Patrick Close - Naming His Works

I actually did a series of works in the ‘70s which had very interesting titles. I took a photograph when I was on a ship going between Montreal and Rotterdam. I took a photograph of a fellow who came out with a pair of socks on that had separate socks for each toe - I think you’ve probably seen them - and they were very colourful. But I only had black and white film in my camera, because I’m a black and white photographer. And I took a photograph of his feet in these socks and a couple of years later when I was back in Canada I enlarged this image and then I hand-coloured with oils, I coloured in the socks in the colours that they had been. And then I hung this photograph near the room that everyone visits sooner or later when they come to visit you in your house, and that’s the bathroom. So almost all the guests at our house passed by this photograph. And the photograph was titled Francis at Sea, because his name was Francis and we were at sea when the photograph was taken. And people would come down from the bathroom with stories of Saint Francis of Assisi and ocean voyages and all these things and I became really aware that titles interpreted a work in many ways; that a title could be a doorway to a work where you could enter into a work and get some feeling of the interpretation. But It also could be a block to the work, because you could spin the viewer in a direction that the viewer might not take on their own. So a lot of time I like to present works which are untitled so that you can form your own image. I am of the opinion that I am presenting something to you and it isn’t complete at that point; it isn’t complete until there is a viewer.

Duration: 2:17 min
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Interest in PhotographyType of PhotographyNaming His WorksWorking Around OthersUntitled 1976
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