On Andy Katz

Andy’s work captures a soft-spoken fervor of existence, of us and everything around us.  Be it a vineyard or some small village overseas, or a Cuban woman laughing while holding a cigar, the tones and textures disseminated through his stills speak directly to us.  And again, through a soft-spoken chords.  Nothing’s overstated, nothing’s oddly touched or too much.  Every frame is a sort of vortex of thought and consideration twirling all of us in our own dreams and curiosities.  Photography, as I’ve always said and thought and maybe too many times said, should show you something new.  And, each world he shares through his shots is very much new, renewing, new renewal of appreciation for where he takes you.

His work defies typical standards in terms of light management and where the subject is placed.  Again, you find Newness in each shot.  The first time I saw his work was in his book, his 2010 book of photography titled ‘Sonoma’.  I’ll far too many time find pictures of grapes, especially closeups, banal and essentially expected.  I never see anything new.  But then I encountered Katz’s work and learned new days in the vineyards, new approaches to clusters and my life in wine country.  He teaches through his work, to delight in what’s around you and take closer looks.  Examine the colors and examine your impact on the world around you, and its on you.  The world is enormous, then it’s indelibly small, his work suggests to me.  That we’re all here in a tireless symphony.  How work energizes, enriches, massages more sense and art into any bland cracker of a day.

I often look at his pictures when I need ideas as a writer, or when I want to be in a balloon of zen and just float away from the stress, watching the distance increase, increase, incr…..  You just get lost in his work and the forward in the color palates and textures.  Not to forget about the multiple scenes and cultures he immerses you in throughout his portfolio.  Some of my favorite shots come from “India Places”, a sub-tab on his website under “Galleries”.  Rich natural character with that riled yet subtle shapeliness, each pictures has the soft-spoken fervor I’ve known him to exude.

As I understand photography, it’s not just about having familiarity or knowledge with your subject, but an intimacy, a connection, an aligned and syncopated presence.  Mr. Katz tallies more and more favor with his admirers and critics.  I feel like the Cuban woman, just smiling when I see his work— transported, enriched, taught.  Skimming through the Sonoma book again here with my coffee I feel like someone visiting, and I’ve lived here over 15 years.  He’s showing me savory specificities with his shots, through his lens.  Truly, his photography is for everyone… a peculiar and brilliant attraction of the human and natural dynamics, he shows us.  He arrays that there’s more out there than we see.  Thankful he can see it, capture it, put it into his books, display for le monde.

(12/14/16)

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