Fine art photography

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by anthonymarsh, Feb 2, 2021.

  1. And once again, you refuse to give an example of fine art that is in line with your understanding of it. That's because even you, yourself, likely realize how bogus it is. I thought I had made clear that I think Weston's pepper is an example of fine art. So, goose but still no gander!
    I retract. You said "quite a lot." Sorry for being inaccurate.
    That's what I was doing.
    I agree, and didn't say otherwise.
    I think it does, actually. "Better," maybe not. But different. People who take paint to canvas, whether successful or not, at least are giving it a try and opening themselves up to the opinions on their work of any Tom, Dick, Harry, Arthur, or QG who wants to give an opinion, even generalized opinions on "quite a lot" of stuff.
    I've come across artists whose work I don't like and whose statements about their art seem silly, but I don't let those few influence what I think about "quite a lot" of art. I don't actually care much about "quite a lot" of art. I care about the art that moves me and the art I make. Arguments about people declaring themselves artists may be good fodder for Internet chatter but they are the intellectual equivalents of paintings of genitals being shocking or novel. In other words, they get us nowhere in deepening our understanding of art or fine art.
  2. Uhm... and i said nothing about Weston?

    Sam, you calling something bogus does not make it so.

    And you do believe that people who offer an opinion do not open themselves up to the opinions of others, and are to be ignored and dismissed? While people who try to make art and fail merit attention because they do open themselves up to the opinion of others?
    That's both bogus urself, and showing little understanding of the fact that art itself is a means of offering opinions (so where's the difference?), and that is just in this that art distinguishes jtself from fine art, which only offers being pretty.

    I do not let one artist and his or her art influence what i think about a lot if art. I let a lot of art influence what i think about a lot of art. I mentioned "descriptive" before, in opposition to your "statement". It would appear that you're the one holding dogmatic believes about what art is, and offer no more than statements manifesting your believes.
    Art is a discourse, and you do need to pay attention. To all of it, Sam, and not just to whatever tickles your fancy. That bogus "focus" cannot deepen your understanding of art. Only caring about "quite a lot" of it can.

    It would appear here that it is indeed true: if you want to understand, say, art, do not ask an artist to explain. Just like you do not ask a loaf to explain "bread".
  3. I didn't say you said nothing about Weston. I said you've refused to give an example of something you think is fine art. You clearly said Weston's photos are NOT examples of fine art. What you have been unwilling or unable to do is give an example of someone whose photos—or anyone working in any medium—would be fine art according to your understanding of fine art.
    Please stop putting words in my mouth. It's unbecoming. I said I respect those who take the initiative of putting brush to canvas and think that's very different from those who offer opinions on such work.
    While that's true of some art, it doesn't seem to me true of art per se. Much art offers ambiguity and doesn't strike me as offering an opinion one way or the other. Art can often simply offer mysteries, not always opinions. Yes, sometimes, it does offer opinions.
    Please quote one of my dogmatic beliefs of what art is.
    In this, we're close. Art can be a discourse, though it's also not, and what I've already said way above is that art is better discussed than defined. That's why I'd be surprised if you could find a quote of mine that offered a "dogmatic belief of what art is," because that would mean I undermined my own basic understanding of how best to think about art.
  4. As to "fine art," specifically, I tend to think of fine art as often self-reflecting on art. Some subset of art seems to be overtly concerned with itself as art. I tend to use the term "fine art" when referring to art that seems to be making an overt statement about art as opposed to mostly expressing other types of emotions. Additionally, some art seems very based in craft, skill, and technique (such as the prints of Ansel Adams and Edward Weston), even if they're also concerned with ideas, beauty, subjects, etc. When it seems like the craft aspect has great sway in the art, I would often think of it as "fine art."

    I understand if there's disagreement with this. This is MY usage. Others' usages might vary. But what I can't abide is others claiming their usage is the current culturally-accepted usage of the term without offering any citations, references, quotes, or evidence that anyone else in history agrees with that claim.
  5. Here's a photo of mine that I think of as fine art (at least that's what I'd say about the print hanging on my wall) ...

    And here's one (same subject) that I don't think of as fine art.

    For me, all this has nothing to do with subject matter or degree of prettiness or decorativeness ... or genitalia.
  6. I don't know much about art, but I know what I like.
  7. Your candor is refreshing.
  8. I do think you're on to something with Fine Art Porn.
  9. I think he had sex problems. :)

  10. Well, naturally he praised it like that. It was his work. :)
  11. Weston's peppers reminds me of the joke about the guy who's at his psychiatrist's office.

