Nah. We here in APUG are part of that world and we would notice.
Originally Posted by TPPhotog
I checked you out. I think you are selling yourself short. You do good work.
Ed Sukach, FFP.
I think a big problem is that art in general moved into the idea-based modern and then post-modern art. During this stage we have seen the techniques and supplies drop to the point of a blank canvas being hung, but even that held pre-conceived notions which interfered with the ideas. So where do we go from the extreme of modern/post-modern art? In my opinion somewhere along the lines artists decided to become hack philosophers and now they are suffering. They have re-hashed all of the old arguments, but so far nothing new.... Either art will have to revert to a previous stage or something entirely new must happen. In speaking with art historians, artists, and academic artists (college professors and their ilk) they seem the same stagnation that jdef calls boring.
Let's see what I've got in the magic trash can for Mateo!
I feel like a potter spinning a wheel throwing a pot - nothing technicaly new in traditional pottery & photography. The digi revolution is a new medium that doesn't interest me from a personal self-expression point of view. I prefer working in the confines of traditional photography for the process of getting to the end result is as important as the final object. A fine print, like a well-made pot, has intrinsic value; and the craft & creativity of traditional photography will continue to be supported by those who can appreciate a fine art print. Nothing very earth-shattering or revolutionary, just enjoyable for the maker & hopefully for the viewer.
van Huyck Photo
"Progress is only a direction, and it's often the wrong direction"
Thank you Ed I'm honoured by your comments on my work. My work isn't exactly pushing the boundries though. I'll agree that one of the wonderful things about APUG is that we notice each other very much like in a physical community or even more so these days.
Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
Once I began to take seriously the process of building a body of work, the philosophical dilemma presented itself to me in very stark terms. Namely, do I emulate the masters of the past or seek to do something new? And if the latter, what?
Originally Posted by jdef
I came to the conclusion that the only intellectually honest thing to do is to place myself in locations which hold great spiritual and/or emotional power for me and simply see what I could see. Whatever results will be a reflection of my unique perspective. Whether or not others will respond to it is another matter.
My most pressing aesthetic struggle at the moment is with portraits. How do we reconcile the fact that by definition, the portrait is "about" the subject? (I mean it's tautological - you can make the person an effective part of the overall composition, but the basic focus is to represent the subject.) Ah, but I wax philosophical. Better we should start a new thread on that one.
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Sheesh Jay, I elicited just about as many questions on my answers as you originally posted questions.
No, I'm suggesting that you want to make war. I'm saying that these little fights between digitalis and analogues wouldn't be occurring if some people would quit perpetuating them, people on both sides of the argument. To me, there's nothing worth arguing/fighting about. There's simply far more important things in life. As you suggested, a lot of it may be the same old hardware snobbery that vexed a lot of film users. One may construe that the hardware snobs transcended from the 'Blads and Leicas to the digitals, so to speak.
I really have no idea where the medium is moving. I'm glad to see an ongoing interest in traditional B&W. I'm glad to see ongoing interest in LF. I'm especially glad if young persons are interested in one or the other or both. Outside of those two items, I haven't a clue. I'm one individual photographer in Kansas who couldn't care less what the movers and shakers on either coast do, say, or think about the movement of the medium.
Art schools are a pet peeve of mine. I think, and its just an opinion based upon many years of observation, that many art schools do their students a dis-service by convincing them that the righteous way of looking at the world is the way art school teaches it. That's a very myopic view but it does serve to maintain the flock, so-to-speak. I have always thought the purpose of education was to sharpen the mind, not turn it to mush. But again, just an opinion based upon many observations.
