This Photo Won $20,000

Discussion in 'Articles of Interest' started by SoulfulRecover, Jul 27, 2017.

  1. SoulfulRecover

    SoulfulRecover Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    https://petapixel.com/2017/07/27/photographer-wins-20000-prize-photo-scratches-spit/

    "A top portrait photo contest in Australia has sparked an outcry this week after awarding its $20,000 top prize to a “photo” of scratches and spit.

    Artist Justine Varga was awarded the 2017 Olive Cotton Award with her “portrait” of her grandmother titled Maternal Line.

    Varga created the “photo” by handing a piece of large format film to her grandmother and asking her to scribble on it with a pen and then spit on it to leave saliva trails."

    Well? What do you guys think?

    Im not even sure it constitutes as a photograph to begin with. Isnt the definition on "photography" the capture of light?


     
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  2. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You didn't see the other thread, did you? lol But that source was from a Sydney newspaper article.

    Check out the entry info. - apparently it was for 'photographic works' not strictly photographs. It did capture light if it was done on a negative and exposed to light, although there's a photo of the artist/photographer next to it so it was enlarged from the original 4x5 negative.

    I've done lumen prints, and some are on old photo paper that's 2x3 or 3x4 etc. I've also 'enlarged' them by scanning and printing a digital copy. Are those strictly photographs? they're considered alt. processes, so to me they're photographic work but not strictly photographs.

    Is it a portrait? Here's one definition. To me it's not all that good a representation of who the subject is. I think the artist/photographer could have done more with it, to tell more about the subject.
    Portrait – Art Term | Tate
     
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  3. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I voted.
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Entrants to the contest payed $33 for the right to compete in this portrait contest. Apparently, something like 72 of the portraits entered had a human figure in them. Huh... Odd that the winner had no human form in it, but had some neat gramma-made scratches amnd scribbes, and some old-lady-spit images.
     
  5. SoulfulRecover

    SoulfulRecover Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    No I didn't see it :disturbed:
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    When it comes to Art, there is no accounting for taste.

    It seems the judge determined the winner, not by the content of the image, but according to how the image was produced.
     
  7. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If there is some valued art here, it is in the blackboard, not the photograph of it. There is no artistic value in it for me but obviously somebody liked it.
     
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  8. Tomasko

    Tomasko No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Why do we spend thousands on photo equipment when all it takes is just to spit on a film and print it to win $20,000...
    Honestly, it's a disgrace and I wouldn't be surprised if someone found out Lakin already knew Varga before the contest.

    Btw, the contest wasn't "photographic works", but "Olive Cotton Award for photographic portraiture". Scribbles and spit on anything are NOT a portrait, nor a photography. It's a (bad) random drawing at best.
     
  9. timor

    timor Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Looks like some "mecenas of the arts" is showing finger to own society.
     
  10. OldManJim

    OldManJim TPF Noob!

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    Well that tears it! I'm selling all my cameras and buying a Grandma!
     
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  11. Semifusa

    Semifusa TPF Noob!

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    My level of English will not allow me to enter this discussion, with great pity. The problem is ancient: is photography art? If the answer is "no", then I believe that all the rules are already defined - they are technical in nature - and we can only do the best we can. But if the answer is "yes, photography is an art," then it must be analyzed in the context of so-called visual arts. And then, the degree of freedom is much greater.

    And in this sense, we are always at liberty to continue to photograph the ever beautiful landscapes, the romantic sunset, or the many times enigmatic portraits. Or we can try to do something different and go to what I think is the main goal of an art: to question the world and to question ourselves. Painting, sculpture and even architecture have already made this way. And I think it's legitimate to ask: why not photography?

    This award already has at least the merit of putting us to discuss the subject.

    Once again my apologies for my English and my thanks ... to the Google translator:).
     
  12. Tomasko

    Tomasko No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Because in all those arts, you don't do something completely different.

    You don't take a bucket of water and call it a painting. You take something and you PAINT.
    You don't spit on a pile of mud and call it a sculpture. Instead you take something and you SCULPT.
    You don't s...t on a toilet paper and call it an architecture. You ARCHITECT a building or whatever you like.

    There are certain common qualities that are shared among all creations in that particular field.

    If you spit on a film, sure, it can be called "art", but it's not suddenly a photographic portraiture (which was the required theme for that particular contest).
     
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