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Author Topic: But is it art?  (Read 1104 times)

Rob C

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But is it art?
« on: May 28, 2018, 12:41:06 PM »

After some considerable thought on the matter over the years, I have come to the following conclusion:

There were two photographer artists in this world, and one of them is now no longer with us. Those two, oddly - or naturally enough - are women: Sarah Moon and the late Deborah Turbeville.

As for the rest of us, we are, at best, reasonable photographers with an artistic bent.

I think that the very worst thing to have befallen photography has been its kidnapping by the art world. Since that event we have been presented with fraud upon fraud, manufactured genius upon the latest manufactured genius. There are more naked emperors with cameras around their necks than there are naked models. That's some achievement.

I guess we should all calm down and accept our stars for what they are: mostly just better than we are.

elliot_n

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Re: But is it art?
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2018, 02:49:05 PM »

How depressing! Photography's entry into the artworld in the early 70s was a liberation, not a kidnapping. Two of my favourite female photo artists from that period are Jan Groover and Barbara Kasten. (I mention them, rather than Sherrie Levine, Martha Rosler or Louise Lawler, as there's a (slim) chance you might appreciate their work.)
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OmerV

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Re: But is it art?
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2018, 08:27:47 AM »

After some considerable thought on the matter over the years, I have come to the following conclusion:

There were two photographer artists in this world, and one of them is now no longer with us. Those two, oddly - or naturally enough - are women: Sarah Moon and the late Deborah Turbeville.

As for the rest of us, we are, at best, reasonable photographers with an artistic bent.

I think that the very worst thing to have befallen photography has been its kidnapping by the art world. Since that event we have been presented with fraud upon fraud, manufactured genius upon the latest manufactured genius. There are more naked emperors with cameras around their necks than there are naked models. That's some achievement.

I guess we should all calm down and accept our stars for what they are: mostly just better than we are.

Yep, the gallery environment can be satirical. Still, there is legitimate work that would not be seen outside that framework. The difficulty is the amount of work being done.

I very much like the Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide. 

petermfiore

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Re: But is it art?
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2018, 08:45:50 AM »

After some considerable thought on the matter over the years, I have come to the following conclusion:

There were two photographer artists in this world, and one of them is now no longer with us. Those two, oddly - or naturally enough - are women: Sarah Moon and the late Deborah Turbeville.

As for the rest of us, we are, at best, reasonable photographers with an artistic bent.

I think that the very worst thing to have befallen photography has been its kidnapping by the art world. Since that event we have been presented with fraud upon fraud, manufactured genius upon the latest manufactured genius. There are more naked emperors with cameras around their necks than there are naked models. That's some achievement.

I guess we should all calm down and accept our stars for what they are: mostly just better than we are.

Rob,

This takes me back to the thread, God knows where on here, where I posted about artists hate to be branded. It's the death of an artist and a boon for dealers, curators and the last but not least those that "know it all".

Peter

Rob C

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Re: But is it art?
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2018, 10:25:24 AM »

Yep, the gallery environment can be satirical. Still, there is legitimate work that would not be seen outside that framework. The difficulty is the amount of work being done.

I very much like the Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide.

I think that there was a video about her presented over in Art of Photography. If we are thinking of the same person, I agree with you.

However, referring back to my point about photographic artists I think very, very few merit that title. Yeah, thousands have talent, but it takes more than that.

Rob

Rob C

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Re: But is it art?
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2018, 11:26:36 AM »

Rob,

This takes me back to the thread, God knows where on here, where I posted about artists hate to be branded. It's the death of an artist and a boon for dealers, curators and the last but not least those that "know it all".

Peter

But the thing is, if you paint or draw or etch or sculpt, or whatever you might do, you are at least hands on; your fingers get dirty as you create what you create. It's deeply visceral. With photography you just need to RTFM, fit a social slot - political correctness stops me right there - and if you fit the profile you are in. At least commercial photography was more honest and far more merit-based. If you couldn't hack it, you never got a second chance. And often, not even with another company.

As I mentioned, we have many nudes on both sides of the lens today.

;-)

OmerV

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Re: But is it art?
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2018, 12:46:45 PM »

But the thing is, if you paint or draw or etch or sculpt, or whatever you might do, you are at least hands on; your fingers get dirty as you create what you create. It's deeply visceral. With photography you just need to RTFM, fit a social slot - political correctness stops me right there - and if you fit the profile you are in. At least commercial photography was more honest and far more merit-based. If you couldn't hack it, you never got a second chance. And often, not even with another company.

As I mentioned, we have many nudes on both sides of the lens today.

