life in progress, in Milan and Paris
It takes looking deep inside yourself to really get at what you are good at and more importantly, what you really want to do. You have to be brutally honest with yourself to find out whether you have what it takes to be a successful photographer.
You cannot make everyone want to work with you no matter how good your work is. But you don’t need that. You are not competing with everyone who has a camera. You are competing with yourself, and those people who really move themselves forward: the go-getters, the innovators, and the people who have the creative drive to be successful. And that’s a much smaller group than you think.
So, do you have the courage to be unique? Are you willing to be true to yourself, and willing to stand behind that decision? Are you ready to take possession of who you are and what you do? Or are you waiting for someone to take you by the hand and give you what you think you want?
Challenge yourself. Give yourself permission. Stand up and let the world know you’re here.
So I say, build a community. My advice always has to do with building a community. When I went to John O’Reilly to show him my work, I wasn’t trying to get shown; I was just trying to get advice from somebody I respected, who was already in my community, in my purview. Get all the artists that you like that are your age and all move to one place. And maybe it doesn’t have to be Brooklyn. Maybe it could be Baltimore, or some other place that is a little more cheap and conducive to making art. And then show it yourself. Get together.
Siamo tutti troppo freddi, duri. Se solo parlassimo, dicessimo quello che sentiamo, le cose andrebbero meglio. —
It’s really almost impossible, as he puts it, to judge art, that it’s so subjective, you can’t really say, well, this performance is better than that or that writing is better than this and that, if you get caught in that trap of relying on other people, however great they are, to tell you whether you’re any good, you’re either going to consciously or subconsciously start playing to that group.
I was beginning to learn that if you get good at something and become known for it, then it’s time to change it. If you don’t, you’ll be stuck and people will get tired of it. You’ve got to grow. Sometimes that means putting yourself in a position where you might fail or do bad work for a while because you’re still finding yourself…
The first time I’ve been successful, really successful, is the only time I’ve been really honest
Does “Humans…” give us a truer look at New Yorkers than the street portraits of the past or today’s by other photographers? I’d say it gives us another kind of look – a familiar modern look, balanced on the tightrope between disguise and revelation. Call it a social media look.
do many projects as possible, shoot as much as possible, and find yourself in your work. Don’t pay too much attention to what others are doing.
Listen now. When people talk listen completely. Don’t be thinking what you’re going to say. Most people never listen. Nor do they observe. You should be able to go into a room and when you come out know everything that you saw there and not only that. If that room gave you any feeling you should know exactly what it was that gave you that feeling. Try that for practice. […] And always think of other people.
I’d say it’s more like “how to be a decent human being”.