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roteague
09-14-2006, 01:08 AM
not much of anything yet....but you havent seen any of it....so whatcha gettin at?

Just trying to see what your opinion of your own work is. I've looked at your work, and it looks good to me - I would call it "art", and I hope you do as well.

stevebarry
09-14-2006, 01:15 AM
Just trying to see what your opinion of your own work is. I've looked at your work, and it looks good to me - I would call it "art", and I hope you do as well.

its drastically different from what most here seem to consider art though.

MattKing
09-14-2006, 01:20 AM
I don't think that defines it well enough.

You are absolutely right, and I have tried to reword my previous post to make more sense!

Matt

John McCallum
09-14-2006, 01:28 AM
Can see what you're getting at.


its drastically different from what most here seem to consider art though.OK enough teasing Steve. Jump in, the water's warm.

stevebarry
09-14-2006, 01:48 AM
all im sayin, is when talking about art photographers, you cant compare the "fine art photographer" examples given in this thread to say : evans, weston, freidlander, bullock, shore, eggleston, etc. can you?

i am no arbiter of what is and is not art, just saying....most things labeled "fine art" these days, i would not consider art. for the most part. if that makes sense.

David H. Bebbington
09-14-2006, 02:40 AM
Rather a dense collection of cryptic statements here!

lots of egos here.
On APUG, or in the art world? And is this good or bad? A certain amount of self-belief and self-assertion is essential if you are going to present work to the world.

very few people understand art.
Artists in general have the aim of making their art as understandable and accessible as possible (as opposed to critics, who mainly want to mystify everything and justify their own existence). Presumably the "very few" includes yourself?

any real artist can take a great photo, but few photographers make "art".
No and yes - lack of skills training is a major handicap for a photographic artist - you need to understand how the camera sees, be quick in operating your camera if necessary and understand how to manipulate the medium to make it say what you want it to say. Yes, few photographers produce art - it's too easy to be sidetracked by photographic technology, and dealing with the emotional journey of becoming an artist is more than most photographers can handle.

evreything gets called "art" today....the breakdown of authority....everyone is an artist, musician, journalist, writer, critic, etc. on the internet.
Automatic deference to authority was that great mindset that brought us the Holocaust, the Vietnam war, etc., so three cheers that it has broken down. Yes, everyone can be an artist, musician, journalist, writer, critic, etc. today on the Internet - but to be GOOD, you need the same qualities that were always necessary!

Regards,

David

Roger Hicks
09-14-2006, 02:50 AM
Any definition you choose can be shown to be incomplete. The artist doesn't even have to make the piece, cf. Duchamps' famous 'R. Mutt' urinal. Or it can be made in a substantially identical series: etchings, silk-screens and, yes, photo prints. And as I said earlier, and as has been illustrated by several others, the separation between 'fine' and 'applied' art just didn't exist until comparatively recently.

In particular, most of the great painters of religious scenes and portraitists before 1700 (arguably before 1800) were producing 'applied art', to an agreed theme, often with specified (and highly formalized) content, for a specific purpose, at the behest of a paying patron. The same is true of ikon painters and thangka painters today. What they produce may be great art, that anyone would be proud to have on his wall, but the term 'fine art' is substantially meaningless in that context.

The Romantic Movement of the mid-to-late 18th century was to a large extent responsible for the concept of the Artist, complete with garrets, drugs, etc; the Tortured Genius was a still later invention.

If people buy your work to hang on the wall, you're probably a Fine Artist, or at least, you've produced Fine Art, regardless of what people call you or why you first created it. As for what you call yourself or your work, I hesitate to label anything I have ever done as Fine Art, even when someone has bought a picture to hang on their wall, simply because the term has been so devalued in the 20th century.

There are all kinds of reasons for this, commercial, political, educational and more, but it strikes me as an odd subject to get excited about.

Cheers,

Roger

catem
09-14-2006, 03:35 AM
I think it's important to remember there's a difference between what's meant by 'Photography as a Fine Art' and 'Fine Art Photography' as it is used as a marketing tool (which is how it's been raised here). It seems to me they mean different things, not only in terms of subject matter and intention/presence of the "artist", but also in the way the work is finally produced - so for example 'Fine Art Photography' becomes a way of saying processed by the photographer in a certain way, (which is not true necessarily of photography as fine art) aswell as having very individual imput from the photographer.