    "So", asks the psychiatrist holding up a Rorschach inkblot. "What do you see in this picture?"

    "A couple having sex."

    "And what about this picture?" asks the doctor holding up a second inkblot.

    "A couple having sex."

    "And what about this picture?" asks the doctor holding up a third inkblot.

    "Same thing. A couple having sex."

    "Well," declares the doctor. "You definitely have an infatuation with sex."

    "Me?" responds the patient. "You're the one showing all the dirty pictures."
  12. interpretation is an open range as is an artist's right to respond.

    "As you like it ‒ but this is just a pepper ‒ nothing else ‒to the impure all things ‒ are impure."EW
    "The peppers which are more libeled than anything I have done, in them has been found vulvas, penises or combinations, sexual intercourse, madonna with child, wrestlers, modern sculpture, African carving, ad nauseum, according to the state of mind of the spectator: and I have a lot of fun sizing people up from their findings!'" (Edward Weston, Daybooks II, p. 225, entry 1 October 1931)

    "Now call the above explanation my defense mechanism become active [sic], I say that it is disgust and weariness over having my work labeled and pigeonholed by those who bring to it their own obviously abnormal, frustrated condition: the sexually unemployed belching gaseous irrelevancies from an undigested Freudian ferment."
    samstevens likes this.
  13. I think a lot of artists play with their audience more than they play to them. And that audience often gives the artist every reason to do so. What the audience often doesn’t realize is that the artist is quite a few steps ahead of them, already assuming certain reactions—or at least not terribly surprised by them—even while they may purposefully or less consciously incite those reactions resulting in all of it getting to see the light of day. [The artist as “light of day.”] The reactions, in this sense, especially the negative and shallow ones, can be very much integral to the full process of art. Even in disgust, I have a feeling Weston both welcomed and smiled knowingly at these reactions, appreciating them for what they said not about his work but about the audience members themselves, which he alludes to. This dialogue of artist and audience unfolds over time, which is why we often look back and recognize the utter stupidity of some reactions as well as the vindication of the artists who were trailblazers but needed to be denigrated by audiences not yet caught up.

    And, of course, some of it is no deeper than individual viewer immaturity and, in some cases—not Weston’s case—bad art.

    IMO, a lot of strong photography and art comes from negative places and explores uncomfortable things or previously unexplored and sometimes uniquely difficult emotional or visual territory. Naturally, that’s going to result in some strong negative reactions. The negative reactions, as much as the positive ones, will often tell artists they’re right where they should be.

    I try to shoot and process what I want how I want it. I’d be disappointed if all the people were pleased by my work all the time.
    q.g._de_bakker likes this.
  14. Now that we're into the weird stuff, how about Pierre Molinier? Art or Fine Art?
  15. an atristically unabashed inward explorer. niche
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2021
  16. Molinier, Autoportrait en Érection, 1965

    Hujar, Seated Nude, 1976

    Interesting the different approaches ten years apart. Not sure either photographer was aware of the other. Nevertheless, it highlights how much of a dialogue art can be. For me, the comparison also emphasizes how so many other aspects of a photo besides subject matter affect what I feel and take away ...
  17. e.molinier.jpg
    E.symmetrics inspired by P.Molinier
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2021
    rodeo_joe|1 likes this.
  18. Molinier killed himself. I believe he left two suicide notes.
  19. I have no idea what you make of that arthur... ?

    I find it sad! in poor health at the time of his death at 76. very sad!
    Hopefully he would find satisfaction with his work living on; not an insignificant legacy.
    As photographer he was a ground breaker, in an often suggested (or explored in paintings) but a rarely openly explored photography genre. Times have changed... somewhat.Yes I find it intentionally provocative/challenging (not a bad way to look at cultural taboos imo) but I also see beauty in the execution of many of his works.

    'Even by the standards of the Surrealists, Pierre Molinier led an extraordinary life. Locked away in his Bordeaux studio (or 'boudoir' as he preferred to call it) the artist acted out the kind of sado-masochistic fantasies that Salvador Dali and his contemporaries dared only to explore in paint'
    'His enigmatic photographs continue to fascinate audiences, artists and photographers, and his multifaceted body of work, with its fantasized and fetishized bodies, is still challenging to this day.'

    'His influence can be seen in the work of hugely influential Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki, and controversial American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe -- in its eroticism, fetishism and sexual powerplay. And in the work of Cindy Sherman, whose own self-portraits pushed the boundaries of gender and identity in photography.'
  20. has just released its "Art Photography Awards 2021." Might be interesting to see what they consider art photography, although they don't call it Fine Art.

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