random thought, writing

igor melnikov

having dinner at a friend’s recently, i was exposed to a russian painter whose imagery is breathtaking.  since i saw the two originals on my friend’s wall, i have been haunted by and fascinated with igor melnikov.

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“for me, these are not portraits of children, but portraits of human souls,” says moscow-born artist igor melnikov. each is a picture “of a soul immersed in itself, reticent, perplexed, searching for and preserving a hope. if you take the message of this portrait to your heart, it is a portrait of you.”

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“I often find that my subjects are perceived incorrectly, as children’s faces that are meant to be merely touching.”

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“The face of an adult is biography; the face of a child is metaphysics,” he says. “I don’t like poetic generalizations, particularly about my own work. But, if I can dare to qualify the subject that interests me most of all, it is this: the little, weak human beings coming into this huge, brutal, senseless world, and being unwanted, uninteresting, and unloved by anyone. Ultimately, the existential conflict is expressed most clearly as the awakening conscience of the little human being in the face of the cosmos.”

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melnikov has a book of his thoughts and works called melnikov/ pictures.  it is phenomenal.  i highly recommend buying it… if you can find it!

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family, photography, random thought

unclehood

my brother down in austin bought his kids a trampoline a few weeks ago.  i had been hearing about how awesome this thing was, but had not yet experienced the bouncy goodness it had to offer.  well, i went to austin this past weekend.  enough said.

elise and i had a blast.  she practiced form, and shouted “girl power!”, as i jumped and tried to focus my camera simultaneously.  i really love being an uncle.  it doesn’t get much better.

sam, my nephew, and boaz (the neighborhood bruiser and best friend of sam), are all boy.  when they spot their “crazy” uncle andrew, they go into attack mode.  i learned that this game, in particular, became more fun on the trampoline.  less chance of injury.  for the boys and their aging uncle.

  

elise, sam, and little andrew have all grown up with a camera in their face, thanks to their uncle andrew.  as a result of this, they are perfect little mini-models.  smiling on cue, mixing it up like true professionals, and absolute comfort in front of the lens.

a few months ago, i had the opportunity to hang with the little dudes for a whole day.  i was commissioned to watch over and entertain sam and elise for five or six hours.  i have to admit, i was really nervous.

i’m a bachelor.  and if you’ve ever read this blog before, you’d know that i’m quite impatient as well.  patience is a true commodity for those dealing with kids.  but i love these little guys more than life itself.  so i guess now’s as good a time as any to test my “parenting” skills.

okay, so i got a little help too.  my sister allowed me to bring them over to her place to set up a pool in the front yard.  it was a big hit.

  

miles, my third and newest nephew (my sister’s), came out to watch.  he’s a pretty serious little guy.  probably going to be a brilliant physicist or jazz musician.  or both.  even he managed to laugh at the three of us playing in a tiny pool in the front yard.

what a great gift i’ve been given to experience being an uncle, before being thrust into the throws of fatherhood.  i love getting to have fun and party with my little buddies, and then quietly escape when all of the tantrums begin, or the diapers need changing.  i’m enjoying this while i can.

all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2008

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