What makes a perfect photograph? Composition? Subject matter? Emotion? How can we glean what artist wants us to see? It’s a prefect storm. Aesthetics aren’t arbitrary, yet they belie a certain set of codes that the viewer has already agreed upon, whether by socialization or biology. How do we know, so innately, what beauty is?
I sat at my desk. The air was thick with dust, splintering the brick-tinged particles of light into a heady glow that begat an impression of a man burdened by the poetic. The floorboards creaked as I paced about, louder than the rudeness of my stupid bones. I smoked a shell pipe and went to work on the photo of a beach. Agate Beach. California.
Now, you may conjure an image of a beach. Brooding foreshores of cleated dunes; ragged shale paths to black sand punctuated with dead skates and pure white crystal crags; desperate hues of blue-green mixing and culling; hurt pines pointing towards windswept kelp and twine. I saw only my body. A dry and yeasted hull. A salty husk of baleen girding towards the arc of the west.