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Enchantment Granted: Aidan Grant's Photography

Deadline inspiration cannot be relied upon. Given the assignment-- whether a self-imposed endpoint for one's own scheduled work or else some outsourced mandate-- the mental prod cannot mobilize the creative effort all or most of the time. Making words or whatever intended art on spec is fraught with occupational hazards and outcomes, including pressurized constraint tending towards the mediocre, the not-fully-realized (because not fully realizable?), or the unbearably bastard. Most times, hocus-pocus of the moment gives way to the choke hold of defeat. One just cannot summon the vision for the work, especially if it is predicated on someone else's work.

But haloed exceptions to this personal aesthetic hex do emerge. Aidan Grant's new photo collection, PARENTHESES, contains a prefatory poem I wrote. My imagination enjoyed a contact high with the material immediately and a poem ensued, swarmed in the afterglow of the graces of this vivid volume.

The images gathered together in PARENTHESES become a treasured trove of various urban and rural communities, luxuriating in their happy habitats of harmonic, often gleeful abandon. Grant is a photographer of the cumulative and the collective, spurning single subjects for the irrepressible mass-based energies of people on the move. Some featured groups are activists, others are dancers and actors of their chosen milieu, still others are citizens on parade, challenging in their spirited plurality any tremors of darkness or defeat, malaise or paralysis that global, national, and local affairs might recommend.

Grant's ability to orchestrate a range of colors, angles, textures, and peoples gives these photographs of fervid ferment a moving quality, by which I mean both motion and sentiment. Aidan Grant's work is a powerful and impressive antidote for the negative, the nasty, and the static. Rapture is written across each face, body, and scene.

You would do well to check out his work next month:

Here below from PARENTHESES is my poem composed the day after Labor Day, in the parentheses between work obligations, an always necessary space for art, art inspired by artist Aidan Grant and his many, many visual splendors...

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