Image Borders

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by michaellinder, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Except for Nations, I'm not much into borders, (mattes something different) sorry, Jack! Long time - hope you're doing well!
  2. Lately I've been selling a lot of metal prints, and for the longest time couldn't figure out why they bugged me in some way. It was because I'm used to framing my higher end prints I've sold with a typical matte and frame. With metal and acrylic prints becoming so popular I had to wrestle with the notion I was complimenting somebody' s furniture in some fashion because there rarely is a border.

    I compromised by promising myself some images I just won't put on metal and some will stay on cotton/rag and framed accordingly.

    Then there's the onslaught of 4x5 polaroid transfer prints in the 80's and 90's with two feet of white matte on either side of the image..........I know what that says about the artist, but this is a family friendly forum.
  3. Scott, there are actually some interesting frames and display boxes being made for metal prints. Some are pretty nice looking but not cheap. Google and ye shall find.
  4. A proverb for the ages, Fred . . . . . . .
  5. I've seen them....but most of the people I sell metals to don't want them. They cost more than the print.

    I know a lot of people who work in framing and matting and if you talk to them it's surprisingly a science from their point of view. Second primary color in the image is supposed to match the outside matte color, etc. Or do I have it backward.

    Period in the late 90's when minimalistic euro type framing was the thing. Basically you sandwiched your image in glass panes with no border, so you had negative space. It tended to work well with full frame 35mm B&W where you showed sprocket holes, but then digital shooters started added shredded/faded edges and it all kinda went to heck at that point.
  6. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Professional framing is costly - I have a few decent antique Japanese prints - even there, the frame often costs as much as the artwork. Attractive DIY framing is well within reach of anyone with manual skills - mitre box & saw, frame clamp, glass cutter and matte cutter plus care and patience!
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
  7. I'm not surprised by it. Framing is a craft. Science and details should matter, as it does to most craftspeople.

    Everyone I've ever sold a print to has paid more for the framing than for the print. It's a bit of an irony, but one most people are used to by now, especially those who buy art and photos.

    Just as there's often a qualitative difference between, for example, DIY wedding photography (why pay pro prices when I can get Uncle Henry to take the pics for me) and professional wedding photos, there's often a noticeable difference between a pro framing job and a non-pro job, to discerning eyes. No one should buy what they don't want. But we often get what we pay for, in many walks of life.

    Those who will inevitably be tempted to misinterpret any of this as my saying that the frame is as or more important than the art . . . well . . . go right ahead. I won't bother to set you straight! :)
  8. 'The frame can be seen as an invitation to a more immediate kind of relationship to what we see and hear than what would typically be allowed by a necessary filtration through already-known categories". Fred.

    Sometimes you just have to wonder that if the frame is so important it must become….for some part of the Art....the better the frame the better the Art. Jeez,, just imagine a piece of Art without the frame enhancement by a master framer. There's a thought.

    "Consider Warhol and his soup cans or Duchamp's mustache on the Mona Lisa. They actually defied the category of art itself". Fred.

    Folks can create their version of Art by painting/photographing a tin whistle....but bottom line the money decides what is Art or not.

    Some folk follow the herd without a mind of their own just to please the crowd.
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
  9. So, lets hit the bottom line here.

    Does a frame enhance the Art....

    And create superior Art which would be lesser Art without the frame.
  10. Vincent Peri

    Vincent Peri Metairie, LA

    My view is that a good frame accentuates the art (or lack thereof). Whenever I get a photo/painting I'd like to hang on the wall, I frame it (depending on size - for example, one of my daughters is a part time artist, and she painted herself and my other daughter and son as they were when they were small children. They're pretty big paintings, so they're not framed).
  11. Why are we still printing images?

    Screens are now rather relatively inexpensive for high resolution. Why not just sell the digital image so one can display them on a thin screen hung on the wall? a well adjusted screen could display the image very well. maybe have some proprietary s/w that only allows the image displayed on a screen with the proper decryption.
  12. Why not?
  13. Innovative, but I don’t think electronic displays can substitute for large photo frames, yet. First of all, screens may have become cheaper, but a large (eg. 20x30) display at a minimum 200/250 ppi resolution (to compete with print resolution) is still quite expensive. Large screens are expensive to manufacture without defect. They are cumbersome to mount on the wall, specially when multiple such pictures are displayed. They have to be powered on, so need outlets to be installed, or if run on batteries, need to be recharged regularly.

