My favorite work of art

20130820-165443.jpgWhat makes a work of art powerful? Size or color? Political content? Or being validated by a major art institution?

I will admit to being swayed by all of those things, but this photograph is my favorite work of art and is a relatively unassuming size, at 4 x 6 inches. The colors are pretty bland. It has never been shown in a gallery or museum. It was created by an anonymous artist in China.

Let me tell you how I came to own it.

About ten years ago I got one of those disposable cameras from Trader Joe’s. When I got my pictures back, this was one of them. It took me a minute to realize what I was seeing: a shot of the women in the factory where the cameras were made.

Since then it has lived on the wall in my studio. It never fails to affect me. Each time I see it, I am taken outside of the little bubble of my reality. I wonder about the girl or woman who took it, what her life was like, what inspired her to take the picture, if she did it regularly or just once. Whatever the answer, I am thankful to her for sending it to me.

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