Fine art photography

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

  1. Picasso really was a great artist, up to WWI. After that, with the exception of Guernica, not o much. And let's not forget that Baltz spent most of his life in art school or teaching at art schools. He also has a substantial body of critical writing about art that I find very interesting.
  2. One of the finest exhibitions I've seen in recent years was a survey of Picasso's sculpture, which spanned his career.


    Interestingly, the exhibit at MoMA in NY, included a lot of photos of his work.

  3. Point taken. I was thinking of his paintings and forgot the sculpture, which I agree is wonderful.
  4. When i consider the history of art... there are echoes throughout from the beginnings to the present. There are also milestones, some of great influence carried forward & many of lesser impact. Some i like some no. Taste. 'Modern art' for some is an unfortunate evolution but has had a tremendous impact. Taste.
    That it echoes the past is part of the evolution process. And it is a valuable resource for artists today. Concepts, messages and style get reworked. They change, shift with societal relevancy and occasionally a 'new or fresh idea'. Very often with introspection of the art world itself.
    Resistance often feeds an artist who hungers for a change and in the desire for something different...their perspective, their voice. I am grateful for these artists who explore change even if i don't like the work. It is the fuel for moving forward.

    Some of the most notable changes in the evolution of art are recent in context of the whole. New tools & mediums. One is the camera, photography & the moving image. An extremely powerful tool and medium. It has firmly established a position in the fine art world.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2021
    mikemorrell likes this.
  5. One of the first Philosophy courses I took was in the Pre-Socratics, the early Greeks who preceded Plato, beginning with some of the great myth-tellers. At a certain point in the class, we came to the realization that most of the history of Western Philosophy was, in a sense, contained in those early thinkers, at least most of the fragmented kernels of ideas being tossed about. Western Philosophy simply continued building more and more intricate salads with the same basic ingredients.

    Something I realized back in those earlier decades of my discovering the world is that being first is rare and not as important as it might ... at first ... seem.

    With Philosophy, with art, with literature, it's more a matter of advancement, moving forward the dialogue - and personalizing it. While art is often misunderstood to be mostly about originality (not to make light of the power of originality), I see it being, at least in part, about both personal and social expression, about allowing the world, whether that's political, scientific, cultural, or any other aspect of it, to be blended into an expression or illustration of value to the maker and, hopefully, to the empathetic viewer.

    Whether there's anything new under the sun, whether the cave drawings, Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Parmenides, the Garden of Eden, or the Renaissance used up all that's new, there's still a thriving, breathing and, as you say, evolving world and the human sense of wonder which keeps evolving along with it.

    I'm glad modern and contemporary artists p*ss people off. Most know to wear it as a badge of honor. After all, Socrates was forced to drink poison and even he made the best of it.
    mikemorrell likes this.
  6. ? New or already done, or is it realigned; A rehash or a reference to the past in the context of now?. Something revolutionary does not have to be 'a one of a kind' original. never seen or heard or felt before in art. For me it shouldn't be restricted to an either or, because most often in good work (as i see it) it's not one or the other. Art is a means of communication outward or inward. So creating/presenting something new is going to be rare and also by nature difficult for most to recognize. more difficult to acknowledge for anyone not open to it. Taste can restrict experiencing the larger picture and creativity that opens doors and leads to ...?

    "I'm glad modern and contemporary artists p*ss people off. Most know to wear it as a badge of honor."
    Intentional or not, which much of what upsets the naysayers is not;
    Pushing the boundaries is an important part of moving forward. Photography had obstacles to overcome to be accepted as art but i am grateful that the ones it upset didn't have the final word. They never should or will in art.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2021
  7. Pushing the boundaries is not important. What boundaries?
    Doing something relevant is.
    arthur_gottschalk likes this.
  8. Just dipped into the last couple of pages of this thread. My 2 cts: to me as an outsider, it seems that for each artwork (or series/projects), artists had - to a greater or lesser degree both intentions and skills for things like:
    - expressing artistically something that interests or concerns them
    - being innovative in their artistic process and/or in the form of their artworks
    - producing work that has a form and level of aesthetic quality (or not)
    - testing/pushing accepted boundaries of what may be considered art
    - etc.

    Some artworks are powerful and valuable in ways that have little to do with their perhaps unconventional form or aesthetics.These are the ones that usually get me asking questions like what? and why? In any Fine Art that I find aesthetically pleasing, I also hope to find other qualities too. If not, I appreciate the aesthetics and quickly move on. On the other hand, Art that I don't especially find aesthetically pleasing can still be extremely interesting, powerful and thought-provoking.

    Just one example is Alexander Rossa's work 'Tomb' that I saw at a local photo exhibition. His 'artwork' expresses environmental concerns in the Pacfic Marshall Islanders where the US carried out nuclear testing for decades. They capped a 85,000 cubic meters dump of plutonium-contaminated soil and debris with a thin concrete dome. The structure of the dome is steadily deteriorating due to rising sea water levels. His 'artwork' consists of images of newspaper reports from the testing period that he printed on small flattened lumps of concrete (symbolising the crumbling concrete cap). I didn't find these lightly printed lumps of concrete aesthetically 'pleasing' in any way. But I valued his intention and skill as an artist in expressing this topic in such an innovative and powerful way.

