The newly painted walls of Fort Christiansvaern beg to be abstracted. As I worked with these pictures, I began to view them as visual sorbet, or palate cleansers for the eyes that appeal to the senses without carrying any other message.
Abstractions that lack any implicit social or emotional message may be a cop-out, or art-lite. On the other hand, perhaps their straightforward appeal to the senses, and the emptiness of mind with which one must approach an abstract image in fact is the message — and an important one at that.
They are painting Fort Christiansvaern. No, not red; that was me that did that. But yellow, that wonderful golden yellow that one sees on so many of the historic buildings in old Christiansted. The paint and repairs are important to protect the structure, and historical correctness is being observed. Still, the crumbling walls and peeling paint give the fort some of its character.
The fort is unendingly photogenic as its shapes, angles and colors shift perceptibly as the sun moves across the sky — as if it were a giant work of art set beside the sea. Despite the shape-shifting beauty of the building, I have darker feelings about its original purpose and things that happened there so many years ago.
These images are two interpretations of the same original photograph. Perhaps they reflect some of my ambivalence.
We no longer trust beauty as a serious means of investigation. But it can be ... In fact, beauty can be incendiary; it can be subversive; it can make us cringe.
-- David Maisel, Photographer
"It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it." -- Anais Nin
“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders of the universe, the less taste we shall have for the destruction of our race.” -- Rachel Carson