“I believe in maniacs. I believe in type As. I believe that you’ve got to love your work so much that it is all you want to do. I believe you must betray your mistress for your work, you betray your wife for your work; I believe that she must betray you for her work. I believe that work is the one thing in the world that never betrays you, that lasts. If I were going to be a politician, if I were going to be a scientist, I would do it every day. I wouldn’t wait for Monday. I don’t believe in weekends.”
- Richard Avedon
I attend a group with Lisa Wiseman, and we trade inspiration. Last time I pulled this quote from Avedon as my bit. I’m not going to disparage Richard Avedon, his career and his contributions to photography, but I’ve had a hard time with the betrayal part of this quote. After wrestling with it for a while, I’ve decided that this comes from a belief in scarcity, that the essence of the world is limited, and that you must decide between work and love, between yourself and others. Otherwise, the guy’s just selfish (which is possible, what with the mistress, and considering his marital history and jeez, there seems to be a lot of betrayal going on).
I’m not convinced that this is an accurate description of the world.
But whatever. I needed to figure out what to do with this quote, and I wasn’t having any ideas about photographs to makeof it, so I decided to act out the quote. I committed to shooting as much as I could in order to get this project out the door in a timely fashion.
I’m no Richard Avedon, I’ll tell you that. I tried to betray my fiancee by leaving the dirty dishes but it doesn’t take that long, so I washed them anyway. I tried to betray the dog by not going running with him, but I needed to get out too. I did manage to shoot and retouch two of these per day for a week or so.
See the entire series.