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Author Topic: What is 'fine art photography'?  (Read 150315 times)
Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #120 on: July 16, 2008, 10:49:56 PM »
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LOL

Actually no, the trick is to invest in artists' early careers before the prices go up after their demise.
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Yup. Done that too. Back in the 1960s I invested in a couple of prints by an emerging photographer named Ansel Adams. They cost all of $6 US each (mounted, signed).
Of course now I wish I'd bought a lot more. I stopped buying when the price soared to an astronomical $15 each.
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ChrisS
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« Reply #121 on: July 17, 2008, 01:16:14 AM »
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I'm perfectly happy with the alleged commercialization of art. What's not to like about someone paying you do what you enjoy most? Artists, too, have bills to pay.
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And is the art that achieves this what you've been calling an 'end in itself'?  
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alainbriot
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« Reply #122 on: July 17, 2008, 12:17:26 PM »
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. . . the view that art has no use - or no end apart from itself - has fed into the conventional, elite status of fine art. (Only wealthy people could spend large amounts of money to buy something so without use! The rest of us are trying to pay the bills. Thus, art becomes a status symbol.)
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Yes and no.  The way I like to put it is that art is a want, not a need.  We don't need art to live.  Agreed, our lives will be that much poorer without the enlightenment and beauty that art brings us, but we won't physically die for lack of art (we might spiritually die though).  Therefore art is a want.  It is something we want to have but don't need to have.  

It's like a Porsche, or a Lotus, or any luxury car.  You can move around just as well with a more mundane vehicle.  So you don't need one of those.  You want one of those.

Personally, I'm all for owning things we want and do not need.  But then I sell art so obviously I'm heavily biased.  I'm also conflicted:  I believe that art is a necessity when you want to enrich your life.  

As you can see, I'm heavily flawed ;-)
« Last Edit: July 17, 2008, 12:21:17 PM by alainbriot » Logged

Alain Briot
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ChrisS
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« Reply #123 on: July 17, 2008, 12:57:38 PM »
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As you can see, I'm heavily flawed ;-)
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I don't think there's a flaw in what you write. The distinction between needs and wants is important - though I would argue that some of the most important art does meet real needs.

What I'm getting at in my last reply is the apparent contradiction between, on one hand, the claim that a photograph is an end in itself, and on the other that the photograph is important as a source of income. Not that the two roles are entirely incompatible, and I have no issue at all with the latter role for art, but there certainly is a long history of using the 'end in itself' argument to reinforce the exchange value of the work. Which, of course, is a contradiction.
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alainbriot
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« Reply #124 on: July 17, 2008, 01:21:12 PM »
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I don't think there's a flaw in what you write. The distinction between needs and wants is important - though I would argue that some of the most important art does meet real needs.

What I'm getting at in my last reply is the apparent contradiction between, on one hand, the claim that a photograph is an end in itself, and on the other that the photograph is important as a source of income. Not that the two roles are entirely incompatible, and I have no issue at all with the latter role for art, but there certainly is a long history of using the 'end in itself' argument to reinforce the exchange value of the work. Which, of course, is a contradiction.
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To me the justification for creating art is that it is what I love to do.  I am blessed in that I can derive a very good income from it, but income is not why I decided to do this as a career.

What made me take this decision was the realization that anything one wants to do at the highest level is difficult, competitive and requires total dedication.  This being the case, I decided I might as well do what I love.

If I failed, I'd still be doing what I love.  If I succeeded, I'd be doing what I love and be financially secure.  

In either situation I would be able to put all my energy and resources in this endeavor since there is nothing else that I'd rather be doing.

My thinking in that regard followed the thinking of Jean Jacques Rousseau and Blaise Pascal, although I realized this after I made my decision, not before.  This process would have been easier for me if I had been familiar with their writings beforehand.

I was fortunate that when I took this decision my income was virtually nil (I was a PhD program graduate student making $500 a month as a teaching assistant).  If I had been earning a six figure income this decision would have been much more challenging.

I discuss this in greater details in my book "Mastering Landscape Photography".
« Last Edit: July 17, 2008, 01:41:04 PM by alainbriot » Logged

Alain Briot
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ChrisS
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« Reply #125 on: July 19, 2008, 02:56:56 PM »
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That's well over 100 posts now. Do you think we are any clearer how the term 'fine art photography' is used on this site?  

Whatever, I've learned a lot.

