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Author Topic: Would you hang it in your home to look at every day?  (Read 43252 times)
dreed
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« on: October 31, 2011, 03:00:13 AM »
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Some of the landscape photographs that I've seen are technically excellent - good use of colour, shapes, contours, leading lines, detail, etc. But, and this is a big but, quite often I'm satisfied in having seen it once and do not feel the need to see it again. From time to time, this goes to an extreme - a photo might be technically excellent but I most definitely do not want to see it again. In short, some photographs I would be happy to see in an art gallery but equally as happy for them to stay in the art gallery and not have them in my home. I accept that the actual subject material which falls into each basket is going to be different for different people.

I'm curious, do others feel the same way about photographs?

I suppose from a commercial perspective, is there a meaningful intersection of what is artistic and what is desirable/endurable?

What brought this to mind was that during the last week or so, I was thinking about the Palouse PODAS photographs that were posted on this website and thinking "yes, that's really nice and well captured, but I don't want to see a tractor and dust every day when I get home from work."

Thoughts?
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Bryan Conner
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« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2011, 03:09:54 AM »
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We have 4- 40x60cm prints of mine on our walls.  If I had something wife approved to hang in the place of three of them, I would do so.  But, I do not have any images that I would rather look at every day...LOL.   So, the images on the walls are (in my mind) there for guests to view.  The one print that I plan to keep on the wall is a "trophy" print/image of mine that I am proud of and do enjoy viewing each day.
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RSL
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« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2011, 05:24:39 AM »
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In my home, several rooms, two hallways, and my studio are hung with my own prints. Frame sizes run from 16 x 20 upward. Since my wife prefers them, most are landscapes, always featuring the hand of man. But one room and my studio contain street photographs. I can't even imagine a photographer not wanting to see his own work on his own walls.
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2011, 10:27:53 AM »
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I often throw an image up on the 50" plasma and look at it across the room for hours and sometimes days to see if it passes the test.  No image goes on my walls (the wife's family stuff gets an automatic exemption) until they pass this test.  Sometimes I know within a few hours, sometimes days.

With that said I have walls I use as themes for clients.  Angkor Vat, The Boat Yards, Mae Hong Son, Beung Boraphet, Wat Pho, etc, etc.. There is usually either 1 24x30 surrounded by 4 11x14's, or 2 20x24's framed by 4 11x14's.  I want to wet their appetite for future workshops.  Those were the "standard" walls.  Another wall highlights my most recent "new place."  All these are in UV plexi on 1" standoff's with thumb screwheads.. so the images from each location can be rotated every 30-45 days.

Okay, but now I've been back in the states a few months.. new house.. new clients.. I still do workshops in Bangkok but for the next four years I'll only be there for 2 30 day periods to serve existing customers so I have something to start with when I return.  In our new house I found the themes still work well, same frames, etc.. but I'm trying to come up with some local work to go on the wall.  So far I've come up dry.  I need to get tuned in to the Midwest more...
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2011, 11:45:35 AM »
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... I don't want to see ... [xxx] every day when I get home from work."...

I read once that japanese interior designers advise to always have more art than space on walls. That way, you'll rotate it every now and then, avoiding the "every day" over-exposure to one and the same, which leads to visual fatigue and ultimately to being oblivious to it.
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luxborealis
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« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2011, 08:39:25 PM »
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Your question brings to mind the different tastes in music. There are some songs you only want to hear once. Others that you might play 20 times before growing tired of. Then there are those that stand the test of time - the classics (be it rock, jazz, classical, etc.)

Just because someone hangs a photograph on a wall, it doesn't mean you have to like it enough to hang on your wall. Others might feel they can't live without it. More often than not, it's the emotional attachment to a work of art, not the craftsmanship as described in the OP. Different strokes...

I have thousands of photographs I truly enjoy looking at frequently, but would I hang them on a wall - no. I have a special few that I do. They are special because they move me in ways other photographs taken on the same day do not. For me, they go beyond the obvious subject and beyond the craftsmanship and are a product of criteria that are, for the most part indefinable.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2012, 03:42:45 PM by luxborealis » Logged

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Rob C
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2011, 08:11:03 AM »
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In my home, several rooms, two hallways, and my studio are hung with my own prints. Frame sizes run from 16 x 20 upward. Since my wife prefers them, most are landscapes, always featuring the hand of man. But one room and my studio contain street photographs. I can't even imagine a photographer not wanting to see his own work on his own walls.



The trouble is, photographs and paintings don't go together terribly well. I have three of the latter that I inherited from my mother and they are very good. The only stuff that lives well beside them is b/w (girls) and I also have two colour A4 landscape ones (image A5 horiz. on vertical paper) there because my wife liked them very much. Now, I can't bear the thought of taking them down because they constantly remind me of her.

Starting from scatch, I'd have no paintings at all, only photographs. Again, the problem of mixing b/w and colour would raise its head, and I don't think even photographs mix well in that way. The only way I see both disciplines work is by hanging them in separate venues.

