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my real feelings about photography

Post #508 • April 1, 2005, 6:34 AM • 86 Comments

Artblog.net readers will notice that photography does not appear often here, is rarely discussed, and generally doesn't receive attention commensurate with its presence in the art world. I feel obliged to come clean about my reasons for this. As many commenters have suspected, I have a bias against photography. Actually, it goes further than that. I hate it. I loathe photography. Video, too, which I regard as a kind of photography, and I regard neither one as art.

I have felt heretofore that my responsibilities as an art writer oblige me to take photography seriously as a universally accepted art medium. I can no longer keep up this pretense. The truth is, I believe that anything made with a machine more complicated than an etching press isn't art. It's just too far removed from tactile experience, and the energies that pass from the fingers of the artist into a real medium, like paint, dissipate into nothing when they encounter gears and motors and computer chips. This is perhaps overly animist, but you just can't beat the simplicity and vitality of nature.

And if one thing is for sure, photography is unnatural. First of all, traditional photographic development has to be done in darkness. Only three things should be done in the dark; two of them are astronomy and roasting marshmallows over a campfire, and the third isn't making art. Something's only art if you can do it in full sunlight.

As for digital processes, I say, so what? Digital processes have simply moved photography, which was only nominally in the realm of art in the first place, more squarely into the realm in which it belongs: television. With the advent of digital manipulation, photography is now basically a kind of slow, boring television on paper. Video is slow, boring television, period. And television definitely is not art.

So from here on out, I'm going to proceed as if the adoption of photography as an art form was a monstrous boo-boo by a bewildered civilization, and that it will drop into a category akin to woodturning and needlepoint as soon as enough people realize that there are only about a half-dozen styles of photography anyway and three of them look alike.

UPDATE: April Fool. I originally didn't spill the beans until comment #9 below, but the thread got long enough to make it hard to find. See comment #13 for my real feelings.

Comment

1.

beWare

April 1, 2005, 4:29 PM

I don't think painting is any more of an art form than photography. It all depends on what one does with it. I loath merely descriptive (academic) painting just as much as any other lifeless form of art or human endeavor to make it.

2.

bibi

April 1, 2005, 4:29 PM

good to know and sadly, that only speaks of your limitation

3.

flatboy

April 1, 2005, 4:38 PM

For eons sculpture dominated art. But ever since oil paint was invented, painting has ruled. That's all a painter needs to know about art history.

4.

George

April 1, 2005, 5:13 PM

Well, the Damien Hirst show at Larry Gagosian consisted of only paintings but some of the arguments Franklin was using against photography might be applied as well. It seems like it is quite fashionable to trash talk Damien Hirst's recent show of paintings. For the most part I liked the works.

My friend and I discussed the show over lunch. Since both of us are artists we decided to take a step back and consider the show from the artists point of view. I would speculate that many of the nay sayers, just see reproductions of the work or spend a few minutes in the gallery. Their views are colored by the power and money involved. If they are artists they might gawk at Larry's stunning exhibition spaces wishing it was their work on the walls (or wondering why it isn't.) Regardless of ones personal esthetic views this is the artworld's equivalent to high stakes poker. It is not just about making a nice painting every now and then. Damien is a player because he has the talent, the ambition and because he has the desire to play the game. Just being ambitious or just being talented is not enough, I think it takes all three characteristics just to get a seat at the table.

None of this comes without a price, the pressure must be enormous. We speculated on the stylistic shift in he made, from pickling to painting. Regardless of what you might think of a pig in a bottle, Damien Hirst had a viable established style and he was attempting to extend it to include realist painting. Now, if you are a young artist with just a few shows under your belt, a miss or two is no big deal, but if you have managed to achieve serious financial as well as critical success, a change can be like putting tailfins on a Porsche.

It seemed like the choice of subject would be the next hurdle. Here I think the decisions were consistent with the morbid scope and feeling of the earlier work. I didn't like a few of the images but for the most part they were ok.

At this point the decisions start to center on how to produce enough work to fill the demand. There must have been 30 paintings in the exhibition, most were fairly large, it was a lot of work. My friend and I looked at each other, "I couldn't do it" he said, "I like to paint too much" At this stage of the conversation, I was thinking like a manager again and looked at the issues from that point of view.

First off, Hirst chose a painterly style which was what I consider relatively low risk. The works are realist but not photorealist. This makes the subjects immediately identifiable to the viewer and the tactile qualities of painting, brushwork and the like are subjugated by the image. There was little room for personal style but it wasn't required by the format.

Historically, successful artists have often had teams of assistants which did much of the work on the painting leaving the final details for the master to finish. I fail to see why people seem to have so much of a problem with this concept when it comes to Hirst's work.

Of course he stirs the waters with his comments, "I don't like the idea that it has to be done by the artist, I think it's quite an old fashioned thing," he said. Architects don't build their own houses," he said, adding that his assistants are better painters than him anyway. "You'd get an inferior painting if it's done by the artist." (Reuters Article) Hello, remember what I said about playing the game? Here he is on the Reuters newsfeed not a blog somewhere. In reality I don't know what he did and what his assistants did, in all honesty I don't think it matters.

My friend and I discussed the issues of project management, I think I would have allocated the painters to the works slightly differently but I suppose that's nitpicking on my part.

So, he pulled it off and managed to finish all the paintings for the show. How did they look? In general the paintings were competently executed. The large paintings in the first room, "The Hospital Corridor" (on the LG website) were really quite well done with nice tactile surfaces and appropriately creepy color.
The same goes for the infamous crack whore series which both of us agreed was a skillfully dour presentation of the subject. I thought the pill paintings were well executed, the color was less severe and they looked suitable for consumption. As I recall two of the paintings had shiny black backgrounds which I didn't care for. One of them had a spiral of pills and was well handled, the other might have been "Minerals" which I liked less.

Overall, I think he pulled it off.

5.

oldpro

April 1, 2005, 5:46 PM

This is fun.

Unfortunately I've got meetings and the like all morning and have no time to dive into it, but we have two very interesting statements here already, Franklin's provocative declaration that photography sucks as art and and George's very thoughtful and objective reaction to the Hirst show.

One thing I will say quickly: can we let bibi's short statement about Franklin's "limitations" stand alone to make that assertion? I think having a cascade of comments deriding Franklin for his shortcomings would be a hig bore. It is a bold statement and way too interesting to allow it to degenerate that way.

See y'all later.

6.

beWare

April 1, 2005, 5:46 PM

One flaw in your "guidelines": to address the writing and not the writer seems inseparable here. "My feelings..." makes it hard. If I am addressing the writing, I am also addressing the writer.

7.

