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Thread started 12 Apr 2014 (Saturday) 15:34
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Renowned Photographer Jeff Mitchum's Masterpiece "Third Day" Sells For $1.8 Million

 
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edge100
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Apr 17, 2014 08:34 |  #31

Shadowblade wrote in post #16840299 (external link)
I don't see what's so great about these artists.

Some individual works, yes. But not the bulk of their work.

The monetary value of a photo or other artwork has no correlation with its aesthetic value. A badly-composed childhood mugshot of Hitler would be worth a lot. Rembrandt could have taken a crap on a canvas, smeared it around and it'd now be worth millions.

Instead of talking about hypothetical crap canvases, let's talk about something that really exists:

http://en.wikipedia.or​g/wiki/Lascaux (external link)

Are these cave paintings of any intrinsic value, or are they just random doodleings that could have been made by any 6 year old? I would argue that they are of immense historical AND artistic value, simply because they represent some of the first attempts at pictorial representation of the world at large. It doesn't matter that you or I could do better drawings (well, not me...I can't draw AT ALL!); the paintings have value because of what they are and - GASP! - who made them.

Consider this photograph:

http://www.hrc.utexas.​edu …eph_nicephore_n​iepce.html (external link)

Is this a valuable photograph? Of course; it's the first one ever taken.

What about this:

http://www.moma.org …bject.php?objec​t_id=39485 (external link)

Or this:

http://www.academia.ed​u …esthetic_Experi​ence_2013_ (external link)

The latter photo could have been taken by anyone and posted on Flickr. But why is it good? Just because it was taken by Andre Kertesz?

This is far too broad a discussion to have on an Internet forum, to be honest.


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edge100
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Apr 17, 2014 08:39 |  #32

Shadowblade wrote in post #16840539 (external link)
They all look like junk to me.

I don't judge a work by its history, the creative process behind it, its creator or its price. I judge it by what it looks like on the piece of paper in front of me. And there's nothing in those photos which make them look any different from the millions of snapshots taken every day by people using iPhones. If I had taken one of those photos, I'd have deleted it.

I'm guffawed right now. Take a minute to really appreciate the second photo. Look at how perfectly timed it is. One instant earlier or later, and the moment is completely ruined. Look at the circles formed by the ripples in the water, and how they're mirrored by the rings lying on the ground. Look at the absolutely perfect reflection of the silhouetted man.

'Behind the Gare St-Lazare' is one of perhaps 3 or 4 photographs in the entire history of photography that every single person should know. It's the 'La Giaconda' or the 'Le Sacre de Napoléon' of photography (both of which - especially the latter for its sheer enormity - have to be experienced in person to be fully appreciated).


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edge100
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Apr 17, 2014 08:45 |  #33

Shadowblade wrote in post #16840555 (external link)
I guess modern art has nothing at all to do with aesthetics and everything to do with communication of 'ideas', as if that 'message' is of more importance than actually creating a beautiful image/sculpture/buildi​ng. Which is why it's become basically irrelevant to all but a few cognoscenti and rich investors buying them simply as a store of wealth.

I can appreciate classical artists - Durer, da Vinci, Rembrandt, even van Gogh. Their final product was the image itself - the piece of work you see in front of you - with its impeccable craftsmanship and great aesthetic sense. In contrast, most 20th-21st century 'art' seems to be more about the process and the artist than about the final product - wrapping buildings or whole islands in plastic, boring photos taken in bad light, sculptures that don't look like anything. Which is why they're more-or-less irrelevant to most people.

I think one key difference is that classical works have had hundreds of years to be studied and looked at in new ways. You can't judge a Damien Hirst or even a Marcel Duchamp in the same way; their works simply haven't had time to breathe yet.

Moreover, you have to consider that in the early 21st century, more creative works are being created every year than have been created in the last 200 years, combined. There's a lot of crap being produced; you just have to be able to see through it.

Consider another favourite of mine: Todd Hido. What do you make of these photographs:

http://www.brucesilver​stein.com/gallery-thumbs.php?gid=431 (external link)

I think they're absolutely brilliant. There is a sense of utter despondence to them, and they are a stunning commentary of modern disillusionment and isolation.

A lot of people just see a house.


