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  1. #41

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    hi molli

    i agree with you as well, but i don't think that is what the OP actually says. art and commerce are being confused ...
    the guest lecturer wasn't saying that the photographs weren't photographs, or they weren't
    works of art, or they had no soul or anything else ...
    s/he seems to be referring to the commercial aspect of art, and validation
    through the exchange of money ( or barter ) . it has nothing to do with soul or art
    or anything else ... it has to do with commercialism.



    if someone is trying to make a living at something, one can't survive without being paid in some way, can they ?

  2. #42
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Molli View Post
    I'm 100% with Thomas on this one. Art is art in and of itself and doesn't require anyone else's approval or endorsement whether that's given with a cheque book or the nod of a head.
    Just that it's supremely self-indulgent and narcissistic to think this way. It's a conceit.
    Last edited by CGW; 01-28-2012 at 08:34 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #43
    blansky's Avatar
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    Lots of talk about "art" here.

    Since we've never been able to really define what it is, it's hard to use it as a standard.

    Also the OP took a statement, delivered it out of context and expects a thumbs up or down on it.

    To someone, a badly taken, badly composed, badly lit snapshot of a child is priceless and a Pollock looks like something left on the floor after the house painters left, is worthless, it is not possible to quantify worth.

    So commerce is one way. What will the market place pay for it.

    Starry Night was the same painting when it was "worth" nothing and when it was worth 80 million.

    These threads are interesting but provide no answers.
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  4. #44
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    This debate saddens me. The philosophy that commercial success is more important than the drive to create is the polar opposite of what I taught in 30 years as an arts teacher. Along with mastering their medium, the next step for my students to become artists is to identify and learn to respond to their artistic muse.

    Simply put, the market it not a muse. Preaching that one must sell to be an artist is demanding that they prostitute their work. Too many artists (photographers, musicians, painters, etc.) have fallen into stagnation by creating only what is commercially accessible. Art tailored for the market may put food on the table, but without artistic risk, it is shallow and ultimately compromised.

    The truth is, I know a good many artists who would rather suffer for their art than compromise it. I suppose that makes them fools in your book. (and trust me, they would consider that estimation a compliment, considering the source)
    Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada

    Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...

    http://tom-overton-images.weebly.com


  5. #45
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    No!

    Art that's focused on commerce has no soul, and is advertising more than anything.

    I find your view incredibly sad and insulting to the whole arts community. There is more to life and the arts than a f-ing price tag.
    It's the proceeds from the "f-ing price tag" that supports life and the arts community. It's naive to think otherwise.

  6. #46

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    making art is a self indulgent activity.
    it is self expression ..

    it has nothing to do with selling things.

  7. #47
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toffle View Post
    This debate saddens me. The philosophy that commercial success is more important than the drive to create is the polar opposite of what I taught in 30 years as an arts teacher. Along with mastering their medium, the next step for my students to become artists is to identify and learn to respond to their artistic muse.

    Simply put, the market it not a muse. Preaching that one must sell to be an artist is demanding that they prostitute their work. Too many artists (photographers, musicians, painters, etc.) have fallen into stagnation by creating only what is commercially accessible. Art tailored for the market may put food on the table, but without artistic risk, it is shallow and ultimately compromised.

    The truth is, I know a good many artists who would rather suffer for their art than compromise it. I suppose that makes them fools in your book. (and trust me, they would consider that estimation a compliment, considering the source)
    What makes an artist successful? Doing good or doing well?

  8. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post
    What makes an artist successful? Doing good or doing well?
    hi cgw

    i worked for someone who was a portrait photographer for 50+ years.
    she did karsh-esque work, photographed dignitaries, ceo's, governors, statesmen &c
    we retouched sheets of 5x7 film, and made 16x20 and 20x24 enlargements that
    were printed with a special technique ( kind of pictorialist i guess )
    she had a full appointment book ( every day ) from 830am-5pm, and sometimes the weekend.
    she seemed to me to be very successful ... and the last from her generation to remain in business.
    when i was working for her she was thinking of "winding down" her business so she could grow old(er) without
    the worries of a hectic work day ( she was 74-75? )

    i asked her one day if she thought she was successful and she said flat out: NO.
    i found this to be hard to believe ... she was paid for her work, she had portraits published
    weekly and hung on wall all over the state ...

    it makes me wonder if "success" ( monetary success ) actually means "artistic failure" ?

  9. #49
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    it makes me wonder if "success" ( monetary success ) actually means "artistic failure" ?
    Great thought. The corollary, Vincent van Gogh was an artistic success.

    I too went to a photographic seminar over 20 years ago where a sentiment was uttered that I have seen many times. It goes something like this... "It is very difficult to make a career in photography." Though the discouraging thought stuck in my craw, I have the tape and it proves the rest of the lecture is really quite inspirational - the speaker got past the introductory downer and got into practical strategies for making a successful photographic career.

    Cliveh, Do you recall from the lecture you attended, was the speaker totally discouraging? Or did he/she go on to light a spark. Your work delivers value in excess of what I've paid for it, and value in excess of what I could afford to pay for it too!

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post

    i asked her one day if she thought she was successful and she said flat out: NO.
    i found this to be hard to believe ... she was paid for her work, she had portraits published
    weekly and hung on wall all over the state ...
    Did she expound on her answer at all? Be interesting to know.

    One also has to wonder if ANY person creating "art" ever thinks of themselves as successful.

    Because the better you get at your craft, the more you realize that you really aren't all that good, unless you're a narcissist and read your own press.

    The really really great ones usually have some sort of mental issues that make them a one trick pony and don't function well in any other facet of life. They probably don't consider themselves successful either.
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

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