"Every good artist paints what he is." - Jackson Pollock
Here we see a 1930 photograph by Edward Weston titled Pepper #30. It has been said that Weston was interested in the formal qualities of mundane objects, which in this case would lead one to look at this as simply a pepper, with the lighting allowing us to investigate the curves and shapes of this vegetable. But when you look at the curves and shapes, do you see just a pepper? Does it just look like some small lightweight pepper that one might pull out of a garden, or does it look like a monumental sculpture, heavy and dense?
Do you see anything other than a pepper? Could the two round shapes at top suggest the heads of a couple entwined in an embrace? Or could it be a hand grabbing and holding something in a powerful grip? Do you see anything else here? Let us know what you see!
Artsology decided to take some pictures of a pepper from our garden to see what visual effects we could find in a simple vegetable. Check out our pictures below.
Another interesting thing to consider with Edward Weston's pepper is how his lighting and cropping of the image contributes to how one interprets the photograph. He crops it very tight and has a dark background, which forces one to focus on the pepper without much consideration for where it is or its surroundings. Look at our 2 identical pictures below ... do you see how the tight crop of the picture on the right makes the pepper look bigger and more-imposing? Yet it's the same pepper as the one shown on the left!