George

April 1, 2005, 5:47 PM

John Perreault has a wonderful piece on Diane Arbus and Larry Clark on his blog
I've read his entire archive and he is one of my favorite writers on art.

8.

alesh

April 1, 2005, 6:15 PM

It's ok, Franklin. I think your feelings were pretty clear before. What we have here are two wildly divergent views of capital-'A' Art. There is the theater-of-the-mind view, where the Art begins in the artist's mind, be it as images, ideas, or whathaveyou. There is the art as action, which includes SOME painting, sculpture, etc., though, as George points out, NOT Damien Hirst's recent paintings (great comment George, b/t/w). Interestingly, oldpro, squarely in the latter camp, has been moving in a direction of conciliation lately.

To be an artist is to be narcissistic to begin with. To be an artist in the latter, "my hands create that which is sublime," sense is narcissistic to the Nth degree. Nothing wrong with that.

What we have here, ultimately, is a declaration that begs to be taken as a potatohead-style, deliberately inflammatory extreme viewpoint voiced for the sake of conversation. Unfortunately, coming from Franklin it's impossible to take it that way. I see no choice but to take it as completely sincere. As such, it permanently hurts the credibility of Artblog.net.

I talk to people all the time that say things like "TV is trash," "Opera is useless," "I just don't like Hip-Hop," "Making pallet-knife paintings from life is a waste of time," "Jazz is not music," etc. We're human beings with a limited time on this hot and salty planet, and we have to decide how we're going to use our allotted time. If I hate basket weaving or whatever, that's more time to spend with stuff I value. The only problem with all that is that you close yourself off from a whole category of experiences. Listening to Albert Ayler is a particular experience that you can't have any other way then to listen to his music. Photography opens whole classes, whole worlds of experiences that painting, or anything else, cannot convey. Turning your back on those experiences is . . . well, that's what we need to talk about today.

Is photography art? Of course it is. Is this the time and the place to make the case? Probably not - the people who have the best chance of making the case have just clicked off Artblog. I don't think we'll be hearing from them.

9.

Franklin

April 1, 2005, 6:26 PM

Okay, that was my cue. I was going to wait until noon or until Alesh commented. Alesh is a fine photographer, by the way - have a look at his site.

Happy April Fool's Day, everybody!

C'mon, people - "Something's only art if you can do it in full sunlight"? I'm not even sure what that means.

(In case you're wondering, yeah, I did do this last year.)

10.

that guy in the second to last row

April 1, 2005, 6:35 PM

good one Franklin, I was just going to agree whole heartedly about how photography never really measured up to painting after the initial wow factor wore off. Its a good topic none the less and seems to arouse certain tempers from the "I can't paint crowd".

11.

Hovig

April 1, 2005, 6:51 PM

George - I won't comment on the Hirst show, not only because I haven't seen it, but also since every opinion in this case will be highly scrutinized, but I have seen Hirst elsewhere (even at its [until recently] Shrine), so I'll say I disagree with your statement that "Damien Hirst had a viable established style and he was attempting to extend it to include realist painting."

I find his style more a personal statement -- a statement of general celebrity and artistic fashion -- than an artistic style in the usual sense. He's had installations [Pharmacy], vitrines with dead things, sliced or otherwise, vitrines with living things, vitrines with inanimate objects, spot paintings, swirl paintings, dead fly paintings, enormous pop-art bronzes like an evil twin brother to Koons, and even a couple of real-live restaurants, with all the interior space decorations done under his supervision as well [you probably know of the recent Sothebys auction].

So I'm not sure you could say Hirst had an established "style" as such. I think people see him for his "meta-style" and accept that he's going to pick a medium to suit his current need. Given his meta-style -- life, death, all that gory, squirmy stuff -- I think the works fit right in.

As to the historical basis for using assistants, is it not true that the old masters actually trained and supervised their assistants? (As opposed to hiring them as sub-contractors.) Also, haven't we corrected the historical record by attaching "school of" to such art? Wouldn't this art be better marketed as "school of Damian Hirst"?

12.

alesh

April 1, 2005, 6:54 PM

nice!

you got me. By the way, I actually do paint occasionally, just for myself. It's tons of fun. Made a painting a few weeks ago, though the only way anyone's going to see it is to stop by my place.

13.

Franklin

April 1, 2005, 7:22 PM

Just in case there's any lingering suspicion, I agree totally with Alesh above. Every time someone creates a new option, freedom increases in the world. That freedom is difficult to use well, as we were just discussing, but more freedom in the world is inherently good. I tell that to my students: I teach increasing options. The more you know, the more you can do, the more options you have. You'll have limitations, and you'll make up some just to make your life pleasanter, but the most adaptive and happy people are the ones with the most options. Materials and tools are just that - options. They only ever seem to become more numerous, which is great. I hope nanotech happens in my lifetime.

Photography has influenced my work, not hugely, but markedly. Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Weston, Minor White, Stieglitz, and Josef Sudek are all favorites. Everytime I look at Charles Scheeler's work, either his photographs or his paintings, I want to go back to the studio and make little precisionist things. The idea of creating an extremely complex surface came partly out of Eliot Porter.

As for video, believe it or not, I want to try some video. It's just a gigantic learning curve and I have some other stuff I want to do first. But it has been in the back of my head ever since I first saw a Bill Viola.

Guy: you can't really make the comparison because painting has had a 20,000 year history and photography is barely pushing 185. New media always get this - pastels had been more or less written off as a minor medium until the Impressionists, comics are still being written off - it just goes like that. I think that's why a certain Oedipal hostility often surrounds new media artists regarding old media. (You can see it in our collective behavior regarding old news media, ie, the Herald.) In an amount of time that elapsed between Altamira and Rembrandt, photography may get its Rembrandt. Probably faster.

Furthermore, it doesn't end up mattering how much one entire medium measures against another entire medium - it matters how its best practitioners perform. Sudek is better than a lot of painters. I'd take him over Tissot. Might even take him over Gerome, especially average Gerome.

George politely and humbly declined my advice to start a blog, but I think he's a heck of an art writer. Hovig's School of Hirst is a great comment.

14.

oldpro

April 1, 2005, 8:12 PM

Damn. I have never failed to be suckered by an April fool's joke. I should circle the day on my calendar.

Too bad, I was looking forward to an especially contentious discussion. I have mixed feelings about photography - in fact, I took "art" pictures as a teenager and later once or twice actually exhibited photgraphs - and it would be fun to work these ideas out.

Anyway, as concerns Hirst, of course there s a huge amount of controversy swirling around what he does, but, when it comes down to it, it really doesn't matter about assistants or if he acts like a hot shit. The probelm is that I have never seen anything he has done which has interested me at as art. It just doesn't measure up, not at all.

