How many pictures go beyond the circle of photographers?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Dali, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. Dali

    Dali Subscriber

    Messages:
    817
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hello,

    I recently went to NYC and got a walk on the High Line. I noticed ther that someone painted on a wall the famous Alfred Eisenstaedt picture of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square. I found it was rare to see a pictures reproduce outside the "photo perimeter" and displayed in a public place.

    I tried to find other example of pictures widely reproduced and well-know by the public to the point it becomes an icon, everyone being free to put whatever he wants behing the image. I have 2 images in mind which could fit: Iwo Jima by Joe Rosenthal and the portrait of Che Guevara by Alberto Korda (certainly the most reproduced picture so far).

    Any other example?
     
  2. winger

    winger Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,923
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    southwest PA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    There's a painted wall in Wilkinsburg, PA (just on the edge of Pittsburgh) that includes Migrant Mother. I think there are others, but I'm always driving when I go by it. I want to photograph the wall, but it's not a great area.
     
  3. Allen Friday

    Allen Friday Member

    Messages:
    878
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    Tee shirts--Albert Einstein.

    Obama Poster.

    Che Guevara on everything.
     
  4. ntenny

    ntenny Member

    Messages:
    2,282
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Diego, C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It seems like a handful of specific AA photos (Half Dome, the Glacier Bay leaf) are well enough known to be fairly iconic.

    I found a few more by googling "famous photographs": the green-eyed Afghan woman, the "Surgeon's Photograph" of the Loch Ness Monster, Buzz Aldrin on the moon, JFK Jr. saluting his father's coffin, the cover of _London Calling_, the guy in front of the tanks in Tiananmen Square. I don't know if Marilyn Monroe's skirt counts; it didn't start as a still photograph but is a whole lot more famous by itself than the surrounding movie is. None of those are "art" photos per se, though, except maybe the album cover.

    -NT
     
  5. edcculus

    edcculus Member

    Messages:
    270
    Joined:
    May 13, 2012
    Location:
    Greenville S
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Muhammad Ali vs Sonny Liston is a pretty popularly reproduced image.

    If you count album covers too, Abbey Road is one too. I mention that one because it is actually a photograph.
     
  6. Dali

    Dali Subscriber

    Messages:
    817
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ok, let's be more specific.

    What would be the pictures (almost) everyone knows visually at the point they are now disconnected from their very origin and are used an emblems to illustrate various causes? Being a popular image is not enough, it has to have a broader meaning than what it was supposed to show originally (i.e., the image has now its own life).

    Dorothea Lange picture is a good example as it represents the consequences of the economic crisis not from the Wall Street stanpoint but from real life. As such, people are very responsive to this image as they identify themself to this woman and I am pretty sure this picture will still be known in a hundred years.
     
  7. mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,554
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Location:
    Kyoto, Japan
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Diane Arbus' "Identical Twins" -- although most non-photogs probably don't know who took it. Of course it's most famously reproduced in The Shining but I see echoes of it in different kinds of places.
     
  8. Dali

    Dali Subscriber

    Messages:
    817
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes, I thought about this picture but being used in a movie does not make it iconic except maybe for Stanley Kubrick... Where did you see other explicit references to this image?
     
  9. mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,554
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Location:
    Kyoto, Japan
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've seen the image done in fashion mags and on billboard adverts, it's also been done (and won) in photo contests. And I've seen it on photographer's websites and flickr. But I can't name any one thing that stands out, because I know the image so well that I recognize it when I see it, but nothing else about the image or photographer stands out.
     
  10. batwister

    batwister Member

    Messages:
    916
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2010
    Location:
    Midlands, UK
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    The Diane Arbus 'image' has become a horror cliche, due to Kubrick, and I would argue a photographic cliche due to Kubrick too. I'm sure people on Flickr have done it without knowing who Arbus is - Kubrick has better embedded the image of twins in our subconscious. Pop culture always wins in that regard. I'm a Kubrick fan, but a bigger photography fan, yet when I think of twin girls, I think of Kubrick first, Arbus second. Graphic reproductions of it are rare, partly, I would think, because the original photograph isn't graphically formal, it's more an apparition of an image - which is why Arbus' work is so beguiling.

    It only seems to be photographs which are symbols for historic events or icons of human suffering - i.e. mass produced photojournalistic pictures. When you're walking down the street, a human face or figure has more immediacy than a tree or rock. You're probably unlikely to see a stencil of an Edward Weston in a New York subway. Art photography kind of works to subvert 'icons' and therefore is harder to use as propaganda.