Cheers

Chris
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dkeyes
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« Reply #126 on: July 21, 2008, 01:12:22 PM »
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OK, I don't have the time or energy to write a 20 page essay but here are a few quick notes.

First you have to ask the question: Why define fine art photography? Is it a qualitative judgement? I use the term only in casual conversation to help others that are less informed about art or photography. Most will intuitively know the difference between commercial (for example) and fine art. The following definition is for that purpose only. Otherwise, I don't see a need for the definition.

A fine art photographer communicates with his/her own voice with little or no input from other voices (unless they have multiple personalities). A commercial photographer communicates with many voices having a say in the final communication. The best commercial and fine art photographers' create a new voice that hasn't been heard before. One is not better than the other, it's just harder as a commercial photographer to have your own voice when everyone else is telling you what to say. Of course, there are many fine art photographers that have little new to say even when they can say anything they want.

The definition of art is like the universe, ever expanding. The role of the artist is to define it for themselves. It's ever changing and that's what makes it interesting and compelling. There are explorers like Duchamp and there are those that want to retreat to the comforts of home, never expanding the definition of art. Or worse, stuck in time just listening to the same rock station on the radio as they did in high school. (I like AC/DC now and then.)

Art is a necessity, even the most primitive cultures have art (going back to before humans could speak most likely). It's a form of communication which is a basic need for every human being. Everyone has art in their life wether they know it or not. Art isn't just a picture on the wall, it's a creative act, making something from other things. It's what you wear, it can be what you eat or drink or live in.

Obviously, my definition of art is an expanded one. As an artist I take photos but I don't define myself by the tools I use. Really, we are all artists, some just decide they can or want to say something and define it as art. If your lucky, you'll be paid for that and be able to make a living doing what you love.

- Doug
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daws
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« Reply #127 on: August 01, 2008, 04:11:58 AM »
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I think fine art is what happens when one of our fellow humans
speaks to us in a medium we know, about a subject we know, but in a manner beyond our knowing -- and with the result that something inside us breaks open and cries at the discovery.
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rennie12
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« Reply #128 on: August 16, 2008, 02:23:48 AM »
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To a certain degree you are talking about the meaning of words...not about art or photography.

Many of our present concepts have been altered and more or less (imho) robbed of some meaning by the continuous clatter of "buy me", "buy me" which is omnipresent in our lives.

IMHO the words "fine art photography" are essentially an attempt to separate the work from commercial work.  Actually the concept is difficult, because HOW the photo is used may determine what it is.  

An interesting comparison would be the work of William Shakespeare - this is now considered great art.  But it was NOT created as great art - it was ABSOLUTELY commercial work ground out to make a living.  Original Shakespeare works were presented under rowdy (sometimes bawdy) conditions...in a very different era.

I do agree it IS great art - as are the plays of George Bernard Shaw.  Interestingly enough GBS plays have very careful notations about how the words are to be spoken, often stage directions, often comments as to the emotions of the character - according to GBS this is because he noted WS left NO stage directions whatever.

Incidentally, Kurosawa's "Magnificent Seven" and the original "Godfather" (the movie not the pot-boiler novel from which it was made) are also great art.

Some photography made for the simplest of commercial reasons is also great art - (some of W Eugene Smith's b/w images made for LIFE - of all the crassly commercial magazines) are great art...better IMHO than the portentiously self-important work of Ansel Adams - which are really only excellent technical exercises - any greatness is in the subject matter).

I find Mr Briots work admirable - but much of it is art basically because of the subject matter - the skill is in the technical end and in the patience and skill with which he chooses lightings of great subjects.  (I do NOT find his work 'portentiously self-important' like that of AA).

I feel Mr Reichmann's work is more often art than Mr Briots - he takes an immensely broader range of subjects.  The art value of Mr R's work often lies in his view of the subject rather than the majesty of the subject itself.

An example would be Mr R's series on ship-breaking in an asian country (the name of which escapes me)...wonderful images, often damaged by excessive white mattes or surrounds (IMHO of course).

As someone trained in actual painting I feel photography is inherently a much more difficult art - photography is dreadfully limited by the simple fact the camera places NO EMPHASIS on anything per se - the photographer has to create "art" by lighting and what he includes or excludes - incredibly difficult compared to the simple task of the painter (ignoring the technical difficulties of painting).

An excellent idea of what I am describing can be had by comparing the wildlife are of the late Bob Kuhn (readily googled) with any wildlife art photographer's work.  If you skip over the difficulty of having the patience, skill, and talent to paint like Mr Kuhn you realize that his work is ENORMOUSLY freer and more flexible than ANY wildlife photography.

