Don Gregorio Anton

It is when I cease to see the photograph that I know I have come close to what I truly want to say.

What is important right now is not who I am or where I’ve come from, but more so in the nature of what you see when you look into this book. Take any page and you will instinctively be drawn to those images that already have a part of you in them. Look into these, lend yourself to the process of seeing and you will notice movement, moment and place, the illusion of surface. Anything you will ever see contains that surface. At times it scares us, prompting us to a quick and easy judgment. Other times it entertains and sedates our assumptions upon the meaning of objects. You have felt this and have maybe suffered it as well. Herein lies the importance of venturing beyond the surface of things, beyond what defines art and artist by culture or trend. Here is where you choose to go further than most when looking at what others define as art. What is seldom taught is the fact that you are necessary to complete the gesture of what is made. Your mind, your thoughts and feelings are essential for this. Without your intellect and reason, without your experiences, without you, this book is useless. It is not elementary to think so. It is crucial to understand that you must add a part of yourself to all that you see for learning to take place. Learning, not in what you see, but in how you see it. Whatever you approach, whatever mysteries there are, all of them will need you as a vital pat of their unfolding. So I ask you to be active with your thoughts, challenge your world, refine your seeing as this is a gift you can only give yourself.

This is why I photograph, why I teach. I wish to test the depths of meaning, to understand the illusion of surface and learn from its core. Here memory teaches me, gives clues when reality cannot and allows my imagery to exist as unfinished sentences, reflective instances of prayer, a poem left for you to complete. They are not only intended to be seen but read as well. My learnings are not meant to be taught through the image, only their evidence observed through what your eyes may find in discovering them. So test the surface of what you see. Ask yourself if your eyes are still pliable, if they can still hold your uniqueness in them. For you see, we are like photographs. We become tarnished by us and a certain condition is created. For all those who have handled us, a mark was left in their place, abrasions often covered but seldom cleared. Sometimes we lose sight of who we are when are attention is focused on the assumed imperfections. Yet, this again is but the surface of things, a surface capable of reflecting only what the viewer thinks they see. You are much more than that.

I believe that there is more to seeing. That your eyes should learn to breathe, taste and listen. That they should be courageous to go further than what they have been taught. Why? Because it is imperative for you to name your world, to not separate yourself from existence. Know that it takes time to grow into your eyes and that the world so desperately needs you to define it. It needs minds capable of focused thought and compassion. It needs those who can see below the surface of things and who can reflect on their meanings. Like you, meaning has its own unique velocity and movement. Look for it, chart its terrain within you and believe, regardless of experience, regardless of culture, your right to see.