    Most importantly, I cannot stare at a photo displayed on an electronic display for a long while due to the glare. I feel more at home with prints that way. Also, I like the texture of print surfaces.
    DavidTriplett likes this.
  14. Vincent Peri

    Vincent Peri Metairie, LA

    Hmm... but... but... digital is
    supposed to be free...
  15. Get over it. Digital is not supposed to be free and no one but straw men and red herrings . . . and an occasional ape . . . claims it is.
  16. Also, backlighting has a strong influence which doesn’t always seem as desirable a way to view an image. Tradition may be taken into consideration. Some galleries get a lot of great, natural light which could render screens less than ideal. Prints can in some cases show subtleties that screens don’t (though screens can have some effects that prints don’t).

    David, screen images may often seem simply to substitute for each other, but I think of them as two different mediums, each with a set of characteristics, often affecting the images they bear in some subtle and some more blatant ways.
  17. In my last sentence, I meant say “screen images and prints often seem simply to substitute for each other . . . “
  18. I want to give a wholehearted "huzza!" to Fred's general position regarding print versus screen, and a further +1 to the idea of the media being integral to the art. The medium by which an piece of art is presented, whether granite or marble, acrylic on paper or oil on canvas, palette knife or brush, and silver print or Retina Display, the medium is inseparable from the art. If we accept this truism, and also that the consummate artist wants to fully control his output, then the idea of displaying one's art via a medium which is uncontrolled by the artist creates a disconnect in the artistic process. For example, my mother painted landscapes and still lifes. She used both brush and palette knife. While her paintings with brush are nice, those executed with the knife are vibrant and literally three dimensional. The leaves and bark of the trees have physical, palpable texture (but don't touch!), while the clouds billow across the canvas in overlapping folds. This texture is integral to the experience of the art. In like manner, the medium by which a photograph is presented can have a significant impact on our experience of that photograph. I find myself processing images for sharing electronically differently than what I do for those to be printed. I'm not going to say that one is "better" than the other. Each has its place. But they are different.

    When one adds the impact of a frame and matting, the entire issue becomes that much more complex. The recent popularity of frameless canvas gallery wraps suggests divergent tastes from traditional framing, but, still, the choice to present electronically or as a print, to frame or not to frame, choice of mat, etc., all impact the viewers' experience of the photograph.
  19. Great idea
  20. David, while we’re in basic agreement and I think there’s merit in what you say, it may be important to consider where some exceptions take us. Art often is NOT just a “one-man show.” These “disconnects” can sometimes be as important a part of the process as is sole authorship by a single artist. A playwright, for example, like a musical composer, often relies on others for control of the presentation.

    Mozart likely never dreamed (though he of all people may have!) of the way a contemporary orchestra would sound. He very likely tailored his composing to the very sounds produced by instruments of his day. Nevertheless, most of us know Mozart via the sound of today’s instruments. While some listeners swear that the only “true” way to listen to Mozart is on original instruments, I’d maintain that our connection to Mozart is as strong when we listen on today’s instruments, due to a variety of factors, especially that our ears are more accustomed to today’s instruments so his music sounds more familiar and less eccentric on instruments we're more accustomed to hearing. I’d be surprised if Mozart wouldn’t be thrilled by how his music sounds several centuries after he wrote it for what was then a very different medium. And he might very well feel more connected to it because of its ability to traverse mediums rather than less connected to it for that reason.

    There are great photos being restored, sometimes more in keeping with today’s norms rather than with an eye toward exactly what the medium would have been like decades ago. Some are being scanned for renewed viewings by a generation that is more comfortable with screen than print viewing, and I don’t see it as a disconnect, but rather a very rich tapestry of interconnections, in the viewing of art.

    Maybe the moral of the story can be summed up by listening to Whitney Houston’s cover of Dolly Parton’s I Will Always Love You. It’s a case where the original artist didn’t have full control of presentation and yet much of the world would probably agree that Houston brought things to that song that Parton’s performance and interpretation never did. Is Houston’s cover a disconnect? I’d say, no. I’d say it’s just the kind of artistic shared energy that can be vital to many great works of art, one artist building on another’s work. I’m thinking art is more like connection in various links that create a great chain than it is like the chain itself which divides one thing from another.

    Interestingly, this example also makes David’s point about how the presentation and medium can’t be separated from the art. The medium through which we hear the song, voice and interpretation, physical sound and emotional context, is as much the song as what the composer wrote down on the page or devised with her own voice and musical gifts.

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