Which non-photographic artist(s) inspire your work?

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by terry_rory, May 14, 2003.

  1. Maybe this has been asked before. Do any of you get some of your
    ideas and/or inspiration from the work of artists?

    I am quite a magpie in my tastes but find strong compositional
    ideas in the English landscapes of people like Frank Newbould, Eric
    Ravilious, Edward McKnight Kauffer and the engraver Thomas Bewick. I
    get ideas about light, space and sky from James Turrell. (He has
    installed a couple of his 'Skyspaces' here in the UK in Cornwall and
    the Kielder Forest.)

    What I am asking is not 'which artists you admire most as artists'
    but which artists give you direct ideas or inspiration that helps you
    with your photography.

    At risk of being flamed (and despite believing firmly that
    photography IS practiced as art and that there ARE many great
    photographic artists living and dead) can I ask you to list your
    favourite non-photographic artists? Thanks.
  2. FRANK HURLEY, He was the photographer for the Shackelton expedition to
    Antarctica 90+ years ago. For those who don't know about this
    expedition and rescue feat, one of the most amazing efforts of human
    endurance, research it. Frank Hurley captured it on motions picture
    film and glass plates and did so in a level of photographic excellence
    that is amazing to me. Truly an inspiration to me.
  3. Painters: Paul Cezanne primarily--structure and color. Also Hans
    (Jean) Arp who reminds us that art is fun. Also Paul Klee who showed
    that you can make art out anything with the kitchen table as your

    Writers: William Carlos Williams ("Say it: no ideas except in
    things"). Wallace Stevens ("Death is the mother of beauty"). James
    Joyce (epiphany). Raymond Carver (minimalism). Anton Chekhov ("My
    holy of holies is the human body"). Leo Tolstoy ("All happy families
    are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way"). Heinrich
    Heine ("Wo wird einst des Wandermuden/Letzte Ruhestatte sein?").

    Composers: George Gershwin (esp. "Rapsody in Blue," "American in
    Paris," "Porgy and Bess"). Mozart (everything). Beethoven (the
    whole package). Music goes through my brain as I photograph.
  4. Most painters from the Bay Area Figurative Art movement of the
    '50s-'60s. David Park, Elmer Bischoff, and Richard Diebenkorn
    are a few who to mind. Kind of a naive, sparse on details,
    approach to figuration, that captures just the essence of human
    subjects. Which I'd like to emulate in photographs. Also Robert
    Arneson for his irreverent attitude and quirky ceramic figure
  5. Edward Hopper and Camille Pissarro
  6. My question is this:

    Which photographic artists inspire non-photographic artists?
  7. James Brown. I listen to his music when I take pictures.
  8. Edward Hopper. People in their environment. Another reason is I absolutely adore New England in particular the state of Maine.
  9. Edward Hopper again. He painted the kind of things that people yearn to photograph. But I'm also moved by Andrew Wyeth and his passionate soul. And my father, who was a landscape artist of considerable merit, as was his father before him and his grandfather.
  10. Great question, Trevor.

    I find Bach, Frank Lloyd Wright, Winslow Homer, Mannerist painters, any of the Wyeths, Miles Davis, Barber, Copland, and some fiction by Ann Packer, Leif Enger, Ivan Doig, Raymond Carver, and Rick Bass to be helpful. Not that it translates into good photography, but it's helpful nonetheless.

    The writers, in particular and most recently, have the ability to create wonderful environmental portraits and images of characters that I would like to emulate in photographs.

  11. Movies have been an influence on my photography, not to mention other aspects of my life. There are so many incredible images and ways of looking at the world in films. Many films of the early sixties- "To Kill a Mockingbird", "400 Blows", "Los Olvidados", "Lawrence of Arabia", and "Bicycle Thief" before that group, to name a few, come to mind.
  12. Films of Fellini, Truffaut, and black and white film noir like Bogart in 'The Big Sleep', etc. Those are photographic though I suppose...

    For me I always come back to Goya, Velazquez, van Gogh, Picasso, and Guston as powerful non-photographic visual influences... Miles and Dylan as poetic... George Herriman, the creator of 'Krazy Kat' for precious human spirit...
  13. Alberto Giacometti comes to mind. Amedeo Mondigliani is another one.

