Luminous Landscape Forum

The Art of Photography => But is it Art? => Topic started by: Stuarte on March 09, 2008, 04:24:14 PM

Title: Award-winning photography? Help me out here
Post by: Stuarte on March 09, 2008, 04:24:14 PM
Recently someone drew my attention to the work of a new young photographer, Yusuf Ozkizil (http://www.ozkizil.com/about.shtml).  He's been getting a lot of coverage, and good luck to him.

Looking at the photos, I realised there was something I wasn't "getting".  I could understand well enough why he had taken the photos, but I couldn't understand why, out of all the gazillions of photos out there, Yusuf's have been singled out for such a lot of coverage.

I'm really not interested in criticizing this photographer, or current photographic styles.   I'm keen to understand what it is that I'm not getting about this and similar photos.
Title: Award-winning photography? Help me out here
Post by: michael on March 09, 2008, 05:13:37 PM
It's simple – the man can see.

He has a strong sense of design and colour as well as a keen sense of the absurd.

It would take a detailed analysis to provide examples and explanations, requiring more time and space than are available here. My suggestion is that if you truly can't see what separates Ozkizil's work from the ordinary you might wish to do some studying up on art and design.

Thanks for bringing him to my attention.

Michael
Title: Award-winning photography? Help me out here
Post by: TMcCulley on March 10, 2008, 01:31:05 AM
Quote
It's simple – the man can see.

Thanks for bringing him to my attention.

Michael
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=180266\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I would bet there has been some serious marketing going on also.  Talent and skill in an artistic endevor is not enough there must be a serious attempt to market the results by someone if not the artist.

Tom
Title: Award-winning photography? Help me out here
Post by: Rob C on March 10, 2008, 11:57:45 AM
Yes, as Michael points out, the man can see. But is that really enough? Many people see and even remark on these sorts of visual experiences but do not think them worth the bother of photographing.

Worse, when you get down to a graffito or, rather, the photographing of one, are you not then simply copying another person´s art? Is there any value to your re-representation of it beyond the dubious one of plagiarism?

I have done some of this kind of photography too, and all that I can honestly claim for the experience is that, at the time, I am fully and painfully aware that I am but following where millions have already shuffled. Not the most exhilarating thing one can do with a camera. But, and this is where the thing can work, could you but find a way of incorporating the same subject within something that is more than just the subject, something that takes it to a newer place, a greater level of complication or of higher significance, let´s say, then yes, do it. But I don´t believe I see much of that on this particular site. Rather, it seems to me to be not a lot more than a simple reporting of what exists, in which case, so what? It may well be that there is a godfather somewhere in the background, as someone wondered, but if so, that is a commercial factor and not an artistic validation; an artistic manipulation would be more to the point.

In fact, is there a single area in the oeuvre that has not already been done to death, taking us dangerously close to another recent thread about the creativity/vision of today´s photographers?

Actually, I find the entire design/graphics/layout of the site a little ugly, if not perfectly in tune with the subject matter. I am not tempted to return.

Ciao - Rob C
Title: Award-winning photography? Help me out here
Post by: Provokot on March 11, 2008, 01:06:08 PM
Quote
I would bet there has been some serious marketing going on also.  Talent and skill in an artistic endevor is not enough there must be a serious attempt to market the results by someone if not the artist.

Tom
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=180341\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I think you are right. Good artists need to market themselves - or get people to do it for them. That's how they get shown in the better galleries etc.

I have always believed that some of the greatest people in any endeavour, be it sport, music, art, writing whatever remain largely undiscovered. Those who market themselves properly rise to the top.  Maybe this deprives us of the "best of the best" but hey, we don't know of them, do we?
Title: Award-winning photography? Help me out here
Post by: Stuarte on March 11, 2008, 01:32:14 PM
I'm not sure about marketing - although I could find out.  

Perhaps more to the point, it's important to have fans and advocates.  In fact a recommendation from someone whose opinion you trust carries a lot more weight than a stack of marketing.
Title: Award-winning photography? Help me out here
Post by: TMcCulley on March 13, 2008, 02:07:55 AM
Quote
I'm not sure about marketing - although I could find out. 

Perhaps more to the point, it's important to have fans and advocates.  In fact a recommendation from someone whose opinion you trust carries a lot more weight than a stack of marketing.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=180632\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Sturate,

Marketing is a very important business activity that is not the same thing as advertising.  That recommendation you refered to is just one marketing tool you can use.  Marketing as  a business activity is more about planning, selecting the tools and methods and measuring the results of you plan.  Effective marketing can be very complex as required by a large company or very simple fulfilling the needs of a small organization.