15.

George

April 1, 2005, 8:16 PM

Hovig, Im glad I dont do this for a living (write stuff)
What you call a "personal statement" Im calling a style, not in the historical sense, shades of Danto, but in a manner I can Identify with as an artist and which you regard as "a statement of general celebrity and artistic fashion" Without getting too precise about an exact definition of style here, my remarks were in part a distillation of the discussion with my friend, on the more personal and psychological aspects behind the group of paintings. Certainly any hard core evaluation of the work might ignore these musings but what I wanted to convey was a more humanistic side to the process because it I felt it is relevant to some of the younger artists who might read this blog.

Arguing more precise definitions of Hirsts style(s) and the attribution issues regarding his use of a team of assistants, regardless of who trained them is at the core of Dantos posthistorical position. In this age we cannot solely rely on past models for a definition of art, and by extension style or even the attribution of production. In the latter case, Jeff Koons wouldnt be considered an artist if it was a requirement that he produce the work.

Now from a personal standpoint, I like to paint, to do the work but that doesnt prevent me from taking the works of Damien Hirst of Jeff Koons quite seriously. From the first exhibitions of Damien Hirst's work I have felt a sympathy with his sensibility, the personal aspects which allow him to make a decision, what he likes personally. In the high stakes art world poker game much of this gets lost or seen as a strategizing for position. As I see it he could have achieved the same success with an entirely different set of iconographic choices.

As I said I liked the work but the best show I saw that day was the
German artist Martin Kippenberger at Luhring Augustine. I had seen reproductions of his work recently and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked the show "Self Portraits". The self portraits are self deprecating, cynical and humorous. In the context of the afternoon they really cut through the neural fog that comes after seeing a 100 or so artworks. Highly recommended

16.

George

April 1, 2005, 8:49 PM

Franklin, thank you for the compliment.

One of the reasons I comment here was because I thought you were a good writer, turn about is fair play. Further, as I mentioned, the idea of blogging is great. It is in its infancy and growing rapidly but at some point I think it is a form which will need to consolidate in order to be viable. If one steps back and takes an overview of what is behind the blogger impulse, a good part of it must be a desire for the writer(s) to be heard. Why is this? Because if you are not living in a media center and part of the in-crowd, you feel left out. The passionate opinions of the commenters here is an indication of how seriously people want to be heard. If the issues were politics, you would join the protest, pass out leaflets etc, anything to feel that you matter, that you are empowered ,that your vote counts.

The internet is a wondrous development, it is changing the world forever, the genie is out of the bottle and Pandoras box of restricted thoughts has been dashed against the rocks. At the same time it is like the real world, fraught with evil as well as goodness but for the first time ever it is possible to communicate and develop relationships with people you have never met. With effort one can close this loop and actually meet them face to face as I have done several times. On a mundane or just practical level what this borderless communication allows, is for people with similar passions and interests to communicate. In our case as artists it allows us to debate amongst ourselves the merits of todays topic from our point of view, testing it in the real world of shared critical experience.

Pretty cool if you ask me

17.

oldpro

April 1, 2005, 8:52 PM

Once again, thanks for the intersting link, George.

Luhring/Augustine has some interesting artists. I was especially taken with the Joel Sternfeld, who takes photographs which typify my problem with photography.

I am completely taken in and fascinated by the pictures, and love the "eye" the man has (and so on) but I find myself not seeing the pictures as art, that is, some other kind of appreciation sets in. As I indicated early, this is puzzling to me and it would be fun to hash it out.

18.

Harlan

April 1, 2005, 8:52 PM

WOW! That was great! I was getting all worked up. Formulating something scrolling down and then I read your post-dam. you got me good. Happy April 1st.

19.

oldpro

April 1, 2005, 8:54 PM

yes, George, pretty cool indeed. I couldn't agree more.

20.

George

April 1, 2005, 9:10 PM

I almost forgot but Franklins remarks on video woke me up.

I saw a great show of video yesterday at Eyebeam The link is to their website for those of you who follow video, dig around.

I really liked the piece by Casper Stracke. Descriptivly, it was a double sided screen, slowly rotating in the center of the room. Extending out prpendicular to the screens plane was a strong metal bar which held a video projector on either end. The result was a rotating image on both sides of the screen. Of course this could easily disintigrate into gimmickery but it didnt. The videos were composites of four non-related cityscapes which were spliced together along natural visual boundries in such a way that initially I thought I was just seeing one scene until a truck blasted across the screen where it shouldnt be. Hard to really describe but it was fascinating as could be

This was a cool show.

21.

Hovig

April 1, 2005, 9:12 PM

George - I'm glad you're not an art writer too. The world needs you more as an artist!

I'm happy to accept your definition of style, but then I'd turn and ask why you think Hirst's new work represents a "stylistic shift." Death and pharmaco-medical technology has always informed his work.

I'm not argue Hirst's quality. I actually have some admiration for some of his work. I've seen a number of his dead-fly and dead-butterfly works and liked them quite a bit, and I was quiite stirred by some of his larger vitrine works, but the pickled sharks and lambs meant nothing to me. If he was trying to make me think of death, he failed. The shark was so clinically presented and safely imprisoned behind glass, my only thought was that the London Aquarium -- in the same building as the Saatchi! -- was also advertising its shark tank. Ha!

But back to my question, Hirst has made plenty of "paintings" or at least painted works, and while they weren't figurative, I'm not sure it matters, since his use of assistants makes him the equivalent of a collage or appropriation artist to me anyway.

22.

Hovig

April 1, 2005, 9:16 PM

Oldpro - Now that I look at the Luhring Augustine site, I realize tat Sternfeld produced one of my favorite photos, McLean, Virginia, December 1978. I'm not sure whether it conveys very well in the small size posted online (even the popup version is pretty small), but did you notice that the figure picking through pumpkins at the farmer's shack is a fireman?

23.

anonymous

April 1, 2005, 9:21 PM

I hate art writers. They are far too removed from the tactile experience of art.

24.

George

April 1, 2005, 9:35 PM

Winding up on yesterdays escapade, two shows which I liked less than I expected. After the spirited dialog on "the broken market" I finally went to see the show by one of the young artist featured in the New York Magazine article which set the whole thing off.
Jules de Balincourt at Zach Feuer Gallery was a case where I thought allowing for all the usual gripes, the paintings looked better in reproduction than in real life.

I also had some difficulties with Eric Fischl at Mary Boone in Chelsea. Im not sure why, the paintings had all the stuff you expect from the paint. Somehow they just fell short for me. Admittedly I saw both of these shows after I had seen Martin Kippenberger which in retrospect I thought was the best painting show in Chelsea that day.

