Lock down amusement, a pointless debate :-)

OP
sirch

sirch

Official Forum Numpty 2015,FPOTY 2020
Messages
10,434
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
Art would be a lot easier if there was some kind of metric that could be used. To an extent I agree with Andrew F, that the art world doesn't really have a way of measuring a piece to see if it qualifies, and there have been notable pieces of 'art' in the past that have been rejected, only to then be accepted because of the creator rather than the piece (Fountain springs immediately to mind). I'm much more inclined to believe that a piece is art because of the person who created it than the piece itself, the actual form playing only a secondary role.
But then it wouldn't be art would it, isn't the very essence of art that it is ephemeral? There is nothing wrong with fashion and trends, there is no science behind why someone buys a Rolex rather than a Casio, the Rolex is about how it makes them feel and its the same for "art", people buy it because of how it makes them feel. Some of that feeling comes from the work itself, some from the status it conveys, some from the idea of an association with the artist.

It's perhaps more approachable to think about fashion, the top designers produce extravagant cat-walk pieces to make a splash but their main commercial work is more wearable. If all anyone wanted was to stay warm the sequin would never have been invented.
 
Messages
17,477
Name
Toni
Edit My Images
No
But then it wouldn't be art would it, isn't the very essence of art that it is ephemeral? There is nothing wrong with fashion and trends, there is no science behind why someone buys a Rolex rather than a Casio, the Rolex is about how it makes them feel and its the same for "art", people buy it because of how it makes them feel. Some of that feeling comes from the work itself, some from the status it conveys, some from the idea of an association with the artist.

It's perhaps more approachable to think about fashion, the top designers produce extravagant cat-walk pieces to make a splash but their main commercial work is more wearable. If all anyone wanted was to stay warm the sequin would never have been invented.
I suspect it's more the lack of consistency and what appears to be a requirement to belong to the 'special handshake' club before you can be accepted. Back to what I was saying about our dinosaur friend appearing to recognise there was a doorway to the inside, but rather than welcoming those who might like to enter, he'd do his best to hide it and make it impossible.

From the second video (have you posted that before? His jealousy toward Thomas Heaton and Michael Kenna's success sounded familiar) could it be that he is simply unable to read a landscape and draw life and pleasure from the natural world? It may be that all the 'ordinary' and ignorant people require no special skill to feel the thrill of a beautiful dawn, carefully recorded, feel joy at a wisp of cloud being blown across a landcscape covered in wild flower, or sense the power of a snow-capped mountain range lit but the setting sun. Just a thought.

What comes across most strongly is that there's a battle, with neither side willing to let the other live and be happy. Both must fight with phrases of distain and dismissal, neither apparently willing to recognise value in the other. It's a damn silly state for adults to put themselves in.

As with Pookeyhead, people like this make me want to go and snap a sunrise, then post it here with saturation and vibrance sliders pushed to 11. :p
 
Last edited:
Messages
6,915
Edit My Images
Yes
If all anyone wanted was to stay warm the sequin would never have been invented.
Mmmm... shiny! Well, that's probably about 25% of the art and fashion world dealt with! ;)

And thereby lies the issue... one person's meat is another person's vegan nightmare! We don't all like the same things... some love bling, gold and high heels; while others like practicality, warmth and comfortable wellingtons. One person's fantastic photo is always going to be someone else's "what the heck do they see in that?".

Call it art, call it fashion, call it trends... it all amounts to the same thing - personal taste (or, as some camps may argue, a lack of taste!). And there we go... what's good taste, and what's bad taste? Some love tattoos, some wouldn't want to be seen dead with one. Who's right? Is there a 'right'? We could argue this to the end of time.

To be honest, I get a bit tired of the 'is it art?' argument... if you like it, then what the hell. Be good, and let who will be clever.

Two brown rabbits.
 
Last edited:
Messages
5,845
Name
Dave
Edit My Images
No
His jealousy toward Thomas Heaton and Michael Kenna's success...
Jealousy must be in the eye of the beholder because I detected none. Just an expression of opinions about those two photographers' work. I see this a lot on-line, people calling "Jealousy" whenever someone 'successful' is criticised. It's almost a way to 'cancel' any criticism of the successful no matter how dire their work is. "He's jealous so his opinion is worthless." Somewhat ironic in a thread which has people going on about the dictatorial nature of the art elite.
 
