View Poll Results: which photographer are you?
- 34. You may not vote on this poll
Lets not even start that old debate about whether photography is art. Way to off the mark for this thread.
This reminds me of the old saw: "There are two kinds of people - the good ones and the bad ones - and the good ones will choose which is which."
Originally Posted by Michael A. Smith
It has been a long time on this quest, but the question of "What is art?" still ramins unanswered. I've heard a number of fairly good tries... but nothing really definitve... yet. I've reached the point where I do not WANT to know... If I succeed in defining it it just might disappear ... the basic mystery is an essential part of the whole.
I've written this before ... In *my* book, I am affected by "art" in three ways:
First, the works that 'enrapture' me - that set me off into an unreasonable, hypnotic trance. Second, the works that are "finely done", beautiful, expressive works skillfully worked... the pieces that I would hang in my living room. Third, the works *I* do not "get" - that I don't understand... no, that is not quite right ... there are many works of all stripes that I cannot rationalize - a.k.a. "understand". I'll try again - the works that *I* can't place in the two other categories.
I can't call any art "bad". I may not be "seeing" the work from the viewpoint - from the "mindset" of the artist. I remember once seeing a painting that was somehow deeply disturbing ... an incoherent "jumble" of sharp edges and garish colors, with no recognizable patterns. I later learned that it was painted by an artist deeply afflicted with paranoid schizophrenia ... and it was an expression of the terrifying demons that pervaded his existence ... and I could recognize it as desperate cry for help through the only means of communication left open to him. That did not make it a "good" work... but I saw it in a completly different "light" and perceived it as as having a completely different character.
I may not "like" a particular work... but I do not, and WILL not accept the delusion that I am somehow superior in some respect, and that I have the authority, or the superior wisdom to judge another's work. I don't even WANT that kind of responsiblity.
I once had a conversation with a self-styled critic. In *HIS* opinion (which everyone knew was superior to everyone else's - just ask him - he'd tell you), Van Gogh, Picasso, Renoir, Wyeth, Sargent, Winslow Homer, Ansel Adams, Weston ... NONE of them were artists - they were nothing but poseurs producing "sham" work, not worthy of the waste bucket. We probed more deeply, naming Cassat, Botticelli, Alma-Tadema, Waterhouse, Fragonard ... he knew their work ... ALL junk.
Finally, after a LOT of probing, we got him to tell us who he considered to be an "Artist" ... there was only one ... Norman Rockwell.
That led me to a profound sense of ... pity for this guy. He was so "bound" by his convictions, that he could no longer "see" beyond them. Rockwell was, no doubt, a significant artist - but he was certainly not the entire universe of art.
Photographers make "interesting" pictures. So do painters, watercolorists, those who work in pastels, charcoals, and pencil. The end result is "art". How it comes into being is only a minor, secondary bit of trivial information.
Ed Sukach, FFP.
Holy chicken or egg, Batman!
Weird thread, in that I can't disagree with anything that's been said.
In general, I think most of us were initially drawn by the desire to make pictures, not own equipment, or obsess about technique. We quickly discover that we have to get good enough at technique that our pictures aren't limited by our technique.
Some people go down that long slippery slope of ever more technically perfect static pictures (which is viewed on this forum as being bad), while others never produce anything original enough that their vision overcomes their mediocre technique.
I do think that most of the really good photographers mastered technique (according to their natures) and now concentrate on the "vision" thing.
I've personally decided that "expose for the shadows and develop for the highlights" is good enough for me. I've picked my favorite film and paper and focal length. I've gotten past the pictures of the kids growing up stage. Now it's time to have fun working on getting past the mediocre vision thing, with the emphasis on the having fun part.
BTW, poor Aggie, she's like a teacher who gave multiple choice test and all the students wrote essays on the back!
Art is an object of no practical value or utilitarian use, that one person has manufactured, and then he or another person has hornswoggled an unwitting victim into thinking he needs. The price of this object is in direct relationship with the number of years since the maker left the planet.
Some people are just untrainable LOL.
But in keeping with the continuing morphing of this thread I will weight in on the "art" subject and how it relates to me.
I am of the firm opinion that once I start charging $1500 for a 20x24 then my stuff will suddenly become "art". Especially if I con some well heeled mouthy types into buying the stuff. They will make sure everyone thinks my stuff is art just so they don't look stupid for paying so much for my crap.
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blansky - I like your analogy to hockey. A friend of mine (Phil Perkis) once made the comment ".....sport is art without content...." Meaning just what you said , that the level of awarness at the moment of "creation" and in sport and art are the same.
How about this:
My dog puts nose prints on my windows and this is nose art.
A kid plasters paint on paper and this is kid art.
Farah Fawcett strips nude, covers herself in paint and rolls around on a big canvas, This is boob art.
A guy throws paint into the air and an aircraft propeller fires it onto a canvas and this is propeller art.
A guy paints soup cans really big. This is Warhol art.
A guy drapes fabric for miles across the countryside. This is landscape art.
Two lesbians make love on a pedestal. This is performance art.
A guy welds chunks of metal together. This is metal art.
I'm still thinking perhaps I'd rather be a craftsman.
How about craftsmanship + marketing = art
I think the nose art has potential. You should take a picture of it, of course placing the snot in zone VI, N- development and printed on fiber paper using split filtration.
Here we go again?
Well let's see...am I a technician. YES!!!! If you don't know what you are doing, how can you control what you are doing? How can you produce a work of art without full control of your craft? You can't. To shoot hundreds of negatives and produce hundreds of prints to produce a few works of questionable art is no different then cave art, petroglyths by primitives. Artists have to be in control.
Am I in a trance? Sometimes, I think, well, maybe... let me ask my shrink... He says yes, but only on rainy Mondays. So I only shoot on rainy Mondays. The other days I am in the darkroom.
Seriously, AA said what, the negative is the score and the print the performance? Having your mental capacities are essential for creativity. Ever listen to a symphoney where the conductor didn't know the score before a performance?
Do I just like what I do? Absolutely! I truly love photography. It is one of the most unique arts in existence.
So I gusss that my answer to the survey is; 1.yes, 2. sometimes-maybe-yes/no, when my analyst say so, 3. yes.
Time & tides wait for no one, especially photographers.