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In the Art World, is Photography still the poor cousin to painting and printmaking?

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Gaucho
Gaucho e2 Member 122260 forum postsGaucho vcard United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
9 Apr 2013 - 9:52 AM

I think he meant whether rather than weather.

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9 Apr 2013 - 9:52 AM

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keith selmes
9 Apr 2013 - 10:04 AM


Quote: what the weather has to do with being an artist

I think the rain makes your paints run ?
I was walking by Two Bridges on Dartmoor one day, by the old stone clapper bridge, there was a girl on a camp stool thing with her easel and paints, it was raining steadily and getting worse, there was a man rather smartly dressed standing just behind, holding an umbrella over her.
Essential accessory, man with umbrella.
I sometimes wonder why it was essential to brave the weather that day, and if she painted it as it was.

whatriveristhis
whatriveristhis e2 Member 164 forum postswhatriveristhis vcard England75 Constructive Critique Points
10 Apr 2013 - 10:04 PM

So Ansel Adams would point his finger and say to his assistants, " Photograph that." For him, as is well known, the creativity was all in the darkroom.
The Artist is the person who makes the choices, the creative decisions. Not the one who presses the button, wields the brush etc.

I've had a few exhibitions locally, nothing big, and there have been a few people who have admired my work and, meaning well, have said, " Wow! You must have a really good camera!" ( Of course, we all know that cameras don't take photographs- photographers take photographs ) I was always tempted, though politeness prevented me, to say, " If this was a painting, would you say '...You must have a really good brush!'?" .....or " It's not what you've got, it's what you do with it."

Many people, I feel, simply don't understand the creative process- that it's very much about choices and decisions, rather than artisan skill. And a good photographer with a 3Mp camera-phone will make a better photograph than an unimaginative chump with a Phase 1.
And so to answer the original question, in my opinion the answer, unfortunately, is still " Yes." Too many people still seem to think that photography isn't really Art because after all anyone can press a button. But that's a much smaller Yes than a few years ago. Cultural change of that kind takes a long time.

keith selmes
10 Apr 2013 - 10:45 PM


Quote: So Ansel Adams would point his finger and say to his assistants, " Photograph that."

Absolutely. And here is his assistant Smile
http://www.corbisimages.com/stock-photo/rights-managed/AD001376/burro-photograph...

lemmy
lemmy  71869 forum posts United Kingdom
10 Apr 2013 - 11:07 PM


Quote: Too many people still seem to think that photography isn't really Art

I don't think any medium is an art or not. There are artists. If someone has something unusual or original to say and can express it, whatever medium they use they will be an artist and make art.

We forget sometimes that the idea of art as something existing on its own as a milieu separate from other things and independant of the medium or the maker is a relatively recent one, Victorian in the UK. Previously, a great craftsman was considered an artist. For myself, I still go with that. Ansel Adams was that. So was Cartier-Bresson.

Nowadays, technology has taken over the craftsmanship and judgement of what is art is left high and dry. It would a be a pretty poor photographer nowadays, with modern equipment, who couldn't take a good picture now and again. I spent years training as photographer. It enabled me to earn a great living and retire at 55. With modern cameras the time I spent learning technique could be eliminated. With that has come the democratisation of the process. We can all be artists now but that his lowered the value of the medium as practised by most - not all -of us.

With my GH3 camera and a 12-35mm zoom, I can stick the camera on aperture priority and auto focus and never get a bad exposure or a fuzzy. Try that with a VN plate camera, no distance scale, no shutter speeds, a 135mm standard lens that gives you virtually no depth of field to mask mistakes and the physical impossibility of carrying more than a dozen slides rather than hosing down a subject in the likely hope of getting a good frame. If photography is an art just by being photography, then modern cameras make us all artists.

When the basic techniques necessary for a painter's technique can can be done by a silicon chip, painting will be devalued too.

whatriveristhis
whatriveristhis e2 Member 164 forum postswhatriveristhis vcard England75 Constructive Critique Points
10 Apr 2013 - 11:53 PM


Quote: Too many people still seem to think that photography isn't really Art

I don't think any medium is an art or not. There are artists. If someone has something unusual or original to say and can express it, whatever medium they use they will be an artist and make art.

We forget sometimes that the idea of art as something existing on its own as a milieu separate from other things and independant of the medium or the maker is a relatively recent one, Victorian in the UK. Previously, a great craftsman was considered an artist. For myself, I still go with that. Ansel Adams was that. So was Cartier-Bresson.