From the above statement it seems that you want to use word of mouth as your only marketing tool but this is unreliable and slow and needs to be augmented with other marketing stratagies.  Yes, Fans and Advocates are important to any business but marketing gives you the tools to find or develop those Fans and Advocates because they do not just appear to "oh" and "ah" your latest print as it falls out of the printer.

Just take a look around this web site and you will see several marketing stratagies being used by Michael to promote his products and his skills.

Tom
Title: Award-winning photography? Help me out here
Post by: Phinius on March 20, 2008, 01:44:44 PM
I wasn't crazy about Michael's response either because I don't think telling me that Mr. Ozkizil can see and has a sense of design, color and the absurd explains much. At the risk of sounding stuffy, I don't see how his work forwards the artistic discussion at all. What is new about taking photographs of other art or people/places that might show up in any tourist's collection of vacation shots? I think photography suffers from much of what has created the chaos in the art world more generally: poorly articulated criteria for what constitutes worthwhile art. Irony has been the mode of most 20th Century art and I for one am tired of it.

This email chain also brings up the general question most of us are interested in, which is how to get exposure for our work, specifically? Are there leading Galleries that anyone outside of New York or Los Angeles can introduce themselves to? I live in Austin, Texas--we may be the live music capital, but the galleries here leave much to be desired.

Ron Johnson
violetcrowhphotographs.com

Quote
Yes, as Michael points out, the man can see. But is that really enough? Many people see and even remark on these sorts of visual experiences but do not think them worth the bother of photographing.

Worse, when you get down to a graffito or, rather, the photographing of one, are you not then simply copying another person´s art? Is there any value to your re-representation of it beyond the dubious one of plagiarism?

I have done some of this kind of photography too, and all that I can honestly claim for the experience is that, at the time, I am fully and painfully aware that I am but following where millions have already shuffled. Not the most exhilarating thing one can do with a camera. But, and this is where the thing can work, could you but find a way of incorporating the same subject within something that is more than just the subject, something that takes it to a newer place, a greater level of complication or of higher significance, let´s say, then yes, do it. But I don´t believe I see much of that on this particular site. Rather, it seems to me to be not a lot more than a simple reporting of what exists, in which case, so what? It may well be that there is a godfather somewhere in the background, as someone wondered, but if so, that is a commercial factor and not an artistic validation; an artistic manipulation would be more to the point.

In fact, is there a single area in the oeuvre that has not already been done to death, taking us dangerously close to another recent thread about the creativity/vision of today´s photographers?

Actually, I find the entire design/graphics/layout of the site a little ugly, if not perfectly in tune with the subject matter. I am not tempted to return.

Ciao - Rob C
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=180422\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Title: Award-winning photography? Help me out here
Post by: larkvi on March 21, 2008, 02:16:31 PM
Ron, while I don't think Michael's response was terribly helpful, neither do I think any of it is incorrect. The discussed photography has a good sense of the absurd and how the elements of an image fit together to make a really nice whole. My question, going back to the original questioner, is what exactly separates him from the hordes of other clever photographic commentators on the absurd contrasts of everyday life which I often come across on flickr or through other photo sites, who are not receiving press.

I don't think the technical value of the photography is really it--the processing seems overdone and awkward in a lot of cases, and a lot of photos look like they would enlarge poorly. The Lick of Paint gallery is a bit trite, and the Overground gallery is rather uneven. The underground galleries (Underground and Surreal Line), however, really show a clear artistic vision coupled with a sense of the absurd and a sense of humor. The faces looking in the wondows and watching people on the benches really has both a surreal and slighly menacing aspect. Again, I think there are a lot of people working in similar veins with the same level of skill at seeing; in this context, the point about marketing makes a lot of sense. If a lot of people are doing good work in a similar vein, it is whoever is noticed that is going to receive the accolades.
Title: Award-winning photography? Help me out here
Post by: Phinius on March 21, 2008, 08:35:03 PM
I agree with you. I guess I should have said someone deserves special recognition if they do something original and do it well. Its hard to judge photos on the web, but your comments seem spot on. The only additional point I would make is that even if they were technically perfect, I see nothing terribly original here.

Ron
violetcrownphotographs.com

Quote
Ron, while I don't think Michael's response was terribly helpful, neither do I think any of it is incorrect. The discussed photography has a good sense of the absurd and how the elements of an image fit together to make a really nice whole. My question, going back to the original questioner, is what exactly separates him from the hordes of other clever photographic commentators on the absurd contrasts of everyday life which I often come across on flickr or through other photo sites, who are not receiving press.