;-)

I could say what I think of Deborah Turbeville, but what would be the point? A tiresome disagreement? Not thanks. The blackhole of discussing the definition of “artist” and “art” is best left to energetic college students.

Henri Cartier-Bresson finally quit the camera in favor of pencil and paper. I don’t know how well his drawings were regarded but it was of little consequence, surely he was content.

Rob C

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Re: But is it art?
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2018, 02:44:36 PM »

I could say what I think of Deborah Turbeville, but what would be the point? A tiresome disagreement? Not thanks. The blackhole of discussing the definition of “artist” and “art” is best left to energetic college students.

Henri Cartier-Bresson finally quit the camera in favor of pencil and paper. I don’t know how well his drawings were regarded but it was of little consequence, surely he was content.


The problem with leaving it to the kids is this: they are kids. It'll be decades before they have seen enough through their own eyes to get a grasp on what's what. Reading about it is not going to cut it. I have read reams of newsprint, but I don't pretend to be capable of writing anything the Sunday Times would use. And therein a point: I wouldn't want to be published by, say, a red top. If you want to do something good then it's where you need to aim - at the best of what you know exists out there. With luck, you may get close.

HC-B quit because, I imagine but do not know, he just got too old to hack it physically. Also, after a while, you reach more and more of those dry periods, blocks, where you don't do anything because you know that if you do during those times, you just keep redoing the same old thing you did for too long; too long, because you had time enough with it to get bored. I think boredom is the root of block. I see the repetitive mode in my own work as in that of so many others in the trap, here as anywhere else. The danger is that it takes a while to see what you have been doing, by which time it may be too late for you to recharge.

I once mentioned that I could go out any day of the week and never run out of shots. Indeed, new shots, but all of them in the very same bag. Maybe the same happens when you are lucky enough to find your own, personal muse. How could Bailey have ever let the Shrimp drift away? Too familiar after a few short years of intensity? Mine vanished for more prosaic reasons: marriage, childbirth...  But it was devastating at the time; like losing an arm.

Rob C

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Re: But is it art?
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2018, 10:15:35 AM »

Omer,

I've been chewing over your allusion to Deborah Turbeville and no, I really am interested in discovering what it is about her work that turns you off.

You may still not want to do so, but if you don't mind too much, it would be interesting to read your views on this lady's work.

Rob

hermankrieger

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Re: But is it art?
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2018, 07:57:21 PM »

When I worked as photo lab technician and photographer during the 1940s, it was considered a trade or craft.
On the GI Bill, I learned a better way to make a living. After retiring in 1990, and moving to Oregon, I noticed
that photography was being taught in the Univ. of Oregon School of Fine Arts. I enrolled as a student, and ended up
with a BFA in 1994. Now photography seems for the most part to have retaken by the general public.

www.efn.org/~hkrieger
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Rob C

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Re: But is it art?
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2018, 07:05:54 AM »

When I worked as photo lab technician and photographer during the 1940s, it was considered a trade or craft.
On the GI Bill, I learned a better way to make a living. After retiring in 1990, and moving to Oregon, I noticed
that photography was being taught in the Univ. of Oregon School of Fine Arts. I enrolled as a student, and ended up
with a BFA in 1994. Now photography seems for the most part to have retaken by the general public.

www.efn.org/~hkrieger


Hadn't come across you before; welcome to the asylum!

Best wishes

Rob

OmerV

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Re: But is it art?
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2018, 10:24:26 AM »

Omer,

I've been chewing over your allusion to Deborah Turbeville and no, I really am interested in discovering what it is about her work that turns you off.

You may still not want to do so, but if you don't mind too much, it would be interesting to read your views on this lady's work.

Rob

Your solidarity with fashion photographers makes sense, but I gotta say, you can be funny. That Peter Lindbergh “street” video is just another fashion industry fluff piece, probably self promotional, intended for the interest of Haute couture as clients, I would guess.

As for Deborah Turbeville, I’ll just say that for commercial reasons, her work was pretty but innocuous.

In fashion, so it is at it ever was.






hermankrieger

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Re: But is it art?
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2018, 12:01:47 PM »

Tolstoy in his essay, "What is Art", ties art closely to religion. Therefore my photos of churches should be considered high art.
"Churches ad hoc",  www.efn.org/~hkrieger/church.htm
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Rob C

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Re: But is it art?
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2018, 01:16:41 PM »

Tolstoy in his essay, "What is Art", ties art closely to religion. Therefore my photos of churches should be considered high art.
"Churches ad hoc",  www.efn.org/~hkrieger/church.htm

So did religious patronage feed the starving artist...
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