Basically the task of any artist (camera or brush, pencil, stone) is to produce an emotional reaction in the viewer.  This is ENORMOUSLY harder to do with a camera.  Another good example is how difficult it is to make a funny - or poignant - photographs -while someone like a skilled editorial cartoonist or the great world war II creator of "Willie and Joe" could do it in a black and white comic strip.

Liebowitz is accepted as a fine portrait photographer - but her work is not much compared to a fine painter - mostly because her medium is so limited and difficult.  How could you compete with Frans Hals with a photograph ?  Or Vermeer ?

And yet - a really successful photograph has an enormous immideacy and sense of reality that no painting can have - which is essentially why photography dominates advertising.

I think in essence I am trying to say the phrase "fine art photography" is essentially a sales gimmick - an advertising catchphrase with almost no meaning.

A photograph can be art (even if that was never the original intent) as can a play, or a movie.  But IMHO photography is the most difficult of the visual arts - simply because photographs see too much.
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Rob C
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« Reply #129 on: August 16, 2008, 10:47:18 AM »
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Rennie12

You have some good points there - I endorse the view on W. Eugene Smith to which one could add Don McCullin, Larry Burrows and a few others of the era. I also think not a lot of Saint Adams - as with much of todayīs work, great sterility with perfect technical control seems (to me) to be what many photographic  genres are about. It ainīt enough to have a great subject: you have to do something with it to make it an experience other than that which just being there can give everybody else, even without a camera in their hands.

Painting and photography. I am happy to see you give the photographic discipline some respect, coming as you do from a painting background. I painted a bit too, as a teenager, visited lots of galleries etc. and quickly realised that it was one thing to buy Van Gogh postcards and copy them stroke for stroke, but quite another to go out into the great big yonder and do something original. You are right, too, that photography offers fewer options for creative control. A painter only has to include what he wants to - the photographerīs life is beset with trying to exclude, to get to the nub of something. That, paradoxically, is one reason why paper rolls help photography along yet, at the same time, hold it back. Think about it: it is then all up you and the subject - no background to help either mask or distract from the faults yet the perfect way to present wonderful works. An unforgiving bitch, you could say. And yes, I know about and use Photoshop, but thatīs not the same thing.

Many painters work from photographs. I have mixed views on this, having both a cousin and his son as professional painters, the father in Scotland and the son in Canada. I know the father uses his own photographs as references, but he was well through art college before he started using them and they did not become too great an influence on his art - they remain notes - his paintings look like paintings... Yet, I know others whose works look like copies of photographs simply because that is what their work becomes: no personality input, just a painted copy of their own mundane photograph. And you know what - I have friends who rave about how brilliant an artist so-and-so is and they buy that work. You will note that I use no names.

Mr Briot. I discovered him via this site and have read what he publishes here. Strangely, of all his work, that which appeals most to me goes back to some Parisian photographs he made around the time, I think, when he was trying out, and writing about, the Epson 800(?) printer, the one before the larger 1800 model. I understand the appeal to a European of the different scale of the US panorama, why he might have felt happier to work in that environment, particularly as his English is so good. At the same time, I often feel he would have found greater subjects much closer to home. But possibly not the markets. I must stress again, just to cover my ass against attacks, that there is NO criticism meant, simply an expression of how I think about what an individualīs work does for me, a harmless extrapolation of what I see on the monitor. In a way, Alainīs experience might be an extension of the UK thing in my own early pro life, where the standard belief was that you had to go to London or Manchester to make a living in photography. I would have done the same, except that my comfortable home in Scotland would have purchased a garage in London. In the event, I didnīt have to go anywhere.

Michaelīs work: I have often posted here in response to his home page shots, and if my old memory doesnīt betray me, I have mainly felt him to be far more exciting a photographer with subjects other than landscape. This is not to knock his landscapes, which are exemplary, but to say that he has so many other strings to his photographic bow that I am happy to see him use, and which arouse my interest more. Some of those sreet shots are finest contemporary art. It would be interesting to know if he has them for sale in his gallery and how they shift compared with his traditional landscapes.

Hell, one could write forever about photography and art and what it might or might not be - letīs just be glad they both exist, even sometimes within the same work.