Nowadays, technology has taken over the craftsmanship and judgement of what is art is left high and dry. It would a be a pretty poor photographer nowadays, with modern equipment, who couldn't take a good picture now and again. I spent years training as photographer. It enabled me to earn a great living and retire at 55. With modern cameras the time I spent learning technique could be eliminated. With that has come the democratisation of the process. We can all be artists now but that his lowered the value of the medium as practised by most - not all -of us.

With my GH3 camera and a 12-35mm zoom, I can stick the camera on aperture priority and auto focus and never get a bad exposure or a fuzzy. Try that with a VN plate camera, no distance scale, no shutter speeds, a 135mm standard lens that gives you virtually no depth of field to mask mistakes and the physical impossibility of carrying more than a dozen slides rather than hosing down a subject in the likely hope of getting a good frame. If photography is an art just by being photography, then modern cameras make us all artists.

When the basic techniques necessary for a painter's technique can can be done by a silicon chip, painting will be devalued too.

Presumably then, you would consider that no child is capable of producing 'Art'?
Who says that photography is an art just by being photography?? I certainly didn't. It's a nonsensical statement.
" We can all be artists now." That is simply not true.
I know an amateur photographer who owns a Phase1, Nikon D3, Ebony field camera, Fuji 617, and Pentax 67. Plus a skip full of lenses. As you might guess, he has a very well paid job. In my opinion, some of his images are almost good enough to go on the lid of a biscuit tin. They are technically never less than competent, but they are invariably dull, repetitive, derivative, unimaginative and boring, and your eye just slides off them. They are certainly not 'Art' and have nothing to say about anything.

I can't help but think that you are confusing 'Art' with 'Artisan,' and 'Artist' with 'Craftsman.' Being a good craftsman will help an artist to be a better artist, but it certainly will not actually make him one in the first place. It's vision, imagination, and the need for self-expression that will do that. You won't get that from any silicon chip, so I don't think you need to worry about it devaluing anything. How do you feel about Hockney's iPad 'paintings'? He just moves a stylus around on a screen, and you don't need years of expensive training to do that, so maybe it's not Art. Or Picasso doing his 'light paintings' with a pen torch in front of a movie camera? Not too much of your 'technique' going on there- he used to just wave it around, after all. Anyone can do that,so it can't have been 'Art' ... or some smelly old Neanderthal ( or was it Cro-magnon?) in a cave with some crushed berries and a stick....where's the years of training and mastery of the medium there? Definitely not 'Art,' eh? .....etc .....etc.....etc

mikehit
mikehit  56457 forum posts United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
11 Apr 2013 - 8:57 AM


Quote: They are technically never less than competent, but they are invariably dull, repetitive, derivative, unimaginative and boring, and your eye just slides off them. They are certainly not 'Art' and have nothing to say about anything

And yet, any painted picture irrespective of its competence is considered 'art' (whether it is good or not is a different matter). Which basically supports the OPs contention that photography is judged by different standards.

lemmy
lemmy  71869 forum posts United Kingdom
11 Apr 2013 - 10:02 AM


Quote: I can't help but think that you are confusing 'Art' with 'Artisan,' and 'Artist' with 'Craftsman.

The distinction is a relatively modern one, as a matter of fact. The word art and artist derive from artisan, of course.

I think I didn't make myself clear. My statement 'we can all be artists now' is ironic. For myself, I have no interest whether someone is or is not considered an artist or whether a particular photograph or painting or whatever is 'art'. They are what they are, it is what it is. The words used about it don't change it. Interpretation is individual, my view will not be yours and vice versa.

Your use of Picasso and Hockney illustrate my point, not yours. Hockney did not just pick up an iPad and become an artist. Picasso did not wave a light pen around and become an artist. They were already accomplished artists or artisans before they did that. They had worked and learnt their craft, had they not?

I think where we differ is that I think that my years of experience and technical knowledge have taught me something valuable and I would not dismiss such knowledge and skill in the way you do. If you have imagination, the need for self-expression and all the other art world B******t words but no technical skills of any kind, how will you express that?

I feel sorry for that amateur photographer. You list all his cameras as if owning equipment were an affront (I don't have a clue what half of them are, by the way). He doesn't have a lot of lenses, he has a 'skip full' of them. His images are dismissed as 'almost good enough for a biscuit tin'. Worse, he 'has a well paid job'. His pictures are dull, unimaginative and boring'. Your eye 'slides off them'. They are 'not art' and have 'nothing to say about anything'.