25.

George

April 1, 2005, 9:49 PM

Hovig, Maybe I used the word "style" inappropriately. In the sense you suggest, the pharmamorbid world I think he is consistent. This is what I was alluding to when I used the word "sensibility" My speculations were more on the inherent risk of presenting this sensibility a different and new body of work directly in a historical mode such as realist painting. There were a couple of "photo realist" (sic) paintings of the older (and bigger) color swatch polka dot paintings in situ. I got the complex conceptual references but still thought they were dopy unless this is the start of a new series of paintings, depicting other paintings, depicting other paintings, depicting other paintings, depicting other paintings, depicting other paintings like two mirrors face to face. Naw, even he wouldn't subject us to that.

26.

Hovig

April 1, 2005, 10:16 PM

Heh. "Pharmamorbid." I like that.

Good point that realist painting has a different set of "baggage" and expectations associated with it. (And yes, I agree those paintings-of-paintings are D-U-M -- I saw them photo-ed in the Mar/05 Modern Painters). I'm still gona sidestep the whole issue by calling it all just fancy form of appropriation anyway. Instead of cutting out photos or using ready-mades, he's using... um... custom-mades, I guess. You mentioned Kippenberger, whose done the same thing, of course. I wish I could see the Hirst show to decide for myself first-hand.

Sorry to hear about Fischl's latest. I have a "should I or shouldn't I" relationship with his work, but when push comes to shove I admit I have a soft spot for it. I caught his last show at Boone, and I still remember it. I like his vivid colors, and his lights and shadows in strong contrast, but there's a gentle softness to his works that evokes my sympathy. He doesn't push it like Richter, and obviously doesn't get very impressionistic, but somehow manages to just take the edge off.

27.

bored

April 1, 2005, 10:25 PM

Frankies comments about photography are sad and small-minded. Yes, you can call photography a "science" or "not art" or you can view it as a magical process incorporating natural ingredients like light, salt, silver, water and paper.

It is a miraculous alchemy.

If you want to be a total caveman in spaceship than it would stand to reason that mixing pigments and using factory make brushes is too high tech. Ive seen Frankies paintings and I know he isnt making his own paints. hes buying paint in bulk made in a toxic high tech scientific manufacturing plantdont be so full of hate.

Your hatred makes you sound like a religious fundamentalist.

Creativity is sacred, different mediums are likened to religious practices.

If you dont understand photography thats okay, just dont use your blog to spew hate and/or reveal your ignorance.

28.

eddie

April 1, 2005, 10:32 PM

heh heh, boy someone didn't read the comment string, quick "bored" look at the calender

29.

oldpro

April 1, 2005, 10:34 PM

Better catch up with the blog, bored, unless you are too bored.

30.

oldpro

April 1, 2005, 10:36 PM

Anyway, Franklin, it must be comforting to know that if you ever do come out with a strong, unilateral statement like this that you will be "spewing hate".

They are out there waiting for you. Watch out.

31.

George

April 1, 2005, 10:49 PM

Hovig, Actually, I think a lot of people will like Eric Fischl's paintings. I was careful in my remark not to indicate that I thought they were bad in any way, they wern't. That day, for whatever reason, they didn't work for me.

32.

oldpro

April 2, 2005, 12:55 AM

Look again, George. They may not work for you because they are not very well painted.

33.

bored

April 2, 2005, 1:56 AM

yawn

34.

Franklin

April 2, 2005, 2:03 AM

Yawn all you want, Bored - I still gotcha.

(Wait - maybe he hasn't figured it out yet...)

35.

oldpro

April 2, 2005, 3:13 AM

It doesn't matter to hate-spewers like you, Frankie.

Bored figures everything out, for example, clever juxtapositions like "Your hatred makes you sound like a religious fundamentalist" immediately followed by "creativity is sacred".

The guy is deep. Don't mess with him.

36.

alesh

April 2, 2005, 3:32 AM

speaking of the power of photography, i'm putting you all on notice - tonight at FIU the MFA show opens, featuring the work of my friend Isabel Moros-Rigau, a master photographer. Gather up all the bitter painters and head on over. Not to be missed!

37.

Muh

April 2, 2005, 4:00 AM

April Fool or not the comments about digitalizing of art have some merits. I do both photography/photoshop and oil paintings and I enjoy both. After introduction of Photoshop, photography lost its strongest punch which is recording idea of reality as it is. Artistic interpretation was simply documentation of time, place, object and click in right moment. This could lead to interesting interpretations of larger societal issues, aesthetic, philosophy etc. You looked at the picture and you believed it was true what ever you have seen there and you digested in your mind if it was important for you. Photoshop tool injects uncertainty of authenticity of place and object. When I look at the photo pictures now, I have sometimes deep suspicion that someone want to manipulate me, for its own agenda and photoshop is excellent tool to persue such attempts. That's why phography now is, mostly, visual interpretation with limited reality depiction. It lost its strongest punch - the authenticity. It can be pretty, interesting, challenging etc but intellectually it doesn't excites me any more because picture can be a photoshop fake.
I use a lot of Photography/photoshop to push my paintings to another level. It becomes only convenience tool to achieve something else.

38.

oldpro

April 2, 2005, 4:59 AM

"Gather up the bitter painters..."

Sounds almost biblical, Alesh

39.

onajide

April 2, 2005, 6:24 AM

So, it seems there was some justification to my comments regarding the Rauschenberg show afterall. *grin*

40.

Franklin

April 2, 2005, 7:28 AM

Muh, there's going to be a big divide soon in photography over that very issue. Art is basically a history of obsolete mediums. Etching, for instance, used to be a commercial process. Only an artist would fool with it now, because he wants to work with that format and line quality and all else. Film photographers - maybe they'll start calling themselves that - are going to work with their traditional media because of the effects that you can only get that way and the authenticity thing.

41.

Franklin

April 2, 2005, 7:29 AM

Oh, and congratulations, Isabel.

42.

Jack

April 2, 2005, 9:38 AM

Regarding #4 above, I think it is extremely pertinent to read the interview of Hirst in the latest issue of Modern Painters concerning this particular body of work. It may not matter to some, but it made a difference to me, and decidedly not for the better. He's an operator, not a painter.

