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  1. #61

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    [QUOTE=livemoa]
    Quote Originally Posted by Jorge
    No it is not wrong, the value of the materials is $20, the experience, suffering, culling, etc, etc, nobody gives a rat's ass about. In the end it is what the print does for the viewer, if this person wanted to know why she should pay $800 for a print, I would have gladly told her why....
    QUOTE]

    Ah semantics, semantics ... :-)

    It is good to have you back!
    Thanks David, perhaps I was too economical in my response....I think we all know the final production of our prints requires more than $20. But as I used to have in my signature, "if you buy a piano, you own a piano, if you buy a camera you are a photographer." This is the perception the public in general has, that making a photograph is a simple matter of pressing the button and spending a few minutes in a darkroom or a pc......so when someone asks "why should I pay $800 for a photograph?" Even tough they might be art collectors they might not be being rude, but honestly perplexed by the idea that one should pay so much for something that takes only a few minutes and "little" effort to make. Acting disdainful towards people like this is counter productive to all "fine art" photographers out there.....

  2. #62

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    I hate long winded replies, especially my own, but picking up a few bits from this thread...

    Firstly, reading the original post I agree with Jorge, the Artist hung himself by his own actions. He simply lacked the grace to cope with someone who didn’t understand. The woman asking the questions may have been silly, stupid or simply unfamiliar with the manners appropriate to the "Art World" (but it doesn't sound like it). It didn't sound as if she intended to be provocative or rude (if she did, she wiped the floor with him). No, they were bland, ordinary, questions. His response was petulant rudeness. He expected his “Art” to receive a higher degree of consideration than he was prepared to extend to her. In life I hope never to meet people who are rude to me when I fail to understand.

    If you exhibit your work in public, then you do so at your own risk : Ordinary people ask ordinary questions. It may be frustrating, but you have to deal with it, not have a hissy fit.
    He might also want to reflect on what he has achieved on behalf of all photographers. If it was the woman’s first visit to an exhibition, I doubt she’ll be returning. If he loves art or photography, he hasn’t done either any favours.

    Second is the expression “Fine Art Print” (and my sarcastic question, whether the more expensive prints were “Even Finer”).
    I'm sorry, but I believe that the expression “Fine Art Print” is a loaded conflation of the terms “Fine Art” and “Fine Print” and anyone who uses the term “Fine Art Print” does so at their own peril.
    Defining the term “Fine Print” isn't too hard...“A high quality photographic print, crafted according to traditional and commonly held craft and technical standards”...(OK? It's the best I could do in a couple of minutes)

    I’ve seen “Fine Prints” being made by photographers whom I considered to be “Artists” : And I’ve also seen equally “Fine Prints” being made by superlative craftsmen, who aren’t “Artists”.

    But “Fine Art” is something else altogether. It’s a fiendishly dangerous area (and not for the fainthearted) but, for instance, I don’t think it’s for me to judge whether I am “an artist” or not (I’m not!) - It would be for others or posterity to make that judgement. Anyone can call themselves an “Artist”, but wishing for it doesn’t make it so. I could call myself a dancer, but I'd look pretty stupid schlepping around in tights on the stage at Covent Garden.


    One contributor suggested that I maybe thought that all artists were charlatans. Not true. But thirty years of working with both real and self proclaimed British “Artists” (as well as having gained a somewhat dubious degree in “Fine Art”), has left me suspicious of anyone who feels the need to make such a declaration. (Besides, “Anti-Art” has a perfectly honourable pedigree, going back to Marcel Duchamps. The current “Stuckist School” is only anti-art’s most recent manifestation).

    There are B&W photographers who over a lifetime have produced bodies of work of great depth, integrity and lasting cultural significance. Maplethorpe and Cartier-Bresson, to name but two, are unarguably great photographic “Artists” but neither of them printed their own work nor claimed to produce “Fine Art Prints”.

    Thirty years ago, when I was getting that iffy degree, the practice of “Fine Art” could legitimately incorporate “Fine (B&W) Prints”, a little later you could include colour. But today “Fine Art Practice” has moved on it doesn’t mean high quality photography “for it’s own sake” any more. Nowadays, it means the stuff you can see in places like London’s White Cube Gallery or as an entry in the Turner Prize. These days, it’s likely to be “Conceptual Art”. The people who produce “Conceptual Art” would no more spend a day in the darkroom, making their own “Fine Art Prints” than my mother would go binge drinking in low bars with drug dealers (or the “Artist” in the story would get his “Fine Prints” processed at Walmart). “Fine Artists” would laugh at $800/print - it isn’t nearly enough.


