The Photo Editor continues his daily postings and it seems I can’t just ignore him, dammit: He writes: “I’ve never met anyone as loyal as Martin Schoeller (here). To the subject, his team of people, the client, his agent, his style, his goals, the print… everything. It’s more than just being a nice guy and delivering consistently good work there’s honesty and integrity, and a devotion to the craft, and an incredible work ethic that adds up to, well, loyalty.
There was a point in his career where he was thinking oh shit, this big head style is not going to define me but over the last couple years he’s decided the market forces are too great and produced a book and several gallery exhibits of big heads”.
Commentum, humanum est:
Loyalty: I am going to go out on a limb here and throw the baby out with the bath water but I am of the opinion that Yankee psychology leaves little room for such august affectations. I might even venture to proclaim that in this country, as someone who has lived on three continents, Europe and Asia being the other two outside this one; that personal and economic loyalty are oft ridiculed personal and corporate qualities and attributes.
Martin Schoeller, besides being an extremely talented photographer probably owes much of his success to his temperament and character but also to the simple fact that Europeans are taught, at an early age, to stick by those who raise you up, and that to not return the favor is an abominably rude and crassly North American attribute.
Americans tend to take their entrepreneurial zeal a little too seriously and often dismiss budding friendships and partnerships for short term profits. Friends of mine who work in Europe, China and India dislike working with North Americans most of all for lacking these most natural virtues; knowing full well that if they do not give way to our commercial brutishness, that they, the ” Yankees”, will take our business elsewhere to save less than a few cents.
Business is based on personal character and on nurturing relationships, but these values are often ignored in response to brutishly attained profits; victims of our quarterly reported and greedish creed. The unflinching coarseness of the market has created increasingly newfangled, unemotional and unavailable beasts.
Nothing wrong with profits but profits without relationships will eventually diminish returns on those very real and coveted profits. Without lasting relationships the proverbial economic air slowly gets sucked out of the market and replaced with increasingly short termed and noxious speculative fumes (dot coms, sub prime shenanigans, dollar stockananigans, just to name a quick few…..)
Nonetheless, it’s nice to see that sometimes, humanity and simple loyalty can be appreciated, at least on a personal level. As for institutions, they are in the business of stripping those very human qualities to replace them with malignantly optioned algorithms and purposeful speculative economic rape and pillage.
As far as I am concerned business without values such as loyalty only leads to blindingly irrational exuberance, quickly followed by the digestion of increasingly depressing, manic, and loathsomely bitter pills. This seems to have become, not only the modus operandi of the North American economy, but more recently, the engine of its continued, rapid and possibly irreversible enfeebling.
Anyway, Americans are a versatile and flit footed people; let’s hope we can learn from our mistakes and regain some of our legendary humanity, which as of late has been sorely missing from the North American psyche. Nevertheless, I also wonder how quickly Martin might be forgotten should he falter to produce or fall pray to illness, age, cynicism or simple disgust?
Sorry, was that self-righteous enough for you? I swear I stopped reading Paul Krugman way back in two 0 two ! Sorry for the rant, I know it isn’t appreciated as constructive in this here “God’s country”.