Warning: This post does contain an artistic photograph of nude women. If nudity offends you, leave now and only come back when you’ve grown up. Thank you.
I am a Leonard Nimoy fan. Before you jump to the conclusion that I’m a Nimoy fan because I grew up as a Trekkie, let me explain. Yea, I’m a bit of a Trekkie, but not so Trekkie as to dress up as a Klingon, go to conventions, memorize every episode, or argue scientific minutia in the movies. Honestly, my Star Trek growing up was Next Generation, and Spock was in like two episodes of that particular branch. I didn’t even like the movies very much, although I loved Star Trek 4: The Voyage Home (the one with the hunt for humpback whales and Spock being all Vulcan-y again because he just got re-integrated after the Genesis project in movie number three brought him back to life).
Okay, go ahead and laugh as my Trekkie just showed through a little.
But let me reiterate my point: I am a LEONARD NIMOY fan. Yes, that includes his portrayal of Spock, but it also includes his photography and his poetry. He was, in his heart, an artist fumbling around with expression like a baby playing with a television remote to figure out how it works. If you look at his artistic history, you can see a lifetime within his own life. The defiant teenage years of artistry when he declared, “I am Not Spock.” The reconciliation years of artistry when he decided, “I am Spock.” The crazy experimentation years of photography where he messed with exposure and lighting to create odd effects. Finally, the comfortable years where he was the himself he had always wanted to be.
I would like to share just a few pieces of Nimoy’s art that speak to me and have inspired me in my own fumbling search of artistic expression. First, two poems:
If love can be withdrawn
It never was
My love for you is not a gift
It is a gift
I may not be
I may not be the fastest
I may not be the tallest
Or the strongest
I may not be the best
Or the brightest
But one thing I can do better
Than anyone else…
To be me
You know why I like those poems? Because they’re simple. They’re direct. They’re poems that everyone can feel, even if we chose not to write them down ourselves. They are examples of how art should be a connection between every person, not some high society bull crap of, “Oh the iambic pentameter of the third line richly contrasts with the stanza breaks inherent in modern societal la-de-dah.”
Next, one of my favorite photographs he took from the only artistic photography book I have in my home:
This photograph is the cover for his book, “The Full Body Project,” and if you have any interest in photography and haven’t flipped through its pages I recommend you do so. Besides my obvious perverted interest in the material (these ladies are HOT!), what really called my attention to the book was how Nimoy started the project. In the preface, he tells the story of how he was approached by a larger model who asked if he might be interested in working with her. He did so, and found such a rich difference from his previous productions of the female form that he began “The Full Body Project.”
I don’t care if you dislike nudes in general, or nudes of larger ladies, or just don’t like black and white photos… how can you not be inspired by a story like that? An artistic opportunity approached him, and Nimoy didn’t turn it away because it was different. He didn’t judge it and say, “Naw. It’s not what I’ve been doing.” He took a risk and found something he didn’t expect. THAT’S why he’s an inspiration to me and why he should be an inspiration to you.
Leonard Nimoy has passed on to whatever awaits us in the afterlife – whether it be an empty void or new world. But he embodied the phrase everyone can recite from his Spock character. He lived long, and prospered. So, in honor of his artistic life, I call all of us to action:
I will actively share art that I find moving. I won’t just click a “like” button and applaud work I enjoyed, I will link it to my social media and encourage people to explore it for themselves. The end of every blog I write for at least this next year will contain a link to someone else’s art – whether it be poetry, photography, blog, or video. I will also explore opportunities that present themselves without fear. I will risk exposing my art (including this blog) to criticism in the hope it inspires. I call out to you, my few readers, to share this blog, or any part thereof which you have enjoyed, with others. Go through my archive and have a friend read an oldie but a goodie.
Because Nimoy taught me that art is for everyone, because art is life.
Both poems and the photo in this blog are the property of Leonard Nimoy and his heirs. They are used here for a non-profit purpose. Copyright 2007 (photo) Copyrights unknown for poetry, links to source provided.