Fine Art Photography in this day and age consists of a cell phone shot of a computer web image of another cell phone shot, then enlarged forty feet wide. The best thing that could happen is if all us
who care about the medium simply erased the word "art" from our whole vocabulary. It has become such
a prostituted term that it's almost meaningless at this point, i.e., it can mean just about anything,
and is largely a marketing gimmick.
Amen to that. I think this post summarizes the dynamic almost perfectly. Of course there are and will continue to be young people who get interested in the history of an art, and many more who don't, and some who don't when they're young and come round to it later, and all that. The difference isn't, I think, that there are fewer people interested in photographic history---it's just that even the people who are uninterested have cameras!
Originally Posted by Allen Friday
And now, thanks to the internet, they have not only cameras but gallery walls, and plenty of people with no particular interest in or knowledge of the history of photography can nevertheless have their images seen by worldwide audiences---who, it turns out, are suckers for a colorful gimmick and little interested in extended thoughtful analysis. Plus ca change and all that.
Why, it's as if any kid who wanted to could buy one of those electrical guitars and start a band, without ever even having heard of Django Reinhardt! (And that particular artistic sea-change worked out pretty well, I think, although I suppose there are those who would argue that the rock-and-roll democratization of musicianship ruined music for all time.)
What a tough subject! Everybody is right, in one way or another. I was an art director working with designers and writers (before going solo), and I was constantly trying to get them to base their creativity on traditional methodologies. I wanted them to spend some real time examining work from the history of their fields, and using that knowledge to give them some solid ground for their own efforts. Most hated it, and I really didn't have much success getting them to do it. If that had consistently resulted in failed work I'd have a different attitude today, but it didn't. Why? Some of these people had real talent, and a real passion for their work. They ignored me and still shined, and I learned to manage them in a different way. They'll come around to the history someday, especially as they begin to see their place in it. I think the same can be true in photography.
We have to be careful not to be yelling, "You kids get off of my lawn!" as the next great talent walks away from us.
David: I wanted to see your work. But the links on your web page do not work. http://www.davidkachel.com/gallery.html
Originally Posted by Alan Klein
the first gallery of images works, beautiful photography!
but the others are dead links, not sure if you saw the first set ...
Originally Posted by Alan Klein
Just the Peru link is working right now. Gallery sales have had me ignoring the web site for quite a while.
Nonsense. That "someone in the know" stuff is just plain BS. I have been at this long enough to know that 99% of the so-called "experts" are just pretentious, arrogant a**holes. All most of these people do is sell dead fish, vacuum cleaners and used bathroom fixtures to incredibly gullible rich people.
Originally Posted by batwister
If you say you are a fine art photographer, I take you at face value. I DO reserve judgement as to the quality of your work, but I have no interest in whether or not you have the stamp of approval from some high and mighty art speculation wonk. In fact, in recent years, that stamp of approval usually means your work is not so hot.
These kids today.....
I'm betting we're not the first generation to say that.
And get off my lawn.
I think it's just that the physical process of photography got easier, so more people participate. You're just looking at the dilution of talent and diligence amongst greater and greater hordes of dilettantes; the quantity and quality of talent is ever increasing but you need to know where to look for it. If your basis of observation is wannabes fronting for representation, then it's going to look worse and worse.
The democratisation of photography cuts both ways: people now can easily make images that that could not have afforded or been physically able to previously, so we see a lot of interesting new art emerging - and much of that gets missed by people fixated on Weston and Adams. Conversely, tryhards who would previously have been dissuaded by the need to carry wet plates or run a darkroom are no longer dissuaded, and we need to just put up with that.
If I look back about 10 years, I was definitely one of the people you're whingeing about. Thing is, no one is born with the knowledge you expect everyone to have, especially those of us with careers outside of photography.
If you consider knowledge of past masters to be a prerequisite to making good photographs, you're effectively telling us that photography could never start. Someone, at some point, will figure out how to do something (very) good and without assistance. Given that it happened amongst the very few practitioners before there was a tradition, why on earth would you expect it not to happen now when we have an unprecedented number of people who have the physical means to create photographs?
That's a very narrow way of thinking.
Originally Posted by davidkachel
Sorry, but artists and art historians (and/or curators) are two completely different breed of people. Art historians/curators have no place telling artists what they should or should not be doing. It is the other way around. Artists dictate the terms of their own work, that is why they are artists, ie: creators.
No knowledge of history or previous works is necessary for someone to create their own art, sorry, this just sounds like a big lot of elitist hot air to me.