Quote Originally Posted by mannbro View Post
Innovation rarely - if ever - comes by breaking rules.
Tell that to Steve Jobs

Quote Originally Posted by mannbro View Post
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.
I don't know about Duchamp and Malevich but I do know Picasso was an academic painter, trained in a formal art school setting, and as such he would have had art history even if only indirectly. And Cubism was certainly a rejection of contemporary standards and rules - it may have been an exploration of seeing multiple planes in a flat 2-dimensional representation, but that in itself is a wholesale break from the past where realism was a requirement, as was the shifting color palette that ran equally unrealistic.

The same was true of Impressionism - it marked a wholesale break from academic painting in that it represented the real world, not heroic ideals, and it represented it as the artists FELT it, not as the camera would see it.

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.
I agree in general, although I think we're at a watershed moment where "photography" is actually disappearing, or at least breaking off into photography and a new, as-yet-defined medium. Digital art may begin from photographs, but it goes so far beyond the photograph I think it's a disservice to both to keep calling it photography. Good for the art world? Certainly. Good for photography? yet to be determined.