Rob C


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Sharon Van Lieu
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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2011, 10:04:07 AM »
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We have two black and whites and one color photograph hanging on one wall and they look great! They are all seascapes and they all have similar contrast. I find that contrast and tonal depth makes more of a difference in how photographs hang together - even if they are all black and white or all color.

Sharon


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Rob C
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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2011, 11:17:01 AM »
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We have two black and whites and one color photograph hanging on one wall and they look great! They are all seascapes and they all have similar contrast. I find that contrast and tonal depth makes more of a difference in how photographs hang together - even if they are all black and white or all color.Sharon



Absolutely, and the same applies to painting and almost anything else you choose to display; you have to know what looks balanced and even the direction of the feel of the image makes a huge difference. (I try to do that on the contact sheet displays of the website, too, which can be a bit of a devil when you want to edit stuff in or out later.)

Hence, also, the art of the interior decorator, and it truly is an art.

Rob C
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famalam
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« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2012, 01:04:30 PM »
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Landscapes a weird one for me. I shoot quite a bit of it personally, and have had a lot of stuff well received/purchased, but I don't like it on a wall. I've printed some of my own work to hang in my studio, and I've ended up taking it down, because there's just something out-of-place about it.

I think a landscape shot, with stunning colour, etc, belongs on a computer screen. It's not something I want to look at again and again.
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JerryReed
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« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2012, 09:01:38 AM »
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My sense is that images that would satisfy for more than the momentary viewing, must first arrest the viewer to stop them long enough to look deeply into what the artist intended.  Second, the artist should be ambiguous in his intention.  To sustain interest, it should be open to different viewers seeing in the image characteristic to which that can respond personally.  If an art piece can do this, it can sustain interest.

Jerry Reed
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Rob C
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« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2012, 10:22:06 AM »
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Landscapes a weird one for me. I shoot quite a bit of it personally, and have had a lot of stuff well received/purchased, but I don't like it on a wall. I've printed some of my own work to hang in my studio, and I've ended up taking it down, because there's just something out-of-place about it.I think a landscape shot, with stunning colour, etc, belongs on a computer screen. It's not something I want to look at again and again.

Yes, I couldn't agree more.

I think that part of the trouble might be that we are simply too used to seeing the real thing, and that painting, in contrast, usually offers almost everything but such acute realism.

In fact, I feel that most photographs don't even suit most types of domestic locations. It's okay having modern photographic stuff up in a city loft somewhere, in a bar or a restaurant, perhaps because there's something less personal about such locations - but in the normal home situation it feels wrong to me, too.

I do have some of my own stuff on the walls at home, but that's different, because the shots have a real meaning for me; however, I'd be surprised if other people would want to hang them at home. I can't see myself going out to buy some photographs as decoration.

Rob C
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luxborealis
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« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2012, 06:06:39 PM »
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Interesting discussion. Of course it's art and of course there are photographs I would have hanging in my home to look at everyday. There is no real reason why not except for differences in taste. Works of art may speak to people in a number of different ways – or not.

Our Creative Arts Association runs a shop in a downtown mall where I have my photographs hanging alongside watercolours, oils, acrylics and other photographs. I believe my work is selling as well as any other medium in the store including large works that people take home and hang on their walls.

So I must disagree with the sentiment that landscapes don't cut it for visual art and that photographs, in general, do not suit domestic locations - it all depends on the work and the owner of the walls. There are far too many variables at work to make sweeping, broad generalizations about a whole genre of visual art or a whole genre of photography. A well-executed landscape photograph in colour or B&W can be as intriguing/captivating/compelling as any painting as is proven everyday when photographs sell to individual collectors or to people who just want something to look at instead of bare walls.

I think the disconnect is that we, as outdoor and nature photographers,  see so many excellent photographs on a regular basis (and many more poor photographs) in books, online and occasionally on the walls of galleries that perhaps we forget about how truly unique they might be to others who may never get out of the city.
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Terry McDonald
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Rob C
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« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2012, 03:36:38 AM »
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So I must disagree with the sentiment that landscapes don't cut it for visual art and that photographs, in general, do not suit domestic locations - it all depends on the work and the owner of the walls. There are far too many variables at work to make sweeping, broad generalizations about a whole genre of visual art or a whole genre of photography. A well-executed landscape photograph in colour or B&W can be as intriguing/captivating/compelling as any painting as is proven everyday when photographs sell to individual collectors or to people who just want something to look at instead of bare walls.




I don't believe anyone has been making sweeping statements; I think all that you find here is personal opinion which perhaps flies straight into the face of your own personal view and commercial interest.

As for your last sentence in the quotation above, it proves no such thing as you claim. It only shows the juxtaposition that you choose to make in order to back your claim. In it, you opt to ignore relative prices, sizes, visual sophistication of the buyer and an entire raft of reasons why some buy photographs. By no means does it prove that photographs have either the legitimacy or the intrinsic value to be considered works of art; all it shows is something we all already know: you can sell anything to someone, even if only once.

Rob C
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KLaban
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« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2012, 02:32:46 PM »
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I know my own work intimately. Why on earth would I want to hang it on my own walls?

 
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RSL
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« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2012, 06:17:54 PM »
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Well, I guess it depends on why you make photographs, K. I make photographs because I like photographs, and, as Garry Winogrand said, I like to see what something I photograph looks like as a photograph. That being the case, I never get tired of looking at my photographs.

