What I find fascinating about this subject matter of the common-place bottle of olive oil on the kitchen top, is not the picture, but the response to the picture.
It seems to be quite popular, with 80 views so far. My shot of a monkey testing the firmness of a well-endowed young lady's breasts, got a mere 56 views, and I suspect that number was inflated as a result of Slobodan's comment that the monkey seemed to know what he was doing.
Now you may think I've got a case of sour grapes. Not at all. I'm genuinely interested in these issues of the reasons for the popularity of certain works. I've always been struck by the absurdity of the high prices paid for certain ludicrous works of art that most people would automatically consider as crap, if some so-called expert had not given it the nod.
I suspect the truth is, we're often being conned. This is probably why I had no desire to become a professional photographer. Producing photos in order to sell bottles of olive oil, or women's make-up products, or fashionable clothes, is totally boring for me.
Ray, you’re opening up the proverbial can of worms.
I think that much contemporary ‘art’ is crap, and that gurus have intentionally made a difficult subject even more difficult to navigate, to the extent that some prefer to avoid it altogether.
A trip to a reasonable art gallery will quickly restore a sense of values, something that will come directly from the viewer’s own, gut, response to the painting or whatever he’s looking at at the time. Talent and skill are obvious in themselves – it’s only where the cons are being perpetrated that middle-men are required staff. Photography has historically suffered from its apparent similarity to painting, and I think that’s probably the root cause of the different but twin standards. Painting well takes undeniable skill; making a photograph requires little actual dexterity and only some observational skills in design and pattern. We probably all exercise the latter every day, even down to the act of buying a shirt, not that I advise buying one of those every day, but you get the idea.
The actual validity of the painter’s or the photographer’s vision may be the same, but the painter’s success is more difficult to achieve and depends solely on his abilities, not partly on those of a range of mechanical and electronic support systems. In that sense, I believe that the problems associated with digital photography as art are more pronounced than for wet processes photography as art. This concatenation of art and mechanics is why it’s so difficult to raise photography to the level of painting in the matter of how it’s received.
Subject matter. I have made similar observations on viewing figures here, and I can generally see that landscape-style stuff generates a higher viewer base. That fits in perfectly with the name of the site, why expect anything else, I ask myself? At the same time, I note that nudes also garner high figures (the higher the figure the higher the viewer numbers, too) and that’s also normal.
On the specific matter of Olive Oil and other Popeye figures, the attraction can be found in different areas of such works. There’s an undeniable attraction in ‘European’ cultural elements, signifiers of a different, possibly vanishing way of life drawing on old and largely lost commodities such as shown in this image and also in old drinking vessels etc. in other posts There’s also the attraction for some photographers in what they see as ‘lighting’; however natural or impromptu it might actually be, it’s credited to the snapper, with the viewers asking themselves how/if they could/would have achieved the same result.
But then, there’s also romance in the past; I remember it well!