Happy Birthday, Rodin!

Eternal SpringToday is Auguste Rodin’s 173rd birthday. As a child, I remember flipping through books of Rodin sculptures and gazing with awe at images of stone and bronze that looked like the softest skin I’d ever seen. I loved going to museums with Rodin sculptures and standing as close to them as I could. I would listen for the sounds of the sculptures breathing. I imagined that each figure had a soul beneath the hard surface and that when the museum emptied at night, they would all come to life. Or that when no one was looking, Cupid and Psyche would sneak kisses to each other. When I got older, I learned that Rodin felt as though many of his works, particularly his marble pieces, were already hidden inside each chunk of stone and that his purpose was to “uncover” or “find” them. This idea of an artist’s creation being an entity so separate/d from its creator stayed with me. Today, Rodin continues to influence me and my relationship with photography. As a photographer the world is like my chunk of rock, and I use the camera to pull things and people into focus that were hidden there all along. Rodin taught me about the relationship between the artist and the work/s they create. He taught me that when you lean in close to your work, you’ll hear a lot more than breathing.

Cupid Psyche

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