Thursday, November 11, 2010

Borrowed Eyes

Photograph by Diego Ortiz Mugica

I stand in front of an image and I stare. It is black and white and I wonder why no color. But as I wonder I begin to fall in love. I am being transported to a destination unknown. I know little of the origin. I only know it is earth because of the moon. The rest looks alien. But once my feeling is known I start to think. This is not the earth I reason. It is but a vision through a pair of eyes. Eyes not my own. It is an image conjured.

Someone behind me says it is from his eyes. He says he is the artist. His eyes are borrowed he says. Someone dies and gives them to him. When he dies he gives them to someone else. He talks of passion. He talks of the years before the image. He talks of having no money. He talks of being in the dark room. He talks of his wife. Most of all he talks of Argentina his home. He insists I am seeing Argentina through his borrowed eyes. He insists I go there someday because I love the image.

I am in this alien land. He insists it is Argentina. I stay there to convince myself it is true. But I think the artist is wrong. I think he underestimates his borrowed eyes. I think he doesn't understand their power. He doesn't realize they are bigger than Argentina. Because I won't see the image standing in his homeland. Because I don't have his borrowed eyes.


I saw this print in an exhibit in Foto Week 2010, Washington DC at the Embassy of Argentina. The picture was taken by Diego Ortiz Mugica of the National Parks of Argentina. Do check out his other images, they are breathtaking.


  1. I sat and watched the slideshow with my breakfast coffee, truly breathtaking images. I like the way he presents the really big and the really small with the same sense of wonder, which infuses your writing about it too.

    You can't beat a real live exhibition, can you? Even with photographs there's something about the presence of them in space... and a lucky experience to meet the photographer too.

    I'm very much enjoying your writing and your blog; I meant to say too how much I liked your fall pictures earlier - Josie is a perfect autumn cat!

  2. Thank you Lucy, for reading my blog and for commenting.

    The original content for this post is very different, much more informational, there is a lot to say about the artist. I have been to quite a few exhibits this week and none affected me as much as his. Before seeing his work, I am not big on black and whites at all, I personally love colors, very saturated colors. And I saw many exhibits full of images with awesome colors that capture the right moment/expression but none made me think and feel like this guy.

    I feel he is a philosopher as well, his approach to his art, country and people around him is very unique I thought. A little old school perhaps.

    I want to thank you again for your comments. I am a beginner in writing and this helps me improve a great deal. I love your blog as well, it has been an inspiration to me.


  3. You have the heart of a poet.