Pepper #30 by Edward Weston
Pepper #30
Edward Weston, 1930. B & W photograph.

Clouds, torsos, shells, peppers, trees, rock, smokestacks are but interdependent, interrelated parts of a whole, which is life.—Life rhythms felt in no matter what, become symbols of the whole.
       —Edward Weston, April 24, 1930

I could wait no longer to print them—my new peppers, so I put aside several orders, and yesterday afternoon had an exciting time with seven new negatives. First I printed my favorite, the one made last Saturday, August 2, just as the light was failing—quickly made, but with a week's previous effort back of my immediate, unhesitating decision. A week?—yes, on this certain pepper—but twenty years of effort, starting with a youth on a farm in Michigan, armed with a No. 2 Bull's Eye Kodak, 3 1/2 x 3 1/2, have gone into the making of this pepper, which I consider a peak of achievement. It is classic, completely satisfying,—a pepper—but more than a pepper....
       —Edward Weston, August 8, 1930

       Is Edward Weston’s photograph of a green pepper meaningful to us because we like peppers so much? I think not. Weston has been able to create meaningful form on a surface with the help of a pepper. It is his sense of form that tells us how deeply he has experienced this pepper.
       By exercising critical selection every step of the way, Weston finally achieved his goal of “significant presentation of the thing itself.” Weston felt strongly that he wanted to present, rather than interpret, the many natural objects he was working with at the time. He wanted to record his feeling for life as he saw it in the “sheer aesthetic form” of his subjects. In doing so he revealed with clarity and intensity what was there all along.
       —from Man Creates Art Creates Man, by Duane Preble

Vegetable Crisper: Group Portrait With Bell Pepper
      for Edward Weston

Huddled alone
between celery and carrots
nestled with his vegetable cousins
in the chilly dark crisp air
dreaming of that warm summer on the vine

      —Zimmerman Skyrat,