    After typing all this, the thought occurs to me that not all Fine Art is 'great art'. And not all 'great art' is Fine Art. I regard photographs as one of the media that artists can choose to use. Even specialise in ;).
    arthur_gottschalk likes this.
  9. Good point.
  10. Aside from pushing the boundaries being a good metaphor for moving forward, which can mean both building on the past and imagining possibilities, boundaries can be more than just dividing lines between here and there, this and that, in and out, fine art and art, art and not-art. Thinking in dichotomies can lead to myopia. Either/or thinking seems more academic and theoretical than artistic and practical. Those who make art often operate in the in-between spaces. Artists often find or create significance in what others have missed by thinking of things as unimportant... Weston’s pepper, Brassai’s prostitutes, Lange’s migrants, Hines’s child laborers, Clarke’s drug addicts, Mapplethorpe’s S&Mers, Arbus’s freaks, Baltz’s urban landscapes.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2021

  11. to answer your statement.?​
    - let's start with the boundaries in the context it was presented;
    Pushing the boundaries is an important part of moving forward.
    I am not committed to saying important, so substitute relevant.
    my answer is. Pushing the envelope is important, relevant to moving forward.

    I cannot forget that there is no universal agreement or consensus on
    what art or fine art is..
    so considering what are the specific existing boundaries at this point in time
    becomes a very long discussion.
    Same with relevancy.

  12. 'Which way to the front, please?' Moving forward (?) is not important. Such a western superstition, "forward". And see what Sam wrote about "progress". The only thing that really "progressed" a bit since earliest memory is "technology". We can (already old, this, but) put a man on the Moon. Anything that is behind such desires is even older than the way to Rome.

    "Boundaries" are what you impose on me, and vice versa. Again, look at what Sam wrote: we forgot more than we re-remembered. Today's world is, morally, more restrictive than that of our ancestors, immensely more restrictive than the world of the Ancient Greek c.s. "Moving forward" often turned out to be strengthening boundaries and putting up new ones, closer, more restrictive.

    Art is part of the social discourse. It has no special place or meaning, other than, maybe, that it employs different forms of expression. It is no more at the "vanguard" than any other form of thought and expression thereof. Nowadays, it often seems to have lost pace and lost connection with the rest. While the rest marched on, art stopped too long to admire (its navel, mostly. Also a thing the Ancient Greeks already knew about: omphaloskepsis Too little skepsis. Here, in this thread, too).

    Admire, nothing more, is all that Fine Art is about. Relevant? Nah...
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2021
  13. Suggest we all read "Lewis Baltz Texts, " Steidl, 2012.
  14. ... and maybe make a few photos to share ...
  15. Yes, Sam, please do illustrate this thread and the points made in it!
  16. 'Which way to the front, please?' in the context I gave... for me that would be the now and forward in time. Yep I subscribe to that. Not to be confused with the cutting edge. innovative/original and not to exclude them either.
    "Boundaries" are what you impose on me, and vice versa." I present no limits to you only a marker in time. I think it fortunate for me that I have a different perspective & experience than you posit. Those appear to me to be restrictions that you can overcome or not.. You can choose to stifle moving ahead in the quise of knowing the way it is or you could take the boundaries you percieve as a challenge and tap your creativity reconstruct the equation. Or simply submit to the limitations you percieve and spend the time contemplating The art world navel, as in - it is what it is. either this or that, a construct I find very limiting.
    The envelope will always be a moving target sometimes forward sometimes relatively backward or just stagnating. But it always evolving, moving on forward in time from where it has been. Like the term 'fine art' has evolved and remained connected to the past. even tho some might say a step backward.. not for me. But then i don't see it definitive or limited to "Admire, nothing more, is all that Fine Art is about. Relevant? Nah..."​
  17. "Forward in time"... ever tried going any other direction?
    "Not to confuse with the cutting edge, innovative/original", but "not to exclude them either". You mean things stay as they are, get worse, or better. Fair point. But what's the point?
    Boundaries as merely "markers in time"? Which i can take as the "challenge" to "reconstruct the equation"? What do these markers mark, and what do they bound, to what? What equation?
    Different perspective, in what way? What is, do you suppose, the perspective your's differs from? And how are you fortunate?
    "Submit to the limitations you percieve and spend the time contemplating The art world navel, as in - it is what it is. either this or that, a construct I find very limiting"? Uhm...
    You "don't see definitive". Neither do i. I think. If i knew what that could possibly mean.
    Et cetera.

    What you do impose is illegibility.
    Is this art, moving forward, pushing the envelope?
    In short: what does all that mean, Inoneeye?
    arthur_gottschalk likes this.
  18. I agree q.g., Removing the context and isolating selective portions of more complete thoughts is confusing.
    I was in the mood for a discussion not being baited.
    Well then, i quess it has run its course.​
  19. Now how to turn the letters upside down... really impressive that would be...

    Confusing (or rather confused?) is what you wrote, Inoneeye. Explain. Answer the question to do so? Then we might have a meaningful discussion.

    No, that's not upside down... ah well!
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2021
  20. I've seen these petty baiting & gotcha tatics far to often on PN to care to answer your questions 1x1 since you suggest nothing made sense. Which of course 1x1 would be required to do even if distilled to The one question "In short: what does all that mean, Inoneeye?"
    I would discuss and gladly explain myself to someone who is genuinely confused by what I say and capable of a mature give and take dialogue. Free of putting words in my mouth and ignoring context. and able to retain what has been said in prior shared comments. and interested in other viewpoints. That excludes you q.g.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2021

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