Last fall, I had written a brief entry about one of our artists, Jorge Figueroa. All I did was write a few amateur thoughts on how I felt about his work–things that I appreciated, little details I noticed at the time. I wrote it and didn’t think much about it after I clicked “publish.” After finishing my semester, I packed my bags and was off to London. To be honest, I didn’t think much about People’s Biennial while I was there (c’mon…I was in London!), until Matthew sent me an intriguing email asking for my mailing address in England. He wrote to me that a visitor had stopped by at the gallery to drop off a gift for me. To my disappointment, Matthew would not reveal the identity of the visitor. I sent him my address so he could send the mysterious gift my way. And then I forgot about that email.
One day, I received a large package in the mail. I opened the box and found it filled with foam pieces. I dug around and finally got a hold of something rectangular, carefully wrapped in bubble wrap (which I proceeded to pop immediately). I peeled off the bubble wrap, curious about what could possibly be under all the careful packaging. My fingers got a hold of a thin black frame. As I slowly pulled the entire frame out, I think my body knew what it was before my mind fully realized it. I say this because I actually started tearing up before I even took off the last bit of bubble wrap to see what it really was. It was a print of my favorite photograph from Jorge’s collection!
Later, Matthew told me that Jorge had stopped by–just out of the blue one day–to drop off the print for me and comment on the blog entry I had written a few months earlier. I was completely flattered and humbled by Jorge’s thoughtfulness, not just because he took the time to make a print for me, but also because he knew exactly which print I would want.
Since that day, I eagerly looked forward to meeting Jorge, and I finally did at our opening! He was exactly as I imagined he would be–gentle, friendly, and warm-hearted. Having finally met the man behind the camera, I am left with more thoughts about his work. The moments captured in his photography feel like small, thoughtful gifts for his subjects and his viewers. What I learned about Jorge was that he takes great care and humility in all that he does; Jorge took great care in thinking about what print I would love, and selflessly took the time to drop the print off for me. His photographs clearly reflect this same care and selflessness. He does everything he possibly can to capture the fullness of the moment, space, and time. They are truly gifts for any viewer.