Your onslaught on him doesn't so much make me doubt his ability as wonder what he did to you?

p.s. My agent once sold a picture of mine for a biscuit tin. It paid rather well and I was rather pleased. I think I know what to do Sad

keithh
keithh e2 Member 1023027 forum postskeithh vcard Wallis and Futuna33 Constructive Critique Points
11 Apr 2013 - 10:11 AM

I've said it before but a very well heeled Mayfair art dealer once said to me - "It's art when we say its art."

Pompous but it was actually true. Until it hangs in the right place, it's a painting, or a bit of sculpture or a photograph.

whatriveristhis
whatriveristhis e2 Member 164 forum postswhatriveristhis vcard England75 Constructive Critique Points
11 Apr 2013 - 10:43 AM


Quote: They are technically never less than competent, but they are invariably dull, repetitive, derivative, unimaginative and boring, and your eye just slides off them. They are certainly not 'Art' and have nothing to say about anything
And yet, any painted picture irrespective of its competence is considered 'art' (whether it is good or not is a different matter). Which basically supports the OPs contention that photography is judged by different standards.

I think that's maybe a case of the words 'art' and 'painting' being interchangeable in many people's minds. People often say 'artist' when what they actually mean is 'painter.'

lemmy
lemmy  71869 forum posts United Kingdom
11 Apr 2013 - 11:37 AM


Quote: Pompous but it was actually true. Until it hangs in the right place, it's a painting, or a bit of sculpture or a photograph

Marcel Duchamp's point exactly when he placed a urinal in an art gallery with the title 'Fountain'.

The one thing I've learnt is that my opinion on something doesn't make something art or not art. It's one more opinion among many.

Robert crumb was very phlegmatic when his work, regarded for nearly all of his life as being simply cartoons, became fashionable and expensive and was taken up in galleries and sold as art. As he said, his work was the same in a gallery as it was in a magazine. If it was art now, it was art then. Nothing had changed except the propensity of the viewers to spout piffle about it.

whatriveristhis
whatriveristhis e2 Member 164 forum postswhatriveristhis vcard England75 Constructive Critique Points
11 Apr 2013 - 11:46 AM

Lemmy:

'The distinction is a relatively modern one.' Yes. I know that. As a matter of fact. Does that make it any less valid?
Hockney and Picasso: What you say is true. Obviously. But Picasso's study of Goya and the other 'Masters', and his early mastery of life-drawing, have little practical bearing, I feel, on the creative decisions he made when he 'performed' his light-paintings. Similarly, it's Hockney's 'eye' that produces his iPad pieces, more than his considerable brush skills. In my opinion.
You speak of not making yourself clear. I almost wonder whether you are choosing, with a rather superior tone, to deliberately miss my point. Which would be very perverse. I did not dismiss anything, I said, and continue to assert, that technique does not make an 'artist,' it makes a craftsman, a distinction you seem unwilling to accept, possibly for being 'modern.'

The amateur photographer did not do anything to me, other than offend me with his know-it-all arrogance.....?.... He does not merit further discussion.

This could go on and on. I notice you do not actually have a portfolio. Will we ever get to see any of your commercially successful images, the 'fruits' of your ' years of experience and technical knowledge'? You place so much emphasis on that, and have provided us with an impressive litany of your past achievements. Of course I appreciate that this site doesn't pay. Not like biscuit tins.

keithh
keithh e2 Member 1023027 forum postskeithh vcard Wallis and Futuna33 Constructive Critique Points
11 Apr 2013 - 12:24 PM

It would take you about three seconds to find David's (lemmy) work, if you care to look. Wink

lemmy
lemmy  71869 forum posts United Kingdom
11 Apr 2013 - 2:06 PM


Quote: Of course I appreciate that this site doesn't pay. Not like biscuit tins.

Don't knock biscuit tins. I have one one with the Mona Lisa on the lid. If biscuit tins are good enough for Leonardo, they are good enough for me.

What amazes me is that Leonardo foresaw the invention of decorative lids for the 'stannum bis coctum', as it was known during the Renaissance and made a painting ready for when it came about. But da Vinci was always ahead of his time in such ways.

If you like, send me a few of your pictures and I'll pass them on a mate of mine who works in the art department at McVitie's. You never know and there's a few quid in it for you if you strike lucky.

Gaucho
Gaucho e2 Member 122260 forum postsGaucho vcard United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
11 Apr 2013 - 3:57 PM

You are a card Mr Thorpe Wink

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