Art Appreciation

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Rob, May 17, 2006.

  1. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2005
    Messages:
    6,217
    Likes Received:
    134
    Location:
    London
    Ok, here goes.... hopefully I can make a number of vague points and you can disagree with them.

    Have a look at this randomly chosen internet sample:
    http://www.artexpressed.com/images/GoalsDolphin.jpg

    You have hopefully seen this or an identical thing elsewhere in poster shops.

    Do you hate it? I do.

    Why do I hate it so?

    Not solely because it uses a gut-wrenchingly unpleasant motivational message to make up for the fact it's essentially an aesthetic graphic, not art.

    I hate it, because of the number of people who would think that's the BEST thing they've ever seen photographically. (Right now, I could call up my mate with a boat who's into deep sea fishing and seek a sunrise or sunset and a bit of luck with dolphins... With a bit of luck and a bit of dolphin attracting behaviour, I'm pretty confident I could recreate that shot within a shortish time frame. I bet you all could as well.) - not really the point though.

    When you produce your art, be it music, painting, photography (most likely!)... are you going for emotional impact, a communication, a message, perhaps intellectual interraction with someone, hidden meanings, depths... I certainly try to. The rest of the time, its a snapshot.

    Or.... perhaps you would prefer the lowest common denominator to worship the ground you walked on, because you captured two cliches at once - a dolphin AND a bloody sunset? What next, a deer in front of a waterfall?

    So, am I being elitist here? Hmm, seems certain really. But, and here's the crux of my conundrum... Is it vital that, if scrutinised, your content is widely understood, would you "get" it? Or do artists produce work for artists, critics and students to appreciate alone. Where does the balance between communicating with your audience and being widely misunderstood get struck? Are you wrong to make a point which the vast majority will never get? Do you produce art for yourself, by an inner drive or perhaps for money?

    Perhaps I should seek help? :lol: Anyone else see or get what I'm rambling incoherently about?

    Thanks for bothering to get this far. Now argue please!!

    Rob
     
  2. Arch

    Arch Damn You! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2006
    Messages:
    8,487
    Likes Received:
    102
    Location:
    locked in the attic
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    ok rob..... seriously.... do you realise what agro this thread is gonna cause :lol: ...... i really try to avoid any in depth conversation on a forum about what i think is art...... the trouble is, i suppose i am kinda elitist aswell...... i spent 5 years of my life at art college so to me an uneducated opinion is a non arguement (this doesn't mean you cant self teach of course)..... i mean the people who arn't bothered about the meanings of paintings, sculptures and images which have been in the public eye for centuries, but are all to quick to give an opinion when a debate starts.

    Anywhoo...... i also find the image you linked to quite distasteful.... even kitsch... but as for the ease of going out and capturing it, i have similar arguements for wildlife photogs.

    Alot of people dont consider a detailed shot of a wild eagle for example as difficult or of taking great skill to achive...... i disagree. I could go out in the next hour, take a picture of a park bench at a low angle..... good dof.... convert it to b+w..... hey presto... 'art' within 1 hour...... now if i said im gonna go out for an hour and get a shot of an eagle (even if i had all the right equiptment) i would probably come back with nothing...... maybe a small shape of an eagle sat in a cluttered tree....... why?..... because it takes skill and an understanding of wild 'life' to know where to go, how to capture it etc.......

    so when it comes to skill or time spent on captures i dont think there is a clear arguement either way, you could capture a masterpiece in 10 mins or spend 3 months trying to get the shot you want.

    ok here's the really contraversial bit now...... to me in the hierarchy of the art world photography is near the bottom of the list. If i go to an art gallery i dont make a b-line for the photog section..... i wanna see the paintings first.... followed by the sculptures and modern art pieces...... followed by the installations...... then its a toss up between the short film and visual art..... and the photog......
    When it come to the turner prize every year...... i often dont find enough in contemporary photog to win me over....... again i prefer the paintings and the sculptures (although it does depend whats on offer in that year!).....

    I mean dont get me wrong i still love photog.... but for me it isn't for the niche group of artists anymore..... its been watered down..... just as the digital age kicks in, we can see it everywhere..... everyone with a computer can do graphic design all of a sudden..... (what happened to letraset and and hand drawn illustration) and im affraid to say photog is going the same way...... (anybody in a company with a point and shoot can do the photog for the company advertising) gone are the days when it takes true dedication, skill and artistic tallent to produce a piece worthy of an exhibition or gallery piece..... it can be done with minimal training.

    I love photog for what it is to me....... creating images which mean somthing to me or i think can evoke a reaction in others... if the end result is regarded as art or a snap shot is kinda Irrelavant to me...... and the same goes for viewing other peoples photog..... some i think is better than the photog thinks it is.... other images say less than the photog intended. Its subjective, we all know that right ;) ........ ok end rant.

    ^^I dont know if any of that makes sense... but i cant be arsed to go back and edit it :lol:
     
  3. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Messages:
    1,204
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Dearborn, MI
    Here is a question. What do you think the photographer that took the shot feels about that image?
    Maybe it was just a stock shot to make money, so if this is the case and he never pretended it to be fine or high art. What do you think of it now?

    To each his own on what you like. Technically, it is a fine image. (especially if it wasn't photoshopped:) ). If everybody had good taste, there would not be "pop" music:lol: .

