Photographic Value

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by cliveh, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Many years ago I attended a lecture by a photographer who claimed that a photograph could only be rated as a good photograph by how much people were prepared to pay for it. I could not understand that viewpoint, any thoughts?
     
  2. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Art without commerce is a hobby.
     
  3. br549

    br549 Subscriber

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    When I hear interviews with people who have been through some sort of disaster and they have to save belongings, they almost always mention family photographs. The photographs would probably be considered worthless to someone with no connection to the victim but the photographs are priceless to the person who saves them from ruin. There's more to life than monetary value.
     
  4. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Yeah. All those van Gogh paintings that were useless during the painters lifetime, known only by a few, were not art until people started paying for them.

    To OP: That sounds like the view point of a gallery owner or art investor to me. I know lots of photographers whose work I would call fantastic art, and that I would much rather hang on my wall than many photographs I see in museums and galleries. To divide the entire art world into subcategories based on how much money it is worth is absurd.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 27, 2012
  5. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    My thoughts on the matter are avoid in future going to lectures by the mentally challenged :munch:
     
  6. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    A photograph can have high value long before it is sold...or even printed...or even shown to anyone.
     
  7. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Yeah. All those van Gogh paintings that were useless during the painters lifetime, known only by a few, were not art until people started paying for them.

    My point. Tell me I'm wrong.
     
  8. Barry S

    Barry S Member

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    I don't know about photographs, but I'd say his lecture was worth exactly what you paid for it.
     
  9. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Art with commerce is not always art as the creator intended.
     
  10. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    And the hobbyist can create art. People have issues with these statements because 'hobby' like 'amateur' are seen, in our market obsessed world, as lower than professional and commercial.

    And this:

    I think shows perfectly how narrow and money obsessed values of worth have become.

    You know, some people are so poor all they have is money...
     
  11. CGW

    CGW Member

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    That's why it's called the art market.
     
  12. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Ye shall know them by their fruits, if their fruits are for sale.
     
  13. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    You are wrong. Have you ever seen a Van Gogh in real life? His paintings are absolutely mind blowing and nothing to do with monetary value at the time they were created.
     
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  15. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Nonsense! Who possesses a crystal ball in order to know if and when a particular photograph becomes valuable. If history is any guide those things which obtain instant popularity seldon are labeled great by future generations.

    Ars gratia artis.
     
  16. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Some people know the price of everything, and the value of nothing.
     
  17. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    You are wrong.

    It was art all along. If you disagree with that, please explain very carefully why that isn't so.
     
  18. semi-ambivalent

    semi-ambivalent Subscriber

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    That's a good idea. One of Kant's critiques "demonstrates" that beauty (here, value) lies in the viewer and not in the object viewed. I could never agree with that because it is so anthropocentric. More of that 'tree falling in the woods' BS. All artists must deal with the problem of the narrowness of their (true) personal vision against the (possible) desire for that vision to be public enough that people will want to look at it, perhaps identify with it or even pay for it. To make art that people happen to buy is a different and higher aspiration than making art for people to buy. I think the greater fraud is to be found not between the art and its price but between the art and the artist. Of course it helps when the buyers can easily be herded; Leo Castelli knew this.

    s-a
     
  19. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    You are not wrong to call van Gogh a Hobbyist. In fact you can call him whatever you want. But not many would agree with you.
     
  20. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Really? Yes I have and that's wide of the point. His work could have just piled up and sat like the guy's down the street who "paints." His work doesn't sell.
     
  21. jawarden

    jawarden Member

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    It's nonsense. The word 'only' is the problem.

    There are two conditions in his statement: the "rated goodness" and the monetary value. He says they're linked, always. The two traits are linked quite often, and better photographs do tend to sell for more money than lesser ones. But to insist that all photographs must have this link to be considered "good" is ludicrous.
     
  22. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Hmmm. And what would it have been if it didn't sell? 20/20 hindsight being what it is...
     
  23. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Truism...
     
  24. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i wouldn't say he was a hobbyist, but when VVG painted the paintings they were worthless, no one would give him anything for them, so by the standards set by
    the OP's lecturer it is true the paintings were BAD ART. it was only time and the evolution of the modern world that changed van gogh's paintings into good art...
     
  25. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Hard to get much notice at the bank from "good" alone. That a few amateur judges at a camera club competition or an online site rate an image as "good" is way less gratifying than selling prints on a regular basis.
     
  26. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I will never agree with you.

    It would still be art. What do you see when you look at art? A price tag?