Last edited:
Messages
17,477
Name
Toni
Edit My Images
No
Jealousy must be in the eye of the beholder because I detected none. Just an expression of opinions about those two photographers' work. I see this a lot on-line, people calling "Jealousy" whenever someone 'successful' is criticised. It's almost a way to 'cancel' any criticism of the successful no matter how dire their work is. "He's jalous so his opinion is worthless." Somewhat ironic in a thread which has people going on about the dictatorial nature of the art elite.
For me, it was the way in which the mercantile aspect of Kenna's work appeared to cancel any artistic value in the pieces for the narrator. If a piece is designed to appeal to people who will buy it then it cannot have artistic value. Also the utterly vicious criticism of the labour camp photos, it seemed as though he was so beside himself that he couldn't see a reason for the manner in which they were shot other than to look 'pretty' and have commercial value. Perhaps it wasn't jealousy, but it sounded like it.

I don't want to cancel a chance to learn something of value from him. As I said earlier, take the good bits & leave the D1ck stuff behind.
 
OP
sirch

sirch

Official Forum Numpty 2015,FPOTY 2020
Messages
10,434
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
From the second video (have you posted that before? His jealousy toward Thomas Heaton and Michael Kenna's success sounded familiar) could it be that he is simply unable to read a landscape and draw life and pleasure from the natural world? It may be that all the 'ordinary' and ignorant people require no special skill to feel the thrill of a beautiful dawn, carefully recorded, feel joy at a wisp of cloud being blown across a landcscape covered in wild flower, or sense the power of a snow-capped mountain range lit but the setting sun. Just a thought.
Yes I might well have posted that video before.

I think you have got to the heart of the dichotomy with which I am struggling, I have loads of sunrise and sunset photos but I haven't and probably wouldn't print any of them or hang them on the wall. I think Mr "Still life - Art and the ... " really does have a point about depth of meaning, metaphor and allegory and despite shooting sunsets I really do like work that is more complex. I think he is right that sunsets are ten-a-penny, all you need to do is turn up and point modern DSLR, there isn't a huge amount of thought needed by either the photographer or the viewer. There is nothing wrong with sunset photos but there are deeper things out there.

Have a look at this one from around 8:20
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJ0suAocrLU


One thing about the above Nan Golding video that strikes me is that it is hard to unpick how much he is admiring Nan Golding's work because it is by Nan Golding and how much he likes the actual photos, it seems to me that some of the things he lauds about her photos he has decried in other videos, the only difference being that Nan's are a bit soft.
 
Messages
5,896
Name
Ian
Edit My Images
No
From the OP
if I was more opinionated about my likes and dislikes would I produce more meaningful photography?
I have loads of sunrise and sunset photos but I haven't and probably wouldn't print any of them or hang them on the wall.
I think it's very difficult [not impossible mind you!] to get other people to help with your creativity. "Meaning" is very subjective. I've always asked people what it is they were trying to achieve with their photographs - decor or not. The most often response to images that people weren't satisfied with was that they weren't sure what they were doing.

It's also about who the images are for. If they're for other people, then I think photographers need to understand what it is that other people like. If they want to sell calendars, book a flight to Iceland and prepare for lots of cold. If they want likes on Instagram, follow insta_repeat and bone up on hashtags. If they want international recognition as a fine art photographer, buy Michael Kenna & Ansel Adams books.

I'm making more meaningful work now than I ever did. I know that looking at others' work will help me, and I continue to do that. But I [try hard to] make images I'm happy with. My wife isn't a big fan, the FPoTY (2020) voters weren' that bothered, and Magnum seem to have lost my address. But none of that matters to me because I'm happy in my little corner, making images I like and subjecting the occasional small crowd to one of my zines.

Is that bad? I don't think so. I don't have any formal art education - it's all self-taught. My "visual literacy" is probably that of a 5 year old. But does that mean I can't make work that matters to me? The two questions I ask myself when taking a photograph. Who is it for, and what's it about?

Perhaps this is a pointless debate, but I am finding it interesting hearing all the opinions.
 
Messages
5,845
Name
Dave
Edit My Images
No
I think you have got to the heart of the dichotomy with which I am struggling, I have loads of sunrise and sunset photos but I haven't and probably wouldn't print any of them or hang them on the wall. I think Mr "Still life - Art and the ... " really does have a point about depth of meaning, metaphor and allegory and despite shooting sunsets I really do like work that is more complex. I think he is right that sunsets are ten-a-penny, all you need to do is turn up and point modern DSLR, there isn't a huge amount of thought needed by either the photographer or the viewer. There is nothing wrong with sunset photos but there are deeper things out there.
I take lots of sunsets and such like photographs but I think of them as 'easy' pictures to make, almost like painting by numbers or a box ticking exercise. And that's what the majority of Tom Heatonish landscape photography is like - there's a list of clichés which they all fit and so they all resemble each other. They are often discussed solely in terms of formal structure - the infamous rule of thirds, leading lines, tonal graduation and so on. There's nothing more to the pictures, they don't challenge the genre or raise questions about what they show. That's why Justin Jones talks about Fay Godwin who made pictures to illustrate regional guides but also pictures to make statements about how the land is treated. Her pictures well constructed, often in more complex ways than the run of the mill landscape pictures, and are open to multiple readings.

