One of the best reasons to head over to SI.com (besides doing the http://www.si.com/astrosvote* thing) is to check out their frequently changing galleries, where they highlight the best of their photography on a specific theme or the other.
The most recent gallery features the work of photographer Bill Frake, and there is an excellent photo of Roy Oswalt included.
The shot shows Oswalt standing in a spartan wood-floored room, beneath a deer trophy, and beside his bulldog. The photo conveys a palpable sense of home: this is where Oswalt feels comfortable, it seems to say, this the environment in which he chooses to spend his days.
Perhaps those of you living in Texas feel a resonance, but I'm from Miami Florida, and to me, Oswalt might as well be living on Mars. I say that with no disrespect at all intended to Oswalt or indeed anyone else living in rural Mississippi, but it's just alien to me.
It's not just the fact that I can't even conceive the idea of shooting a deer, though I'm sure that's part of it. And of course, I'm a cat person. But it's the sense of space in the photo, the sense of space in the room that Oswalt stands in, that makes it all most strange to me.
I don't want to appear as if I'm trying to paint city-dwellers with a single brush, but, still, I might suggest that living in a city, with the spaces filled up outside, may influence you to fill up all your spaces inside.
Certainly I have always been a pack rat, my rooms filled with albums and paperbacks and bubble gum cards and computer gear and funny-looking knick-knacks.
My soulmate Melanie is the same way, and so is my best bud Erik. We collect stuff 'til we have no more room, and the space that Oswalt chooses to surround himself with, well,it sure looks weird to me.
Anyway, what beautiful symmetry: now I've gone and cluttered what should have been a simple link.
It's a fantastic photo, check it out here.
* Couldn't help myself.