Friday, December 12, 2008

Loose Associations

Readers of this blog know that I formerly used the nickname Strangetastes. I also considered Loose Associations. That's a psychological term describing a thought disorder in which a person's statements do not relate to a question asked, or when statements do not logically relate to what was expressed before of after.The phrase has another, more positive sense, in which an individual sees meaningful relations among things that are not obvious, that are subtle or unnoticed by others. To me, the second meaning is a badge of honor.

Yesterday, I wrote about how these HDR pictures remind me of the work of painter Richard Estes. While I was working on this one, another association hit me. It has the feel of the work of another American artist,
Edward Hopper (Google Images of his work here). Hopper, who lived from 1882 to 1967, depicted quiet, sometimes lonely landscapes, small towns, big cities and intimate interiors. His most famous painting is Nighthawks, which you can see in the Art Institute of Chicago. He loved oranges and reds in urban settings but skillfully kept them from shouting.
Look at some of Hopper's work and tell us if you see a connection.

This picture is in the old commercial area south of the Arch. I was shooting under an elevated section of Interstate highway. The bridge at the upper left carries trains over the Mississippi to Illinois and beyond.

WHAT I'M DONE WITH FOR THE YEAR: no more hearings, no more court appearances. Lots of stuff to do but the big pressure is off for a couple of weeks.

this could go a couple of ways: 1. More downtown HDR. An insane, four meter tall dancing bunny statue? An oversaturated redbird under lunar influence? Or, 2. Tonight is our little law firm's holiday dinner party. I am both the boss and the house photographer. Perhaps there may be a shot of paralegals behaving badly.


Olivier said...

on s'imagine dans une ville fantôme et dans un vieux film.
they imagine one in ghost town and in an old film.

Knoxville Girl said...

I can see the connection with Hopper - clean lines, strong colors, lonely place. I especially like the intense focus of the light on the steel and the buildings.
paralegals behaving badly? ahem. it's the end of the world as we know it. (I did some part time legal assisting in the recent past)

Jilly said...

You are so right. So Edward Hopper. I love this photograph, Bob - the colour of that orange building and the way the sky seems to be a ceiling, not a sky. Just gorgeous.

Now then - you behave yourself tonight...! or better still, have a great time.

Tony Renner said...

nice shot....

hey, anthony huberman, chief curator of the contemporary art museum st. louis, gave lecture at webster a couple weeks ago called "loose associations".... if you get a chance to hear huberman speak don't pass it up...! he's fascinating....

huberman also mentioned the artist ryan gander and his "loose associations and other lectures"... here's a sample:

-- tony

Victor said...

Hopper is a favourite. I got to see a big retrospective (sketches and all) at the Chicago Art Institute back in the 80's. I can absolutely see the connection.

Now, let's see that redbird.

Eric said...

You really are mastering that HDR stuff. Fantastic shots.
I downloaded the software yesterday and am going to have a go in the coming weeks.
Thanks for the tip and the great shots.

U "R" Us AKA Captain Crowe said...

Hopper was EXACTLY what I thought of as soon as I saw this!

Joe Cottonwood said...

Yes, Hopper. But more than that, Bob, your photo captures exactly what I love about St. Louis and its faded industrial core. Those old brick buildings, sleepy and shopworn, the weeds growing out of the pavement, the trestle and overpass like curtains framing the big Missouri sky. You told me I had a dark vision of St. Louis, but I disagree: This photo is all about light and the square heart of the city - so unlike the Arch - square and proud. Square as in not hipster, square as in practical, solid as a brick.

Tara's Talk said...

This is a great photo! I love the sky!!!

Stop by & check out some of my blogs when/if you get time!

Anonymous said...

I'd missed out on a good number of your latest posts. How foolish of me. I really love your work. This photo today is a beauty, but then yesterday's arch was another of your weekly gems and your self portrait in tuxedo was great fun too. I love your sense of humor.

Strange tastes cum loose associations, we're starting to get an idea of the man, aren't we? I'm chuckling. This is fun!

Antjas said...

I try to imagine the scene without the bridge and how it must have been a bustling area once upon a time. You can just picture people dressed in old clothes and maybe even horse drawn wagons conveying shipments to and from the boats on the Mississippi.

By the way, did I miss the explanation as to why you no longer use Strangetastes? I thought it was a great name!

PJ said...

Apropos of nothing, many years ago I visited a friend in St Louis and everywhere we went everyone looked like a throw-back to the fifties.It was quite alarming to two teenagers. I imagine they may have lived in this neighborhood, out of synch, out of time.