What makes a great picture is not your viewpoint but your point of view. If you don't have a stance about your subject (pro or anti) then the chances are your pictures will be superficial. They may be nice to look at, but that's as far as it goes. The rally hard part is making others see your point of view in your pictures as we all read pictures differently. That's what trying to make pictures that are more than decor so engrossing. Well, it does for me.
 
OP
sirch

sirch

Official Forum Numpty 2015,FPOTY 2020
Messages
10,434
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
I think it's very difficult [not impossible mind you!] to get other people to help with your creativity. "Meaning" is very subjective. I've always asked people what it is they were trying to achieve with their photographs - decor or not. The most often response to images that people weren't satisfied with was that they weren't sure what they were doing.

It's also about who the images are for. If they're for other people, then I think photographers need to understand what it is that other people like. If they want to sell calendars, book a flight to Iceland and prepare for lots of cold. If they want likes on Instagram, follow insta_repeat and bone up on hashtags. If they want international recognition as a fine art photographer, buy Michael Kenna & Ansel Adams books.
I don't think I am asking about my creativity though, I am trying to explore and map a space to get a better idea of how and where my creative work might fit. That space *is* defined by other people and somewhere in the venn diagram of all other people and my work is hopefully an overlap [I accept that I might be a fairly unusual guy but surely I have some overlap with a least a few of the billions of people on the planet :) ].

I have said on here before that I feel strongly that photos are made to be seen by others and the boundaries of my work are elastic, I am happy to learn and develop so if I can stretch those boundaries in a direction that engages more people then I will head in that direction. That said I do not want likes or just to pull in crowds, the boundaries of the themes I engage are elastic but the core isn't, I am happy to draw more people towards my point of view and develop skills and tools to do that but I am not just chasing popularity.
 
Messages
5,896
Name
Ian
Edit My Images
No
OP
sirch

sirch

Official Forum Numpty 2015,FPOTY 2020
Messages
10,434
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
What makes a great picture is not your viewpoint but your point of view. If you don't have a stance about your subject (pro or anti) then the chances are your pictures will be superficial. They may be nice to look at, but that's as far as it goes. The rally hard part is making others see your point of view in your pictures as we all read pictures differently. That's what trying to make pictures that are more than decor so engrossing. Well, it does for me.
I'm struggling a bit with the term "stance" there, a fairly consistent overarching theme in a lot of my work is natural forms, I don't have pro or anti stance on forms, I am fascinated by them and want to present to the world what I see. Sometimes though something about a form that fascinates me is based on having a reasonable understanding of the processes that made the shape in the first place, the hard part is creating images that lead people on the journey from, say, seeing a dull, grey picture of a rock to an interest in why the rock exists and has the shape that it has. I may well not have the tools/skills/knowledge to take people on that journey but as you say that is the engrossing part of this.
 
Messages
5,845
Name
Dave
Edit My Images
No
I'm struggling a bit with the term "stance" there, a fairly consistent overarching theme in a lot of my work is natural forms, I don't have pro or anti stance on forms, I am fascinated by them and want to present to the world what I see.
That is your 'stance' - a fascination with the forms and wanting to communicate that fascination to others. It's more than simply liking the forms and wanting to make pretty pictures of them.
 
Last edited:
Messages
17,477
Name
Toni
Edit My Images
No
Yes I might well have posted that video before.

I think you have got to the heart of the dichotomy with which I am struggling, I have loads of sunrise and sunset photos but I haven't and probably wouldn't print any of them or hang them on the wall. I think Mr "Still life - Art and the ... " really does have a point about depth of meaning, metaphor and allegory and despite shooting sunsets I really do like work that is more complex. I think he is right that sunsets are ten-a-penny, all you need to do is turn up and point modern DSLR, there isn't a huge amount of thought needed by either the photographer or the viewer. There is nothing wrong with sunset photos but there are deeper things out there.

Have a look at this one from around 8:20
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJ0suAocrLU


One thing about the above Nan Golding video that strikes me is that it is hard to unpick how much he is admiring Nan Golding's work because it is by Nan Golding and how much he likes the actual photos, it seems to me that some of the things he lauds about her photos he has decried in other videos, the only difference being that Nan's are a bit soft.
OK, now I'm convinced he's just a sycophant, giving approval and honour to those he thinks have standing, while being always ready to bash those outside his approved circle. The elephant in the room is that he's willing to consider there may be some depth to a photo from the right person, but either unwilling or unable to apply imagination to a picture from the wrong person.

