Now, brother Murray ... so harsh!Originally Posted by MurrayMinchin
This question feels something like a test item in Art Appreciation 101 (I hate tests). Oh well, here goes!
I differ from a couple of the perspectives presented in this thread. First of all, I think it does matter "who" and second I think it matters "when" the image was taken. Of course we all "gut react" to an image, poem, novel, whatever art form, but to judge without context leaves us in the "the poem means whatever I want it to mean" camp.
Weston took this photograph in 1929 and while today it seems cliche, in 1929 it was not. Weston was a pioneer of the art form and was very much challenging the accepted tenants of the day - in fact in 1929 he was challenging the "style" that made him famous. In 1930, he said, "I want the stark beauty that the lens can so exactly render, presented without interference of "artistic effect." Now all reactions on every plane must come directly from the original seeing of the thing...only the rhythm, form and perfect detail to consider." In this light I don't think it matters if the print was a Weston original or one printed by Cole, it was a print that reflected the simple, detailed images, utilizing commonplace objects.
Now the question is, "Is this a good photograph", not "Do you like this photograph." I would postulate that the "goodness" of this photograph is very much related to the "period" in which the image was taken, and the intention of the photographer. To do other is to partake in a kind of artistic revisionism. So, while I don't particularly "like" the photograph, I think it is a "good" photograph.
Finally, it seems to me this question is ideal for a philosophical discussion.