Rob C
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dalethorn
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« Reply #130 on: August 17, 2008, 09:19:41 AM »
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Fine Art as a definition becomes more relevant when you consider the funding that supports the museums and exhibitions, not to mention the politics on the inside.  As to wants and needs, I consider social progress to be beyond both - it's a must.  And social progress on planet Earth is easy enough to discover, but finding the reliable source is not.  My personal feeling is that digital tech offers great freedom for average people who could never afford the analog alternatives.  If we can couple that with better food and and resource distribution without poisoning the planet to death, then social progress will continue, and digital tech can document that rather than more death and disaster.  I wonder just how much Fine Art contains imagery of death and disaster, in different time periods?  And do we tend to hide these things more today than, say, 100 or 200 years ago?
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ashaughnessy
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« Reply #131 on: August 18, 2008, 04:32:28 AM »
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I agree with Rennie12 that this is an argument about words. There are many definitions of the word art (look in the dictionary) and if you wished you could create your own definition. I think you need to differentiate between whether something is art and whether something is good or bad. You might choose a definition for the word art (or fine art) and then decide something is art *according to that definition* but still decide that you don't like it or that it is bad.

Art is also a social and political phenomenon and so definitions of art need to take this into account. Here are some definitions of art (or fine art) that are particularly concrete. We can use concrete definitions to draw objective conclusions but it still doesn't say whether something is good or bad, just whether it is art *according to that definition*. Each of these definitions is different - they aren't intended to be complementary.

Definition 1) - Art is whatever can be funded by the UK Arts Council.
If the arts council will give you a grant to do it, then its art. Might be good or bad, worthless or important, this definition doesn't care. Or you could insert the name of any official body into this definition.

Definition 2) - Art is whatever will sell in a high-end auction house or gallery.

Definition 3) - Art is whatever the "art establishment" agrees is art.
This assumes we can agree on a definition of "art establishment", but I suspect it wouldn't be too difficult to do that - galleries and museums, university art departments, government funding bodies, national newspaper art critics, etc. Note this definition excludes any contribution from "the general public" as to what is art.

Definition 4) - Art is whatever the general public agrees is art.
This would almost certainly give a different answer to definition 3.

Definition 5) - insert your own definition here.

The point is we can define art in any way we like and then decide whether something is art according to that criteria but if we want to answer a concrete question then we will need a concrete definition. For example, the question "can I get funding for my arts project" will need the concrete definition of "art is whatever will get funding from funding bodies", then you can decide whether your work meets that definition (and you'll need to convince them its good art :-)

Anthony
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ChrisS
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« Reply #132 on: August 18, 2008, 03:12:19 PM »
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Anthony - I agree with your comments. But - would you say all such definitions are equal? If I insert Definition 5 and it's really weak - say, 'fine art is just what makes me happy' - on what grounds could you exclude it, or claim that it's less important than the ones you have offered? In its context, I could argue that it's a great definition - but the context (what makes me happy) is nothing like as important or convincing as the definitions you've offered. Can the definition of art be so open?  (It seems to me it can't.)  If not, on what grounds can we prioritise one definition over another?

RobC - the point you make about traveling vs. staying local (if I can paraphrase you in that way) has been on my mind for some time. One of the most important things art can do, I think, is to call our attention to the things we overlook. And that could involve trips to the ice-caps or to deserts, or it could involve looking more closely at our own back yard. Given the ethical issues that some forms of travel now raise, I think there's a strong case for looking for the overlooked where we are.
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Rob C
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« Reply #133 on: August 18, 2008, 03:45:06 PM »
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RobC - the point you make about traveling vs. staying local (if I can paraphrase you in that way) has been on my mind for some time. One of the most important things art can do, I think, is to call our attention to the things we overlook. And that could involve trips to the ice-caps or to deserts, or it could involve looking more closely at our own back yard. Given the ethical issues that some forms of travel now raise, I think there's a strong case for looking for the overlooked where we are.
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The search for subjects is a troubled quest, not only because it is often difficult to know just what we are looking for, but possibly because the search is in the wrong place, not physically but psychologically. I feel that it is often more a matter of educating our eyes, really seeing whatīs around us than of finding something new in another place.

Having just written this, I know that in my own career I did use travel as a means of finding something fresh to say; coming up against something very new to me was certainly helpful in providing new themes for old topics and it did raise the self-esteem part of the experience: being somewhere exotic (relative to where one lived) had the effect of making one feel a little special, and the enthusiasm and effort put into the job rose accordingly. I know perfectly well that a pro should be able to do good work anywhere, but there is little doubt in my mind that location works on several levels at once, helping life along.

