EDWARD WESTON'S VEGETABLES: A DISPLACED OF THE PHOTOGRAPHIC OBJECT
Edward Weston, North American photographer born in Hightland Park, Illinois, and raised in Chicago. He gained from his father a camera when young and began photographing the city parks at the intervals of his work. Weston lived with great personalities such as Alfred Stiegltz, Georgia O'Keeffe, and in Mexico (where he set up one of his most famous studios) was friends with Diego Rivera and Orozco. He was one of the founders of the f.64 group and the first photographer to win the Guggenheim Foundation Scholarship for experimental work. Weston completely displaced what we can understand as object of the photographic record, its production involves portraits, landscapes, nudes, but mainly a series of experiments that proposes to rethink the photographic visuality.
From the late 1920s Weston's images no longer rely on objects of great symbolic value, or characteristic of photography, but indulge in a complex set of visual frames drawn from simple plants and vegetables which, when framed or illuminated in a certain way, take the photographic image to complex formal games of light and shadow.
Weston captures, for example, the texture and contrasts of a split onion, the texture of the vegetable shows that it is not fresh (the surface is already rough and the rings well apart), but it is precisely these characteristics that Weston takes the subject of his photograph. The spacings between the rings, which like dark lines define the design, will compose the whole image, like a brain that scratches its surface with each new information. In contrast to the dark lines, there are some points that stand out from the texture of the rings and fill the image of a rhythm mediated by the black lines that make up the image. The value of the sign, of the element "onion", is approached only by its visual values.
The same can be said about the photograph of a chili, whose hard lighting is so direct that it creates dark areas that individualize the parts of the vegetable and allow it to be confused with organic forms that intertwine in space. The top of the image is darker and creates a gradient to the foreground, which strengthens the shape of the vegetable, giving it a black aura that covers the volume. The intense contrasting game reinforces the organic aspect of the object, which seems to curl itself.
In this way Weston also presents a dislocated look, proposing photography not only the registration of the symbolic and figurative world, but also a wide range of different visualities. From 1936 begins to feel the evils of Parkinson and ends up passing away in 1958.