Language, and meanings, change. The irony is that if it's true that everybody really is using this term to describe their work, regardless of what kind of work it is, (I don't know if that's happenning or not, but was the suggestion) then eventually it becomes pretty meaningless - it encompasses everything that is done with care, by an individual, and is probably processed by hand as a 'one-off'. However, that's not to say people shouldn't use it, or that it's not an important way for the potential customer to tell they may be getting something a little different from the high-street photographer/ lab.

Cate

clay
09-14-2006, 05:21 AM
When I used to work for a large company, I quickly realized that whenever upper management issued an announcement saying "We have no plans at this time to reduce our workforce", that really meant within two weeks there would be a significant lay-off of workers. I get the same feeling whenever I hear the phrase 'Fine Art Photography'

RalphLambrecht
09-14-2006, 05:36 AM
I'm not getting into this one, but you may find some hints here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fine_art_photography

arigram
09-14-2006, 05:54 AM
When it comes to professional photography,
a commercial photographer does what the client wants,
an artistic photographer does it in its own way then finds someone who will pay for it.
Its not only aesthetics or substance its about intention as well.

stevebarry
09-14-2006, 08:20 AM
Rather a dense collection of cryptic statements here!

On APUG, or in the art world? And is this good or bad? A certain amount of self-belief and self-assertion is essential if you are going to present work to the world.

Artists in general have the aim of making their art as understandable and accessible as possible (as opposed to critics, who mainly want to mystify everything and justify their own existence). Presumably the "very few" includes yourself?

No and yes - lack of skills training is a major handicap for a photographic artist - you need to understand how the camera sees, be quick in operating your camera if necessary and understand how to manipulate the medium to make it say what you want it to say. Yes, few photographers produce art - it's too easy to be sidetracked by photographic technology, and dealing with the emotional journey of becoming an artist is more than most photographers can handle.

Automatic deference to authority was that great mindset that brought us the Holocaust, the Vietnam war, etc., so three cheers that it has broken down. Yes, everyone can be an artist, musician, journalist, writer, critic, etc. today on the Internet - but to be GOOD, you need the same qualities that were always necessary!

Regards,

David

egos, here in this thread.

i am in school, learning art. i know enough to know very few people really understand what art is. alot of people can tell what is or isnt "art", and maybe talk about it, but most do not understand what it is.

i still disagree with you on the artist making a photo. i would say an artist (not trained in photography) armed with a point and shoot 35mm, and a local lab, could make art more often than most photographers. or a digital camera for that matter. thats what im saying....an artist armed with a cheap digital camera, would make art more often than a photographer with a 4x5 and a nice b/w film.

i totally agree with you about the holocaust and vietnam. the other side of that is - we will never again have a band like the beatles - or anything that so many people, as a group, are into and influenced by (good or bad). im saying, anyone can be those things today, because their is no authority on what is or isnt good. it is left up to you and me, and everyone else with a computer, to decide what is good. no more getting published, getting signed to a record deal, or being shown in a gallery. anyone can record an album, show work labeled "fine art", publish (sorta) a book, write a news story - today, and have an audience. things have changed.

im not trying to be cryptic.

David H. Bebbington
09-14-2006, 09:14 AM
i still disagree with you on the artist making a photo. i would say an artist (not trained in photography) armed with a point and shoot 35mm, and a local lab, could make art more often than most photographers. or a digital camera for that matter. thats what im saying....an artist armed with a cheap digital camera, would make art more often than a photographer with a 4x5 and a nice b/w film.

Thanks for your response, Steve. Actually you don't disagree with me, because I agree with you! Most hobbyists/enthusiasts who use 4x5" do get sidetracked by technique and end up practising photography as a craft. It's not quite the same for me, since I am (just) old enough to go back to the days when 4x5" was the normal choice for everything! If an artist picks up a camera, he/she is more likely to be driven by a desire to express an idea - I myself feel with my own work that using 35 mm cameras results in much more spontaneity. And I feel that essentially all art photography is conceptual, insofar as it's the idea that counts - technique does require study but it isn't SO hard - at least compared with something like sculpting in marble!

