The Artist Statement
Timothy Ruane August 26 2013
I do not aspire to match or better the masters of photography, although I would not mind bettering them all. I want to carry on in the tradition of modern painting: Matisse, van Gogh, the Fauves, the Post-Impressionists, Dada, Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Andre Durain, Pierre Bonnard, Modigliani, Klee, Johns, Louise Nevelson, Warhol and others—these are my inspirations. There are many, many excellent traditional photographers throughout the world. I, however, do not wish to be like them. I wish to take photography some place it has never been.
I work with a free online photo editing application: Pixlr—free because I have no money and Pixlr because Google, for reasons unknown to me, disbanded an application which used to be called Picnik, an old and true friend of mine.
I edit (manipulate) my photographs heavily, changing contrast, brightness and hue without hesitation and, more often than not, inverting, desaturizing, pixelating, posterizing, solarizing and maybe a couple other things, too.
I photograph anything my camera can find. I am inclined to value pictures that are hard to take more than easier ones—action shots more than stills, for example. For technical reasons, I have a hard time making good portraits. I am drawn to the unconventional and the abstract.
As the philosopher is interested in truth, I am interested in beauty. Good art can do many things, but it cannot bore.
As an artist, no more a sophisticate than the caveman drawing on his caveman walls, I wish to be unique, but this is impossible. Each human is unique, but each artist is not. Each artist is a thief, pilfering from masters who have gone before him. Post-Impressionists stole from Impressionists. Cezanne stole from Monet. Cubists stole from Fauvists. Braque stole from Matisse. And so on.
My methods and my madnesses are preceded and described. Brian Aldiss nailed mine like a master carpenter. He wrote sometime in the last century: “That’s the artist’s role—to strike out always for something new, to break away, to defy, to . . . grapple with the unfamiliar.” These words I reluctantly admit fit me and my work like Cinderella’s little glass slipper. Brian Aldiss—sometimes Brian W. Aldiss, an English author who wrote both general fiction and science fiction, author of “Super Toys Last All Summer Long”—won the Hugo Award twice and the Nebula Award once. I do not know what these awards are, but they sound impressive.
I work with digital photography.
Timothy A. Ruane
P.O. Box 433
Garrett Park, MD, USA 20896