On Seeing, A Journal #380

Talking Triptychs, Part IV

July 17, 2020


Previous Journals on Triptych art:

I.    Triptychs

II.   Moving On

III.  Talking Triptychs

Triptychs recently created:

A day exploring and working together with the divine model Sigail Currie.
Deborah Freedman Painted the backdrop.
Makeup is by Patrycja Korzeniak.
Hair is by Damian Monzillo.
Utilization of stroboscopic projection with an extraordinary model, M. Re.
Triptych installation. Underwater; Shawnee Free Jones
I find that there are two key problems to solve when working on a triptych:

The first has to do with the fact that one of the three images may be singularly better than the other two and may in fact be better than the three together as a group.

Editing is a difficult, mysterious and baffling business, and, as an artist, I am almost always biased about my work, which puts me at a disadvantage in judging my work with complete clarity——not possible.  Everyone needs an editor.  It’s a mantra I try never to forget.  Editing your own work is difficult and excessive inclusion (what I call “loose editing”) often results in watered-down selections since it’s easier to include an image that just might “work” than to remove it from consideration because it is “close” but not “the one.”

And so, triptychs can be born out of editorial weakness, fatigue, unwillingness to admit that there’s only one “winner” vs three that might be “ok” together.

In creating a triptych, you have to ask, is the whole better than any part? Is there a sublime, glorious and awesome relationship in the interrelationship of the three images that make the whole special.  Or is it lazy or loose editing?  I struggle with this and am grateful I have an editor who loves me enough to be consistently honest.

The second problem with triptychs has to do with presentation.
The classic triptych is composed as three images on a horizontal, and therefore a large horizontal space is required for proper presentation.

For example, this triptych of images made of the talented Ailey dancer, Olivia Bowman, using multiple sequential strobes, loses it’s power because of the restrictions of size on this particular format:
Wouldn’t this vertical presentation of the triptych do it better justice?
Not really.  It’s just not the same.
Triptychs require proper space:
This adventure will continue.