Hirst's (or any artist's) drive, ambition, gamesmanship and material success are not without interest, but they are ultimately beside the point, or at best secondary considerations. The only thing that really matters is the quality of the work--unless one has Saatchi-envy, Gagosian-envy or $12M-pickled-shark-envy. I don't, maybe because I'm not an artist. All I really care about is how good (or not) the work is, period. No amount of commercial success or fame can substitute for quality or compensate for lack thereof, at least not for me. Therefore, I am supremely unimpressed by the various trappings of Hirst's art-star status. I won't repeat my comments from a recent related thread (a broken market), but his work as such has never worked for me, and this new stuff (perhaps because it's painting) works even less. Actually, it offends me, and I'm not talking about the subject matter, which merely bores me. He's a clown--a very knowing one, laughing all the way to the bank, but a clown nonetheless. I don't respect him or his workshop's paintings.

And by the way, while successful artists in the past have been known to employ nameless studio assistants to help meet heavy demand, there has never been any question, in the artist's mind or anybody else's, that the artist's own work was clearly superior. Whenever a work is designated as "studio of so-and-so," it is understood that it is inferior to, and less valuable than, work purely by that artist. In Hirst's case, however, that sort of distinction indeed doesn't matter. If he'd done all the painting himself, I can easily believe it would have come out worse.

43.

Muh

April 2, 2005, 10:31 AM

Franklin
"Art is basically a history of obsolete mediums." Interesting statement...I didn't think of that. The reason I could not think of that is simple, from my point of view a medium always was and probly will be a secondary to artistic thought. I would modify your statement to "Art is basically a history of human thoughts and history of mediums as vehicles of those thoughts."
The word, I have a issue with, is "obsolete." It took me many years to understand strong points and limitations of photography. The same problems applies to other mediums. It take years until person is able to reach proficiency and level of artistic creativity where others can not match it. In my photographic skills, I couldn't match the best. My mind is not set up for this medium. Eventually, I drifted towards "obsolete" medium- oil painting and this where my mind "clicked." This is a medium which is the best vehicle for my artistic thoughts. It grabs my artistic imagination on intimate level with results I didn't expect from me.
If you use word obsolete as of meaning dead, I respectfully disagree with you. If new mediums shows up around the block it doesn't mean anything, except adding option of another vehicle of artistic thought. Old mediums or new ones (like video) are equally legitimate in communicating the artist's thoughts to art viewer. Those people who are claiming that oil painting is on life support make me always laugh, because it seems that they don't take into account a human psychological response to what we can call perceived tradition in art.

44.

Franklin

April 2, 2005, 3:09 PM

Sure, Muh, it's more complicated than that by a longshot. But it is curious to note that new technology, faster and more efficient ways of making images and objects, gets adopted quickly by artists, and at the same time, art makers as a whole continue to use older processes simply out of love for the mediums. I can't think of another field that does that except music.

Painting's only obsolete from the standpoint of commercial or practical image-making. At one time, painting was the only way to make a realistic color portrait of someone; now, obviously, you can use a digital camera and a good printer and be done with it in minutes. But painting is awesome and gives you results that you can't get any other way, so we keep doing it. Other artists persist at daguerrotypes and chiseling wood and what have you. It is all good.

45.

Muh

April 2, 2005, 5:18 PM

Franklin
I agree. From commercial point of view, it makes sense what you have said.

46.

alesh

April 2, 2005, 6:14 PM

I do have my doubts about photography as an artistic medium. I want to take up Mum's comments in #37 first, though, because none of them have to do with the ability of photoshoped images to fool us into believing them. Bear with me, this is going to get rambly:

As pertains to court photographs, photoshoped images (especially subtly photoshoped images) are a worrisome thing. When you get into art, artists mostly make a habit of being very open about their techniques. Hirst has no problem telling us that studio assistants painted his paintings. An artists who use Photoshop don't try to hide it. But the fact is that it's almost impossible to hide - anyone who works in these mediums will be able to spot most composites, and in cases where there is any doubt, forensic photo experts could be brought in to make a call (if anyone cared enough). Most contemporary art photographers work with very big, highly detailed prints, which will be impossible to make with an all-digital process for many more years (technical digression: a 30x40" image at 300 dpi, which is the resolution of a magazine page, would require a 100 megapixel photosensor. 16 is what they top out at today).

Actually, those big prints require use of ironically OLD technology - cameras with bellows, 4x5" (or bigger) cut-sheet film holders, big heavy tripods, etc. If the printing is done in a traditional photo lab, which is how most photographers learned to do it, it's impossible to photoshop anything. For THAT, you need to scan the negative, modify it in a computer, and output it through some process completely different from traditional photo printing. The result is a print that, until framed, looks and feels different from a c-print. So there is no such thing as "a little bit of photoshop;" once you're in there you may as well make it worth your while.

For all of these reasons, lots of contemporary photographers turn instead to messing with what's in front of the lens before a picture is taken then with what happens after the picture is taken. That's where the action is in contemporary photography (it's also where one possible response would lie to those who believe what franklin states in the original post).

The most important guy who works both with straight photos and doctored ones is Gursky. On his earlier pictures, you could tell which were which by getting up close and looking for jpeging. Computer processor speeds have caught up, and you can't, anymore. At ABMB there was a picture of a german parliament building. It looked absolutely incredible. It turned out to be that way in part because of the photoshop. The more you understood where he made his digital edits, the more interesting the piece became; which goes for all art - understanding of an artists technique increases appreciation.

In that sense, the digitally edited image may have more artistic potential, for me, then the straight image. What makes paintings good is that they are NOT reality - we can get reality anywhere. So in a digital image, there is simply more not-reality to sink your teeth into.

47.

oldpro

April 2, 2005, 6:33 PM

I have done some "art" photography (not much, and a long time ago) and I am pretty good with Photoshop, and it seems to me that anything you can do with a photo is all right. Once again, the result is all that counts.

48.

alesh

April 2, 2005, 6:35 PM

Let's look at those photographers who "turn instead to messing with what's in front of the lens before a picture is taken." Thomas Demand, Cindy Sherman, Gabriel Orozco, Gregory Crewdson, Fischl & Weiss, James Casebere, et al, are some of the most interesting artists working today in any medium. But to call their medium photography, is, I think, to miss the point. Their ultimate product is a photograph. It would be like calling a painter a canvas-maker. The end product is a canvas! Ah, but you've forgotten about the decoration on the front, flat piece. Similarly, the business end of the art of these people is sculpture. What's cool is that you can use real, live human beings in your sculpture.

Your Gary Wintogrands, Lee Friedlanders, and Nan Goldins are a different story. They get in there and snap a picture (actually, it's quite a bit more complicated with Diane Arbus, but oh-well). There is art to it, but maybe less art then in great painting? (I should point out that my own work falls often into this category.) Of course each medium has to be taken on its own terms, but ultimately, for me, the question remains open.

49.

George

April 2, 2005, 7:23 PM

alesh said, "What makes paintings good is that they are NOT reality"

I have a slightly different view in that I think what makes any image-object good is its reflexive reality. I am using the term "image-object" to refer to a physical artwork regardless of the medium, including photography, painting and sculpture.

