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  1. #51
    Mick Fagan's Avatar
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    Matthew, interesting comments, but the thrust of the thread is basically whether or not this backlit picture is, or is not worth $1,000,000.

    No one has really questioned the originator's capability, or anything, except his prowess at flogging a photograph to a gallery for $1,000,000.

    I don't think his capability as a teacher, or as a mimic, is, or has been questioned.

    I have over the past 45 years, visited many art galleries in quite a few countries. In my local art gallery, which is the one that actually purchased the piece, I have seen many travelling photographic and painting exhibitions. This acquisition is extremely interesting from two particular points.

    Firstly, it broke a price barrier of a living persons photograph, by quite a long margin.

    Secondly, it has a very prominent black line running right through the middle.

    Try as I may, I cannot remember one single instance of any painting in the last 500 years that has been joined like this, because the canvas wasn't available in the finished size!

    I have never, seen any photograph presented with a join like this one has.

    I have visited the gallery three times since it was put on show, each time the black line is annoying. I have also overheard other members of the public say to each other that it would be alright if it didn't have that line running through it.

    In the late eighties I was involved in making mural photographs in an industrial photographic lab. The size of the reflection and transmitted mural pictures we were producing, make Wall's 2m x 2.5m picture look like a test print. I cannot think of one instance where we had a join even remotely like that.

    I am not questioning the artistic ability of the person who masterminded this picture, it's content, or it's size. I'm just questioning whether the person who did the joining, fully understands the craft part of making presentable pictures?

    I take your point about the long and convoluted explanation of why he chose to insert a black line, I just don't buy it.

    Mick.

  2. #52
    Sparky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patrickjames View Post
    Johnathan I agree largely with what you are saying and will leave it at that. The tragedy that you touch upon is that artists benefit very little from their work as you mentioned. I really find this abhorrent in general. How much did he make from his original work? Maybe a few thousand. He does benefit in the end though because of the prestige. What will his next work sell for? A lot more than this one. I think we can both agree that the whole scene is pretty twisted in the end.

    Best regards

    Patrick
    Thanks Patrick for trying to see my point. The guy does alright though. I don't think we need to feel sorry for him. He sells through his agent/gallery rep, I'm sure. Purportedly - most of his works sell for the $200K mark. Of that - he probably takes home $100K, and pays probably 50% of that in taxes (in Canada, there isn't the massive writeoffs you can get like in the USA). So that leaves $50K, out of which he has to pay for production - which is at LEAST that - if not a lot more... but he sells multiple pieces per year - and I think he has small editions he sells for less, as well. But I think he lives pretty comfortably nonetheless. I used to work for him (for about a year...) so it gave me a pretty good idea of what goes on behind the scenes. Excuse my rant please, if I seemed indignant. But it really makes me angry to see people taking something out of context and running it into the ground because they don't understand what the deal is.

  3. #53
    Sparky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick Fagan View Post
    Secondly, it has a very prominent black line running right through the middle.

    Try as I may, I cannot remember one single instance of any painting in the last 500 years that has been joined like this, because the canvas wasn't available in the finished size!

    I have never, seen any photograph presented with a join like this one has.

    I have visited the gallery three times since it was put on show, each time the black line is annoying. I have also overheard other members of the public say to each other that it would be alright if it didn't have that line running through it.

    In the late eighties I was involved in making mural photographs in an industrial photographic lab. The size of the reflection and transmitted mural pictures we were producing, make Wall's 2m x 2.5m picture look like a test print. I cannot think of one instance where we had a join even remotely like that.

    I am not questioning the artistic ability of the person who masterminded this picture, it's content, or it's size. I'm just questioning whether the person who did the joining, fully understands the craft part of making presentable pictures?

    I take your point about the long and convoluted explanation of why he chose to insert a black line, I just don't buy it.
    Maybe consider the possibility that it's not a 'photograph' - well, at least - as you know a photograph to be.

  4. #54
    Mick Fagan's Avatar
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    Jonathan, it is a photograph as it is an image produced by the action of light, on a sensitised surface.

    Anything produced that way, is a photograph.

    Mick.

  5. #55
    Sparky's Avatar
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    I wouldn't say that.

    you might.


    but I wouldn't.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mick Fagan View Post
    Jonathan, it is a photograph as it is an image produced by the action of light, on a sensitised surface.

    Anything produced that way, is a photograph.

    Mick.

  6. #56
    Mick Fagan's Avatar
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    Jonathan, perhaps you have a different understanding of the medium, but the senior curator of the National Gallery of Victoria calls it a photograph as well.

    I am not discussing anything except the medium the actual image is in, or on.

    "Photography is the modern medium and these (photographs) are the masterworks of this century and in two centuries' time people will say 'we're glad you bought these works'," Ms Crombie said.

    Isobel Crombie, senior curator at the National Gallery of Victoria, Saturday the 16th of December 2006 the Age newspaper (Melbourne Australia).

    Mick.

  7. #57
    Sparky's Avatar
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    Yes, one CAN call it that. And the senior curator of the National Gallery of Victoria can talk any way they want to about it, I'm sure. I'm not contesting that. I was simply trying to suggest that the use of the 'seam' pointed to the fact that there was something much different going on here than might go on in 'photographic' circles, much as the culture we have going on here. I was more implicitly trying to suggest that his work 'uses' photography (I think that would be more accurate) than it BEING photography.

  8. #58
    Mick Fagan's Avatar
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    Jonathan, I understand where you are coming from. Yes, it is reasonably obvious that he uses photography.

    Michelangelo considered himself a sculpturer, first and foremost.

    For whatever reason, he ended up painting the Sistine Chapel ceiling with scenes depicting genesis. According to the information I have read about this painting, he painted it under duress, however he basically stuck it up the establishments fundamental, by painting in 3D to make it look like a sculpture.

    Now Michelangelo may have considered it to be a flat sculpture, may have even informed his friends that the finished product is a sculpture, that is fine.

    However when I saw the real thing about 450 years after Michelangelo painted it, I saw a painting on a ceiling, not a sculpture. I don't think there was a person in the sistine Chapel that day who even remotely considered it to be a sculpture.

    In the same vein, I don't think there would be one person who visits the National Gallery of Victoria, views the backlit picture and understands it to be anything but a photograph, regardless of what the originator of the work calls it.

    Mick.

  9. #59
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    It's not that I hold the work in such massive regard... but I DO however, appreciate the work... and I feel that, to refer to it as 'photography', to be examined with the same magnifying glass and the same set of precepts as one would with the Adamses and the Westons, would be, at best - very very shallow. I'm not calling YOU that - I'm just saying that if you just look at an individual work of his as 'a picture' - and consider that he was unthinkingly, like the rest of us trying to make a cool looking photograph - would be - well, a mistake. By definition.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky View Post
    no, no... it's not ansel adams, is it? not a robert doisneau poster. no - so it must be garbage...! This sort of reminds me of Hitler's arguments against what, at that time, was called 'modern art'. This is one of those times I find it embarrassing to even be on here. Sorry. I like you guys generally... but, sorry.

    Addendum: also - if you understood how much planning, effort, thinking and WORK goes into a SINGLE image, it'd make your head spin... and, just maybe, you might look at it differently. It's like looking at a Malevich painting and saying "my four year old could do that"... well, actually - no he couldn't. Understanding roughly how a picture is made is not the same as understanding.
    Degree of difficulty is kinda interesting and all, but I tend not to factor that into my scoring.
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. In velit arcu, consequat at, interdum sit amet, consequat in, quam.

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