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Author Topic: But IS IT Art?  (Read 21125 times)

ajz

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But IS IT Art?
« on: September 10, 2015, 04:36:11 pm »

Whenever I go to a museum, I search out the Photography Gallery (if they have one). Many times I come across images which leave me wondering why they are there; i.e. 36 prints, 8x10's in B&W of various grain silos. No explanation. Or, ones photographic travel log across a particular state. At times I've questioned the Curator as to why the museum has these photos in their collection, to which the answer makes me feel as though I no longer understand the English word!

There is a recent book entitled "Photography and the Art of Chance" by Robin Kelsey. I would suggest these book as a good read on the subject of why and how we (or they) interpret some of what we see here and there. I can look at Strand, White, Adams, Bresson, Atget, etc., and even Todd Hido's works and "get-it". But some of what is in galleries just leaves me plan cold.

Thoughts?

ajz

P.S. The recent video with Michael, Kevin and Brooks was excellent, and almost began to touch on on this subject,
« Last Edit: September 10, 2015, 04:38:09 pm by ajz »
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RSL

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Re: But IS IT Art?
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2015, 05:51:40 pm »

Whenever I go to a museum, I search out the Photography Gallery (if they have one). Many times I come across images which leave me wondering why they are there; i.e. 36 prints, 8x10's in B&W of various grain silos. No explanation. Or, ones photographic travel log across a particular state. At times I've questioned the Curator as to why the museum has these photos in their collection, to which the answer makes me feel as though I no longer understand the English word!

Hey, ajz, if you think that's bad, take a minute and read the "artist's statements."
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amolitor

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Re: But IS IT Art?
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2015, 06:10:42 pm »

"photography" as its own thing, as a hobby, a profession, a passion, has very little to do with Art, including Photographic Art.

This extends to the communities that practice it. If you frequent "photography" themed web sites exclusively, you get one view (and may I say, quite a pessimistic view) of photography. If you frequent Art themed web sites that also deal with photography, you get quite another, and a much more upbeat one.
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elliot_n

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Re: But IS IT Art?
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2015, 06:32:36 pm »


But some of what is in galleries just leaves me plan cold.

Thoughts?


Do you like all music? All literature? All theatre? It's ok to think that art is crap.
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Isaac

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Re: But IS IT Art?
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2015, 07:22:51 pm »

There is a recent book entitled "Photography and the Art of Chance" by Robin Kelsey. I would suggest these book Thoughts?

I think you'll find that book has already been mentioned in several "But is it Art?" discussions.

If you like reading, much has already been said on-this-topic in-this-forum.
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Rob C

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Re: But IS IT Art?
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2015, 05:22:46 am »

As Isaac says, much has been written on this topic.

Jeanloup Sieff wrote that there is no art, only artists.

All paintings are not art; all photographs are not, either. Some paintings are and some photographs also. Which ones? The ones I like.

Rob C
« Last Edit: September 11, 2015, 10:03:21 am by Rob C »
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tom b

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Re: But IS IT Art?
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2015, 06:34:00 am »

I am a regular visitor to the Art Gallery of NSW. They had an exhibition of art pieces bought by Hallmark. I wasn't excited, but I walked in. There was a lot of "meh" paintings. There were paintings that I thought, "I love that". The common thread was that when I looked at label of who painted it was a famous painter. Time will tell, hey I got to love Joy Hester!

Cheers,
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Tom Brown

Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: But IS IT Art?
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2015, 10:26:21 am »

All paintings are not art; all photographs are not, either. Some paintings are and some photographs also. Which ones? The ones I like.

Rob C
You're almost right, Rob. Actually, it's the ones I like.   ;)

Eric M
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Otto Phocus

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Re: But IS IT Art?
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2015, 10:29:32 am »

Whenever I go to a museum, I search out the Photography Gallery (if they have one). Many times I come across images which leave me wondering why they are there;

ajz


They are there because one person's opinion on art does not dictate that other people may consider art and may want to see.
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amolitor

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Re: But IS IT Art?
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2015, 12:06:16 pm »

I know you guys are funning around, but still.

