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  1. #21
    dpurdy's Avatar
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    Art is not a level of quality nor is it for others to proclaim real or not real. If an artist is working with his own concept and his own aesthetic and says it is his art then it is. You don't have to like it but you can't tell an artist that his art isn't art. I didn't read where he said it was art because it was photography. I think I see what this guy is trying to do and I think it is mixing abstract expressionist concepts with bland views of bland places. Doesn't appeal to me and doesn't particularly inspire me but if he is showing it, it must be to some degree successful for him.

  2. #22
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    In my head the one aspect that distinguishes "snapshots" from "art" is the amount of thought and planning that is happening before the shutter gets pulled. I think we can all agree that nobody drags out an 8x10 around and goes around willy-nilly burning through film. Whether it is good or bad is an entirely different arguement. You may not agree with it, you may not like it but there is no denying that some significant thought took place with regards to why that particular door frame, particular stop light was included or excluded from the frame. Even in my own work, I never just put the camera to my face and snap, I think about it - any of us that care about what we do will -unless your entire concept was to not think about it - but Oops! you just did. lol

    Also, I think its especially important to not isolate one photo and view it as an solitary piece, but rather understand the overall concept that the artist/photographer was exploring and how that photo fits into it. I'm not terribly familiar with this particular series but I would be willing to bet my paycheck that Stephen had a very distinct idea that he was going after.

    Finally, I went through this very discussion ("why is this art") myself with Stephen's work a few years back -though with a differnt set of images. I remember being distinctly annoyed that he was famous for this? But after reading more into his work - working in color (Gasp!) and very consciously working with "non-artistic" subjects and just in general bucking tradition. I soon found myself viewing parking lots and gas stations and other distinctly plain things in a completely different way. I don't like all of his work but I have an enormous amount of respect for what he did and what it has done to me as a "see-er." I think if any artist, regardless of media, can get you to change the way you look at or think about something, then the effort was enormously successful.

    Sorry if thats long - I love to discuss these philosophy of art issues :-)
    "There is no such thing as objective reality in a photograph"

    My flickr and (gasp!) dpug photos - take a look if you like.

  3. #23

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    Regardless of media, regardless of price tags, and regardless of artists' names, ART, to me, inspire me, make me think, and give something beyond what's clearly shown.

    There are many pieces internationally recognized as fine art and shown through out the world that aren't art to me. On the other hand, I create art that no one wants to see....

    The pieces on posted link aren't art TO ME.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  4. #24

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    It is art when you call it art. It is all a matter of taste.

  5. #25

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    Whether a photo or anything is art or a snapshot is in the eye of the beholder. We all decide for ourselves, whether it's art or a snapshot, including the person taking the photo.

  6. #26

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    What Makes it Art? I've always thought "Critics" or " Community Acceptance". Controversy could also play a part which is being proven here. The quality of tool used should be moot, it only affects the resolution of subject matter.

    I have been watching this forum for a long time and only recently joined and I find some hypocracy to those who shoot film then scan and print the negative. Is this analog simply because you use a film camera then digitally finish the process? and tell me honestly you never digitally manipulated a print beyond that which you can reproduce in a darkroom? I looked at Shore's photo's and find them quite interesting.
    For those on the forum who apparently and simply like to argue, I await the incoming volley of arrows, but don't expect me to engage.

  7. #27

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    It may well be that as you develop as a photographer, and the more in depth you look at the history and advancement of photography then you may well understand why the Stephen Shore images have an importance, to call these images snapshots,whilst being fully entitled to your own opinion, might well run the risk of appearing a touch ill informed . It might help put the work in context to look at his book uncommon places, then move on to new topographics , the Dusseldorf school of photography, and William Eggleston . To simply decry work that you might not fully understand could be best described as unfortunate.

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by perkeleellinen View Post
    My Grandmother takes snapshots: one roll of 24exp lasts a year. She makes some artistic decisions along the way: should she point the camera here or there, that flower or this one, is the scene worthy of a photograph? She decides based on what looks best; then when she takes the film to the chemist to be printed, the assistant asks her: matt or gloss? When she chooses she makes another artistic decision based on what looks best.

    Thanks for setting things straight...I'll never look at that Picasso fella the same way anymore...

  9. #29
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    Shore (and others) are loosely grouped into the New Topographics ...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Topographics

    Visual arguments aside (whether we think something LOOKS good enough to be art, subjectively) the Topographics were responding to what came before them, mainly but not only the gorgeous landscapes of Ansel Adams, etc. All artistic expression is a reaction to something ... either other art, beauty, the world, emotion... whatever ...

    Whether one likes a certain style is another thing but the New Topographics did have a unique statement to make about landscape and how it is recorded by the camera. I've always enjoyed this type of work. Robert Adams has always been heavy on my bookshelf, I like his work a lot.

  10. #30
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent Frazzetta View Post
    ...Starting at the bottom of the photograph we have three small rectangles laid on two larger squares of different tones...
    Vincent, it sounds like you might be onto something here. Your explanations make sense. There is a lot of geometry and tension in these photographs.

    I can't imagine a regular person taking snapshots would ever lift camera to eye in any of these places.

    Uncomfortable, eerie stuff

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