So, show me the facts then. That one is "popular word-wide," beyond the fraternity, as Rob claims, an the other is "just a footnote in art history," as Russ claims.
Iím sorry, but American awards to American Ďartistsí is a pretty meaningless concept outwith the American circus, be it Hollywood or the galleries. Itís like Nashville and Grand Ole Oprey Ė who knows any of them or gives a shit?
The thing is this: you find that every country has its internally known Ďstarsí, whose light shines rather less brightly abroad. Take Britain, for example. If you were to ask the guy in the street who the best snapper is, heíll invariably reply David Bailey. Not because he is, but because heís a popular icon whose fame surpasses the gamut of the other snappers: heís the one invoked when a snapperís name is required. Heís even recognized from an old Olympus series of commercials. Most non-snappers have probably never heard of Avedon, Bill King, Bruce Weber, Nick Knight, and all the rest. At a stretch, they may think Getty is a famous snapper. They might have heard of Mario Testino, though, if they can remember who shot some snaps of Lady Di...
But, if you can remove the local heroís name from the equation, then itís the guys from way back who come out as the standards on an international basis, and on that list, itís going to be HC-B before Adams; most will think he just invented the fireplace or was big on apples and snakes. If you go to the better bookshops in Britain, it ainít Adams books you find folks looking at Ė if there are any - itís the Boys of Paris. And that includes old Helmut too, because thatís where he made himself. Itís the same here in Spain: I have never seen an Avedon book anywhere, in a shop or elsewhere. But plenty of Parisians, native or adopted, to be found as well as a few US porn merchants whose names I forget Ė as quickly as possible.
I used to buy French PHOTO, which spawned American PHOTO. For a while I bought both. They both ran a list of the 100 most influential figures in photography. Guess what: the lists were not the same. Surprise, surprise!
Also, you must remember that photography, as wall art, has been popular in the States for a long time Ė it still struggles for legitimacy elsewhere. So naturally, the King of Wall art, unchallenging, unthreatening and safe wall art, must reign pretty near the top at home, especially when itís a matter of America the Beautiful as product. Itís an internal extension of all those flagpoles outside your houses: who else does that, outwith China or North Korea? Oh yes, I had a Canadian neighbour who did, here in Spain. In Scotland they do it differently: they used to produce a zillion varieties of Bonnie Scotland scenic calendars, and pretty much every single one was sent abroad to distant relatives who might never have set foot in the old place.
Frankly, Iím pretty photographer/photography aware by definition, but there are few guys whose work Iíd hang at home or anywhere else, for that matter. And the Saint ainít one of them.
Slightly OT, but if you are going to hang photographs, then I think you need an office in a skyscraper for it.