I donīt really think that the above paragraph is a contradiction of the first; more, I think it underlines the difficulty of finding inspiration in the īsame old placesī, not because subjects might not be there, but because familiarity has destroyed the abilty to see anew.

Even that might not alway be as straightforward as I might have appeared to put it. My personal problem, in working life, was that location was generally about providing background to a model or model and product; location as subject in itself is another matter, and possibly more difficult a one to handle. I think it must be. For example, I have lived the past twent-seven years more or less in the same little Spanish town and it was only some few months ago that I discovered some previously unseen (by me) motifs which fitted neatly into a little idea that I had about catching a series of pictures that would illustrate the emotion of unease. They had always been there, but I just wasnīt looking for them at the time. So, was I blind all that time, or was the need simply not there to provoke the vision?

We could all have been bank managers.

Rob C
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ashaughnessy
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« Reply #134 on: August 19, 2008, 03:31:01 AM »
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I don't know if all possible definitions have an equal footing. I know that some definitions are subjective ("art is what I like") and so we'll never get agreement about what's art according to such definitions. Objective definitions can be made that can give objective answers but I don't know whether they're any more valid than subjective definitions. I'm not even sure we need a universally agreed definition.

Perhaps we should go back a step and ask ourselves why we need to know what's art and what's not art? Perhaps the answer to that question will give a definition of art, though it might still be a subjective definition.

For myself, I used to ask the question "is this art" as some way of deciding whether I was supposed to like something or not. If someone in "authority" had labelled something as art but I didn't like it, then I'd feel the need to understand why I didn't like it. If it wasn't labelled as art then it didn't matter. A lack of confidence on my part. Now I don't have the same need to know whether something is art.

For example - is Duchamp's "fountain" art? Well I don't really care, so I don't need a definition of the word "art" to tell me if its art. If I really needed to know if its art then I'd have to work out why I needed to know that and then that might give me a definition I could use.

Anthony
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Rob C
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« Reply #135 on: August 19, 2008, 05:13:09 AM »
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Anthony

And I used to think that I suffer from a labyrinthine mind!

Taking your recommended step backward and asking whether we really need a definition of what is or is not art is too late: the question has already been posed, not just here, but everywhere and for as long as memory serves.

I think the situation here is that we are thinking of such definitions purely in terms of photography, which in a photo-forum is fair enough. Also, I suspect that the need for such a question is powered by a possible lack of confidence still extant among photographers that our art is not art at all, just a mechanical trick which some perform better than others.

I have no idea where this next bit of wisdom came from, but the more I think about it, the more accurate it seems to be: there is no art, just artists.

I wonīt even go into the matter of how an artist defines his work - one I respect very much says that much of his work is not art either, but that some select examples of that work do, in fact, measure up to his standard of what is or is not art.

Go figure!

Rob C
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ashaughnessy
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« Reply #136 on: August 19, 2008, 08:29:11 AM »
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Here's a concrete and real-world "question behind the question".

Which artists, artistic pursuits, and art objects should be considered worthy of funding with public money?

Let's say a museum wanted to purchase Duchamp's fountain / urinal using money from the public purse. There may well be discussion about whether Duchamp's work is art in this context and therefore worthy of public funding. This gives us a context in which to decide whether his work is art. Its still subjective but at least we have a framework for the debate and we can now focus our discussion in this context.

There are an unlimited number of contexts (questions behind the question) leading to an unlimited number of definitions of art. Without knowing the context in which the question was asked, we can't answer it.

Consider looking at the definition of the word art at www.dictionary.com - there are several definitions and you would choose whichever is most relevant to the question you're trying to answer.

Anthony

PS: I've just re-read the original post and it does suggest that deciding whether something is fine-art is context-specific - so perhaps I agree with the original poster. I think one possible useful definition of "fine art" is what you sometimes see on commercial photographers web sites, where they distinguish portfolios of their commercial work from their personal (AKA fine art) work.
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Misirlou
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« Reply #137 on: August 19, 2008, 03:25:17 PM »
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The artist is simply trying to tell you something, without doing so directly. How clever they are at balancing that intended communication with indirect abstraction is how I measure their quality.

What I look for now is a sense of the artist's momentary experience. I really get jazzed by works that gives me the feeling of experiencing the moment that the artist experienced. I don't necessarily care if the artist was trying to make some larger point either. It seems as if there are more than enough political statements to be found in art today, and I'm just not that interested in sermons: Give me a sense of what it feels like to be be present in a different time or a different place.

