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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by hoffy View Post
    Tell me how many hours Cartier-Bresson spent slaving over a print that he couldn't quite get right....

    As others have said, if the viewer didn't know how much effort was put into a shot, would the viewer actually care
    I somehow feel words being inserted into my mouth. I don't suggest at all that a photographer has to develop film or prints to be an artist, I've never said that. My point is only that I think there is more to value (either money or otherwise) than 'the final image' or indeed the final work of anything.

    I would imagine the last roll of negatives that HCB shot before giving up photography would be worth more than 36 scans on Flickr, both in financial terms, and in the sheer pleasure of ownership.

    My only point, and this is my only point: I think value comes from other places than simply 'the final image'.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by gleaf View Post
    Grab a copy of "Art and Fear" from the library.
    Thanks! Got it on my e-book reader, and even the first few pages give very insightful perspective to art and artist!

    Quote Originally Posted by gleaf View Post
    Art is doing it 'right' when no one is looking.
    This is actually something to live by.

    Quote Originally Posted by gleaf View Post
    The cartoon is my suggestion.
    I've seen this cartoon before. I need to print it and hang it in my living room.
    I want my children to get this in their heads and not to be manipulated by people telling them any different.

    Thank you.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by jernejk View Post
    As I spend some hours in my new darkroom light night, my brain was kind of chewing the topic.

    I'm no artist, far from it. But I've made I few prints I like, and more importantly - I value. They tend to be of my family, as this seems to be the topic I really care about. And frankly, I'm fine with that. Gone are the years of seeking the answer to existential questions, which fuel more open approach to art. So yeah, for me it's just relaxation and meditation. It's incredible really how mindful darkroom work is, specially compared to anything we do with computers.

    So back to my prints. There's a print I've made last winter, of my daughter in a street. I spent hours on getting that print just right, as the available light was tricky, plus I want to make it what I envisioned. I have a log of numerous trials what worked and what didn't. Sure, I was very new to darkroom so I spent maybe even more time than many of you would.

    But still, when I look at that print, I really look. It's not a snapshot. It's not just a good looking photo. It's something I've created. Spent considerable time, work, creativity in that one print. And it's unique. If you want to see it, you need to come to my place.

    This kind of too long overture brings us to the topic: great masters of art, whoever you name... Michelangelo, Picasso, Dali, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Ansel Adams... and many more... all of them spent a great deal of time and skill working on their creations to perfection. Is this kind of persistence a requirement for true art? Is art in many ways demonstration of personal growth through developing a certain skill?

    To approach the question from the other side: if today's Van Gogh used a computer to create his paintings in a fraction of time he needed with paint and a brush... would that still be art? Apparently, Van Gogh was a fast painter and didn't spend "more than a few days" on some of his well known works. But see here, how quickly it can be done today: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eXSaJS0Gts

    Another example: if todays Michelangelo took a 3d scan of David (yes, such scanners exist) and have it 3D printer, would that still be art? OK, 3D printers are still a bit rough for a masterpiece like David, but how about a CNC stone cutter? Yes, such stuff exists: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3Ff0qwYMyY

    How many people would call the robotic sculpture art? And how many would call the digital paint art? (personally, I'd expect none for the sculpture, but some for the painting; would be an interesting research actually).

    My hypothesis is, that people inherently value something as Art, when it's hand made by another person.

    Certainly, I "like" the photos of my daughter I snapped and "manipulated" with a few clicks, and they do bring the value of the memory they store and aesthetic they have. They do not, however, "contain me". They contain more genius programmers who created the algorithms than me.

