a fine art photography gallery presents the photography of Barry Massoni
(Netscape users push Ctrl D)
It took a great deal of soul searching before I finally decided to create this web site and galleries to showcase my abstract and near abstract photographs, and a place to post my essays on the philosophy thereof, and critiques of the art in general. My hesitation was simply because of the way photographs show on the net. A friend and collector whoís seen my prints was quite emphatic that I shouldnít show them this way, saying my photos are too dependent on depth and scale to show well via computer. The truth is, I agree, but the potential to reach so many people who wouldn't otherwise be exposed to them is so great that I have to give it a try, and I think by now virtually everyone's aware that a photographic print, and an internet representation thereof, are horses of entirely different colors. That said, I hope you find something that stirs your soul here, because everything here I found by opening my eyes and looking at the world around me- your world.
Why I made natural abstraction
Click on a gallery or scroll down
To put it simply, I use photography to attempt to find something human in our bizarre and unworldly world. Whether itís a dark tree on a blustery day, or a flower bud opening- by isolating subjects, pushing them towards abstraction, or beyond, itís possible to see that like a fractal image, there's another world within each.
Iíve loosely divided my photos into three galleries, plus a Mount Diablo gallery as there seems to be a fair amount of interest in pictures taken on the mountain or its surrounding open space. The photos here are also found in their other respective sections.
My True Abstraction photographs are probably the easiest to explain- if not to understand. What some people have a hard time grasping is that they depict a level of reality beyond human consciousness. Itís only in our own minds that we instill order on an orderless world. When subjects are pushed beyond that order we can experience our own creative mind at work- appreciating its beauty, if only for a moment, before our rational thought processes impose order again- and then, try to peel it back with the same consciousness that blocks it. Again, when youíre successful, you have your choice of letting go and appreciating it or fearing it. Itís up to you. Like all freedoms, it always is.
My Wind and Vistas pictures are harder to categorize. They are an attempt to capture the rhythm and motion of the world- both literal and figurative. Too often weíre deceived by myths (photographic and otherwise) into believing the natural world is an unchanging pillow placed here so we can rest our heads. But it changes- both moment by moment and eon by eon. Itís not something to lean on and close your eyes, nor is it a roller coaster designed to give you thrills. Itís as dangerous as it is safe, and itís mostly far beyond our control- and weíre a part of it. You can appreciate it, ignore it, or live in terror of it; I try to do the first. It doesn't care which you choose. That's part of its beauty.
In the Flora & Fauna galleries itís easiest to comment on the flowers, though it applies to all of the subjects. To be blunt, these arenít your motherís flowers. Theyíre not idealized Ďcalendarí specimens. Theyíve lived in open, dirty air, and known the clumsy attention of hurried bees. I havenít meticulously brushed off spilled pollen, or digitally edited out specs of dirt. These are flowers as they really are, the way God made them & nature has worn them. While they may have beauty, itís for a purpose beyond human appreciation. Itís the beauty or reality, the beauty of imperfection, the beauty of purpose without idealization or human intervention.
The Mount Diablo photos are all found in other galleries, but since there seems to be some interest in photographs taken on the mountain, I've decided to put them all in a special gallery to make them easier to find. This gallery also includes photographs taken on Lime Ridge, Shell Ridge, and other surrounding open space. You'll need to use the 'back' button on your browswer to return to this gallery.
The Yosemite photographs, too, are found in other galleries. There's obvious interest in Yosemite, which is why I've separated them into their own galleries. I hope to show a different Yosemite than traditional 'Ansel Adams' type landscape photos, showing its 'details' rather than scope, even in my landscapes.