Elements of obsession


Sometimes things catch my eye, and they grab a hold of me. Some part of my brain clicks and I can’t look away. It becomes an instant obsession. Once, when I was at a house party, I noticed how long and slender my friend’s wife’s legs were. I began to think about the elements of design and how they work within a photographic or artistic composition to direct the eye. The indigo seams on her inner thighs made a perfect V shape that pointed directly toward her crotch. Although I was not having inappropriate thoughts towards my friend’s wife I could not look away. Those lines had magnetized my eyes and sent my brain into a thought loop about the elements of design. The same thing happened when I saw my Senegalese friend Latyr Sy playing djembe at one of his live performances. Color is another element of design. In the dim space, the light had fallen just right so that his bright red sneakers stood out. Once they caught my eye I could not look away. I had become obsessed with them. That time, I had my camara. I am lucky I didn’t have one on the day the lines of those legs caught my attention. Things might have ended in fisticuffs because, honestly, who would believe my excuse. During Latyr's performance, I tried my best to capture the red shoes in a way that made them stand out as I had seen them but also make them part of the artist’s range of self-expression. They seemed to me to be an extension of his musical emotion, which was pure passion. I could not stop clicking the shutter until I had found the perfect angle. The result is the image you see in the photo. Today was a small gathering at my friends and neighbors' home. They just bought a new house together and will officially get married on Christmas day. I gave them an aluminum print of “Red Shoes” as a housewarming gift. I hope they are as fascinated by the image as I am.

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