Nothing can come from nothing. Art inspires art. So however many virtues an artist may possess, curiosity will probably be one of the most important. In order to express his or her own take on the world, the presence of muses, that is to say the metaphors for inspiration, is vital. And as they don’t always pop up as if by magic, part of the artist’s work is to seek them out, track them down. And as a photographer, I am always lying in wait for mine. It could be a word, an image, a colour, a fleeting thought... even a moment of silence can do the trick and stir up my inspiration.
Every artist is nourished by art which already exists when creating his or her own, even the greatest among them: Leonardo, Picasso, Baudelaire… In their biographies there is always some reference to “influences”, which not only explains the heritage which they have passed on to us but also the influence which other artists had on them. Donatello, for example, inspired Leonardo, Toulouse-Lautrec’s work inspired Picasso and Baudelaire’s reading and translating texts by Edgar Allan Poe contributed to a great extent to his own poetry.
We are like the demiurge which Plato spoke of, creative beings which, by means of the realm of ideas, make “inspiration” come to life within the material world: a photograph, for example. And so here I am, searching for my “muses” as usual, which I often find in classical films and the graphic arts: painting, illustration, engravings, prints… and of course photography. Light, colours and detail are very important to me, but what I find most fascinating are symbols and stories: the dramatic element which underlies every piece of work.
In forthcoming “posts” I’ll be talking about the Belle Epoque, the Victorian era, the Renaissance, the Middle East and Japan; about Van Gogh, Alma-Tadema, Klimt and Rembrandt… In fact, about the art that inspires me, the “mystery of my creation”.
Discover my latest photo series inspired by the Belle Epoque here.