I don't think the technical value of the photography is really it--the processing seems overdone and awkward in a lot of cases, and a lot of photos look like they would enlarge poorly. The Lick of Paint gallery is a bit trite, and the Overground gallery is rather uneven. The underground galleries (Underground and Surreal Line), however, really show a clear artistic vision coupled with a sense of the absurd and a sense of humor. The faces looking in the wondows and watching people on the benches really has both a surreal and slighly menacing aspect. Again, I think there are a lot of people working in similar veins with the same level of skill at seeing; in this context, the point about marketing makes a lot of sense. If a lot of people are doing good work in a similar vein, it is whoever is noticed that is going to receive the accolades.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=183272\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Title: Award-winning photography? Help me out here
Post by: russell a on April 12, 2008, 10:09:22 PM
My advice is to cease trying to make sense of your work in terms of the high-end art photography marketplace.  Understand that works that sell in the 5-6 figure range are the product of a well tuned marketing process.  In simplified terms:

Say you are a top-selling gallery owner.  You:

1)  select an artist, any artist.  It does not matter.  (see below)
2)  weave a back story (a narrative that allows you to communicate some reason why this artist is interesting).  Keep the narrative simple and, if it will play well at a cocktail party, that's a plus.
3)  choose from your list of potential buyers who have significant disposable income. Having such a list is the vital component.
4)  work with the buyer's tax consultant to set up their purchases as a good financial investment
5)  obtain the cooperation of important museums and critics by cutting them in on ground-floor opportunities to profit as well
6)  drive up the price of the artist's work by seeing that they sell for inflated prices at auction houses.  If necessary, rig the auctions to insure they have the appearance of real increased worth.
7)  while the above process is percolating, the buyer can show off their work to their friends, use the artist as an exotic accessory at their parties, have exhibits with their name prominent at the complicit museums, etc.  (Or, if more convenient, simply warehouse it.)
8)  donate the works to the museums and harvest the tax benefits.
9)  once the cycle is complete the artist may be discarded if they no longer serve the criterion below



Selecting the artist:

Base your choice on a combination of:

1)  the individual's back-story (e.g. bizarre class, ethnic, or sub-cultural features)
2)  sexual attractiveness/complicity
3)  in some cases the ability to help capitalize the original investment is good (trust fund holders)

Remember that the art market has no regulatory body equivalent to the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Also, it is your efforts at spinning the narratives and making the deal that are important.  You can do this with any work at all; the supply side is irrelevant.  

There you have it.  It is unlikely that the above is relevant to your work.  So quit being concerned with it.
Title: Award-winning photography? Help me out here
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on April 12, 2008, 10:23:34 PM
And that is exactly how THIS GUY (http://boyofblue.com/cameras.html) came to be regarded as an "artist"...
Title: Award-winning photography? Help me out here
Post by: Digiteyesed on April 12, 2008, 10:35:44 PM
Quote
I would bet there has been some serious marketing going on also. Talent and skill in an artistic endevor is not enough there must be a serious attempt to market the results by someone if not the artist.

I'd also like to thank the original poster for bringing this artist to my attention. As to how word is spreading so fast, well, I just e-mailed this to over forty of the photographers that I regularly correspond with. I know that quite a few of them will forward it on to more. Viral marketing, as it were.
Title: Award-winning photography? Help me out here
Post by: jjj on April 13, 2008, 11:53:31 AM
Quote
And that is exactly how THIS GUY (http://boyofblue.com/cameras.html) came to be regarded as an "artist"...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=189106\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
You happen to personally know his circumstances and everything else then? Substantiate the claim, as you always demand others to do so on technical matters. Otherwise comments like this are simply prattling gossip.
BTW at least he is doing something different and possibly quite original with the cameras.  Gotta give some kudos for that at least.
Title: Award-winning photography? Help me out here
Post by: papa v2.0 on April 13, 2008, 12:15:26 PM
love the ones on the tube. well observed. not seen pics like this before . is it a first?
 ive sat there many a time and not noticed what he has seen. ill need to keep an eye out the next time im on the victoria line and the circle line.
Title: Award-winning photography? Help me out here
Post by: jjj on April 13, 2008, 12:19:14 PM
Quote
love the ones on the tube. well observed. not seen pics like this before . is it a first?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=189224\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
No.
Title: Award-winning photography? Help me out here
Post by: Stuarte on April 13, 2008, 12:21:05 PM
Quote
Sturate,

From the above statement it seems that you want to use word of mouth as your only marketing tool but this is unreliable and slow and needs to be augmented with other marketing stratagies.  Yes, Fans and Advocates are important to any business but marketing gives you the tools to find or develop those Fans and Advocates because they do not just appear to "oh" and "ah" your latest print as it falls out of the printer.