I mentioned Ello previously - there's a lot this style of work* there, some executed with more technical precision, some similarly OOF or with camera shake. His point about seeing images in a context is a good one, and alone, most of the Fata Morgana images would fall over - something he appears not to like, but will accept because they come from the right person. I can't help but feel that if he could get over himself and was willing to actually look at and use his imagination with some more conventional landscape photographs then he would be astonished at the beauty and life that others have been able to capture. But most of all, I just wish he could talk about what he loves, rather than producing a stream of contempt for the things he does not - or maybe that's the mark of a true artist, and without the hate we're all just inferior aspirants?

What this tells me about art is that far far too much of it is down to the imagination of the viewer, albeit being directed down carefully prescibed lines.

*I don't necessarily like or dislike the work - some displays imagination, some just follows a formula.

And thanks for the link, Chris. Seeing & hearing people like him does help me learn.
 
Last edited:
OP
sirch

sirch

Official Forum Numpty 2015,FPOTY 2020
Messages
10,434
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
OK, now I'm convinced he's just a sycophant, giving approval and honour to those he thinks have standing, while being always ready to bash those outside his approved circle. The elephant in the room is that he's willing to consider there may be some depth to a photo from the right person, but either unwilling or unable to apply imagination to a picture from the wrong person.

I mentioned Ello previously - there's a lot this style of work* there, some executed with more technical precision, some similarly OOF or with camera shake. His point about seeing images in a context is a good one, and alone, most of the Fata Morgana images would fall over - something he appears not to like, but will accept because they come from the right person. I can't help but feel that if he could get over himself and was willing to actually look at and use his imagination with some more conventional landscape photographs then he would be astonished at the beauty and life that others have been able to capture. But most of all, I just wish he could talk about what he loves, rather than producing a stream of contempt for the things he does not - or maybe that's the mark of a true artist, and without the hate we're all just inferior aspirants?
By and large I do tend to agree with you and I did join Ello and post a photo but never followed up on it, I don't really have the bandwidth or motivation to cultivate another "social media" collective.

What this tells me about art is that far far too much of it is down to the imagination of the viewer, albeit being directed down carefully prescibed lines.
Visual art is a category of art analogous to music or literature. No one likes all music ever produced, no one likes all fiction ever written, of course its a matter of personal taste and imagination. All human life is in Visual Art just as it is in music and literature, drama and poetry, there is good visual art and bad, there are charlatans trying to pass off junk as art and there are, in a kind of punk rock way, genuine artists who are literaly putting rubbish in galleries as art. It isn't a single thing, it isn't all to be revered. Who decides that Stockhausen writes good music and who decides to produce Renée & Renato?

I've posted this before too but this video from 48:48 has the antidote to modern gallery art...
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Yv-HykiEAo
 
Messages
17,477
Name
Toni
Edit My Images
No
By and large I do tend to agree with you and I did join Ello and post a photo but never followed up on it, I don't really have the bandwidth or motivation to cultivate another "social media" collective.
I fully agree about the social bit, but it's the place I go to when I want to see the kind of art Justin is talking about, but without the sneer. I can just look at pictures, click like on the ones I like, even occasionally comment, and just ignore the rest.

Visual art is a category of art analogous to music or literature. No one likes all music ever produced, no one likes all fiction ever written, of course its a matter of personal taste and imagination. All human life is in Visual Art just as it is in music and literature, drama and poetry, there is good visual art and bad, there are charlatans trying to pass off junk as art and there are, in a kind of punk rock way, genuine artists who are literaly putting rubbish in galleries as art. It isn't a single thing, it isn't all to be revered. Who decides that Stockhausen writes good music and who decides to produce Renée & Renato?

I've posted this before too but this video from 48:48 has the antidote to modern gallery art...
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Yv-HykiEAo
Will try to look later. :)

I guess a sign of maturity is not shouting about the stuff you don't like. The music analogy is excellent: when I was a kid we'd talk about music - hate Abba but love Deep Purple etc - but one day I took a look at myself and thought about what an 4rse I'd sound or how hurtful it would be if someone from one of the bands I didn't like was listening. It's just music, so why the hate? Of course expressing things like this will enable tribalism and make people buy into our 'cause' however pointless it is, so building committment and a peer group to stand against those who are 'less' than us in some way.
 
