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  1. #21
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    My story?

    At the risk of bearing an "Ultra Liberal" label (Frankly, Scarlet - I DON'T give a damn!!), I choose NOT to be the ultimate, or even an intermediary in the "This Is Art - And That Isn't" crowd. I cannot define "art"; and whatever provisional definition I might pre-consciously harbor is liable to be vastly different (yeh, I can hear it now ... "half-vast) from someone else's.

    There is one path that seems to work very well for me - I call it the "Look - There is Another One On The Right" tactic. If I see something offensive or "not to my liking" , I'll remember that there is probably another one to its right, or left, or above, or in another room, or, or...
    and not waste what little energy I have bitching about that particular one.

    If someone else DID like it - or there was some kind of "swindle" or "con job" going on - passing off "crap" to an unsuspecting public ... That might not fit within *MY* frame of morality - but I can't remember anyone giving me the responsiblity, or more important - the authority - to do anything about it.

    Life is short. Too short to waste it in futility. I'll worry about my own work, I'll knock myself out, merely trying to satisfy the toughest, and pickyest critic of all ... myself. The others? They are certainly entitled to their opinions ... some of those could contain valuable information/ insights ...

    In the meantime, I'll abstain from agonizing over what others present - and turn my eyes to the infinite beauty that DOES exist in this world.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  2. #22
    Sean's Avatar
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    Robert, you should create some of this bogus art and sell the hell out of it. When you get your first Art Magazine interview, come clean and say that it's all crap, means nothing, and was done to prove the state of art in today's society, hehe. For your first work, I suggest purchasing 10 barbie dolls, melt all of their hair together into one big clump, then nail them to a rough sheet of plywood using railroad spikes. Do some paint splattering over them. Even better, urinate on them for maximum controversy. Title it "Perfection".

  3. #23

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    No...I think that won the Turner prize a few years back....

    Ed- What I find interesting is this -

    Some of these ummmmmm....."unique" pieces come out of the "anything can be art" definition. Fine. Decent philosophy. Thsi obviously came about as a response to "the norm".

    But now it seems that the "tyranny of the canvas" is over, and now we have "the tyranny of whatever-is-popular-with-six-guys-sitting-in-a-loft-in-SOHO".

    Gallery space will ALWAYS be limited. So something has to get the boot. But now it seems more and more that the boot is being given to anything that doesn't fit the "anything can be art, as long as my friend Jobert says it is art" mentality out there.

    Example -

    I have heard people COMPLAIN, yes, COMPLAIN, that a couple of years back, Jack Dykinga, David Muench and other Arizona nature shooters got an exhibit here and in Phoenix. It was "A TRAVESTY!" and the space should have been used for "real artists". But I asked these same people (some of whom SWORE that the whole exhibit was some sort of conspiracy by Arizona Highways Magazine), if Ansel Adams could be considered an art photographer I got a resounding "Of course!"

    Excuse me?

    What is the difference here? Besides some Quickloads and a propensity to use chromes instead of Double XX? They of course said "Ansel never went commercial."

    RIIIIIIIIIIGHT!

    Point being the people who rebeled against the tyranny of the old system have installed a new tyranny which dictates that your work must be "XXXXXX" and NEVER "YYYYYYYYY".
    And thus you get people who think Richard Prince is (and yes I have heard people say this), "A brilliant PHOTOGRAPHER" (no, he is just a clever thief), but the people who did the ads he steals from are all "sell-outs".

    How does that work?
    Official Photo.net Villain
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    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]DaVinci never wrote an artist's statement...[/FONT]

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
    My story?

    At the risk of bearing an "Ultra Liberal" label (Frankly, Scarlet - I DON'T give a damn!!), I choose NOT to be the ultimate, or even an intermediary in the "This Is Art - And That Isn't" crowd. I cannot define "art"; and whatever provisional definition I might pre-consciously harbor is liable to be vastly different (yeh, I can hear it now ... "half-vast) from someone else's.

    There is one path that seems to work very well for me - I call it the "Look - There is Another One On The Right" tactic. If I see something offensive or "not to my liking" , I'll remember that there is probably another one to its right, or left, or above, or in another room, or, or...
    and not waste what little energy I have bitching about that particular one.

    If someone else DID like it - or there was some kind of "swindle" or "con job" going on - passing off "crap" to an unsuspecting public ... That might not fit within *MY* frame of morality - but I can't remember anyone giving me the responsiblity, or more important - the authority - to do anything about it.

    Life is short. Too short to waste it in futility. I'll worry about my own work, I'll knock myself out, merely trying to satisfy the toughest, and pickyest critic of all ... myself. The others? They are certainly entitled to their opinions ... some of those could contain valuable information/ insights ...

    In the meantime, I'll abstain from agonizing over what others present - and turn my eyes to the infinite beauty that DOES exist in this world.
    Ed, very well stated. I agree with your sentiments in their entirety. I would rather make photographs that are suitable for display then to sit and idly pontificate about the sad state of the art world. Self pity is a terrible emotion.