On the other hand, if I were doing weddings or similar commercial work I'd do anything I could to keep from having to look at my work a second time. Maybe that's your problem with looking at your own work, which you know intimately.
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luxborealis
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« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2012, 09:26:47 PM »
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Pardon me, Rob, but why are you being so antagonistic here? When someone chooses not to share your opinion, can't you just agree to disagree?

I have no axe to grind; I've made no personal attacks; I'm only replying to what I read. I happen to disagree, then get attacked for it with statements like "I think all that you find here is personal opinion which perhaps flies straight into the face of your own personal view and commercial interest." Of course it "flies in the face of my own personal view" - that's why I started off the paragraph by saying "I must disagree".

And as far as "commercial interest" goes, I have none. I photograph what moves me some of my work sells on a regular basis in our local artisans shop. They won't rock the art world, nor will they make me rich. But they do show that people will buy photographs for their walls even when they have equally good paintings hanging alongside.

I don't judge the tastes of qualifications of those who purchase my work, not do I claim that my work has any "legitimacy or [the] intrinsic value to be considered works of art". But the point of my post is that it answers the question first posed by the OP: "Yes, some would hang it in their home to look at every day."


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Terry McDonald
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KLaban
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« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2012, 03:29:28 AM »
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On the other hand, if I were doing weddings or similar commercial work I'd do anything I could to keep from having to look at my work a second time. Maybe that's your problem with looking at your own work, which you know intimately.

As a painter and photographer just about everything I've done over the last forty years I've done for myself. That's not to say I haven't put bread on the table doing it, but rather this has always been a secondary consideration and has come after the event. Thankfully that work has never included commercial, wedding, or any other form of commission.

Displaying my own work on my own walls would, for me at least, be counterproductive. If I look at my own work day in and day out the familiarity breeds contempt.

My walls are far from blank, they are adorned not by the work of painters or photographers, but by pieces that inspire me, predominately tribal pieces that I’ve collected over the years.

The only time I ever really *see* my own work and can learn from it is when it has become unfamiliar, when intimacy is long gone.   
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 03:37:22 AM by KLaban » Logged

Rob C
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« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2012, 03:31:35 AM »
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Pardon me, Rob, but why are you being so antagonistic here? When someone chooses not to share your opinion, can't you just agree to disagree?I have no axe to grind; I've made no personal attacks; I'm only replying to what I read. I happen to disagree, then get attacked for it with statements like "I think all that you find here is personal opinion which perhaps flies straight into the face of your own personal view and commercial interest." Of course it "flies in the face of my own personal view" - that's why I started off the paragraph by saying "I must disagree".

And as far as "commercial interest" goes, I have none. I photograph what moves me some of my work sells on a regular basis in our local artisans shop. They won't rock the art world, nor will they make me rich. But they do show that people will buy photographs for their walls even when they have equally good paintings hanging alongside.

I don't judge the tastes of qualifications of those who purchase my work, not do I claim that my work has any "legitimacy or [the] intrinsic value to be considered works of art". But the point of my post is that it answers the question first posed by the OP: "Yes, some would hang it in their home to look at every day."



Strange; I’d have thought you were doing the opposite of what you say that I should be doing by classifying alternative views as sweeping statements… all I had originally done was state my own view. It was your response to that which caused my own, later, response to you.

As for commercial interests: the moment you bother taking part in a shop/gallery you are committed to a commercial interest; how could it be otherwise? How successful or not has no bearing on it unless/until you and the group run out of finance.

But anyway, this could develop into another yes/no/yes/no saga for which I have no patience. So yes, of course I agree to disagree.

Ciao –

Rob C
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Rob C
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« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2012, 03:57:32 AM »
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Regarding hanging one's own work at home - I do it because it fills a need to relive times that I enjoyed immensely.

Some of it's stuff from calendar shoots, some of it's just from trips the family and I did during our first few months here, when we were sussing out the island and building up a catalogue of locations that we could later use for more shoots. And my wife happened to like some of the pics.

Then, when the work dried up and I retired, those images took on another meaning for me. Unlike someone who has lived in the same place most of their life, built up an identity through his/her work, going away leaves that past far behind in as far as identity is concerned: there's no visible personal history by which the new world can know you. And worse: there's no visible means by which you can know yourself. It's strange, but I actually saw that happen with my mother the first time she thought she'd move out to live here too: I discovered her one day in tears. I asked her what was wrong and she replied: I've lost my identity. I thought she was nuts; she returned to Britain and spent many years there after that, until she was too old to run her own home, at which time she returned, to live with us.

Some flee their backgrounds to escape God alone knows what; others simply follow the latest urge, and yet others - like myself - believe they have found a better way to do business. Yet, I think in all cases, there is a loss of something personal. Now, of course, I understand that my mother's tears were nothing to do with losing one's mind: they were all to do with realising how empty losing the past can make you feel.

So that's a strong reason for me to hang some of what I do; other stuff is inherited but is paint.

Rob C
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 03:59:53 AM by Rob C » Logged

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