A photograph is the image it contains but not the image or thing it depicts (represents etc). All images are fictions, symbolic constructs, that conjure something from the memory of our own experiential world which we may accept as a symbolic token, of what we think might have been real.

What is not a fiction is the image-object itself, the thing in front of you. It must resolve external references by internalizing them. With a painting, one might have a subject, say a bar of soap. The painting is not a bar of soap, it is not a depiction or representation of a bar of soap. It is a painting. A painting which possesses a completely internal visual world which happens to include an image of a bar of soap only as a part of its reality.

The same mental gymnastics would apply to a photograph. I happened to see Larry Clarks photographs at Luring Augustine the other day. They were "just photographs", abstracted one level by being black and white to boot. In this particular case, the reality was that the photograph was a black and white photograph of a nude hippie. They conjure up a memory or fantasy, but live in a world where we accept the image as "a photograph". This is different than say works by artists like Thomas Ruff, Cindy Sherman or Andreas Gursky which call into question the fiction as part of the work itself. In the latter cases, the awareness of the fiction becomes internalized as part of the construct of the work itself.

Reality is in the mind

50.

Brooks

April 2, 2005, 7:26 PM

I was going to say that believing that making love should be done in the dark tells us more about you than the rest of the post, until I figured out what day it was. I guess I said it anyway. I hope that part was part of the joke. :-)

51.

DeanM. Beattie

April 2, 2005, 7:52 PM

You have be joking, right?

52.

alesh

April 2, 2005, 8:00 PM

I feel your pain, Dean. Who the fuck wants to slog through 51 comments (some of them long as shit), especially when the original post is . . . well, when it is what it is.

Maybe you should slog through the short ones? Or try searching for Franklin's comments and read those? I dunno...

53.

alesh

April 2, 2005, 8:24 PM

George.

I was looking at photography from the point of view of the artist; the one creating the work. To look at what happens in the brain of the viewer is to open a slightly different can of worms. Now that you've done it, though, we might as well poke around in there a little. Unfortounately, I think you're going to run afowl of the first rule of Artblog.net - the visual FORM is more important then the meaning/content of a work for Franklin, oldpro, and Jack.

In fact, my reading of oldpro in this very thread is somethig like, "the problem with photography is that you get too much involved with the content of the photograph, and it interferes with your ability to enjoy it as art."

That statement (and I hope o/p expands/repudiates it) is simultaneously understandable and infuriating. (And note that under the Crewdson MO the problem resolves itself completely.)

Personally, I agree that the relationship between the subject and what you call the image-object is a big part of what makes art tick. But I would argue that the relationship is completely different in photography then in painting. Look at Franklin's paintings. To the extent they are good (?!), it's because of how he spreads the paint around on the canvas. The relationship of the image on the canvas to Franklin's actual head, or to a reclining girl, seems to be intentionally uninteresting. In fact, I suspect he picks his subject for their lack of meaning-baggage. On the other hand, the meaning-baggage (please rescue me from that horrible expression) of a photograph is central to its success.

54.

oldpro

April 2, 2005, 8:30 PM

Alesh: What I meant was something like that, but as I said I am not sure how to articulate it. In other words I am not making any kind of confident declaration but trying to reflect on my own reactions, and I was asking for someone else to help me out with it. So far no one has.

So hold on to your fury for the time being.

55.

alesh

April 2, 2005, 9:14 PM

fury nothing; i think it's a pretty reasonable reaction. i wonder why you're so reticent on this; normally you bore into stuff with no problem?

56.

George

April 2, 2005, 9:28 PM

Alesh, I assumed you were looking at photography from the point of view of the artist. I always assume the artist is the first viewer and that the viewer is the target.

I actually think that while Oldpro and I may describe the issue differently we are addressing the same thing and are in agreement. What I wrote was detailed, but was an attempt to address the issue where "you get too much involved with the content" of the object. We cannot ignore content or pretend it does not exist. At the same time we must require that the image-object be itself in the world as a image-object. It must first present itself as a painting, a photograph or other object as the primary state of its existence and then that it contains an image.

Whats the difference? If you are looking at the photograph or painting where this is not the case, it might as well be the page in the catalog. There is a difference between a visual presentation that is just intended to convey information and one which is intended as an "art experience"
Elger Esser currently has an exhibition at Sonnebend of very large photographs which were obviously done digitally (you can see the artifacts clearly) They are pretty. I jokingly called them "Postcards" only to learn just now that they are from the "Postcard Series" Im stuck for an opinion but they were very tactile visually. While a photograph could suffer from "meaning-baggage" as you described it, this is just a "problem" to be dealt with. It is specific to the medium but not unlike similar issues which can occur in painting as well. No one said it was easy.

57.

oldpro

April 2, 2005, 9:45 PM

Alesh: I was reacting to your word: "infuriating".

I am reticent because i can't understand my own reactions. My take on photography is different from my take on painting, just as my take on movies or poetry is, but I have problems with it.

For example I am fairly well convinced that so-called "abstract" photography doesn't work, or at leastr what I have seen seems to be lacking something. Photography is by nature narrative, I think, or seems to need narrative, or at least "say" something about something depicted,but it also needs all those other "still" and "flat" conventions to be satisfied. I don't think I have much trouble spotting bad cliched tired stupid pretentious unskillful phoney and all the other negatives in a photograph, and, as with painting, I like but little.

The problem comes in with what I like. I know I am being convinced, but I also feel as if I am being conned. I am relucant to accept what I enjoy, which is something I vehemently tell people not to do with art.

So I walk around with these contradictions buzzing around my head. Maybe it will just work itself naturally.

58.

George

April 2, 2005, 9:46 PM

Speaking of the "art experience". Friday night is the freebie day at MOMA, so I went yesterday for the first time since they reopened.

Overall reaction: It was a humbling experience.

It was like the MACY's of art, nice escalators, "Forth floor...." and almost no fences, or ropes in the way.

MOMA has the biggest Twombley I have ever seen, stunning.

To the left was a Jasper Johns, a quarter the size holding its ground.

and the best Chamberlain I have ever seen (a monster wallpiece)

But it was the old stuff that I had really missed, especiallt this Picasso painting "Violin and Grapes" The image link doesn't do it justice. it's a small painting 20"x24" that is just alive spatially whew

59.

George

April 2, 2005, 9:49 PM

Oldpro, regarding your comment 57.
That's funny (as in LOL funny ;-)

60.

oldpro

April 2, 2005, 9:54 PM

I wasn't trying to be funny, George, but I am pleased to be able to amuse you.