  5. #25

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    robert:

    i showed some photos to a gallery in boston's south end. i had an audience with the husband of the owner, after spending about 1 1/2 hours with me discussing my technique &c he said " this is all nice, but it isn't art" .. he pointed to piles of balls / junk all over the floor ( i thought they were "cleaning the space" cause it looked like hell) and he told me "THIS ... IS ART" ... !
    that was probably 7-10 years ago, and it sounds like they are teaching the same BS at art school today ( i am sure the starved-artist - was taught how to walk the walk and talk the talk at the musuem school or wherever he / she graduated from)

    you should see if there is a class where the required reading is the emperor is wearing no clothes!

    it'll be over before you know it
    don't lose your sense of humor
    silver magnets, trickle tanks sold
    artwork often times sold for charity
    PM me for details

  6. #26

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    I can see it now....

    "For sale: Large warehouse space. Filled with various debris. Perfect to start gallery in. Just don't clean up!"

    And trust me there is no self-pity here....

    A lot of head shaking yes.......

    One has to wonder though if this is why the only "big draws" now are the older works like Van Gogh and such. Rarely do contemporary artists get good numbers. I mean "Family of Man" numbers. Possibly because what is out there is so removed from what average people experience and desire.

    Seriously. I would much rather see an APUG exhibit with all the work of people here than a bunch of resin coated Whopper boxes.

    I think I will get a bumper sticker that says "Too good to be considered an artist"
    Official Photo.net Villain
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    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]DaVinci never wrote an artist's statement...[/FONT]

  7. #27

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    about a year ago I was walking down an alley and looked in a dumpster as I passed buy, and it was about half filled with old law books, US code books, state code books etc. Probably a couple of hundred books, I suppose a law firm tossed them after getting updated versions. I took a picture and thought it was interesting. I showed the picture to a friend who is a contemporary painter and he mused that while the picture was interesting, think how much more so the actual dumpster and books on display would be.

    I think you need to blame the public as much as the artists and our 30 second sound bite, 500 edits in a 3 minute music video culture. No one has time to contemplate art or how it relates or enriches their lives. it has to hit them over the head in a sensationalist way. Or it has to be more entertainment on the level of child. I remember the publicity for some mechanical display in NY that duplicated a persons bodily functions. It was fed something and the end result was it defecated for the crowd. If I remember it was a big hit.

    IMHO most contemporary art is about laziness. It is easy to create art that is souless, dark and lacking any spirituality or hope. It is easy to recreate negativity and hopelessness because our society, especially in the west has adopted a form of moral relativism that sees moral and ethical outrages all around and just shrugs them off as business as usual.

    Suffice it to say, that if you look at the great artists and photographers, who explored the darkest subjects, they always displayed an element of hope and triumph of the human spirit. The best example in Eugene Smith's photo of the Japanese mother bathing her daughter who had been horribly deformed by industrial mercury poisoning. One could easily show just the deformities of such people and shock us, but Smith demonstrated the tragedy while also providing a scene of love and hope. I challenge you to find a a work of contemporary art that is as poignant and powerful as that single image.

  8. #28

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    The best example in Eugene Smith's photo of the Japanese mother bathing her daughter who had been horribly deformed by industrial mercury poisoning. One could easily show just the deformities of such people and shock us, but Smith demonstrated the tragedy while also providing a scene of love and hope. I challenge you to find a a work of contemporary art that is as poignant and powerful as that single image.
    Good point. I remember seeing that picture at the age of 11-12 in some back issue of Nat. Geo or something like that, and it made a HUGE impression on me. It was a simply incredible picture.

    Today I doubt it would get any recognition from the art world. It would probably be labeled as "commercial" since it was such a documentary piece of work. Irregardless of the fact that it is such an amazing piece. Personally I care less of where the image is from, and more about what it does. ANd I am tired of hearing how Annie Leibowitz is an artist, but anyone else who does commercial work is a "sell-out".

    I guess Vanity Fair doesn't pay her for those spreads.....
    Official Photo.net Villain
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    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]DaVinci never wrote an artist's statement...[/FONT]

  9. #29

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    Robert, I remember that photo well myself - it was from one of the Great mags of that time - LIFE. Back when we had real photo journalist. I can't remember if it was a cover shot or not, but that mag had a great impact on me and I really miss it. Funny, Black & White magazine seems to be the only one I can think of that has photos in the same class and it is for collectors.

    You are correct in there is a lot of crap out there going as art, but there are still real artist out there. Some are carving wood, some sculpture, some paint, some photograph. Blame it on the local art festivals, internet, media..we just see more of what DOES NOT APPEAL to us (and you wonder who it does) - just enjoy the artist You like, forget what others say - I still don't get why some people have to find some DEEP - HIDDEN meaning to each work of art....sometimes (most of the time in my mind) it is just what someone liked enough to record.

    Just my 2 cents...
    Mike C

    Rambles

  10. #30

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    I think we should all get together and hold a "Just Because" exhibit.

    Just stuff that was taken or done, "Just because we wanted to."

    Of ocurse we will be lynched outside a Chelsea gallery for this....
    Official Photo.net Villain
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    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]DaVinci never wrote an artist's statement...[/FONT]

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