    I can't say that they really inspire me or that I think about them/their work when I make photographs, at least not in a consious way.
  14. OK, it is 1 AM (just back from a pre-screening of The Matrix Reloaded) and I'm more than a little tired, ergo the correct name would be Modigliani...
  15. Thanks for an interesting question.<br>
    Japanese compositional ideas penetrated Europe in the second half of the XIX century, and were directly and conscioulsy used by Impressionists. <br>
    Those in my view are the most useful artistic ideas for photography. The process of Japanese influence is described pretty well in "Japonisme" by Siegfried Wichmann, for a while my most read book . I tired of it afterwards, and am looking for stimulation in various works, unsystematically, but the list of the topics in that oevre speaks for itself:
    ornamental patters - diagonal compositions - composite formats - trellis and grille - truncation and oblique angles - posts as spacial dividers - the silhouette - and more.
  16. Bach by Glenn Gould, Wanda Landowska, Helmut Walcha. But they're all in heaven, so I'm now getting a load e.g. of Godowsky by Hamelin, and Saint-Saens oder Scharwenka by Hough. Paintings by Edward Hopper. Perfumes by Cerruti, Aramis.
  17. Interesting concept, one that I never really thought of. I take my photographic inspiration from other photographers, not painters or the like, or at least not yet… While not answering your question exactly the way you want, artists that I like are: Van Gogh, Thomas McKnight, Norman Rockwell, (how’s that for an eclectic bunch) and I like cubism and abstracts very much, but no names come to mind. Why I mention this, cuz I think it’s interesting that the kind of art I like, is remarkably different from what I do photographically.
  18. Hmm, forgot to mention contemporary painters Kiefer, Polke, Richter, Schnabel, and earlier on- Rothko, de Kooning, Diebenkorn, etc, Francis Bacon. As a painter these are more direct influences, but they are always in my visual landscape in any case. Then dance/sound- Merce Cunningham and John Cage. Writers DH Lawrence, Henry Miller, Keroac, Conrad, Kafka, Tolstoy, Lewis Carrol... Comics Sid Caesar, Ernie Kovacs, Marx Brothers, Chaplin, Keaton- for spirit of ingenuity and anarchy... The list could go on and on, and who is to say all of one's cultural background and time spent with it doesn't fit in somewhere in what you do and how you react as a photographer? I think it does.
  19. Georga O' Keeffe.
  20. Sorry, one more time...Georga O' Keeffe
  21. Picasso/Hockney
  22. The ever popular with photographers...Hopper.
  23. The Impressionist.
  24. Matisse.
  25. More artists, who have not been mentioned yet: (i) Hélène Grimaud, pianist: her interpretations are overwhelming on all scales, from the tiny little details to the overall line, and are ideal emotional communications [see {rather hear} in particular her recording of the Brahms piano concert #1 op.15]; (ii) Vermeer, the light, the colour [to make it on topic: in my experience, in particular Leica glass helps to achieve similar colour rendition]; (iii) Orson Welles [OK, he might not count as entirely non-photographic].
  26. Matisse! Matisse! How could I have forgotten Matisse! Ahh, there are just too many to list, too many genres, too futile an effort…
  27. Hmmm. Most everything has an influence, good or bad. There are many I admire, in several fields. Painters, musicians/composers and writers make up the bulk.

    O'Keefe, Pollock, Monet and more of the abstractionists and impressionists than I can readily recall. Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Mahler and a range of classical and romantics. Armstrong, Ellington, Monk, Coltrane and Miles and many others from swing and bebop up to fusion (and even some fusion). Popular musicians from the rock and rockabilly of my youth that were constantly on the radio and made up the background score for my life. Writers like Steinbeck, Hemingway, Faulkner, Boyles, McPhee, Abbey and an endless progression of paperback mystery writers I still enjoy. Enough...I'm getting a headache, trying to remember everyone.
  28. Koninck, Vermeer, Jacob van Ruisdael, de Hooch, Claude Lorraine, Arnold Böcklin, James Ensor, Lord Leighton, Monet, Cezanne, Boccioni, Balla, and many others: not that I get much chance to emulate these people but they are in my mind. Perhaps these are just painters that I like, really.
  29. Japanese woodcuts. And Akira Kurosawa.

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