Works in Progress, Droga5, Bowie

IN the middle of ad agency Droga5's NYC headquarters art production floor they have an "artists wall" that rotates every month with new works-in-progress, new series, or whatever the guest photographer chooses to share.  I was asked at the end of last year if I'd like to hang some prints, which I ended up doing last week.  I decided to show a body of recent work, much of it created for Instagram, that had been originated or modified using iPhone apps to achieve the varied effects.  These images were then printed on 20x20 archival fiber paper.  It was an interesting experiment for me to see how images that I've been creating, working on and posting on such a visually tiny platform would fare enlarged to that degree and printed in such a classic manner.  Most made the transition really well, and it reminded me of how in some ways this work has brought me full circle since my early art school days when I was layering negatives in an enlarger, creating double exposures and printing black + white negatives onto color paper in trays by hand.  I take it for granted (and yet it blows my mind) that I can now achieve similar effects using only my phone.  But it also proves to me that the tools used are really beside the point, whether it is film and chemistry or a smart phone, the point of view is what carries across all media.  
I find this is the case with the artists I most admire.  With the recent death of David Bowie, it seems everyone is taking stock of what this great artist achieved, in his music and even more expansively, across our culture.  But no matter what role he was playing, what character he inhabited or what phase he was in, it was unmistakably Bowie.  Even with his roles in less than stellar films, he remained unscathed, keeping somehow apart from everyone and everything else, carrying his artistic world with him like a protective bubble that could not be pierced by the outside world.  Not that most of us will achieve the greatness or groundbreaking originality of a Bowie, but in realizing that the tools we use, whatever they are, are only that, a way to make your voice heard, your vision seen, we can then focus on our own unique points of view.  That is something I think David Bowie did for many of us; while blazing a path of his own he showed others that they could do the same, inspiring people to find their own fierce creativity within.