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I take no offense to Ms. Vesuvius's statements regarding my work as "clearly a placeholder" (ouch!). Her words and expressions are subjective and should be duly noted as such. The response to my work and the gallery has been overwhelmingly positive, so Ms. Vesuvius is clearly in the minority. I would suppose Ms. Vesuvius would say that those positive responses are from the uninformed and lack the intellectual understanding she has of Contemporary Photography. That would be sad if true as I believe most everyone, regardless of their ability to understand "art", has come away from viewing my photos with a personal and often compelling experience. The rub here is that since Ms. Vesuvius has anointed herself the resident Beacon Photography Critic, I would argue that her experience is still up for discussion and thus her words should be considered an opinion and not that of a reviewer of any stature.

Contemporary Photography will always be a very subjective medium. It requires the audience to understand the abstract and conceptual. It often times requires explanation by the artist…thus the artist statement. Even with the narrative clearly expressed it can still be difficult for the viewer to understand the point the artist was trying to make. Of course, it’s not unlike any contemporary art in that sense. It’s a personal expression that will sometimes fall out of the realm of the understanding of some folks yet be clear as day to others. In the case of Ms. Vesuvius I will give her the benefit of the doubt and say that she simply doesn’t get it. That is not to be a negative remark on her abilities to express herself. She’s quite good with words. It’s just that sometimes her point gets lost in the rhetoric.

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Tags: Gallery, Photography

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Comment by Rob Penner on October 15, 2008 at 8:42pm
Thank you for your support. Please stop in to introduce yourself. I will not be at the gallery this weekend as I will be traveling to Buffalo to visit my son. But anytime after that and I would be pleased to meet you.
Comment by Rob Penner on October 15, 2008 at 5:45pm
arest Charlene,
Indeed, showing my own work is a bit vain, no? I will never be accused of not knowing how to market myself. Who best to give me a solo show then myself. I would argue that my work has its place on the walls of mine or any gallery. The work you see is a culmination of a serious project that has importance to me. As it is, it recently showed in Woodstock at the Center for Photography. That would at least give it a bit of cred.

The placeholder comment, while taken out of context, did seem a bit pointed towards my work. Even so, I respect anyone's review and accept it only as an opinion. Nuff said.

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