As regards knowing what art is, I can't claim to have the definitive answer, but as I have gone through professional life, I've found that an approximate working definition has emerged in my mind (and I've needed this every time I've had to take snap decisions when curating exhibitions and commissioning other photographers and also when deciding whether my own work is good, bad or worthy of being placed on public view). I am sure the same thing will happen to you as you go through your college course and beyond.

Regards,

David

davetravis
09-14-2006, 09:32 AM
I've always believed photography is actually two distinctly different art forms. The first, image capture, may or may not be fine. It all depends upon the viewer, very subjective. On the show circuit I see much imagery that I consider fine, and much that I consider rather boring, or un-inspired.
But that's just my personal biases.
The second part of photographic art form I believe is the print.
Here we have the opportunity to do many things to the original image that was captured. We can have a commercial print made, and the public might like it, and consider it fine. Or we can make it ourselves, and the public might consider it boring, and un-inspired. I'm not sure a precise definition of fine is possible. I do however see many ribbons being awarded to photographs by judges that are merely following their own biases, and that I wouldn't give second notice to. Who can say?

Jim Jones
09-14-2006, 11:30 AM
If we have to talk so much about it, it can't be art. The best of art is felt, not discussed.

stevebarry
09-14-2006, 11:35 AM
If we have to talk so much about it, it can't be art. The best of art is felt, not discussed.

do what now?

roteague
09-14-2006, 11:43 AM
i still disagree with you on the artist making a photo. i would say an artist (not trained in photography) armed with a point and shoot 35mm, and a local lab, could make art more often than most photographers. or a digital camera for that matter. thats what im saying....an artist armed with a cheap digital camera, would make art more often than a photographer with a 4x5 and a nice b/w film.

I'd have to disagree with you, photography is not like any other art form, in that as a photographer we have to take what is in front of us, and try to make sense of it. With painting and other art forms, everything can come from the artists imagination. The art in photography comes from how the photographer chooses to express what is seen in the lens. The reality is that very few artists have made the transferrence between mediums successfully, and are recognized as photographers. There are some great photographers like Art Wolfe - who studied art in school - but the majority learned either on their own, or through photography schools.

Of course, as David Bebbington says in his post, some photographers get lost in the technique; mostly B&W photographers (IMO). There is also quite a bit of discussion whether color landscape photography (my genre) can be considered Art or even Fine Art.

JBrunner
09-14-2006, 12:14 PM
egos, here in this thread.

....an artist armed with a cheap digital camera, would make art more often than a photographer with a 4x5 and a nice b/w film.



Hogwash. Tools aren't art, and don't make an artist. The statement is bullpucky even if you reverse it. The terms "artist" and "photographer" are not mutually exclusive, either. A photographic artist is a much different animal than a painter, or a photographer. Being a painter, doesn't mean you are an artist. Artists are artists, and then they choose and learn their medium, and refine their technique. I am considered by some to be a photographic artist. I'm not arrogant or stupid enough to believe that as an artist I can do better than a studied painter at being artistic with a cheap fingerpaint set, because it is readily usable, and can express colors and patterns with little effort. That doesn't mean I can't produce art with it, but if I understood the medium, I would find my stubs and the butcher paper pretty limiting after a short time, and I'm probably not going to set the world on its ear, either. I might need to learn some things, maybe things, that in my literal infancy as a painter, I am not even aware of.
The attitude is pretty common in acedamia toward artistic photography, in that it is still a bit of a bastard child, not really understood by some "fine art" teachers, and of course those who confuse accessability, with ability, which is the real arrogance and ignorance, displayed in the referenced thread. What a load of school induced self absorbed unowhat.
(in regard to the last comment, its not altogether a slam, as I may have taken the same attitude about, oh say 25 years ago, when I knew next to nothing about photogaphy, but thought I knew it all, because I knew more than the guy on the street corner. I am currently in my photographic adolescense.)

jnanian
09-14-2006, 12:24 PM
just in case ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fine_art_photography

catem
09-14-2006, 12:39 PM
i am in school, learning art. i know enough to know very few people really understand what art is. alot of people can tell what is or isnt "art", and maybe talk about it, but most do not understand what it is.

Are you studying to be an artist or are you learning art theory and history?
Either way, you surely don't need a degree in it to either understand or appreciate or to practice art - just an open heart an mind. Some things, also, go beyond "understanding"...

Cate