    Personnally, I don't really care for the image. It does nothing for me and frankly I wouldn't really give it a second thought. Just not for me. But I do know what I like and I feel good photography can be a fine art medium. I don't rank the art forms. I give equal attention to the different mediums. (except installations:wink: )
     
  4. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2005
    Messages:
    6,217
    Likes Received:
    134
    Location:
    London
    Absolutely, the image is just a demonstration of that type of picture. All credit to anyone who can make money in this world.... However, it is people's perception that I was alluding to.

    Excellent point about pop music too. Mr Blobby was at #1 after all. :lol:

    Rob
     
  5. 2framesbelowzero

    2framesbelowzero TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Messages:
    300
    Likes Received:
    1
    Exactly. Let me know the conclusion of the this thread. :lol:

    oO("art is art, and everything else is everything else")
     
  6. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2006
    Messages:
    6,071
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    in the middle of north carolina
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    interesting question is art only what I think it is.... maybe so.
     
  7. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2003
    Messages:
    5,600
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    Hermosa Beach, CA U.S.A
    Hate may be the wrong word.

    The age old question.

    The photo is kind of like McDonald's food. It tastes good, but it is not good for you. Then again I think that who am I to judge. I consider that there are many different levels of art. I shoot commercial, editorial and personal work. All are different, but all are my personal best. Someone shoots a dolphin jumping into the sunset. Makes a fortune. I say more power to them. Some people like cheesy photos. Some work at their craft and forsake the cheese. Point is that there is no correct answer. That is the beauty of it.
     
  8. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Messages:
    34,814
    Likes Received:
    814
    Location:
    Lower Saxony, Germany
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    But there should be an answer as to what art is and how it is defined.

    A different matter is to discuss what is beautiful and what is not beautiful.
    That is a matter of tastes and therefore simply CANNOT be discussed.
    For some people find this photo (if it is one, I cannot quite tell) "absolutely beautiful, wow", while others, like Rob, even feel a little offended by its kitschy cliché character (and I tend to share his opinion on this sort of images). But I have a friend somewhere in this world who keeps sending me such images in e-mail, with unicorns in mystic woods and other such things that are on the same line (to my mind) as this dolphin swimming towards the setting sun, and he apparently finds these ever so beautiful that he needs to share them.

    Now I get them and forget them.
    My 13-year-old daughter, however, just LOVES them.
    I say that goes with her age --- cheesy things are much appreciated by teenage girls.

    I hope, though, that her tastes will get more refined in the course of time and she will start to appreciate other things, more artistic things.

    And here we come back to what is art?
    And I think that when something is art, there is more to it than the immediate foreground, more than just the immediate image that makes us say "Wow, how beautiful", like this dolphin-into-the-sunset pic might make a good many people say.

    Like in poetry, where language helps to "condense" the thoughts and emotions of the poet, and to focus on something special with the means of language, in other forms of art this should be represented, too. So to my mind art is a form where there is more "underneath" than what immediately meets the eye, and I am having my doubts that this is the case with the dolphin-meets-the-setting-sun pic.
     
  9. Luke

    Luke TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    0
    "gone are the days when it takes true dedication, skill and artistic tallent to produce a piece worthy of an exhibition or gallery piece..... it can be done with minimal training."
    i disagree, while it might be easier to get lucky with a shot, because you can take a bagillion digital pictures and get one good one, it still takes skills to be consistent, and talent. you have to be creative
    'well yeah but you can make a bad shot good in PS'
    you still need to know what your doing, you can't change composition in PS, you can't go back and capture your subject 1 second before in PS, you CAN edit landscape photos and make em look better, but im not to concerned, if anything i think it will push the style further, just think, what's amazing now, will be a dolphin and a sunset in 10 yrs time. enjoy it.
     
  10. Arch

    Arch Damn You! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2006
    Messages:
    8,487
    Likes Received:
    102
    Location:
    locked in the attic
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Let me clarify..... what i mean by minimal training, is not a quick rundown of a cameras functions..... i meant like a 2 year foundation collage course.... in a photographers career this would still be considered minimal training, and yes some of these people do leave college without going on to higher courses and decide to hold public exhibitions as 'artists'.

    Also i would say you can make a bad shot good in ps? ;)
     
  11. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Messages:
    2,117
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    Tottenville, Staten Island, NYC USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    LaFoto: Noted the new thumbnail. The incisors suggest a possible problem with overbite.

    On beauty, I agree whole-heartedly. De gustibus non est disputandum.

    On Art: Art should be [must be?] grounded in the inner reality of the artist -- the world as the artist sees it, not as it objectively is.

    It is this which gives the artist his/her 'voice.' Great artists 'speak' with such a different voice that their work is identifiable and assignable.

    On photography as a medium: I cannot in good conscience rank the mediums through which the artist may choose to express such statements. Picasso could do it with colored paper and scissors, for goodness sakes!

    Luke: on the comment of a 'bagillion' shots -- it's a statistical fact that given enough monkeys typing on enough word processors for a long enough time, they will eventually come up with "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. . ." This does not diminish Will Shakespeare's talent, nor the artistic quality of the poem, by a single iota.
     
  12. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2005
    Messages:
    6,217
    Likes Received:
    134
    Location:
    London
    I thought it was if you took a room and put a thousand monkeys in it with a thousand typewriters and came back a few years later.....





    ... you'd have a room full of dead monkeys.


    ... sorry

    Rob
     

Share This Page