regularly met with a certain amount of internal angst and confusion as to how I should answer such a question.

Especially of late, I just finished the Identity project which was a two year process from conception to exhibition. Since then I've been in a mode of exploration of both photography and motives. The Identity project changed how I view my relationships and my life experiences. I understand that all art is personal but what is the motivating factor for the creation of the art? Ideally it is always an honor for it to be seen, appreciated and discussed in societal circles but WHAT IF that factor has taken a real backseat to your ultimate goals and expectations? Being seen or heard is like the icing on the cake or the validation of a job well done. How many people do you need to feel that way? Is it the masses or can it be one or can it just be you? Who are you creating for?

For me the journey and the process have always been the most important part of the creation of my images but the accolades are always nice as well. I've been doing a lot of soul searching lately and ask myself often, If I was told that the work I create would never again be seen by the public, would I still create my art? The answer is a resounding, YES!

So, what are you working on and who are you creating your art for?