The Caponigros Really Know How to Talk Art
If you enjoy inspiring conversation, you might want to investigate John Paul Caponigro’s discussion with his father Paul.
I have been enjoying what John Paul has to say, for some time now, on his blog. He is not only an amazing photographer, but does incredible digital imaging. Considered “an authority on creativity and fine digital printing,” John Paul is “respected internationally as one of the most prominent artists working with digital media processes.” His work is, in a word, stunning. Lots of superlatives are being tossed out here, I know, but they are applicable. See for yourself.
I am not a photographer, really: I take photos to play with, to make designs out of (my design papers), and as references for my mixed media art. But JP Caponigro has a sharp mind, is an excellent writer, and shares information that is both fascinating and informative. Often it is too technical for me, but you don’t increase your knowledge if you only read what you already understand. Caponigro is also generous, offering membership to his Insights community at no cost. As his website states, “Insights has been so well received that select items have been reproduced or excerpted in national publication.”
But let’s get back to that conversation I mentioned earlier. It is obvious that Paul inherited great creativity genes from his father (and grandmother). Here are some of my favorite parts of their conversation:
PC: Photography attracted me before I ever knew that it was a part of a structured world. I saw a camera which my grandmother wielded. I thought it was fascinating. I didn’t know about famous artists and museums and magazines. I innocently met that process. And I excitedly engaged it to the best of my ability. Later, because my excitement was so strong, I realized that this could be a medium through which I could work. Then I had to meet the whole world of photography; manufacturers, materials, hype, galleries, dealers, critics, etc. Somehow I did not lose sight of that initial innocence. I realized that unless I could stay free, unidentified, unless I could keep my personality from going crazy with the adulation or the lack of it I was not going to maintain that innocence. I realized that the innocence was the important state that called forth the inspiration into the process. PC: No one is a keeper of anyone or any art process. The art process belongs to the realm of creativity. Keep alive the fact that a mystery has come into existence and that a physical being serves as a house for this mystery. If that can be kept in mind the artist can manage influence. PC: I quietly wait until inspiration comes and then everything needed takes its position so that it can be made manifest.
JPC: I was reading an article on the Holy Grail this morning which referred to Joseph Campbell speaking about man’s fixation on the decoding of particular symbols. He was saying the real power of myth lies in its mysteriousness and in it’s ability to provide a vessel through which we can contact that mystery. The experience, the essence of the activity, is far more important than the particulars that give it shape.
Intrigued? These two fascinating men have a lot more to say.