Kodak, Bencini, Leica, Yashica. USA, Italy, Germany, Japan.
Learning about these cameras is like a 20th century world history lesson. The makers of these cameras have all been affected by world events, the economy and changing technology. Even though they are obsolete, they still have avid collectors and enthusiasts.
With the Kodaks painting above, I composed an arch with the lenses and flashes, giving the painting an architectural feel.
We have had PHD (Push Here, Dummy) cameras in our pockets for a hundred years, but it’s the ones that look like they were pieced together by watchmakers that are fun to paint.
I like that they were all used to make art, to document holidays, travel, weddings and so many other happy events. What’s strange is that the photos from the cameras are all missing, lost or hidden. It really makes me wonder what will happen to the billions of photos we upload from the cameras on our phones now.
It is important that a painting have more to it than just a cold representation of the subject.
Three Lanterns. The triad, the most noble number according to Pythagoras.
Lanterns are symbols of guidance and enlightenment. They are beacons. Composed here, there is a suggestion of three figures – two of them almost protecting the smaller lantern in the middle. Like parents, guardians or teachers passing on a tradition of knowledge.
Beginning, middle, end.
I have always been aware that the subjects in my paintings have a built-in narrative because of their age and what they were used for. Here the idea of a story arch is built in with the significance of three. It can be any story you can imagine.
Past, present, future.
That story idea continues along with the three tenses, the three states we choose to live in. Dwelling on the past, gleefully enjoying the present, or anxious about the future. I am defiantly at fault for focusing too much on the future.
And then there is the significance of three in religion. You can find it in Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and even in mythology long before these world religions.
The significance of three rings true in so many different ways, on so many levels.
These elegant and finely detailed antique Kodak cameras are works of art on their own. They have a patina about them. Cameras are now and always have been ubiquitous – but some were made to stand out. These cameras have lost their function, but now exist as sculpture and ideals of craftsmanship.
Perfect profile for painting. Everything about them slots in precisely in to what I like in a subject for painting. Obsolete technology with a fantastic design. The reels are dramatic and circular, they compliment the square canvas. I find them eye catching.
Projector II was with me for several years. It was in a case, and I simply forgot about it as I didn’t have any reels to go along with it. It blended in amongst all the other typewriter cases and luggage I have sitting around.
During one of our recent moves, I picked up the case and was confused at why it weighed so much. Opened up the case and was so delighted to find it.