Fine art photography

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

  1. I was making an analogy as well.
  2. "The ideal photographic document would appear to be without author or art." L.Baltz
    no frills...
    I as a viewer think all images have an aesthetic. The question of an aesthetic motivation for the photographer to capture and present an image may be devoid or minimized. Or just intentionally removed from our consideration. One of the most notable aesthetics of Baltz's work is encountered in the way they are most often displayed and presented in book format. For example using small prints in a grid, the striking print contrast sometimes used the notable symmetry and the use of equilibrium often found in singular images.
    His body of work is unique with the Lewis Baltz signature. the individual photos not so much. That suggests a working aesthetic.
  3. Please explain your analogy and how it relates to aesthetics. I don't get it.
  4. Thanks.

    Baltz’s work is very much a project. As such, an intentional non-art approach will be most evident in the series of photos. One photo in isolation might leave a very different impression than each photo as part of the series will and than the series itself will.

    Interestingly, this is also true of a lot of more intentionally art-driven works, that aren’t meant as series. One Monet painting has, I believe, a different aesthetic than when we consider his body of work, in which “Impressionism” is more clearly (sorry for the oxymoron) revealed than it could be in one painting.
  5. I believe that aesthetics and theology are both branches of philosophy. Theology was your choice.
  6. Arthur, you said you were making an analogy. What is the analogy you were making by talking about belief in God generating God’s existence? In other words, what was your point relative to Baltz’s aesthetics?
  7. An often under-appreciated aspect of aesthetics.
  8. I chose it to make the point that referring to Baltz’s aesthetic might be a bit like referring to an atheist’s beliefs. The atheist has no particular assertive belief about God other than rejecting those of others. Baltz seems only to want to reject aesthetics, not assert a new one.

    I don’t understand the point you were making in your original response to the atheism quote.
  9. I didn't understand what atheism has to do with Fine Art or Lewis Baltz. My analogy had to do with belief. But I do believe he wanted to assert a new aesthetic. I also think he succeeded. And BTW, what's your reaction to his pictures?
  10. I think his photos and his particular execution of The New Topographics is a great step in photographic purpose. I think he is sometimes able to combine the concrete and the abstract in a way that seems plain and familiar. Some of his photos are passively dramatic.

    And, in some ways, Baltz may have been foreshadowed by Muybridge and may also have something in common with Peckinpah’s reimagining of the Western.
  11. I like that.
  12. When I was just a teen, I got an 8mm windup movie camera with a three-lens turret. It had the ability to shoot off one frame at a time. So I'd walk around and click off hundreds of single shots of everything I ran into. Then when I finally took some movies, finished the roll and had it developed, I would have hundreds of little 8mm shots of every inane thing I passed across. I looked at Baltz work and it reminded me of my own experiment with inane pictures. Now there's a guy in the news who got $69.4 million dollars for 5,000 pictures he took a day at a time and then combined into one big picture as a data memory file. There's no accounting for art. I should have saved those 8mm snaps.
    Digital art by Beeple sells for $69.4 million amid NFT boom | KARK
  13. Yes. And a whole bunch of folks think their kindergartner could have done what Kandinsky and Klee did. EXCEPT THEY DIDN'T. Nor did you.

    Coulda woulda shoulda!!!
  14. Here's a piece of 'art' I recently passed hanging on a wall in a public space.
    I think the partial reflections from its glass actually improve it... but that wouldn't be difficult.
    Definitely falls into the category of "My 6 year-old could do better"*. And that's just one small bullet in the huge amount of ammunition against what's lumped together as modern art.

    I coulda laid a turd in a hot-dog bun, with a section of tapeworm zig-zagged across it. All lovingly toplit by a softbox and shot like a glossy food advert. That's what I shoulda done. Because I'm sick of being served up total sh*t presented as something edifying. And not just in the art world.

    * Let's not get into how patronising that is to 6 year-olds.
  15. Is it news to anyone that there’s bad art? [Disclaimer: I make no judgment on the work just posted.]

    Cynics will emphasize what they think is the most ludicrous in order to miss all that contemporary art has to offer. This is mostly no more than a reactionary resistance to change and to non-traditional approaches to art. Such resistance, if it had dominated the art world from the beginning of time, would have meant the death of art, since art is inherently progressive (even when nostalgic). It can also be intentionally regressive. So-called critics of modern and contemporary art will look for what they think can be least justified as fitting into their own very proper and often stilted notions of what art is supposed to look like and then choose the broadest brush in their toolbox with which to ptaint all modern art. Rarely will they choose meaningful examples that, if they tried, they might be able to get something out of, preferring instead to look for what they perceive to be the most joke-worthy examples they can find, to score a quick point.

    While “my kid could have done this” is, on one level, about as shallow a critique as there is, in more astute hands, it may actually get at the core of the kind of creativity and intuitiveness involved in a lot of the best art, which so often has set the rules of the world aside to endeavor to express unconstrained and sometimes even naively, freed from the ties that bind us to predictable adult society and its often mannered moorings.

    It took me four years to paint like Raphael but a lifetime to paint like a child.
    —Pablo Picasso
  16. How would anyone know if they didn't see them?
  17. Rubbish!
    Salvador Dali was a pale imitator of Hieronymus Bosch - 500 years later and with almost no advancement stylistically.

    Hurst's 'Badly Preserved Shark' is just another memento mori - which was done more wittily, skilfully and thought-provokingly in 1533 by Hans Holbein's 'The ambassadors'.

    Cubism was pre-echoed by the ancient egyptians, and there is cave art that attempts to show motion through overlapping and repeated drawings/paintings.

    Duchamp's 'Large glass/Nude walking down staircase' was brazenly re-vamped by David Hockney, and the arr establishment's acceptance 'Fountain' has give leave for the likes of a block of bricks to be displayed as high art.

    Sorry, but there's little that's new in 'modern' art, except the degree of BS that gets talked about it.

    A bleak and boring urban landscape remains exactly that; even if it is labelled as new topography.
  18. If you had wanted to have those photos of yours seen and wanted to express something to others with them, you had the opportunity. The reason we haven't seen them is that you made the choice not to put them into a coherent series or project and show them to us. Now, of course, it's easy to look back (without providing us the benefit of seeing them) and say what their potential was and liken them to Baltz's photo projects. Unless I saw that kind of potential in your work, I'd be skeptical that what you saw back then in your own photos has even a remote relationship to what Baltz put out. Maybe set yourself an actual challenge instead of a hypothetical comparison of your work to his. Spend a week or a month or however long you want putting together a series in the vein of Baltz. Show it to us. Then we'll see.
  19. Such a modest little cartoonist wasn't he?

    Where can I see his Raphael-like-period paintings displayed?

    Have you also read the egotistical ramblings in 'Diary of a Genius' by Dali?

    I can well understand Baltz's rejection of tainting his work by having it labelled as 'art'.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2021
  20. I'm impressed. You really were an artist at one point.

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