There are so many fantastic photographers in our industry and because of the many different types of photography we are treated to a wide variety of work. Art is certainly subjective and an emotional trigger for me may not do the same for someone else. As artist we certainly bring a life time of experiences to our work and often the result is more of a reflection of ourselves than the world around us. Based on this premise it is my speculation that photographer Glen Wexler was dropped on his head as a youth. But regardless of the reason for Glen's warped sense of humor, the world of photography a is better place. Glen Wexler's humorist view of the world strikes a cord with me and my own sense of humor. I am not sure what that says about me but I will leave the 1970 psychobabble, self examination for another blog post.
In 2007 Glen introduced a series of photographs and a book entitled The Secret Lives of Cows. The series started as an ad campaign (ad agency The Richards Group) for Chick-Fil-A depicting cows as superheroes and secret agents attempting to defend their species from human consumption. To me Glen's work brings out one of the the best lessons about humans and that is to look in the mirror and laugh at ourselves. His view of the world is uplifting and comical and simply entertaining. And in my opinion we need more Glens in the world to remind us art should also include humor and frivolity. I have heard others say that the of art is it generate a reactions, to create an emotion. Laughter is as much an emotion as sorrow and yet it doesn't appear to be celebrated with the same weight in our art.
Now don't get me wrong, the world is also a very serious place and there are things that humans are doing to other human beings that need to be reflected in our photography. But, no one can live on a steady diet of the same visual food group over and over. Unfortunately we are fed a constant source of "If it bleeds it leads" and shock in the form of news coverage and even in our art. So often the work that gets the most attention and awards is the worse of human nature not the best we have to offer.
Maybe it's because I am just a dumb photographer not an art critic (what ever that is), but to me Glen Wexler is a genius. His humor and view of the world is inspiring and reminds me to approach my work with the same sense of fun and laughter. Photography is not brain surgery and while I take my work seriously, taking myself seriously is something I am not sure I will ever achieve.
So when you are dreaming up your next personal project to shoot how about trying to lift up the heart and spirit of your viewers with humor. Laughter is certainly part of our DNA and you never know how your ability to put a smile on someones face through your art will have an effect on your fellow