Since the beginning of August we have been photographing artists in Ventura, California for the annual Art Walk. The project began small and balooned into 40 black and white portraits which are hung all over downtown and the west side of Ventura as five foot posters. Here are just a few, while others are already making a home on the portrait section of our website.
Follow John Riffero around for a day and you won't guess that he recently turned a century young. He mows is own lawn, and those of his rental properties, lives alone with his wife of 74 years, does volunteer tax work, and even drives his 1970 Volkswagen truck which he has owned since 1971. His advice for those wanting to live a long and full life; "live sparingly in all things". (photos taken for The Santa Barbara Independent)
"For many years, I have been moved by the blue at the far edge of what can be seen, that color of horizons, of remote mountain ranges, of anything far away. The color of that distance is the color of an emotion, the color of solitude and of desire, the color of there seen from here, the color of where you are not. And the color of where you can never go. For the blue is not in the place those miles away at the horizon, but in the atmospheric distance between you and the mountains. "Longing," says the poet Robert Hass, "because desire is full of endless distances." Blue is the color of longing for the distances you never arrive in, for the blue world." -Rebecca Solnit The Blue of Distance
It wasn’t something I had given much consideration to, the color blue. But upon reflection, it does dominate a significant portion of our human lives, and as such, deserves introspection. Having the Pacific for my backyard brings me face-to-face, on a daily basis, with a mass of salt water constantly changing from cold steely blue-gray to a bright turquoise with the tides, plants, animals, and weather. This expanse can rear up at any moment with ferocity, keeping California on the edge of its topographic seat, and on the flip side, continues to bring in tourist dollars with it's alluring beaches and reputation of new beginnings. The sea reflecting the sky and back up again, molecules moving and changing, and the wall of blue, which I distractedly move past in commute each day, teeming with unimaginable life.
So take a moment today, and consider the color blue and all that it holds the power to be. Blue is every handful of blueberries you've shoved into your mouth, when you thought you couldn't possibly eat one more. It is distant mountain ranges you gaze upon, but never explore, and the soft nostalgic color of every wall in my parents' split foyer home. It is the infinite possibilities of a moonlit sky. It is taste, touch, emotion, memory, and more. Or as Regina Spektor put it “Blue, the most human color/Blue lips, blue veins/Blue, the color of our planet/From far, far away.
"The best thing about time passing is the privilege of running out of it, of watching the wave of mortality break over me and everyone I know. No more time, no more potential. The privilege of ruling things out. Finishing. Knowing I'm finished. And knowing time will go on without me."
-Sarah Manguso Ongoingness