Interview from Photography in Contemporary Life
with Doctor HP Flowers, venturer and picture buff
PICL Magazine: "Your recent photo blog has become an overnight sensation and an issue of much concern. Your postings have inflamed latent passions among our readers like never before. Let me quote from a letter published in the last issue of PICL Magazine: "… self-appointed Johnny Appleseed with sweaty flop-hat." And another: "… apostle of ugliness". This flap seems to stem from that uncharacteristic Blue Barrel of yours. How do you respond to their criticism that your work rebels against prevailing photographic conventions, and that you're more devoted to resurrecting the anarchistic Ashcan School of Art nearly forgotten for hundred years."
Doctor Flowers: "Honesty. It's all about honesty, and not being dishonest. My father was an honest man. And he used to say things like - 'even this cardboard box the tooth paste tube came in is dishonest.' His notions find their way into my work all the time. Art is for life's sake; and beauty can be found in truth. I propose a new manner of expression where reality is interpreted in new ways and images compose themselves naturally in the eye of the observer helping others to increase their understanding of reality leading to criticisms and interpretative distortions. Lyrical and delicate sensibilities can be incorporated into this beautiful blue barrel imparting an authentic grace and natural gentleness. A union of the eye and the heart. Reality and its lyrical transformations. And furthermore, the Blue Barrel sits on hallowed ground. In April 1865 a portion of Lee's Army, retreating westward from Richmond, found itself trapped against the Appomattox River two miles beyond that tree line in the photograph; and against Sheridan's Cavalry two miles behind. Everyone had to sell out then, too. And, I'm not a picture buff, Picklehead!"
Title: © Blue Barrel. r0583-33
Series: None of the Above
Location: Cr 681/616, Morven Virginia
Date: Tuesday 24 November 1992