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Sparky
04-19-2007, 11:53 AM
Yeah actually, one can.

Sorry J - maybe I should have used the first person in that case.

Amund
04-19-2007, 12:06 PM
Well - I'm not trying to pass any sort of absolute moral judgement on sturges. I'm just saying he gives me the WILLIES! I'm SURE others will see merit where I don't - that's a given - and the only thing I can say with absolute surety about photography or art.

It depends where you`re coming from I guess, and that`s perfectly normal...
Maybe me being European makes a difference?

And remember all images are taken in a nudist community in wich Jock(and he`s part of that community himself) has photographed for 20 years or so, and everybody is just family and friends.

Sparky
04-19-2007, 12:14 PM
Well - maybe - could be. I think at certain times in my life I was predisposed to thinking of most photographers who shot naked women to be creeps. You know the whole 'fine art photograph' thing. I'm pretty feminist/marxist in my views still, I suppose.

bjorke
04-19-2007, 12:48 PM
"Willies?" Isn't that UK slang for something unsavory?


http://www.botzilla.com/blog/pix2006/P1050284b.jpg
Parking Garage, 2006

Actually, if there's one thing that gives me the creeps, it's when people say that a strong emotional reaction -- of any sort -- makes art bad. I thought that was what artists WANTED?

Or is it all about a Prozac-pleasant non-challenging game of wiffleball?

Sparky
04-19-2007, 12:54 PM
Or is it all about a Prozac-pleasant non-challenging game of wiffleball?

Damn Björke - that's a GREAT idea for a piece! Wonderful. Who did those paintings? Those are great...! :)

silly sarcasm. silly me.

well - i normally reserve judgement on especially the most extreme judgement matter. I'd always thought of sturges as a closet pedophile. I'm not saying he IS - I'm just saying that was always my take.

Amund
04-19-2007, 01:01 PM
Damn Björke - that's a GREAT idea for a piece! Wonderful. Who did those paintings? Those are great...! :)

silly sarcasm. silly me.

well - i normally reserve judgement on especially the most extreme judgement matter. I'd always thought of sturges as a closet pedophile. I'm not saying he IS - I'm just saying that was always my take.


Sigh, there it came, the "pedophile" word.......:mad: :confused: :confused:

Sparky
04-19-2007, 01:02 PM
well, is there a more appropriate word? I mean we're talking about a sixty-something year old guy photographing naked 12 year old girls. I mean - let's get real here for a second.

(sorry if I seem to be having a 'conservative day' - not usually like me!)

jstraw
04-19-2007, 01:07 PM
Yes, lets get real here for a second.

That would be a hell of an idea.

Leon
04-19-2007, 01:15 PM
I'm not going to judge the intentions of any of the artists mentioned above. My take is if they make me feel unfomfortable, then I dont look, and I decide to carry that on for all of the artists work. That's it.

As Carl knows, I am a social worker, so fighting vulnerability is always at the forefront of my mind. My concern is for the children's feelings as they grow up and realise that people will cast aspersions like mentioning paedophilia ... even if there is nothing untowards and just creativity and art at play, will they be comfortable with their portraits (taken in seemingly quite compromised situations) in later life? And if so, is there any way they could remove that image from the public eye? (I suspect the answer is no). But then again, these are just my own internal questions, I'm not looking for answers.

CarlRadford
04-19-2007, 01:15 PM
This thread hasn't been and isn't really about Sturges it is about Sally Mann - I'd didn't intend to go down this route and would prefer we didn't as I know there are very strong views re his work.

Getting back to Sally Mann - what makes her images of close family more than snapshots or stuff purely for ones family album?

Sparky
04-19-2007, 01:27 PM
Getting back to Sally Mann - what makes her images of close family more than snapshots or stuff purely for ones family album?

the fact that they're printed really big and the fact that they're sold as 'art'.

bjorke
04-19-2007, 01:34 PM
Sally Mann - what makes her images of close family more than snapshots ...?If you know someone whose snapshots look like that, please let me know

Kerik
04-19-2007, 01:37 PM
Carl, with my apologies, I want to throw in my 2 cents on Sturges to address Leon's question. Apparently the children are fine with Jock's work as they grow up because he has been photographing the same families for 25 or 30 years and is photographing the children of subjects he photographed when they were young. I know Jock well, although have lost contact since he moved to the northwest. I've met a couple of his models that most who are familiar with his work would recognize. When I met them they were 20-ish and were two of the most intelligent, articulate and self-assured young people I've known. They come from a culture where nudity is perfectly normal and a culture that thinks our conservative, prudish attitudes are plain silly.