    I exhibit my own photographs occasionally. I expect people to ask all sorts of questions and I try to deal with them politely because I’d like ordinary people to feel welcome and not intimidated. I don’t call my work “Fine Art Prints” because practising “Fine Artists” would think my meticulously framed, matted, prints were a bit quaint and old fashioned and I’d look out of touch. “Fine Art” has moved on and left us lovers of the "art" of photography behind (note small “a”) ; it may in future drop by for the occasional visit, but the kids have left home and the party has moved on.

    I love photography, I love it’s craft, it’s traditions, it’s “art” and it’s “Fine Prints” ; but I avoid conflating "Fine Prints" with “Fine Art” because I don’t wish to look more out of touch than I am already.

  3. #63
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    We live in an insecure world. Some are lost without clear, concrete definitions for everthing! To try to work throug a maze of unidentified concepts is terrifying to some. "What is `Fine Art'? - and why does it cost so much?"

    Brace youselves .. "Fine Art" is exceptionally valuble Art.

    Breaking that down... what makes anything "exceptonally valuble" ... ? I don't really know ... at least not in a concrete, never-fail sense. Some would NOT consider a "fine" watch - say a Jaeger-leCoutre - to be WORTH any more than a $50 stainless steel cased watch from Sam's. I cannot argue that ... I only know that to me there is a difference ... the expensive watch ... possibly as a result of its price, seems different; there is an aura, a "feel" that is somehow ... and I'll admit, irrationally... superior. That difference - very nearly PURELY perceptional - seems to define "FINE" - at least, to me.

    Now ... the second part ... "Art". Whooo ... XX years on this earth, MOST of which, staggering around in wonder - entranced by the innumerable, dazzliing and delightful, beautiful images we have been given in this world - and I have an even less concrete and infallible definiton of "Art" than I do of "fine". I will say that it seems - I perceive it - to exist. What it is? I've been collecting defintions for that for a long time. Now, I don't think I WANT to "know". To know would be to destroy the mystery ... and would really be a great loss to me. I really LIKE the "staggering". In fact, it is significant part of my life - and my being.

    Someone once paid $15,000 for a toasted cheese sandwich. After that ... who could possibly think that $800 for a photograph was ureasonable?
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerry lebens
    I hate long winded replies, especially my own, but picking up a few bits from this thread...

    .
    Among the several articulate and sensible posts on this thread, this one is really excellent.
    John Voss

    My Blog

  5. #65
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerry lebens
    I hate long winded replies, especially my own, but picking up a few bits from this thread...
    Maybe you don't like "long" replies; This one was exceptionall well-done.

    Second is the expression “Fine Art Print” ...
    Defining the term “Fine Print” isn't too hard...“A high quality photographic print, crafted according to traditional and commonly held craft and technical standards”...(OK? It's the best I could do in a couple of minutes)
    Of course it is "OK". I've seen worse - as results of protracted long-term thought".
    I have a differnt "slant", though. "... According to traditonal and commonnly held craft and technical standards"...
    First, where can I get a copy of those "standards"? I can only say that they do not seem to be very "commonly" held.
    Second ... I would suggest that there might be a significantly more important component .. the emotion captured by the exhibitor and offered to the exhibitee. Compared to that, the "technical merit" of any work is secondary.

    Am I "right", and you are "wrong"? Hardly. Absolutely hardly. I only offer this as an indication the we are looking at ... perceiving - a different facet of the same gem.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  6. #66
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    When someone writes an $800 check for one of your prints, it is fine art. When they pass, hey, you had fun making a "pitcher".
    I just want to feel nostalgic like I used to.


    http://www.clayharmon.net - turnip extraordinaire

  7. #67

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    Thank you, John. That's very generous.

