View Full Version : What is "Fine Art"?

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Roger Cole
01-16-2012, 11:58 AM
It's like a Supreme Court justice once said of obscenity (someone will know who this was, I don't feel like looking it up,) "I can't define it, but I know it when I see it."

That's less true of "fine" art than obscenity, I think, but the definition of "art for the sole purpose of display, not applied art" makes good sense to me.

I agree to avoid the term. The real problem with using this as a descriptive term for one's own work is that "fine" implies excellent quality in most people's minds, even though it isn't meant that way in this term. There ought to be a value-neutral term meaning "art solely for display." Then again, there is - art. Various "applied art" are sub-categories, and if isn't any of those, it's just art. Maybe. ;)

01-16-2012, 12:14 PM
I'll have to tell the Fine Art Dept at our university... Poor souls, I bet they have no idea! :cool:

I'm willing to bet that half the students don't!

David A. Goldfarb
01-16-2012, 12:40 PM
Three threads, merged and stuck.

01-16-2012, 01:11 PM
"Fine Art Photography" to me is what other people aspire to produce, I'm still struggling with photography.

01-21-2012, 04:52 PM
It means most of them discovered they could put their crayons in a pencil sharpener.

In the case of Photography, I'm sure if Stiglitz Flat Iron building is anything to go by, he forgot to focus first!

What do I know, I'm not a fine art student, just a photography student trying to take pictures people might like, but I don't read the right books, the emperor is naked and his balls are turning blue.

01-21-2012, 06:37 PM
I see more and more people setting up web sites (I plan to do one myself some day) to show and sell their photographs. A lot of them describe their work as Fine Art Photography whether it is darkroom produced or from an inkjet printer. Some of these people may be experienced and some not so.

So can someone define "Fine Art Photography" for me please? Does it matter how it is produced? Are we all Fine Art Photographers?


p.s. Apologies if this is in the wrong forum section.

REad James joyces' "portrait of an artist as a young man". Briefly there is didatic art, that which attemps to teach or comment, such as photojournalism: there is pronograrphic art, that which attempts to focus attention on a beautiful object i.e. landscape filled with color etc. and what the hero of the book described as pure art, that which is inspired from an inner knowing and connects with the viewer such that they are similiarly inspired but cannot define it. It is like a Zen spiritual experience in which the meditator experiences reality but cannot define it.
I had an experience once while viewing an original Dali painting. I could not tell you what it meant but viewing it started a chilling vibration in my feet that ran through my entire body.

Roger Hicks
07-11-2012, 02:49 PM
Go to Arles, the biggest gathering of fine art photographers in the world. First week in July: this year's has just finished.



04-07-2013, 05:38 PM
It's fine art if it's really good.

01-25-2014, 04:38 AM
Go to Arles, the biggest gathering of fine art photographers in the world. First week in July: this year's has just finished.



You were there this year - 2013 - mainly balck and white ?
What was your favorite ?

I was really impressed by moon lights from Hiroshi Sugimoto (http://www.sugimotohiroshi.com/) and by Fauquet (a very intimate installation) http://jmfauquet.weebly.com/

Concerning the discussion about fine art, I think in France it is important to make distinction from "l'art" which sound like "lard" ( https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSU8yZ-i1zO1zVqLHZpiTzo9uJbW1SloJju4t6hYDIY_G81BlwI7g ) :D

01-28-2014, 05:02 PM
Why are photographers so angtious if their work is " fine art"', most of the work that they produce these days that I see I don't even consider competant photography. Anybody can call themselves "artists", and their work " fine art", but to me self advertisement is no recommendation.

01-28-2014, 06:29 PM
In terms of art, there are applied arts and fine arts. Applied arts is used in practical application like commercial photography while fine arts is displayed in galleries and museums. But they are not mutually exclusive. Some photographers as most know do both.

01-28-2014, 07:57 PM
to me it means:traditional subjectsproduced withe utmostcare and the very best materials, including mounting ,matting and framing

01-28-2014, 08:04 PM
Not that I'm any expert, but lurking through all the old forum posts last night I actually came across this answer to this very question, posted by David Hall:

it's art if you say it is, as the artist. It's fine art of the rest of the world agrees.

To me, that about sums it up.

priceless answer

01-28-2014, 10:59 PM
Fine Art is to the eyes what Fine Dining is to the palate.

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01-28-2014, 11:27 PM
Fine Art is to the eyes what Fine Dining is to the palate.

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You might like this.


01-29-2014, 01:03 AM
You might like this.


Love it!

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