On Art - Why I Photograph


Why do we photograph, draw, sculpt and write?

This is one of the questions that many a thinker has pondered. Why do we make art (assuming we can even define 'art' in the first place!)?

Due to art's very own subjective nature, we will probably never be able to answer this question fully. This is a good thing, in my opinion - it means that we keep exploring, keep thinking and keep evolving!

Now, having put that disclaimer, I would like to give my own vision of what art is for. Some may not agree with me, and that is absolutely fine. So, here goes:

We make art because we are absurd.

When I write that we are 'absurd', I refer to the same absurdity French-Algerian philosopher Albert Camus referred to in the early-to-mid 20th century. We live in a state of absurdity which faces two irreconcilable facts: 1) we search for meaning 2) the universe does not care for it.

Camus' (and several others like him - most notably Jean-Paul Sartre) line of thought comes in a particular period of time: right after the Industrial Revolution, where after centuries of being told by the Church that our life has God-given meaning, some come to the conclusion that it might not be so.

Albert Camus. Picture source: Wikipedia

Albert Camus. Picture source: Wikipedia

So if we're meaningless, how do we deal with it? We can't necessarily trust religion, killing ourselves certainly wouldn't give our lives meaning, what else is there to do?

Quite simply, we must accept our absurd existence and rebel against it by creating our own meaning. That is why I create art, that is why I photograph. By creatief art I add something to this world and life of ours. I add something that (even if just one person loves it and finds meaning in it) metaphorically shouts "I have made my own meaning in this absurd existence!" By creating our own meaning we defy the very nature of the universe and its indifference to us as a species.

That is why I create. That is why I photograph.