    I too am mystified by the beauty of the world, it's images and what can be legitimately called "Art" or "Fine Art".
    If history is anything to go by then "Art" is happening somewhere other than where the self proclaimed "Fine Artists" are now operating (sorry, weird sentence) : I suspect, people will still be talking of Henry Moore and Frank Sinatra as significant "Artists" in one hundred years time. But the big names, say, from the "Brit Art" period will be lucky to hit the marginal notes in the history books - just like the artists who once were acclaimed in the Salons which barred the Impressionists.

    Another issue that worries me is the appropriation or theft, by "Artists", of "Art" and the term that often goes hand in hand with it "Creativity".

    When someone says to me "I'm an Artist" or "I'm Creative", it carries with it the implicit assumption that "You are neither creative nor artistic". How dare anyone say such a thing? It's tantamount to saying "I'm very clever and you are very stupid" or "I have a depth to my character which you lack". In real life people who say things like this get the punch in the mouth that they deserve.
    Is it any wonder that members of the public are suspicious of the "Artists" who maintain such an attitude? In the UK, where many "Artist" expect to be subsidised by the taxpayers, I find the attitude repulsive. Even if it's true, I certainly wouldn't go around saying it.

  8. #68
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerry lebens

    Another issue that worries me is the appropriation or theft, by "Artists", of "Art" and the term that often goes hand in hand with it "Creativity".

    When someone says to me "I'm an Artist" or "I'm Creative", it carries with it the implicit assumption that "You are neither creative nor artistic".

    Your inference and your inference entirely.

    Quote Originally Posted by jerry lebens
    How dare anyone say such a thing? It's tantamount to saying "I'm very clever and you are very stupid" or "I have a depth to my character which you lack". In real life people who say things like this get the punch in the mouth that they deserve.
    Is it any wonder that members of the public are suspicious of the "Artists" who maintain such an attitude? In the UK, where many "Artist" expect to be subsidised by the taxpayers, I find the attitude repulsive. Even if it's true, I certainly wouldn't go around saying it.
    Out in the big bad world are disgusting syphilitic money-grubbing whores called professionals who (shock, horror) need to engage in a process called self-promotion (irrespective of their levels of talent) in order to live. If you have any conception that starving in a garret is in any way honorable, virtuous or desirable, or if you have any misconception that, in the time-honored British style, being the "right sort of chap" in a quiet self-effacing way will eventually lead to recognition - forget it!

  9. #69
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    It really doesn't matter much to me what people want to call themselves. I don't look at the title "artist" as being that much of a "lofty" awe-inspiring appellation. "Oh... so you are an artist. What kind of art do you do?"

    One thing sort of amazes me ... How many of the truly significant photographers tend to NOT describe themselves as "Photographers".

    I remember being at a Reception in NYC - One of the local Matrons approached one of the members of the group I was in (I think we were talking about where to get the best pizza or something. We never talk about photography or art at one of these gatherings...): Gushing -- "Oh, Mr. AB (not his real name) ... You are the World's Greatest Photographer!!"

    AB sort of looked at his feet, and replied, "Uh, well ... I take photographs. Once in a while, I guess I get a good one."

    I'm convinced that the really good ones DO NOT "pump themselves up". There is no need for them to do so ... and they have fallen out of the habit.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  10. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by David H. Bebbington
    Your inference and your inference entirely.




    Out in the big bad world are disgusting syphilitic money-grubbing whores called professionals who (shock, horror) need to engage in a process called self-promotion (irrespective of their levels of talent) in order to live. If you have any conception that starving in a garret is in any way honorable, virtuous or desirable, or if you have any misconception that, in the time-honored British style, being the "right sort of chap" in a quiet self-effacing way will eventually lead to recognition - forget it!

    That's the problem about inferring things, us non artist types keep going and doing it, willy nilly, when we ought to know better. I do apologise. I promise not to infer anything in future without checking with you first.

    I am a professional photographer. I know that my level of talent is modest and my capacity for self promotion sometimes even embarrasses me. Still, I'm very glad that my last check up didn't reveal anything infectious (Can you get it from cameras?).

    I'm sorry, I'm having a little trouble following this - I think it's probably that silly inferring thing again. (Oops! Sorry! Again!) Are you saying that once a fellow knows he's "An Artist" he's entitled to go out and behave in whatever way he sees fit? That sounds rather good fun! I'd be jolly grateful if you'd send me a copy of the job description - if only to make sure I didn't infer it.

    Would it be too much for me to ask you to sign it as well?



 

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