Painting used to be about representing the actual scene, such as landscape painting or portrait painting. After photography came on the scene painting was more free to slowly delve into more esoteric areas such as impressionism, abstract, and then the depth of pigment sitting atop the canvas and fields of solid color. Photography initially took the place of painting as a means of recording the scene, whether a portrait or pictures of faraway places. The portrait is still here, but with the modern ease of foreign travel this also took some of the burden off of photography and it has moved into the same areas as painting. Pretty much all of the arts have become vehicles for ideas which aren't easily accessible to those not within the art circle. Pop art was an attempt to break down this barrier, but even it was eventually categorized and laced with philosophic undertones by academia.
Originally Posted by jdef
If I knew to when we could revert without making the same "mistakes" then I would be writing a best selling book right now!
Jose Ortega y Gasset (Spanish philosopher) wrote The Dehumanization of Art, in which he referenced "dehumanization" to the emergence of the modern painting. He argued that the elimination of the human figure and human metaphors lead to the misguided belief that the quality of art is not based primarily on its content but on its form. Art had become idea-driven and was useless without understanding the notions behind the work. Instead he championed a phenomenological approach to art where the focus was on the content and art lied in its ability to let the artist investigate, disect, discover, and amaze at the thing (their subject) itself. This is very much in-line with the artistic approach (note: artistic approach does not equate to technical approach nor subject matter) of Edward Weston and is exemplified today (in my opinion) in Michael A. Smith and Paula Chamlee's approach to photography (whether they succeed is up to you, but I am speaking about the mindset behind the photography). Today the majority of art cannot be appreciated without prior knowledge of the ideas behind the work.
It is away from these idea-impregnated images that I am trying to take my own work. In my opinion a photograph is unsuccessful if it needs further explanation and the most universal language I can think of is emotion. Yes, it will always be translated wrong, but with my work I try to evoke emotion and stemming from this emotion thought and contemplation--but FREE thought and contemplation, I have no agenda or viewpoint I am trying to further! This is in contrast to my take on modern art where the aim is to skip the emotion and force specific ideas down the throat of the viewer.
Ortega also said that artists should be content to be artists and not try to be philosophers and prophets. Personally, if I want philosophy I will return to my extensive library and not to something like this:
This is what I was talking about as an unsuccessful photograph[s]; without the words at the opening web page these photos do nothing. I don't photograph to give myself something to write about, if I could write what I feel then I wouldn't need to photograph.
Let's see what I've got in the magic trash can for Mateo!
I think Wynn Bullock was quite prophetic here and its an example of what I see as the problem with the art schools. This sort of thing was in full force in 1975, the era when I was in college. Its been a good 30 years since so there are many who have never seen it any other way. And since the schools teach it this way, there are no checks nor balances since the opposing view point is marginalized by the academics who are, by definition and position, the ones who are moldng the young minds.
Originally Posted by c6h6o3
I say get away from the art schools. I'm not saying don't study art, but get a good education and learn to think independently and logically so that you develop good BS filters.
I'm not trying to hijack your thread Jay, but I think this is an influence that your questions touch on. I fully agree with Jim's response:
Whatever results will be a reflection of my unique perspective. Whether or not others will respond to it is another matter.
One doesn't get their without being able to think for one's self. That is something I believe is truly important.
Knowing a number of graduates from (only) one art school I think that they do sharpen the mind if only because they set goals that have to be achieved before moving on. A good school should have a balance between the technical and creative aspects of art, which is probably where many run into problems because this is a tall order. But I believe that someone is better off with an education in the long run if only because they are exposed to ideas that may not be available to them any other way. Unless someone can hook up with a great mentor, it is difficult for most to progress.
Originally Posted by Alex Hawley
alex said this, "Art schools are a pet peeve of mine. I think, and its just an opinion based upon many years of observation, that many art schools do their students a dis-service by convincing them that the righteous way of looking at the world is the way art school teaches it. That's a very myopic view but it does serve to maintain the flock, so-to-speak. I have always thought the purpose of education was to sharpen the mind, not turn it to mush. But again, just an opinion based upon many observations."
Lee said this, "Spoken like the engineer he is!" For me it is all right brain and left brain. Some got one and some got the other. One ain't more right than the other.