Ray Metzker’s Prescience

The artist who proclaimed that he was “married to silver” had his finger on the pulse of camera work, so very early on. (However  impressed one may be with the legibility of my penmanship during that era, a transcript appears below.)

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10/15/80 — Ray’s lecture, “Something Else,” in the horrible new auditorium: Some perceivable trends are characterized by the electronic media making older, slower processes look outmoded and unwieldy; a constant flow of information turning folks into junkies; need for instant gratification and shortening of attention spans caused by the above. There is a predominance of shallow formalism and nihilistic modernism. One can choose, or not (Ray does) to believe in more — humanism, a spiritual life, whatever — which informs good work. Talk like this can sound awfully pretentious before showing one’s work, but it’s important to put everything on the line, to test the work and the artist. Ray admits to influences by, or at least a great interest in, Matisse, and sculptor Robert Hudson.

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