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What it means to see

February 03, 2008

I cannot tell you how meaningful Reed Johnson's article "Eyes Wide Open to a Grim Vision" [Jan. 27] [on the upcoming film "Blindness"] was to me. It was so intelligently written and showed great comprehension vis-a-vis the lack of society's ability to focus.

I have been dealing with images all of my adult life. Two years ago, I lost an eye to cancer. How to see has preoccupied my life and my work. As an illustrator in the '50s and '60s, my work was published in national magazines, such as the Saturday Evening Post, Colliers, Good Housekeeping and Life, and I originated many national ad campaigns. As a photographer, I worked for Vogue and created fashion and beauty campaigns. I produced, directed and was cinematographer for countless commercials, which led me to live in Los Angeles to direct and produce television movies. By the '90s, I returned to my true passion -- painting. This is my background in vision.

What I have learned, like in the film "Blindness," is that people look but do not see. We drive past homeless on the street and they blend into the scenery, without a glance. We watch television and it might as well be a test pattern because we scan, not see.

It has been a revelation to me, as an artist, what I have been capable of accomplishing with one eye.

Len Steckler

Los Angeles

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