Yeah, but is it art?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by David Brown, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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  2. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Member

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    This was settled 100 years ago. Yes, it is art. End of story.
     
  3. jcc

    jcc Member

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    Such a sloppy slope, defining "art". Behind a successful artist, is a great art broker (IMHO).
     
  4. snapguy

    snapguy Member

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    art

    Is art ... well, Art? "Art" with an "A" meaning fine art, swell stuff, and that sort thing. If you look up the meaning of art with a small a, well, some toddler dipping into his nappies and scrawling his stuff on the wall is art. But it is "Art" like Van Gogh paintings. No.
    It's pretty silly to bring all this up.
     
  5. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    I am reminded of the signature line of fellow APUG member 'darinwc', quoting Frodo:

    "Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both yes and no."

    :wink:

    Ken
     
  6. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    It may be more meaningful to say what isn't art. Any takers on that?
     
  7. momus

    momus Member

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    This refers to what I would term good art, for lack of a better word: It's only art if it makes the grade, no matter what the medium. Most stuff I see, photographically speaking, is simply snapshots. Just like most painting is simply eye candy or pushing paint around. If it were easy, then everyone would be making art. It's not, and they're not.

    If we're talking about bad art, or art that pretends to be art (artifice) then heck yes, we're drowning in that stuff. It's probably always been that way, there are just so many more people out there churning that crap out nowadays. It used to be you had to travel to a gallery to see even bad art, not it's on billboards, in store windows, on the telly, on our phones, and we're force fed the stuff on the internet. Philip Dick saw it coming decades ago.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 8, 2014
  8. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    "Is it art?" == "Can it be sold?"
     
  9. ROL

    ROL Member

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    Yeah, but is it your blog?

    I don't get what's going on here. There are apparently no pictures of, nor any name associated with the about blog/blogger. It seems to be linked to the OP. Are you surreptitiously starting discussions on blogs you wrote? :blink:


    FYI: I didn't read the article, nor would I under these circumstances.
     
  10. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    David, if that is your blog... nice darkroom!

    :tongue:

    Ken
     
  11. CatLABS

    CatLABS Subscriber

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    Gombrich would disagree. The story is very far from its end.
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    David started a thread some time ago here on APUG introducing this as his blog. I guess he didn't think that he would need to identify it as such again.
     
  13. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    It is my blog, and my darkroom. I had not realized that my name was not in the "about the blogger" page. (I will correct that forthwith.) The blog is, of course linked to my website, and the blog is in my signature line here on APUG, where I do indeed use my real name.
     
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  15. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi david

    once in a blue moon it is art ... most of the time it is just a photograph
     
  16. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Conceptual, abstract, interpretive or a mix of these as photographs may (not very often!) be considered as art in terms of the processes and practice involved. But a straight photograph is not art by any stretch, and never has been. Since when was a photograph determined to be art? How, and why?

    I do not consider my own photographs to be art, but more records of passing time and moment, as photographs. Nice to look at, certainly, but I bat away any reference to "pretty art" — it is an ignorant platitude. I spend my money on traditional indigenous and well-established brush artists, but not photographers — I once did, but not at all now. I can definitely tell established, learned and market-savvy practitioners from the technocentric, vocal and pushy fakes populating today's digital sphere.
     
  17. CatLABS

    CatLABS Subscriber

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  18. DannL.

    DannL. Member

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    I tend to agree with the statement found in the book titled "The Fine Art of Photography" by Paul Anderson

    "A fine art is any medium of expression which permits one person to convey to another an abstract idea of a lofty or ennobling character, or to arouse in another a lofty emotion."
     
  19. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    C'mon-- that's not a darkroom. Everybody knows darkrooms have to have black walls. :wink:
     
  20. Maris

    Maris Member

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    Whether photography is art may not ultimately be settled to universal satisfaction in this thread but it has been decided in a court of law; and a very long time ago too.

    1861 in France saw photographers Mayer and Pierson bring a copyright action against the photographic duo of Betbeder and Schwabbe. The ruckus was over pirated pictures of Lord Palmerston. Mayer and Pierson claimed copyright protection under the French copyright laws of 1793 and 1810. The catch was that those laws protected only works of art so the court's decision hinged on whether photography was art or not.

    Mayer and Pierson lost! Photography apparently was not art according to the judgement of 9 January 1862.

    Mayer and Pierson appealed the decision on 10 April 1862. Their lawyer, a Monsieur M. Marie, gave an eloquent defence of the art of photography using many of the ideas now raised in this very thread. The court reversed its previous decision and declared on 4 July 1862 that photography was art.

    The battle was not over. Later in 1862 a group of famous painters including Ingres petitioned against the decision. The arguments they used bear a striking resemblance to the anti-art-photography sentiments that also echo in this thread.

    Finally on 28 November 1862 the French court threw out the painters' petition and photography has enjoyed secure status as art ever since; at least in France it has.
     
  21. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    No. It's a medium which can be used to create art. Equally it can be used to create documentation, illustration, etc.

    e.g. a series of photographs to illustrate the assembly of a piece of flat pack furniture would not be considered art.

    There is sometimes some overlap. It is quite possible that a photograph which was produced for a utilitarian purpose could be considered artistic even though that was not the intent. But a photograph does not become art automatically just because it is a photograph by the same reasoning that putting a new coat of gloss paint on my front door is not considered to be art just because it's painting.



    Steve.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 9, 2014
  22. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    Thanks to the efforts of Adams, Newhall and others, photography achieved hard-won respect as another artistic media. The respect was grudgingly given by many. Now, the term photography is becoming synonymous with digital imagery. The latter has stepped on the toes of many practicing artists including watercolorists, oil painters and even sculpturists with 3D printers. The general public perceives digital as easy like the old Kodak ad - you click the button and the software/hardware does the rest. Photography is again becoming viewed as non-artistic. Do we concede the term photography and move on to some specialist term such as Palladium Printer?
     
  23. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Not again, this perennial self conscious question that people who take photographs keep asking themselves because they feel they are the poor relations of fine art, I'm out of here.
     
  24. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    Perhaps he biggest threat to continuing to regard photographs as art comes from the passive response by photographers to that perception. It's not just a self-conscious question, it's the defeatist attitude that accepts it. Allowing art to be defined by others without some aggressive pushback is what makes us feel like poor relations.
     
  25. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    Don't underestimate finger painting. It can be elevated to fine art in the hands (or fingers?) of an artist or by a competent gallery manager. A few years ago I met a talented artist from McLouth KS who was selling her finger paintings for thousands, and they were a bargain compared to many gallery offerings.
     
  26. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo Member

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    Photography was not generally accepted as an artform until the late 60's early 70's.

    But now it certainly is.

    Art galleries and museums do exhibit a lot of photography.