    That print. That one print, however - there's nothing but me in there. And that's what art is all about, isn't it?
    I am afraid you conflate "art" with craftsmanship. Obviously they are not the same: craftsmanship may be part of your artistic arsenal, or might be not. Artistry is all about inventing your own reality; the more consistent it is the greater artist you are. Respectively, merely registering the existing reality does not suffice, and it doesn't fall in the category of "art" no matter how "beautiful", or "dramatic", or "whatever" it is. I know, major museums exhibit and claim photography (and cars, clothes, etc) is "art". That fact simply reflect the intense market pressure the museum institutions were subjected to a couple of decades ago.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by I.G.I. View Post
    I am afraid you conflate "art" with craftsmanship. Obviously they are not the same: craftsmanship may be part of your artistic arsenal, or might be not. Artistry is all about inventing your own reality; the more consistent it is the greater artist you are. Respectively, merely registering the existing reality does not suffice, and it doesn't fall in the category of "art" no matter how "beautiful", or "dramatic", or "whatever" it is. I know, major museums exhibit and claim photography (and cars, clothes, etc) is "art". That fact simply reflect the intense market pressure the museum institutions were subjected to a couple of decades ago.
    By this definition, we can throw most great photographers right out of the window.
    More, even Michelangelo's David is just replication of reality. Out of the window it goes, too.
    Most of Greek sculptures -> throw them away, worthless replicas.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by jernejk View Post
    even Michelangelo's David is just replication of reality. Out of the window it goes, too.
    Most of Greek sculptures -> throw them away, worthless replicas.
    No, that's plain wrong! Realistic art may bear superficial semblance to real world, but more often than not it is not a replication. Funny as you mention it, Greek sculptures are entirely intellectual construct, and bore nothing even remotely resembling real people. As for "Michelangelo's David is just replication of reality", sorry, but that's tosh.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by jernejk View Post
    Michelangelo's David is just replication of reality
    Fairly recently there was an exhibition at the Louvre "Late Raphael". In terms of pictorial representation Raphael was the most conventional of the Italian high Renaissance geniuses, the other two being Michelangelo and Leonardo. Yet when confronted with his portraits live I was astonished how subjective, how inventive and creatively distorted his portrayals were. His compositions, delineation, palette were not only sur-real; all was clearly aimed at not literally to describe, but at deliberate simplification of reality and synthese. One clearly realise real people don't look like this yet I couldn't care less - so engrossing, suggestive and evocative his portraits were. You don't get anywhere even remotely close to this level of creative process and creative expression in photography. Notwithstanding the formal similarities (two dimensionality; use of colour/achromatic depiction; overlapping subjects) IMO the two are in completely different realms.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by I.G.I. View Post
    As for "Michelangelo's David is just replication of reality", sorry, but that's tosh.
    Could be. All I know is that Michelangelo probably illegally dissected bodies in order to better understand anatomy.
    Yes, David's hands are too large and yes, his eyes are off - but the truth is, we don't know why. It could be because originally David was supposed to be placed on a roof top. It could be artistic emphasis, or it could even be artistic failure. We don't know.

    In any case, David is pretty much realistic compared to Dali's sculptures, or even contemporary sculptures. Sincerely, would David today be recognised as Art, or would it be ordinary and dull?

    Further, when it comes to photography, what is realistic about it? Here's a short story about Picasso's view on realism of photography.
    Also, most people perceive world in colors. By that definition, any monochrome rendering is departure from reality. Then again, some people's vision is actually monochrome. What's art for most is not art for them? But there's a bigger issue here: reality is very subjective.

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky View Post
    Fine art is a marketing term.
    Thanks for saying this so I didn't have to, again.

    I prefer coarse art.
    'Cows are very fond of being photographed, and, unlike architecture, don't move.' - Oscar Wilde

  9. #29

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    Michelangelo is notorious for his exaggerated proportions which depart from the classical/academic canon; of course, all with the aim for better expressiveness of his creations. Make no mistake, was he born in the end of 19th century (i.e. contemporary of Dali and the rest of the European avant-garde from the first half of 20th century) he would have developed his talent under the influence of the ideas of that time. For instance, when Picasso moved to Paris he was completely nobody - there were hundreds if not thousands of painters like him. For about 10 years time, under the influence of the circles he was moving in, he became the leading avant-garde painter.

    Sure, reality is subjective, there is no question about. My point is that some mediums are infinitely more empowering to convey the individual's subjective perceptions, thoughts, ideas, visions, etc.; and usually these mediums are associated with the so called "high art". As much as I enjoy photography I wouldn't place it in the same league with music, literature, and traditional fine arts for the reason stated above. It is not because is "automated" (as the thread ask), but because the very nature of the medium is very restrictive - one can photograph only what exist here and now; and his "creative choices" are merely a few options. By contrast, even a simple pencil in your hand gives you infinitely more artistic freedom.

  10. #30
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    This thread and this ongoing argument is merely about two things. Names and ego.

    A painting, a sculpture, a photograph, a digital photograph (for those who still can't let it go), a building, a chair, a Gretzky pass, your daughter, etc etc, are all things.

    Things we put names to. We could call them something else but we ended up choosing to call them this.

    You could call your beloved daughter a lot of names but you merely picked one and stuck with it.

    The problem is when someone else comes along and tries to make money off that person, place or thing and has to define it for marketing purposes.

    Or when the creator has to identify it for ego reasons to boost his standing or his finances.

    So he comes up with terms and names to impress.

    And so we get the word, art.

    Totally meaningless and not worthy of argument.

    The things it defines, just are. They exist on their own.

    No further definitions needed.
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

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