As for Sally's family work, I think they are much more than snapshots because the images often tell a story, and sometimes that story may not be pleasant. And often they recall emotional moments from our own histories. It doesn't hurt that her kids are very photogenic and are able to communicate to the viewer through Sally's lens. I think Sally is a true and brilliant artist and her work will be remembered amongst the masters of our medium long after the plethora of square, moody landscapes that are so popular now blend into oblivion.

Interesting thread! Jock, Sally and Emmet Gowin are all near the top of my list of photographic heroes.

sionnac
04-19-2007, 01:41 PM
Well - without looking into it deeper - I find Sturges' work extremely creepy - along the lines of david hamilton (remember that guy??) taste-wise.


Sturges reminds me of Hamilton too. Not that he isn't a good photographer; just not my style.

There is something about Mann's photographs - and she is one of my favorite artists - that transcends the "snapshot," and provokes thought - these are complicated scenarios, and yet the story is told with a clarity and great beauty (that a parent would of course see in their children). I think the only people who would find these offensive or pornographic are people uncomfortable with nudity or sexual predators.

The most disturbing images I think she's made, actually, are the exposed cadavers in 'What Remains." Those were beautifully made, but the subject matter made me queasy.

c6h6o3
04-19-2007, 01:41 PM
The same can be said of Mann's. The kids pictured often helped make the prints, btw.


Her printing can be magnificent. I saw a 20x24 of "The Last Time Emmett Posed Nude" at the Corcoran quite a few years ago and I've never forgotten it. That print is the finest art there can be as far as I'm concerned.

Jim Chinn
04-19-2007, 01:52 PM
I have always liked Sally Mann. One of the first books of images I ever bought was a used curator's edition of Still Time. She was also the first photographer I discovered that was considered an artist who happened to use a camera, not strictly a photographer.

When I think of family albums and snapshots I think of gapped tooth kids eating birthday cake or standing next to mickey and goofey at disneyworld or showing how addorable the kids look in thier haloween costumes or Easter best.


In images such as those in Immediate Family she presents a more realistic view of her children and of growing up. Images that define them (and her) far better then the accepted snapshot aesthetic we expect. I think it also takes a certain amount of courage to present such images of your children. I also think she is mocking the idea of the family album so full of moments of temporary smiles and fabricated happiness. I am not saying that capturing happy moments on film is not important, but what defines and molds us is what happens between the sugar sweet snaps.

David A. Goldfarb
04-19-2007, 02:13 PM
There was an interesting piece in _Aperture_ not too long ago by Sally Mann's daughter, Jessie. She's been doing collaborative work with other photographers playing on her role as a photographic subject, adopting various personae.

jstraw
04-19-2007, 02:31 PM
This thread hasn't been and isn't really about Sturges it is about Sally Mann - I'd didn't intend to go down this route and would prefer we didn't as I know there are very strong views re his work.

Getting back to Sally Mann - what makes her images of close family more than snapshots or stuff purely for ones family album?

Define "snapshot." By no reasonable definition of that word are the images Mann produces "snapshots." She makes thoughtful, deliberate and meticulous images with a high degree of craft. Snapshots...that's dropping off film at Walgreens...

CarlRadford
04-19-2007, 02:38 PM
Soeone else used the term snapshots - what I am saying is what makes these transend that which one might consider as images for a family album. I paid good money for the Immediate Family book and am very pleased I did. And I agree her work is masterful - I hope that clears this little bit up!


Define "snapshot." By no reasonable definition of that word are the images Mann produces "snapshots." She makes thoughtful, deliberate and meticulous images with a high degree of craft. Snapshots...that's dropping off film at Walgreens...

Leon
04-19-2007, 02:39 PM
Apparently the children are fine with Jock's work as they grow up because he has been photographing the same families for 25 or 30 years and is photographing the children of subjects he photographed when they were young.

It's good to hear that - and perhaps that makes the pictures all the more valuable (in the artistic rather than financial sense). I guess my attitude come from my professional life - I'm sure Carl would agree that it tends to push us towards the more suspicious end of the scale - it's easy to have doubts when you are confronted with actual incidents of abuse each day ...

acceptance of thought-provoking images is such a personal thing and based on ones whole life-experience and value base.