Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
Some of the greatest breakers of tradition in art were highly schooled in the traditions of art before they decided to break them - look at early Picasso paintings for example. Or early Renoirs, or early ....
Noone lives in a vacuum, and of course everyone - like it or not - are influenced to some degree by those who came before, and as I stated, while some ideas can only come to those who have a fresh mind, true innovation often comes from those who can both understand history, traditions, contemporary and the avant garde.

Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
You've got to know the rules and conventions before you can break them successfully - otherwise you're just floundering around.
Innovation rarely - if ever - comes by breaking rules. It comes from exploring your subject, thoughts or ideas in a way that has never happened before.

Picasso's cubism wasn't invented to break rules, it was created to expand in the ideas of perspective to take the viewer furtherin to the subject through exploring several angles and points of view simultaneously.

Duchamp's readymades and Malevich's black square were not made to break the rules of what art is, but rather to explore what art can be and if and where the limits are.

Now, of course neither of those works of art and the advancement of the arts they contributed would have been possible without a certain understanding of the (then) contemporary art, but wether they studied early art history or not (I don't know), doesn't seem very relevant. They did know and fully understand the contemporary, and that seems way more relevant for their inventions.

Now, when it comes to photography, one problem, I think, is that since the history is so short, traditions are in a way held more important.

There is a lot of new and exciting photography being made today from artists who rather look to other art forms than early masters of photography, but as we photographers and lovers of great photography tend to be quite conservative, a lot of us tend to dismiss things that we can not trace back directly to the great old masters.

In this regard, I think the analog/digital shift can be quite healthy for photography. As the young digital artists of today have the opportunity to easier look to other art forms for inspiration than early photography, with all the crap that is produced, some good and innovative ideas will emerge.

I think that is well needed in the world of photography.