In 2001 when Alla and I moved to Florida we attended a number of art exhibitions, fairs, and shows as part of learning the local art scene and getting connected with the local art network. We often encountered artists’ statements in which the artist indicated that they were a “self-proclaimed artist.” Neither of us could quite understand what it meant to be a self-proclaimed artist. Several shows and many art conversations later, we came to understand that a self-proclaimed artist is a person who proclaims themselves an artist. No education, skill or knowledge is required to be a self-proclaimed artist. Using this as the standard, I hereby proclaim myself an artist.
I never realized that it would be that easy. Before I talk about my art, I should mention that there are two well educated, practicing, professional artists in the family. My son-in-law, Jacek Dolata, is an outstanding photographer. I marvel at his ability to capture people in spontaneous moments of joy, reflection, and excitement. He is also a great nature photographer. My wife, Alla Parsons, is a professional artist and art professor. Her skill seems to be constantly expanding as she attends workshops and seminars around the world in her quest to be a better artist and teacher.
With the exception of 2 photos, the photographs that you see in this blog are mine. I have been mining a set of some 1,000 plus photos to create two shows which I am proposing to local venues for Spring exhibitions. One will present photos of graffiti from around the world.
In the other, I am going to focus on Russia in decay and decline. Over the almost 20 years I have been traveling to Russia, the façade looks better, brighter and shinier each year. Step past it and you find a rapidly decaying country. Alla first suggested we start making a photographic record during a 2005 visit.
Sadly, I have lost hundreds, if not thousands, of photos from a house fire and a computer crash. I will be using the cloud as a backup from this point forward. This also gives me a reason to travel more as well. Now that I am an artist, I may be able to deduct my travel as a business expense.
I am looking forward to being an artist. To paraphrase Thomas Appleton, being an artist means dining out very often, eating and drinking as much as you like, sleeping well afterwards, painting, and talking a good deal in a superior way. I will substitute a camera for painting but otherwise what a life! I should have made this proclamation years ago.