61.

George

April 2, 2005, 10:15 PM

Oldpro, I wasn't laughing at you, I was laughing in sympathy with the connundrum, is we convinced or conned?

62.

Jack

April 2, 2005, 10:46 PM

Alesh, you write:

"the visual FORM is more important then the meaning/content of a work for Franklin, oldpro, and Jack"

Speaking for myself, this is inaccurate. The visual form, as you put it, is not more important than meaning/content, but it MUST succeed as such. This is a minimum basic requirement, or sine qua non, for me. If a piece does not work or succeed on that level, I'm not interested in it as VISUAL ART. It may be meaningful, relevant, etc., but it must pass that first and crucial qualifying test. Passing said test does not make it great art; it simply gets it into the next round of competition, so to speak. In other words, the horse goes BEFORE the cart, not the other way around, even though both horse AND cart are important.

63.

oldpro

April 2, 2005, 10:50 PM

I fully agree with what Jack said above.

64.

alesh

April 2, 2005, 11:17 PM

I don't know, Jack, it sounds like you're walking around with a checklist . . . "if a work meets all requirements 1-5, it is a good work; if it meets requirements 6-8 it is a great work..."

It seems to me, though that IF (1) you test for success for visual form FIRST, success in content second, AND (2) you enjoy the work of AbEx painters like Olitski, whose work, by definition, has NO content, THEN (3) you have arrived at: "the visual form is more important then the meaning/content of a work."

George: your ideas are not easy to digest. I'm still processing #56.

Oldpro: got it. I meant "infuriating" because i agree, or at least understand without an easy response.

65.

oldpro

April 3, 2005, 12:17 AM

Alesh: Ok it occurred to me that's what you may have meant.

I think what Jack is saying is that content is important when it is there - or perhaps "all paint" can be "content", that doesn't matter - but that form (what form does, or however you want to put it) is what underlies everything.

This seems to be undeniable, because making art is applying form of some sort. Otherwise everything is art and there would be no such thing as "making" it in the first place. Of course we are headed that way anyway.

66.

Jack

April 3, 2005, 12:47 AM

Yes, Oldpro, that is pretty much what I was saying.

As for "walking around with a checklist," Alesh, I'm walking around with my taste, views, beliefs, opinions, and experience of art, the emphasis always on MY. I don't require you ar others to agree with what's on my "checklist," but I will not alter it or modify to suit anyone but myself.

That's why I can't relate to statements recently made here along the lines of "we can no longer do such-and-such," "we must now see things this way," "so-and-so has shown..." Really? Who says? On what authority? Not any authority I recognize, I assure you. In my relationship with art, there is only one final authority, and I don't think I need to say who that is.

67.

Franklin

April 3, 2005, 1:17 AM

I have a simplistic attitude about content - content is anything in the art. That's what content is - what something contains. So even Olitski's work has content - paint squiggles, irridescence, edges painted in a certain way. Indeed, if the work is "about" anything - as loathesome as that term is - it's about those squiggles and edges and whatnot. So at a tautological level all art has content and first level of content is the art's formal properties; other layers of content may overlay that one.

Regarding photography's more central need for "meaning-baggage" (#53) - or, put differently, more content than formal content, instincts tell me that that's probably not the case. The materials shouldn't care what the content is, to anthropomorphize a little. I think photography's limited success in the realm of abstraction (although I happen to like some of it very much) has to do with the fact that fewer options of surface are available to photography than painting, especially in this glorious age of acrylic mediums and silicone. Fewer options mean fewer avenues for success, although there's no reason why it couldn't work the range it has to good effect.

It's not that form is more important than content. Rather, formal success is crucial because the content, by itself, can't succeed or fail. It's just there. There's a paint squiggle, or not, a face, or not, a story, or not. But the arrangements thereof can definitely succeed or fail, and those are all decisions about what form the content will take; in other words, formal decisions. This is why it never impresses me when someone likes a work because it addresses such-and-such issue or makes them think of this-and-that. It's very easy to get the content into the work and often the viewer can supply it ex nihlo with a little free-association. Once it's there, it's just there.

Alesh is correct that I select subjects that aren't going to put a lot of content into the image. It's also the case that the way that I paint, especially lately, isn't going to be able render anything particularly complex.

68.

Jack

April 3, 2005, 1:39 AM

Precisely, Franklin. Very nicely put.

69.

jordan (true)

April 3, 2005, 3:33 PM

isabel rigaud's photos at the frost museum; one could adhere them to flemish paintings, and negatively deconstruct the subject, scale, context and the like, yet moody work allways grabs me as i'm a sucker for honest direct feelings regardless of the medium. photography is the spookiest and most mysterious medium of all the arts; and the hardest to (pin-down) define.

70.

Leo

April 3, 2005, 5:04 PM

Can anyone identify this picture and artist?

http://www.zax.org/neophyte.htm

Thank you.

71.

oldpro

April 3, 2005, 5:45 PM

look on the back of the picture and let us know the exact wording of any label, tag or anything written.

72.

Leo

April 3, 2005, 6:36 PM

Unfortunately, I only have a digital copy.

I also believe that the words "The Neophyte" may not have come from the artist.

I've also been searching AllPosters.com...
Any other suggestions?

Thank you for responding.

Leo

73.

alesh

April 3, 2005, 7:14 PM

Geroge.

That the artist is the first viewer is interesting, and true, but there's more. The artist has access to a work before it is finished - in fact, the artist's decision makes a work finished. So there is a clear distinction between how an artist relates to the work, and how a viewer (even the artist who created it) perceive it after it is finished. These two relationships are quite different, no?

At the same time we must require that the image-object be itself in the world as a image-object. It must first present itself as a painting, a photograph or other object as the primary state of its existence and then that it contains an image.

I'm afraid I just can't figure out what it means to require that a photograph present itself as a photograph. You mention Elger Esser's work as an example (i think???) of something that fails to do this? Help me out, because I have no idea what this is all supposed to mean? [ref: #56, #49] Again, I DO understand the distinction between the image-object and the image; I agree about the importance.

Franklin. Take a look at this image, and I think you will see the distinction between form and content start to break down. To appreciate "form," as you describe it, should not require one to know anything about our culture or society. Yet here, the relationship between the objects represented, and their representation, is so strong, that I think you cannot appreciate the form without understanding the content. There is a distinction between form and content, but to make it absolute is to miss something.

Now, to call "paint squiggles, iridescence, edges painted in a certain way" content is, I think, to commit harm to the language in a way you normally get all hot and bothered about. OK, so the content of the picture I linked to above is silver oxide particles?? I mean, on some level it's true, but it sounds like you're hiding from a pretty obvious fact: there are pictures that refer to things outside themselves, and there are pictures that do not, and so have, in a sense, no content. I haven't claimed that that's a bad thing, and if "content" doesn't sit with you as the right word for what Friedlander's photos have that Olitski's paintings don't, let's use it, instead.