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Shadowblade
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Apr 17, 2014 08:47 |  #34

edge100 wrote in post #16840559 (external link)
Instead of talking about hypothetical crap canvases, let's talk about something that really exists:

http://en.wikipedia.or​g/wiki/Lascaux (external link)

Are these cave paintings of any intrinsic value, or are they just random doodleings that could have been made by any 6 year old? I would argue that they are of immense historical AND artistic value, simply because they represent some of the first attempts at pictorial representation of the world at large. It doesn't matter that you or I could do better drawings (well, not me...I can't draw AT ALL!); the paintings have value because of what they are and - GASP! - who made them.

They're of archaeological interest and value. If someone created this now, I'd tell them to give up at painting.

Consider this photograph:

http://www.hrc.utexas.​edu …eph_nicephore_n​iepce.html (external link)

Is this a valuable photograph? Of course; it's the first one ever taken.

Same as the cave paintings. It's valuable as a historical artifact because it's the first one taken. It's not a work of art.

What about this:

http://www.moma.org …bject.php?objec​t_id=39485 (external link)

Or this:

http://www.academia.ed​u …esthetic_Experi​ence_2013_ (external link)

The latter photo could have been taken by anyone and posted on Flickr. But why is it good? Just because it was taken by Andre Kertesz?

They look like rubbish to me. They may be of historical value if they're documenting a particular thing in time or place, but, by themselves, they're boring photos.

Ansel Adam's work is great not because he took them (and not someone else) or how he took them, but because they're aesthetically-beautiful images.




  
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airfrogusmc
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Apr 17, 2014 08:48 |  #35

Shadowblade wrote in post #16840555 (external link)
I guess modern art has nothing at all to do with aesthetics and everything to do with communication of 'ideas', as if that 'message' is of more importance than actually creating a beautiful image/sculpture/buildi​ng. Which is why it's become basically irrelevant to all but a few cognoscenti and rich investors buying them simply as a store of wealth.

I can appreciate classical artists - Durer, da Vinci, Rembrandt, even van Gogh. Their final product was the image itself - the piece of work you see in front of you - with its impeccable craftsmanship and great aesthetic sense. In contrast, most 20th-21st century 'art' seems to be more about the process and the artist than about the final product - wrapping buildings or whole islands in plastic, boring photos taken in bad light, sculptures that don't look like anything. Which is why they're more-or-less irrelevant to most people.

Everything Bresson did is based in basic visual language. Leading lines, geometry, repeating shapes., patterns etc. I'm sorry you haven't developed your eye to see it but if you look it's there.

Some words by him.


"What reinforces the content of a photograph is the sense of rhythm – the relationship between shapes and values." - Henri Cartier-Bresson

To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event, as well as of a precise organisation of forms which give that event its proper expression.- Henri Cartier-Bresson

".....content cannot be separated from form. By form, I mean the rigorous organisation of the interplay of surfaces, lines and values. It is in this organisation alone that our conceptions and emotions become concrete and communicable. In photography, visual organisation can stem only from a developed instinct." - Henri Cartier-Bresson

And if you look it's all in his work. But that might take a little input from the viewer :lol:




  
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Shadowblade
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Apr 17, 2014 08:50 |  #36

edge100 wrote in post #16840565 (external link)
I'm guffawed right now. Take a minute to really appreciate the second photo. Look at how perfectly timed it is. One instant earlier or later, and the moment is completely ruined. Look at the circles formed by the ripples in the water, and how they're mirrored by the rings lying on the ground. Look at the absolutely perfect reflection of the silhouetted man.

'Behind the Gare St-Lazare' is one of perhaps 3 or 4 photographs in the entire history of photography that every single person should know. It's the 'La Giaconda' or the 'Le Sacre de Napoléon' of photography (both of which - especially the latter for its sheer enormity - have to be experienced in person to be fully appreciated).

None of which changes the fact that it's an underexposed, out-of-focus photo taken in flat, boring lighting that isn't even documenting an event of any significance.




  
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Apr 17, 2014 08:51 |  #37

Shadowblade wrote in post #16840581 (external link)
They look like rubbish to me. They may be of historical value if they're documenting a particular thing in time or place, but, by themselves, they're boring photos.

Ansel Adam's work is great not because he took them (and not someone else) or how he took them, but because they're aesthetically-beautiful images.

You're not looking hard enough. I'm sorry that you aren't getting anything from these works. They're brilliant. There's really not a whole lot more I can say than that.


