What are the dire consequences for not being in control? None, except that your efforts may please you personally, but they will not hang in a gallery or museum. Great works of art are not done by accident. They are created by disciplined minds, driven, passionate, fanatical, sometimes the insane.
Mozart was a genius, but he was also an obnoxious jerk as he was portrayed in the movie, "Amadeus." Yet when it came time to compose, the movie showed him as serious, engrossed in his work. My understanding is that he never erased, or crossed out anything, but his manuscripts were flawless, no corrections, no changes. His music, the notes all flowed from his head onto the paper, whether he was writing a full blown symphony, or a piano concerto.
Beethoven was another genius who wrote most of his works stone deaf! Even his great Ode To Joy, he never ever heard a single note played by an instrument. Yet he was able to hear, listen to ever nuance of sound of each instrument in his mind's ear and coordinate them all into a symphony. Does that not take discipline? Do such great works come about by accident, in a trance? No they do not.
Grand Ma Moses was a great artist. So was Georgia O'Keef. She is one of my favorite painters, with a sense of perspective that is photographic. A very intense worker who hated to be disturbed when painting. Does such dedication not require discipline?
Ever read Van Gogh's biography? Very interesting reading. So is AA's. Most great artists have one thing in common, they work hard as if their life depended on it. When they set out to produce a work in what ever their chosen medium, they slaved until it is exactly the way they wanted it to be.
Try doing that while in a trance.
Last weekend I went to an exhibition of "160 years of photographic art" in a local gallery.
The first thing that struck me was size - especially the modern offerings were HUGE. And the size of the frame was written in the leaflet as size of the work - which is ridiculous when you se a 6x4.5 platinum print in a 30x40" frame...
The second thing I noticed was quality. With a very few exceptions, it looked to me more like 160 years of steady decline...
So if you want to be taken seriously as an artist, get bigger trays! Never mind subject, composition - or even focus - just print BIG.
Then you must take great issue with the statement, "Thirty percent of the world's great photographs are nothing more than fortunate accidents." Care to speculate who was the author?
Van Gogh sold *one* painting in his entire life - to his brother, Theo. It was said that his brother bought it to keep Vincent from starvation.
Intersting that you place both Grandma Moses and Georgia O'Keefe together as "masters" of perspective. Georgia O'Keefe may have been - I would not debate it - but Grandma Moses? "American Primitive"? I really think her LACK of perspective was a vital element in her art.
Be careful with labelling me as a "Trance-ist". I did not claim to be that - My selection was "Holist".
I must be some sort of wild exception, then. Without self-flagellation, I HAVE hung in Galleries,.. etc.
Andre Kertez, W. Gene Smith? I do not know for sure. I would think a photojournalist.
As for Grandma Moses compared to O'Keefe, they are both very different in their styles and subject matter. Moses' fame apparently seems to be more of an accident. Her fame was due to a chance finding by Louis J. Caldor, yet he recognized her talent. As compared to O'Keefe, who benefited more from that marriage, Steiglitz and her? O'Keefe was far more celebrated during her lifetime. Grandma Moses received fame for the last 25 years of hers. Chances are she would have remained in obscurity if not for that chance discovery of her paintings in a remote drug store.
Van Gogh, yes he starved, lead a tormented life, institutionalized for a time, was supported by his brother which Vincent resented. Actually he originally studied to be a minister and was very zealous before turning to painting. Mozart buried in a paupers grave, supposedly murdered by his arch rival Solieri who was very jealous of Mozart. Solieri was the court composer to the king yet history shows his work was mediocre at best and he may have deliberately oppressed Mozart's work out of sheer jealousy.
The one common denominator between most artists is that they receive little or no recognition during their lifetimes. Only the lucky few enjoy fame during their lifetime. Others get it postmortem, some taking years before a champion comes along to promote his work, most never. Just because one artist's work is promoted over another, does not mean it is warranted. What the galleries promote is often more of trying to follow or promote popular trends so they can make a living. Monetary success is not always the deciding factor. Is Thomas Kinkade a great artist or a great marketer, salesman? Picasso certainly was great and wealthy during his lifetime.
The author of that quote was Ansel Adams.
An interesting fact about Grandma Moses was the esteem she, herself, had in her own work. She couldn't understand what all the fuss was about ... and at her first show in a New York Gallery, she made sure that she brought some of her homemade jams and jellies ... so she would sell *something*.
I've been reflecting, here, on the idea that a *great deal* of effort and discipline is an absolute necessity to success in photography/art . An enterprising character once purchased the "wastebasket concession" from Pablo Picasso's landlord. At the end of the day, he would retrieve the contents - sketches, doodles ...whatever ... discarded by the Master, flatten them out, mat and mount them -- and sell them for *big* money. Picasso was shocked to see some of his throwaway work displayed ... and selling. I'd suggest there was not a great deal of disciplined, intense dedication by the artist going on here.
Then again ... Jackson Pollock. Look what happened when he slopped some paint on a canvas by mistake. He abandoned a great deal of rigid control ... and ... and...
I once once asked "*WHY* do you do photography" And, my answer - to my great surprise - agreed with what quite a few of the "big names" in the ARTS would respond--- "I do it, because I feel better doing it than I do when I am NOT doing it."
Photography is NOT, in my mind, a painful activity - I once *killed* myself trying so hard - and I found that my first great "breakthrouh" came as a result of "lightening up". Forcing, IMHO, a.k.a "overworking", does not help ... on the contrary, it hurts.
I'll confess to being obsessed - *gloriously* obsessed - with my particular choice in art - photgraphy. I'll work hard at it ... but "hard work" is not necessarily painful work.
I voted for the third choice. Part technician, part trance occasionally (not often), mostly don't care. I never liked the term "artist". To me it always seemed to be pretentious and snobbish. It conjures up images of some neurotic no-talent Bohemian/beatnik weirdo with a freakishly large ego. Simply calling someone a photographer, musician, painter, whatever works better for me.