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Author Topic: Five fallacies about art  (Read 3963 times)

KenTanaka

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Re: Five fallacies about art
« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2018, 11:03:30 AM »

Mr. Mayer’s remarks are 100% correct and on-target.  Those are, indeed, certainly among the most common fallacies about art that I believe most curators, educators, and artists would cite if asked.

“Shutterbugs”, as camera enthusiasts used to be called, most often harbor misconceptions about art because they usually approach it from technical processes and technologies.  They usually do not understand that “art” is, and always has been, most fundamentally about communication, not media, not technique.  That’s why photography enthusiasts, especially landscapers, are rarely considered as serious artists.  Their ultimate goal tends toward recording prettiness. That’s craft but it ain’t art.

By contrast, someone like Ed Burtynsky is an artist.  His primary goal is communication of a message.  He uses photography, usually of landscapes, as his medium.  Some are pretty.  Some not.  But each frame is crafted towards making that message.   That’s art.

- Ken Tanaka -
« Last Edit: May 05, 2018, 11:07:26 AM by KenTanaka »
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RSL

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Re: Five fallacies about art
« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2018, 11:54:03 AM »

Ken, please accept my enthusiastic welcome. It's wonderful to see someone join LuLa who actually understands what he's trying to do. I've run through most, but not all, of the photographs on your site and I'm impressed. And I'm not easy to impress.

Your post is right on the money; especially this: "That’s why photography enthusiasts, especially landscapers, are rarely considered as serious artists.  Their ultimate goal tends toward recording prettiness. That’s craft but it ain’t art."

Rob C

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Re: Five fallacies about art
« Reply #22 on: May 05, 2018, 12:23:07 PM »

Mr. Mayer’s remarks are 100% correct and on-target.  Those are, indeed, certainly among the most common fallacies about art that I believe most curators, educators, and artists would cite if asked.

“Shutterbugs”, as camera enthusiasts used to be called, most often harbor misconceptions about art because they usually approach it from technical processes and technologies.  They usually do not understand that “art” is, and always has been, most fundamentally about communication, not media, not technique.  That’s why photography enthusiasts, especially landscapers, are rarely considered as serious artists.  Their ultimate goal tends toward recording prettiness. That’s craft but it ain’t art.

By contrast, someone like Ed Burtynsky is an artist.  His primary goal is communication of a message.  He uses photography, usually of landscapes, as his medium.  Some are pretty.  Some not.  But each frame is crafted towards making that message.   That’s art.

- Ken Tanaka -


Welcome, Ken, hope you enjoy this place and contribute regularly.

Trouble with your statement re. Burtynsky is this: one can so easily fall into the trap of citing any favourite photographer as artist just because, well, that snapper happens to be a favourite.

He doesn't light my fires, fwiw, but yeah, his technique is good. How do we reconcile two positions like that, or do we just accept that it's impossible to do, and that we are absolutely not a step closer to any worthwhile definition/distinction between art and craft?

I often believe craft may be more honest...

Rob

OmerV

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Re: Five fallacies about art
« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2018, 02:05:42 PM »

Mr. Mayer’s remarks are 100% correct and on-target.  Those are, indeed, certainly among the most common fallacies about art that I believe most curators, educators, and artists would cite if asked.

“Shutterbugs”, as camera enthusiasts used to be called, most often harbor misconceptions about art because they usually approach it from technical processes and technologies.  They usually do not understand that “art” is, and always has been, most fundamentally about communication, not media, not technique.  That’s why photography enthusiasts, especially landscapers, are rarely considered as serious artists.  Their ultimate goal tends toward recording prettiness. That’s craft but it ain’t art.

By contrast, someone like Ed Burtynsky is an artist.  His primary goal is communication of a message.  He uses photography, usually of landscapes, as his medium.  Some are pretty.  Some not.  But each frame is crafted towards making that message.   That’s art.

- Ken Tanaka -

Keep in mind that photography is also an industry and yes, a hobby. Most folks taking pictures are weekend photographers to whom photography is a way to stay busy. Though these folks are having fun, which in itself is a good thing, there is a really big step to go from just having fun to making art. Yeah, there is of course subjectivity and "in the eye of the beholder" stuff, but still, serious art takes serious effort and time. And a lot of art education. Yes, there's Vivian Maier and Mike Disfarmer, two autodidactic photographers who created great work, and maybe photography lends itself more to intuition than say, playing the violin. But the vast majority of great photographers have been and still are full time.

Rob C

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Re: Five fallacies about art
« Reply #24 on: May 05, 2018, 05:07:59 PM »

Keep in mind that photography is also an industry and yes, a hobby. Most folks taking pictures are weekend photographers to whom photography is a way to stay busy. Though these folks are having fun, which in itself is a good thing, there is a really big step to go from just having fun to making art. Yeah, there is of course subjectivity and "in the eye of the beholder" stuff, but still, serious art takes serious effort and time. And a lot of art education. Yes, there's Vivian Maier and Mike Disfarmer, two autodidactic photographers who created great work, and maybe photography lends itself more to intuition than say, playing the violin. But the vast majority of great photographers have been and still are full time.


"Intuition"

And there you pretty much have it. Intuition, and a natural eye for shapes.

Technical skill is learned, in the manner that anyone learns mechanical/technical stuff, best by watching and then trying it yourself. Then, when you have the understanding of how to manipulate a computer programme (darkrooms are different), you are ready to go.

Sadly, none of that makes you a creative photographer; for that, you still have to depend on intuition which, you either have or do not have.

I wrote that darkrooms are different. Indeed they are, and the principal difference is that unlike with a computer where you can layer and layer until you think you got it right, the wet stuff is far more visceral, and you are playing with time, temperature and concentration/exhaustion of chemical soup. On top of that, you have to get to know your safelight fairly intimately before you can trust it, not to not fog your papers, but to let you see what your work will resemble in the harsh light of an inspection lamp or daylight.

Maybe darkrooms demand skill, intuition and love.

Rob
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