Picture-In-Picture

In San Francisco, California

At the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SF MoMA), a Mark Rothko painting (titled “No. 14, 1960”) rides solo in a simple setting.

So, I like taking pictures in and of museums. Sometimes the photos focus on the people gazing at the art or objects. Sometimes they’re about the buildings themselves, spotlighting architectural or design details inside or outside. But mostly, they’re of the works (paintings, sculptures, or other pieces) the museum is showcasing. But when I look at a photo I’ve taken of someone else’s art, I wonder if I’ve diminished the nature of my photo as a work of art itself? Is that kind of like cheating?

Take this shot for instance…I suppose if the Rothko painting were the only thing in the shot, I might feel less like my photo would be a piece of work with a statement or point of view, in and of itself. But something about pulling in the crisp, clean wood floor, the simple lines of the basic bench and its shadow, the horizontal line dividing the wall from the floor, and the plain white wall framing the big bold colors of the painting makes the photo the art, beyond being just about the art in the photo. It’s all about the beauty of simplicity, in art and in life.

Check out this post for a Rothko-inspired reflection on a photo I took in Miami.

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