Just take a look around this web site and you will see several marketing stratagies being used by Michael to promote his products and his skills.

Tom
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=181024\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Tom, my original post was an honest question about the work of the photographer.  

As to myself, I'm not interested in marketing my own work - financially it wouldn't be worth the time and trouble.  In the greater scheme of things it's not good enough to market, and my "day job" takes far too much time for me to invest the necessary time to get it good enough.  In my own field I'm exceptional, but in photography I'm just another guy with a camera and a computer.
Title: Award-winning photography? Help me out here
Post by: JDClements on April 13, 2008, 06:35:41 PM
Quote
And that is exactly how THIS GUY (http://boyofblue.com/cameras.html) came to be regarded as an "artist"...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=189106\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

His camera creations are fantastic works of art, in my opinion.
Title: Award-winning photography? Help me out here
Post by: Roscolo on April 19, 2008, 01:10:45 PM
Quote
Recently someone drew my attention to the work of a new young photographer, Yusuf Ozkizil (http://www.ozkizil.com/about.shtml).  He's been getting a lot of coverage, and good luck to him.

Looking at the photos, I realised there was something I wasn't "getting".  I could understand well enough why he had taken the photos, but I couldn't understand why, out of all the gazillions of photos out there, Yusuf's have been singled out for such a lot of coverage.

I'm really not interested in criticizing this photographer, or current photographic styles.   I'm keen to understand what it is that I'm not getting about this and similar photos.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=180257\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

"He's been getting a lot of coverage..."  Strange, I can't really find much coverage at all via Google, but I guess we can give him some coverage here.

Interesting photos. Good eye. Not that terribly unique, not unlike work I've seen on the walls of the local university art school, but doesn't have to be unique to be successful. Some of the photos are a little cliche', particularly the shots of words and signs, but there's no crime in that either. I like the snapshot ethic, but the vast majority of the individual images don't have staying power for me, meaning they are enjoyable to look at sequentially or as a group, but I see very few of his images that I would want to have on a wall to appreciate over time. That may be why his images are perhaps better suited for advertising, where it's all about the quick grab of the eye and then it's over. That's not a criticism, just a point of distinction.

Will be interesting to see how his work changes over time.

For work that has a similar snapshot ethic, but far more depth and emotion (and sexuality) check the outstanding work of Nan Goldin. Not really a good comparison, Goldin is more of a documentary photographer who knows many of her subjects intimately and Yusuf looks to be a prototypical street photographer, but for some reason looking at Yusuf's photos made me pull a couple of Nan Goldin's books off my bookshelf just now. Having looked at Goldin's photography, even her blurry landscapes from the 90's, really puts Yusuf's photos in perspective. Yusuf's work is interesting from a design point of view, but completely undeveloped, as it should be as he has only been photographing a couple of years. Goldin's work has incredible staying power, individually and as a group. I can revisit one of Goldin's images again and again after seeing it for many years now. I don't find many of Yusuf's images that have that level of appeal, and again, that's not really a criticism as he is just beginning his photographic career.
Title: Award-winning photography? Help me out here
Post by: Roscolo on April 19, 2008, 01:36:16 PM
Quote
And that is exactly how THIS GUY (http://boyofblue.com/cameras.html) came to be regarded as an "artist"...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=189106\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks for the link...these are outstanding works, not just the pinhole cameras but the photos as well.

I especially like the cameras constructed from the skulls. I operate a gallery and had an exhibit a few years ago where a figurative ceramic artist constructed figures from clay here at the gallery. Some of the figures heads she constructed to be pinhole cameras as well, and she made remarkable pinhole photographs of the "view" from each figure.
Title: Award-winning photography? Help me out here
Post by: mnoble on May 23, 2008, 08:02:01 AM
We will always find ourselves "not getting it" with regard to some other photographer's work. Every artist has their own vision and they will speak to a certain part of the general audience and not to others.

As a photographer who is a devotee of B&W images I would love to have my own gallery opening and be considered and singled out in the "Fine Art" world of photography. I constantly look at others work, especially in such publications as B&W Magazine. And I will always find work that leaves me muttering and wondering if I am just too old to appreciate someone's avant garde style. Other's work just knocks me out. I get it and appreciate it and am awed by it.

