Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Edward Weston and Me

I'm reading again The Daybooks of Edward Weston. It has been a while since I read them and I especially wanted to read about his time in Mexico back in the 20's. When I read his thoughts about a trip during Semana Santa, I thought, "Ah yes, Edward, I understand what you are writing about. Mexico's picturesqueness is seductive to every camera."

He wrote this in April, 1924 during Semana Santa, Tepotzotlan, Estado de Mexico.

"I exposed no film on the church, except a few records with the Graflex for 'recuerdos.' Many times I pointed my camera towards it--almost longingly--towards this building of such great beauty, but always the lens was finally pivoted away and off into the region of cacti and maguey, or of walled streets and open sky. Of the wall and cacti I have much to say--they, at least, have not been exploited, but the most casual, superficial of tourist would exclaim in rapture over the church, "snap" it with their Kodaks, and then rush back to the hotel lobby.

.....I printed my order and then one more negative from Tepotzotlan, an arch with organ cactus underneath; it might be a stage setting and is dangerously near being just picturesque. I might call my work in Mexico a fight to avoid its natural picturesqueness. I had this premonition about working in Mexico before leaving Los Angeles and used to be almost angry with those who would remark, 'O, you will have a wonderful opportunity to make pictures in Mexico.'"

1 comment:

Babs said...

Hi Billie - Have sent a couple of emails but haven't heard back....r u getting them?
PS Can you imagine bein in Mexico in the 20's as Weston was......I'm so envious.
I'm heading to a couple of interesting villages in the next couple of weeks - Ixmiquilpan in Hidalgo and Tlalpujahua in Michoacan. Have you been to either?