Assuming you will agree that form and content are tied together, I will stick to saying that they are more closely tied together in photography then in painting. I can't make a definitive case for this, but I present two points of evidence:

1. Painters are allowed, and even expected, to bend the truth of their subjects to suit their purposes. One painter might abstract his subjects to some degree, another might create a painting of multiple figures using different live models, for each character, at different times, colors, spatial relationships, all can be rendered accurately to any degree, in service of the work. Excluding digital processes, very little of this control is available to the photographer. All photographs are categorically of something real in a way that no painting need be.

2. You refer to abstract photography. Yet the word abstract, in reference to photography, has only a pale shade of the meaning it has in the phrase "abstract painting." Both may have no recognizable subject. But the photograph in fact MUST have had a subject, a physical object (or scene), in the real world. Despite being secret to the viewer (and secrets can be broken!), a relationship exists between the photograph and that physical object which can never exist for an abstract painting.

74.

Jack

April 3, 2005, 9:22 PM

Alesh, it's not so much a question of separating or segregating form from content, but rather that the form must work regardless of the content. That does not mean content doesn't matter, but if we're talking visual art, what makes it ART is not the content, but how that content is handled, or what form the artist gives it. Anybody, including people with no artistic talent, can come up with great content and incorporate it into some sort of object, but that simply does not make it worthwhile as ART.

75.

oldpro

April 4, 2005, 12:44 AM

Alesh:

You cannot reasonably limit content to representations of things. In art content is what you can see. (Talking about silver oxide particles is begging the question. You can't see them). if you want to set a workable basis for discussion you accept different kinds of content. Paint squiggles are content because they are there. How can they not be?

Form and content are inseparable in actuality. We separate them to talk about them. I can talk about the form of the picture you linked and I can talk about the content, just like I can talk about the light values and the dark values. it is not a problem.

We do not conprehend any art under any circumstances without an enormous amount of acculturation, The kind you are talking about, the eye in the TV set, is simply a very obvious and superficial kind of "meaning", a mere "skin" on the body of the unconscious acculturation we all share. I have found it to be a good idea to keep this in mind all the time. It keeps one humble.

"Abstract" means, roughly, take from. All art is abstract just by being art. We usually use the term to mean art that does not represent something, but it is just as often used to indicate something in which the factor of recognizeability is low. Saying that "abstract" photography is not abstract because it must represent something (besides, I have seen photography that doesn't ), is, once again, begging the question. There is photography that takes pictures of cracks in the wall and clearly this is meant to be "form" art rather than "narrative" art. Splitting hairs does not help. We all know the difference.

76.

George

April 4, 2005, 1:02 AM

A tiny bit of background, starting in the 90s, I spent several years, as part of the Cactus software development team, creating state of the art tools for producing digital images. I have also lived with large Cibachrome photographic art works (slow assimilation as opposed to a gallery experience)

When I say that a photograph must present itself as a photograph, I am arguing for the primacy of the visual form. Its primary intent is to be a photograph, not assembly instructions, or a color sample or an illustration of some philosophical point. While a photograph can do the things I mentioned and still maintain its intent as a photograph and a work of art. If it does not, it is something else which uses a photographic image as part of its makeup, I think this is different.

Visually, the image in a photograph exists in the conceptual space on or behind the picture plane. This is the natural result of the fixed point perspective which is a property of all cameras, its just optics. While paintings may posses a similar space they are also capable of inhabiting the conceptual space in front of the picture plane (conceptual space = illusionary) This can occur because the visual clues which create the illusion of space can be manipulated by the painter. If I look at Picassos painting "Violin and Grapes" intently, the illusionary space unfolds both behind and in front of the picture plane. The illusion becomes reality.

Elger Essers photographs had an interesting atomized quality which gave them a tactile feeling surface. This surface quality appears to be the (intentional) result of digital processing. The works are successful, pretty too. I still have some questions about these works and intend to take a second look next week

The photographer Ellen Brooks made a large series of work (the "screens"), which had a lot of conceptual underpinnings, but were photographed in such a way the image was also atomized. In her case the atomization was part of the photographic process itself. The two results are different, in the case of Ms Brooks work the atomization effects are created in the camera and therefore posses a consistent optical perspective. The images on her website are too small to identify anything but image, regardless the photographs are quite beautiful.

Photographers will allude to "grain" in reference to the above affects but it is not quite the same. Ms Brooks work was made prior to the now commonplace digital tool and the works are fairly abstract inspite of posessing an image.

77.

oldpro

April 4, 2005, 2:05 AM

Our Miss Brooks does a lot of "issue addressing" - see the typical long explanatory labels accompanying her BFA-level work.

The "tableaus" make the boring here's-a-picture-of-some-dumb-thing-I-spent-a-week-making things at the Margolies warehouse look almost masterful.

Is there no end to this stuff?

78.

bob mac donald

April 4, 2005, 4:34 AM

I think franklyn is stupid

79.

Franklin

April 4, 2005, 4:43 AM

You wouldn't be the first, BMD. Maybe the admission about this being an April Fools gag is sufficiently buried in the comment thread (#9) that it bears repeating, and I'll stick it on the main post just to be sure. But if this isn't about that, same to you and more of it.

80.

oldpro

April 4, 2005, 4:57 AM

But FranklYn, your main post was not stupid in the first place. No need to say so.

Bob doesn't sound too swift, however.

81.

George

April 4, 2005, 8:29 AM

Its my eye
Against your eye
Dawn
In front of the saloon

82.

frankie

April 4, 2005, 12:33 PM

what about naomie fisher she is a great painter and photographer ?

83.

Paul

April 4, 2005, 1:00 PM

Talk about removing the wind from my sails, or in this case from my rant as I scrolled down your post. Being both a photographer and a designer whom primarly spends his day pushing around pixels on a screen my kettle began to simmer as I read on. Fortunatly or perhaps unfortunatly you're april fools end not deflated my intentions like so much hot air that it was! :) Well written by the way and a nice blog indeed.

cheers.

P.

84.

oldpro

April 4, 2005, 3:55 PM

Dawn?? What're ya tryin' to do, kill me?

85.

alesh

April 5, 2005, 5:03 AM

No, no, you'll be OK - dawn is an hour later now. Or is that earlier? Dang it . . . daylight saving time kills me.

86.

oldpro

April 5, 2005, 6:47 AM

yeah, sure. I was there. You weren't. Some excuse!

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