The work in question is entitled Pepper No. 30, created in 1930 (“Pepper No. 30” n.p.). The artist’s name is Edward Weston. This black and white photograph depicts a close-up of a “bell pepper on the concave surface” against a dark background (“Pepper No. 30” n.p.). The dimensions are 24.4 x 19.3cm, and the medium is gelatin silver print. The photograph is a part of a series of pictures depicting peppers.
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The photograph grabbed my attention at once. I did not realize it was a pepper until I saw a larger image. Initially, I thought it was a photo of a sculpture depicting or preferably symbolizing an embrace. When I saw a larger image and read the title, I was surprised to realize that it was pepper. I think the photograph appeals to me due to its forms and the use of light. It seems that a metal piece is depicted, but a closer look leads to understanding that it is a vegetable. Of course, everybody has seen a pepper of a peculiar form, but I doubt that people could see it in the way Weston saw it and depicted it. The concave surface and low light serve as an excellent background for the vegetable.
I believe each viewer will see something of his/her own in shape depicted. For instance, some may see the yin yang symbol and think of such concepts as the universe, eternity, and endlessness. As has been mentioned above, I saw a symbolic depiction of embrace. When I realized it was pepper, I still found the form fascinating. It is so three-dimensional and full of some kind of live energy. The arrangement of light is also remarkable. It seems that the darkness lets the viewer see one of its secrets. There is a confident anticipation of something bigger. I think one more reason why the photograph is so appealing to me is that it symbolizes perfection and the diversity of nature. Hence, this is an illustration of a form nature can take. It seems that nature itself decided to depict motion using a vegetable. The curves create the illusion of movement. Even though there is a flaw (a black spot), the pepper is still perfect as it follows nature’s laws. Therefore, the photograph shows the perfection of nature with its rules as well as flaws.
I believe the only photograph could reveal this idea as any other medium would distort it. For instance, with any other medium (be it a painting or sculpture), the artist would be unable to reveal the perfection of nature as he/she would be doomed to add his/her own personality (mood, emotions, and so on). More importantly, the viewer would still have an impression of the artist’s presence in the creation of the object as it is possible to “disclose” even the most realistic depiction. In this case, the viewer will still on the artist’s talent and ability to reflect reality. However, a photograph enables the viewer to see an object as it is in real life. More so, black and white make the message absolutely clear: this is the form created by nature itself. Notably, a sculptor would reveal the same condition, but he/she would be unable to recreate the surface of the pepper in such great detail. Again, there would always be certain doubt and distrust that destroys the whole idea.
Pepper No. 30. Web.