Why is it that we're totally able to accept that things like language, money, job titles, and a million other things exist essentially as "a rough social consensus" but Art, Art cannot possibly be what it so clearly is, which is yet another one of those rough social consensuses out of which society is made.

Art must be purely a subjective individual thing.

It's not.
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RSL

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Re: But IS IT Art?
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2015, 01:27:42 pm »

GOOD GRIEF! I can't believe anybody's seriously trying to decide what "art" is -- again. On LuLa we do this over and over. Give it up guys. If you're going to use the term you first have to define what YOU mean by it. That's not necessarily what the next guy using the term means by it. In my own definition, if it doesn't give you a transcendental experience it's not art. "Transcendental" comes from "transcendence," "A state of being or existence above and beyond the limits of material experience." In other words, if you can explain in words what it is about the work that kicks you in the gut, it's not art. Try that definition on for size. It rules out all the pretty tourist pictures I see on LuLa.
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Isaac

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Re: But IS IT Art?
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2015, 02:57:57 pm »

GOOD GRIEF! I can't believe anybody's seriously trying to tell other people what and how they should discuss -- again.
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RSL

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Re: But IS IT Art?
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2015, 03:54:48 pm »

As they say in Canada, Eh?
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chez

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Re: But IS IT Art?
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2015, 08:46:59 am »

The topic started out as photos in a museum...well I personally don't expect "artistic...whatever that is" works of art when looking at historic photos. I look at them as capturing a distant time in photos, showing the way of life back in that era. Do you guys actually go to a museum and view the images on display as works of art?

I did a large project a couple years ago, collecting and scanning around 500 photos and negatives from the 1900 to 1930's. None of these photos would be considered art, but the book I made from these photos tell a story no artistic photo can. Museum photos are on display for the exact same reason, to tell you a story.
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Rob C

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Re: But IS IT Art?
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2015, 03:21:44 pm »

"photography" as its own thing, as a hobby, a profession, a passion, has very little to do with Art, including Photographic Art.

This extends to the communities that practice it. If you frequent "photography" themed web sites exclusively, you get one view (and may I say, quite a pessimistic view) of photography. If you frequent Art themed web sites that also deal with photography, you get quite another, and a much more upbeat one.



Andrew, that's certainly mostly true about pro photography, but usually because of the clients - at least, in my personal experience.

I spent a lot of time shooting my favourite model right at the start of my career in fashion, both for paid work as well as for the portfolios - hers and mine; she was as new as was I.

All wonderful stuff so far, but get this: the portfolio got me later work, but hardly ever was I allowed to work the same freestyle way as in my 'book'. Shots had to be far more detailed and obviously about clothes, not much about atmosphere. That was a bit dull, but it allowed us both to work and keep truckin' on.

So yes, art has its place, but I think probably mostly in portfolios - now called books - unless you are lucky enough to get, and can afford, to do nothing but editorial.

Rob C

darinb

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Re: But IS IT Art?
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2015, 01:41:28 am »

Whenever I go to a museum, I search out the Photography Gallery (if they have one). Many times I come across images which leave me wondering why they are there; i.e. 36 prints, 8x10's in B&W of various grain silos. No explanation.

The works you mention where probably by the Bechers and, if so, are among the most well known bodies of work in contemporary art photography. I'm curious, did you look up the work later to read about it, did you look at more of their work?

--Darin
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Diego Pigozzo

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Re: But IS IT Art?
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2015, 06:04:56 am »

Whenever I go to a museum, I search out the Photography Gallery (if they have one). Many times I come across images which leave me wondering why they are there; i.e. 36 prints, 8x10's in B&W of various grain silos. No explanation. Or, ones photographic travel log across a particular state. At times I've questioned the Curator as to why the museum has these photos in their collection, to which the answer makes me feel as though I no longer understand the English word!

May I suggest to read "The Photograph as Contemporary Art"?
I read some time ago and It gives a good view of what is art in photography today.

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