“Some people walk their dog; I walk my camera.”
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Charles Beaudelaire

Charles Baudelaire said “Photographers, you will never become artists. All you are is mere copiers….But if once it (photography) be allowed to impinge on the sphere of the intangible and the imaginary, on anything that has value solely because man adds something to it from his soul, then woe betide us!

Well then…..woe betide us!

No doubt a camera copies what is in front of its lens, as Baudelaire said; nonetheless,  my images are not just copies they are my vision, dreams and imagination utilizing the real world as metaphors, symbols and representations for interpretation. 

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Alley at Dusk, Blois, France, 2010

The term flâneur comes from the French masculine noun flâneur—which has the basic meanings of ‘stroller’, ‘lounger’, ‘saunterer’, ‘loafer’– which itself comes from the French verb flâneur, meaning “to stroll”.  Baudelaire developed a derived meaning of flâneur—that of “a person who walks the city in order to experience it”. Because of the term’s usage and theorization by Baudelaire and many thinkers in economic, cultural, literary and historical fields, the idea of the flâneur has accumulated significant meaning as a referent for understanding urban phenomena and modernity.  While Baudelaire characterized the flâneur as a “gentleman stroller of city streets”, he saw the flâneur as having a key role in understanding, participating in and portraying the city. A flâneur thus played a double role in city life and in theory, that is, while remaining a detached observer. This stance, simultaneously part of and apart from, combines sociological, anthropological, literary and historical notions of the relationship between the individual and the greater populace. After the 1848 Revolution in France, after which the empire was reestablished with clearly bourgeois pretensions of “order” and “morals”, Baudelaire began asserting that traditional art was inadequate for the new dynamic complications of modern life. Social and economic changes brought by industrialization demanded that the artist immerse himself in the metropolis and become, in Baudelaire’s phrase, “a botanist of the sidewalk”.

 

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