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Apr 17, 2014 08:51 |  #38

Adams work is breathtaking but so is Bressons. Did you know that Adams was a huge fan of Bresson and his work. In fact they both had a similar philosophy when it came to "the moment" and a "developed instinct". There is a big world of great work and beauty if you just open your mind to it.




  
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edge100
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Apr 17, 2014 08:52 |  #39

Shadowblade wrote in post #16840589 (external link)
None of which changes the fact that it's an underexposed, out-of-focus photo taken in flat, boring lighting that isn't even documenting an event of any significance.

As though exposure, focus, or lighting were the non-plus-ultra of good art.

Look beyond the end of your nose.


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Apr 17, 2014 08:55 |  #40

edge100 wrote in post #16840575 (external link)
I think one key difference is that classical works have had hundreds of years to be studied and looked at in new ways. You can't judge a Damien Hirst or even a Marcel Duchamp in the same way; their works simply haven't had time to breathe yet.

Moreover, you have to consider that in the early 21st century, more creative works are being created every year than have been created in the last 200 years, combined. There's a lot of crap being produced; you just have to be able to see through it.

Consider another favourite of mine: Todd Hido. What do you make of these photographs:

http://www.brucesilver​stein.com/gallery-thumbs.php?gid=431 (external link)

I think they're absolutely brilliant. There is a sense of utter despondence to them, and they are a stunning commentary of modern disillusionment and isolation.

A lot of people just see a house.

That's because they are just houses.

Most of them aren't particularly interesting in terms of lighting or composition.

The commentary or 'idea' behind them doesn't matter if the aesthetics aren't there.

That's the problem with modern art - everything is about commentary and the 'idea', completely ignoring the fact that the work itself is aesthetically dull and not something an average person would like hanging above their mantlepiece.




  
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Apr 17, 2014 08:56 |  #41

Shadowblade wrote in post #16840604 (external link)
That's because they are just houses.

Most of them aren't particularly interesting in terms of lighting or composition.

The commentary or 'idea' behind them doesn't matter if the aesthetics aren't there.

That's the problem with modern art - everything is about commentary and the 'idea', completely ignoring the fact that the work itself is aesthetically dull and not something an average person would like hanging above their mantlepiece.

SERIOUSLY?!?


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Apr 17, 2014 08:57 |  #42

airfrogusmc wrote in post #16840541 (external link)
Yes so much ignorance and attacks on those that aren't (Platos Cave). The sad part is that ignorance has a cure but so many have no desire to learn. They only want to attack what they don't know, whats outside the cave, and learning has never been easier.

I don't agree.

People shouldn't have to "learn" what they should like. It's ignorance to think it's ignorance when people don't like a famous artist.

There would be no art, and no expensive paintings/photos/... if everyone had the same view on what was good and bad. There would just be a very boring muddle of identical crap.


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Apr 17, 2014 08:57 |  #43

airfrogusmc wrote in post #16840593 (external link)
Adams work is breathtaking but so is Bressons. Did you know that Adams was a huge fan of Bresson and his work. In fact they both had a similar philosophy when it came to "the moment" and a "developed instinct". There is a big world of great work and beauty if you just open your mind to it.

I didn't know that. It's also not relevant.

I (or anyone else) could have the same philosophy and technique as Monet. That doesn't mean that what I paint is any good.




  
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Apr 17, 2014 08:59 |  #44

edge100 wrote in post #16840596 (external link)
As though exposure, focus, or lighting were the non-plus-ultra of good art.

Look beyond the end of your nose.

Edge, Paltos Cave.. You can't expect someone to grasp the world outside the cave no matter how hard you try especially if they have no desire to even stick their heads out.

The world would be a very dull place is all the art looked the same. Remember there was an exhibit that was to be the end of all degenerative art. Thank God that madness was defeated.

I couldn't imagine the world without the work Bresson, Cindy Sherman, Gursky, Adams, Weston, Stieglitz, Roy DeCarava, Siskind, Callahan, Evans, Witkin...




  
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Apr 17, 2014 08:59 |  #45

edge100 wrote in post #16840606 (external link)
SERIOUSLY?!?

Exactly.

I don't care what the idea is behind a piece of art if it looks like what an elephant created with a paintbrush using its trunk.




  
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