Quote Originally Posted by Allen Friday View Post
I think there have always been people who are truly interested in the arts, and they will study the technique and the history. There are also a lot of people who will dabble in photography or watercolor or pottery. They will not do the hard work to become really good.

The issue then is why do the young people David is meeting think they are artists?

I speculate that the barriers to declaring oneself an artist have been lessened by the new technology—especially in photography.
Amen to that. I think this post summarizes the dynamic almost perfectly. Of course there are and will continue to be young people who get interested in the history of an art, and many more who don't, and some who don't when they're young and come round to it later, and all that. The difference isn't, I think, that there are fewer people interested in photographic history---it's just that even the people who are uninterested have cameras!

And now, thanks to the internet, they have not only cameras but gallery walls, and plenty of people with no particular interest in or knowledge of the history of photography can nevertheless have their images seen by worldwide audiences---who, it turns out, are suckers for a colorful gimmick and little interested in extended thoughtful analysis. Plus ca change and all that.

Why, it's as if any kid who wanted to could buy one of those electrical guitars and start a band, without ever even having heard of Django Reinhardt! (And that particular artistic sea-change worked out pretty well, I think, although I suppose there are those who would argue that the rock-and-roll democratization of musicianship ruined music for all time.)