[Jay Pastelak / Artist's Statement]

Jay Pastelak Photo Picture of Jay

These pictures come out of my everyday experience. I carry the camera around and photograph what appears in front of me. A friend, looking at the photos, observed that I must take pictures when I walk the dog. I do. Sometimes I think my circle’s limited but I’m comfortable around home and family. I don’t go looking for things to photograph: I no longer go “shooting” where I truck off to the great unknown searching for pictures. I pick up the camera and walk the dog or visit a friend or run errands and if I’m lucky subjects will present themselves and I’ll make a couple of good pictures. Photography is a moveable feast, after all, and it happens in front of me if I’m patient and wait. I sometimes wonder why I keep making photographs but the photographs keep presenting themselves so I keep taking them.

I don’t think it’s fair to intellectualize about the pictures too much. They’re pictures of my (somewhat limited) world (although I’d make the same pictures in Paris as I would in Jenkintown) and I guess one either finds a connection and responds to that world or not. It’s a difficult world to connect to at a single glance. Give the pictures time and the explanations will follow. Photography’s a visual medium; I can write a good story but I’m making photographs, not that I believe the cliché about a thousand words. Gary Winnogrand once said he took photographs to see what things looked like as photographs. It’s an honest statement. When I download a compact flash card and finally get to look at the photos it’s a bit like Christmas: I get to see the things I’ve photographed as photographs. I get to see what my world looks like. I can think of no better reason to make photographs, really.