Such is art. Completely subjective. And the comments about marketing and promotion are correct as well. The artist needs representation.

Just my two cents.
Title: Award-winning photography? Help me out here
Post by: gr82bart on June 07, 2008, 01:03:16 PM
Hmmm ... if I don't like Pintos then I can say it's not a car. I'm starting to get the logic in this website's membership.

Regards, Art.
Title: Award-winning photography? Help me out here
Post by: thodges on December 04, 2008, 11:10:01 AM
This guy is an artist, whereas many are just photographers.  There is a distinct difference, which many photographers do not get, possibly because they view the world around them differently.  Ultimately, photography is unimportant, it is just the medium which this artist has chosen to portray his artistic vision.  It's that artistic vision which is paramount.

Thanks also for bringing his name to my attention, as aside from being a fellow artist, I am also a collector myself and would certainly consider investing in some of Yusuf's work.


Quote from: Stuarte
Recently someone drew my attention to the work of a new young photographer, Yusuf Ozkizil (http://www.ozkizil.com/about.shtml).  He's been getting a lot of coverage, and good luck to him.

Looking at the photos, I realised there was something I wasn't "getting".  I could understand well enough why he had taken the photos, but I couldn't understand why, out of all the gazillions of photos out there, Yusuf's have been singled out for such a lot of coverage.

I'm really not interested in criticizing this photographer, or current photographic styles.   I'm keen to understand what it is that I'm not getting about this and similar photos.
Title: Award-winning photography? Help me out here
Post by: WalterHawn on December 04, 2008, 01:57:38 PM
Quote from: gr82bart
... if I don't like Pintos then I can say it's not a car.
No,no,no!  A Pinto was a car, even a pretty good car in some contexts.  Now, the Vega -- that was not a car.
Title: Award-winning photography? Help me out here
Post by: bill t. on December 05, 2008, 02:55:23 AM
Quote from: WalterHawn
No,no,no!  A Pinto was a car, even a pretty good car in some contexts.
Except for the unfortunate context of exploding in flames due to minor rear end collisions!    Any mass market model of Fiat, now THOSE were truly not cars!

I'm basically with Russel a on this one, I've seen that recipe at work many times.

The guy does deliver a certain amount of young, trendy energy.  But so do a couple of the kids in any college photo class.  I bet I could pull together an equivalent if not more interesting set of photographs within an hour or two of selecting snapshots from Pbase.  Wonder how far I could get creating an e-persona that way.
Title: Award-winning photography? Help me out here
Post by: John Clifford on December 05, 2008, 09:24:07 PM
Quote from: Jonathan Wienke
And that is exactly how THIS GUY (http://boyofblue.com/cameras.html) came to be regarded as an "artist"...

I'll agree that Mr. Belger's works demonstrate craftsmanship, however, I think his use of human skulls is exploitive. If he had made his cameras with other objects, say, plastic milk jugs, would they have the same reaction from the art market? (No.) I think he recognizes this as well, trying to excuse the exploitation by saying that his use of human body parts is somehow okay because "the skull was blessed by Tibetian monks"... and of course we all know that the blessings of Tibetian monks are the sine qua none of ethical behavior.

I put Mr. Belger's 'art' in the same class as that of the plastinated body exhibits that have made the rounds in the past few years... and would like to know where Mr. Belger's skulls came from. Was it the same place as the Chinese bodies, many of which showed signs of government execution (http://soundpolitics.com/archives/007794.html)?

I wrote an article on ethics (http://thirtysecondthoughts.blogspot.com/2005/05/photographic-art-or-exploitation.html) in art a while ago, and I think Mr. Belger's art shows the same lack of ethics. I guess anything goes if it's about making money with art... sigh....
Title: Award-winning photography? Help me out here
Post by: russell a on December 08, 2008, 02:43:04 PM
For those interested in how the Art Market works, I highly recommend The $12 Million Stuffed Shark - The Curious Economics of Contemporary Art by Don Thompson, PALGRAVE MacMillian, New York, 2008.
Title: Award-winning photography? Help me out here
Post by: mas55101 on December 19, 2008, 02:24:41 PM
Quote from: michael
It's simple – the man can see.

He has a strong sense of design and colour as well as a keen sense of the absurd.

Michael

I have to agree on this one.

Everything else is a matter of marketing, taste, willingness to read a photograph.

Oh, and one big thing, the willingness to take the photograph in as interesting a manner as possible.  "There's no such thing as a boring subject..."

Michael A