Style Dilemma

You know you are in a photographer’s house when…
… their sitting room is plastered with photographs. Of all different kinds. Not even coordinated – all contrasty B/W architecture shots, or romantic misty morning landscapes, or edgy street photography – but a higgledypiggledy mishmash of colour and B/W images of different sizes in uncoordinated frames. Style? You would think it comes naturally to a pro in visuals! But no, all mixed together.
And then the whole egocentricity of it all, when you realize you are looking at the occupier’s own work. Ugh. The presumptiousness of it. The exaggerated self-confidence! It really makes you feel sick. Do they really think their work is so fantastic that they want to look at it all day long, every day? Do they have tours in their private gallery? Next thing they’re gonna charge you for looking at the cr*p, the inflated egomaniacs!

Well, let me explain why my sitting room wall looks like something that could never appear in an interior design magazine. It’s not that I am unaware of the unaesthetic onslaught. It’s not even that I am too poor to buy coordinating frames or that I couldn’t be arsed about making it look better or that I might seriously believe my work is so wonderful I want to have it around me at all times. The explanation is quite simple: there’s no better storing of your printed and framed work than hanging from a nail in the wall! With a number of exhibitions under my belt, I happen to have a bit of a depot of framed works. There’s my initial ‘Still Dublin’ stuff from my first exhibition three years ago, still in black frames and up on the wall for want of a better place. Then there are the wood-effect A4 size pictures of my large format project on the lighthouse in Wicklow. I don’t even like wood-effect frames! But I framed my positive prints in them as a nod to the LF cameras which historically were made of wood. And then there are the same pics, bigger and framed silver. Again, not tied into the colour scheme or style of my sitting room (although that could be described ‘eclectic-historical’ *ahem*) – but simply the result of a frame swap for the latest exhibition I was involved in. Framing is expensive – and as a starting photographer I have to watch my budget. And reuse my frames…
So next time you recoil in horror when you step into a photographer’s sitting room in view of the cacophony of frames and the apparent self-importance of the creator, remember my words. And toss the artist a couple of coins. He/She’s probably already saving up for the next framing job!
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