Face to Face by Jonathan Morse at Whaling Museum | The Sag Harbor Express | By Emily Weitz
A life of the mind: that’s what Jonathan Morse explores through his upcoming photography exhibition at the Sag Harbor Whaling and Historical Museum Museum, titled “Face to Face.” The manner in which he explores this concept is through raw, intimate portraits of the artists and writers of the East End who have spent their lives engaging their deepest thoughts through images or written words.
“These ideas arise in your mind,” explained Morse as we meandered through his 19th century home on Main Street in Sag Harbor, “and you explore them yourself and then you see if they affect other people.”
Some artists create only for themselves, and others find their work resonates with others. But the impulse of an artist is to continue delving into the inner workings of the mind.
“To live a life where you’re constantly in a creative world, interacting with your own ideas,” said Morse. “The idea is that people who live a life of the mind develop a character you can see in their faces.”
The faces that comprise the show, as well as the comprehensive catalogue, are ones that any Sag Harbor local will recognize from Main Street. The way Morse captured them was stark and intimate, as if you’re sitting across the table from them at the coffee shop, engaged in conversation.
To accomplish this intimacy is easier said than done.
“When we really look at people, they’re alive and moving,” explained Morse. “The way the eye sees is in twenty different snapshots a second.”