By that criteria, St. Ansel is deserving of the veneration. His technical prowess helps me to see what he saw, and that matters a great deal, to me. I can get lost in some of his photos. Just stand there for a few minutes and try to imagine what the air smelled like, or how the waterfall sounded. I also prefer his later, "blacker" style, because I think those abstractions were more bold. It just so happens that he eperienced a lot of his favorite moments in the national parks. If he shot car shows, I might like those just as much.

The French impressionists are out of favor at the moment, but I can't think of better examples of that "sense-of-the-moment" feeling. I appreciate cubism and abstract expressionism too: Not too many more powerful images than Guernica. And I really enjoy films like Radio Days. A real sense of time and place in that one. To me, that's art.

Yeah, I know these things aren't "edgy," and they don't require a cultivated art background to understand, but that's not where I want to be these days. A few years ago, I went to a jurried exhibition where it seemed like the artists' notes were all full of statements like "I'm trying to challenge conventional notions of gender identity." Pretty hard to communicate that successfully with a static art piece.

I do see a distinction between commercial photography and so-called fine art photography. A photographer might be trying to capture a set of images solely to put food on the table, wihtout regard for communicating anything other than "this is a shiny toaster," and there's nothing wrong with that. If that same photographer worked hard to make an image that might communicate on its own, even if the buyer didn't really notice or care, that could be art too. It's just that not very many collectors are going to spend much time savoring the moment expressed by a photo of a spiffy, carefully-lighted toaster.

Of course, I fully expect someone to pull out their toaster art now...
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Rob C
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« Reply #138 on: August 24, 2008, 02:44:48 PM »
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Letīs not forget the example by Warhol: Campbellīs Soup! Why not the toaster, indeed!

That remark about gender was so true: I remember exactly the same rubbish coming out about all manner of subjects that had zilch to do with gender, sex or even people. To me, thatīs all curator-speak and not really worth absorbing, though it is worth reading it and wondering at the ingenuity of some minds to make such leaps of faith into the power of words. It is quite alarming just how much words can be employed to create myth which in turn becomes accepted knowledge, rock-hard fact! Look no further than the MF Piccy section of this forum to see how that happened to me.

Actually, if that sort of thing is so easily done in our society, then can anyone really wonder that states like Iran feel they NEED a bomb to equal the equation? Mobs are not pretty things; certainly not works of art unless perhaps in paintings!

On the matter of artistīs message: I really doubt that many artists are even aware that they have one. My instinct is that they do as I do - do what feels right at the time, sometimes it works and often it does not. In professional work too, there is (was?) a good deal of that about, the freethinking photographer taking a brief and interpreting. I accept that that has gone today on the big work. I recall a TV interview with Helmut Newton where he made the same point: īeverything has become such a big deal now,ī were his words. Good, bad? Who can tell - itīs just the way it is.

But will it always be that way? I have a sneaking suspicion that the apparent demise of TV advertising and the parallel fall in print advertising revenue to internet advertising might see a return of the simple photographic operation. After all, I spend too much time on the web already and most advertising manages to get screened away; that which does get through is very small-sized and not up to much. Will it make sense to continue lugging around the cart of bricks referred to elsewhere on the forum? Will there, indeed, be a market for all of those projected MF digi backs if the scene changes that radically? What will pay for it? More debt? We know where that has got us today.

Rob C
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« Reply #139 on: February 20, 2009, 03:23:20 PM »
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Quote from: alainbriot
For me a fine art photograph is one that is done with the goal of creating a work of art. It is an image that is done with a high level of craftmanship and care.

The goal is an artistic rendering of a subject in the finest manner possible.  

it should demonstrate an above-average printing skills.  Ideally, it should demonstrate outstanding printing skills.

In photography we all know that specific photographer's work can be safely considered fine art: Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Joel Meyerowitz, all produced fine art work.  But how about a new photographer whose work hasn't been "stamped" with the fine art label by his or her peers?  More difficult to say.  I hope the above list, however partial, does help.

I guess Cartier-Bresson wasn't an artist then. After all, he didn't do his own printing. But if you'd concede that he was an artist, then, when one of his magnificent photographs was printed in Life Magazine was the photograph on the magazine's page "fine art?"

The whole stupid question was answered long ago. Why not move on to a more important question like how many angels can dance on the head of a pin? I know, it might depend on the size of the pin, but there surely must be some generalizing factor similar to the quality of a "fine art" photograph's mounting.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2009, 08:28:28 AM by RSL » Logged

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