Unintended Beauty


Sports Illustrated Slide Show: How the Picture Tells its Story: Secrets and Surprises from SI’s Classic Photos by Steven Hoffman is a big book (with a big title). I bought it for my son at some point in time and was recently frustrated by where it would not fit on my bookshelves. Still unable to find a satisfactory home for it, the book ended up on my desk—so I decided to start reading it.

I’m glad I did. In his introduction, Hoffman wrote, “Tiny objects of art, these slides have an unintended beauty of their own. On one, the marginalia dazzle with the color and movement of a Jackson Pollack drip painting. Another is reminiscent of a Robert Rauschenberg combine painting. They have an aesthetic both baroque and pop.”

The phrase “unintended beauty” caught my attention and ignited my imagination. What if, I thought, I let that phrase guide me in creating photographic images?