Originally Posted by iandavid
you enjoy labels i do not.
label all you want...
it is what it is, i prefer not to use labels and pigeonholes ..
"fine art/art/whatever" has plenty to communicate other than "look at me"
you just have to find the meaning in it, like everything else in life ...
maybe it is an unintended meaning, who knows ... the best of it all
has some personal-connection ...
as neil ( cheech marin ) and pepe ( tommy chong ) said so well in "afterhours"
--- this sure is ugly, no man, its art, the uglier it is, the more its worth --
I don't enjoy labels.
The point is that they are not labels. They are words having a meaning, signifying real differences.
I enjoy those different things for the different things they are, and the differences between them.
Something you cannot if you think their proper names are pidgeonholes that are to be avoided.
You're missing out on a lot of good stuff!
For me, a fine art photograph is a photograph that stands on its own, without context or caption, and regardless of the intent or lack thereof.
That's just, like, my opinion, man...
Originally Posted by iandavid
First, if we could not talk about subjective concepts, we would for ever be silent.
Second, trying to define (not the first thing you want to do) a slippery concept, talking about a slippery concept, rather than not doing so because it is a slippery concept, is the only way to deal with it.
The fact that it is there in a perhaps yet 'undefined form', means there is something there, even if we would choose to further ignore it.
It doesn't go away.
So the choice is to deal with it, or live in perpetual denial of something you can't help but acknowledge is there to stay (i.e. go, or already be, bonkers ).
It would be a terrible shame if only philosophers and other academics and art critics would keep themselves busy with art.
And it of course is not so.
It is also a terrible shame that indeed so much gibberish is talked about art (and many other things). But that can only happen because people allow that to go unchecked.
And if you can tell that it gibberish, you already have joined the philosophers etc.
So join in fully. If you can tell that it is gibberish, you can also tell why, and what there is to say that is not gibberish. Don't cop out because the concept is slippery. Get a grip!
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In (the western travesty of) Zen perhaps.
Originally Posted by jnanian
There is as much meaning in it as there is in a blank piece of paper.
All there is is that "look at me, i'm pretty!" thing. Anything else is pretense.
Fine art = pretentiousness.
I agree, as I posted earlier.
Originally Posted by JBrunner
Maybe I don't so specifically agree on the "without caption" part of it. Sometimes the caption and/or title is a part of the piece. Not all the time, but sometimes.
I think intent is in no way the determiner. It is the way it is used/presented that makes the determination. Is it there simply to be a photograph, or does it exist as a photograph primarily in order to serve a purpose other than this?
The line is blurred all the time. Documentary pix often blur the line, and sometimes even photojournalism, especially when viewed in retrospect. Additionally, you also see work that was originally commercial becoming fine art at a later date...but as I said, it is the specific use that is the determiner, not the original intent.
As an example of how I think on the issue: The Ansel Adams shots on the covers of his books are commercial, though they were originally intended as fine art. In this case, the shot is used to make the purchase of the book appealing; not solely to display the photograph. The shots within are fine art. They are placed there to be viewed as photographs. In his technical books, many of the photos that were originally fine art are used as instruction aids. Original intent, or the actual content or style of the photo has nothing to do with it. It is the use that matters....but not that it really matters what the definition is anyhow....
Last edited by 2F/2F; 06-18-2009 at 07:02 PM. Click to view previous post history.
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
- Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)
Are the shots on the covers of AA books photographs? I don't think so. For me a photograph is a print, made by the photographer. Anything else is an image, including a reproduction of an AA print. Having seen original prints I have great difficulty in calling a copy a photograph as if it were made by a photographer. Of course that's my personal take, and it is pretty old school. You can find people that believe a cell phone image is a photograph, and I can't say that they are wrong, just that I disagree, if that makes any sense.
Originally Posted by 2F/2F
That's just, like, my opinion, man...
The posts placing highest value on aesthetics are probably in best agreement with the traditional definition of fine art.
It may actually be easier for us to agree on what 'fine art' and 'aesthetics' are not, than to say precisely what they are. (Critical theorists and artists themselves have wrestled with these definitions for a very long time, so... patience, patience y'all...)
I think we can probably agree that commercialism, mass production, imitation, etc. are not consistent with the ideals of fine art. That is progress.
Now, some may argue that fine art cannot be created in a casual way (i.e. in 'snapshooting' mode) but... I am not so sure. I find my own thoughts can front-load a photograph so much that whatever modicum of fresh aesthetic was present in the scene gets completely obscured. There is something very liberating about snapshooting sometimes and appreciating a scene for itself, as its own aesthetic.
I am happy to talk about subjective concepts, but on the condition that the concepts are recognised as such. This generally means that statements about, for example, what fine art means are generally prefaced with something like "In my view..." or "I think..."
Originally Posted by Q.G.
The content of the above posts demonstrates that the label "fine art" is so subjective that everybody has their own definition of it. Your definition - "fine art = pretentious craft" - is your subjective view. That is clearly not how the galleries use the term. It is not how art writers generally use the term either. It is your subjective view. Which is fine. But I think you should just say so.
And I certainly agree that it is good for everybody to think and talk about art. But, in my experience, the most worthwhile discussions about art generally relate to specific pieces or bodies of work and involve an honest subjective discussion of what the work says/means/represents/etc to those discussing it, how effective it is, whether they like it, etc, and perhaps what the artist intended if that can be known.