Quote Originally Posted by Sparky
I think there IS some truth to this statement - but I also think that people tend not to understand the way in which they are constantly being given context for things. Perhaps you're just starting to get interested in photography - and you hear about this cat "ansel adams" and "how great he is"... "a true master". Well, I think you're probably going to bring a whole different set of assumptions to looking at an adams photo with this in mind rather than not. Not only that - but I think that people probably have a whole lot more reverence and reserving of opinion towards images that are constantly foisted on us by what we perceive to be 'authority' than not. There are millions of ways in which we're constantly being 'trained', not just towards visual images, but towards EVERYTHING in our lives. I think that starting to be aware of this fact will make you a far better photographer, among other things.
But by constantly have things jammed down our throats, I think that people actually become cynical and rebellious against what is "good". Your exampe of AA is true, in that a lot of people revere him but almost anybody old enough to form opinions these days, will quickly made a judgement pro or con about not his work, but a given picture.

I don't think we should judge anybody's body of work per se. We should judge a given picture. Just because he's AA, doesn't mean he walks on water. There should be no free passes. Either it can stand alone or not.

If I were an "artist" I wouldn't want my pictures in any type of grouping. Not in a book or a gallery. It lessens the impact of any given picture. Granted there is commerce involved. But I would want every picture to be it's own experience and not something to be compared to something else.