Messages
6,915
Edit My Images
Yes
Snip:
I guess a sign of maturity is not shouting about the stuff you don't like. The music analogy is excellent: when I was a kid we'd talk about music - hate Abba but love Deep Purple etc - but one day I took a look at myself and thought about what an 4rse I'd sound or how hurtful it would be if someone from one of the bands I didn't like was listening. It's just music, so why the hate? Of course expressing things like this will enable tribalism and make people buy into our 'cause' however pointless it is, so building committment and a peer group to stand against those who are 'less' than us in some way.
I like the music analogy and think you're right, however, I wonder how many people who said they liked Abba back in the day actually experienced the hair standing up on the back of their necks when they were listening to it? I think that might be the difference, some music can do that to you if you have a real affinity with it, but this tends to be a comparatively rare occurrence, and a lot of people will probably never experience that. NB I'm not talking about a certain piece of music or a song bringing back moving memories here, I'm talking about the music itself triggering that response.

I think visual art is the same, some people are more attuned to it, while others see it more as visual wallpaper - a background entertainment to their everyday lives?
 
Last edited:
Messages
17,477
Name
Toni
Edit My Images
No
By and large I do tend to agree with you and I did join Ello and post a photo but never followed up on it, I don't really have the bandwidth or motivation to cultivate another "social media" collective.


Visual art is a category of art analogous to music or literature. No one likes all music ever produced, no one likes all fiction ever written, of course its a matter of personal taste and imagination. All human life is in Visual Art just as it is in music and literature, drama and poetry, there is good visual art and bad, there are charlatans trying to pass off junk as art and there are, in a kind of punk rock way, genuine artists who are literaly putting rubbish in galleries as art. It isn't a single thing, it isn't all to be revered. Who decides that Stockhausen writes good music and who decides to produce Renée & Renato?

I've posted this before too but this video from 48:48 has the antidote to modern gallery art...
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Yv-HykiEAo
Video age restricted. Apparently my google account doesn't have sufficient evidence I'm an adult, and I'm not willing to upload my passport or give them a credit card (again) to prove that I'm still an old fart.

Sorted, with the appropriately named 'Daily Motion'.
View: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6ll91h

Yes. All that. But somehow I WANT art to be more than that.
 
Last edited:
Messages
23,228
Name
Richard
Edit My Images
No
I've been through the thread. It's good stuff(y)but as so often happens with topics like this it's disappointing to note that the debate itself is so much more interesting that the actual works in question. Just my two buckets worth :exit:
 
Messages
5,845
Name
Dave
Edit My Images
No
I've been through the thread. It's good stuff(y)but as so often happens with topics like this it's disappointing to note that the debate itself is so much more interesting that the actual works in question. Just my two buckets worth :exit:
It's odd how some people can find two buckets (for instance) interesting to look at again and again yet find a photograph of a lovely sunset not worth a second glance. I wonder if that is because real live sunsets are better experienced in real life than in a photo while two blue buckets in real life (to most people) aren't worth a second look but when photographed in a particular way are somehow transformed into something intriguing?

Some say that one job of photography is to present the ordinary in an extraordinary way. Which is possibly where Heaton et al fall down, as they don't appear to me to even try to do that.
 
Last edited:
OP
sirch

sirch

Official Forum Numpty 2015,FPOTY 2020
Messages
10,434
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
The buckets clearly create a much more significant emotional response and get people thinking, that's what art does. A sunset says no more than something that happens every day, it might be pretty but there is little to ponder on.
 
OP
sirch

sirch

Official Forum Numpty 2015,FPOTY 2020
Messages
10,434
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
Art would be a lot easier if there was some kind of metric that could be used. To an extent I agree with Andrew F, that the art world doesn't really have a way of measuring a piece to see if it qualifies,
I've been troubled by this for the last few days and this morning I was struck by the word consensus!

Pretty much all of our daily lives is run by consensus, the law, politics, what we eat, how we work, how we drive and art is no different. There is no metric for the law, it is a matter of consensus, it used to be legal to beat your wife, the consensus around that has changed and it is no longer legal. The same applies to art and perhaps because art has less significant effects on our daily lives art can and does change faster than say the law. Also the "art world" isn't homogeneous, the art world can and does encompass many views, i.e. many separate consensuses at the same time. Going back to the music analogy, we have both orchestral music and pop music and consensuses about what is good and not so good in each of those genres can be formed separately, one doesn't negate the other.
 
Messages
5,845
Name
Dave
Edit My Images
No
I just had a thought about 'self-appointed experts' - the RPS. :D

With absolutely NO apologies to any RPS members reading this! :exit:
 
Messages
17,477
Name
Toni
Edit My Images
No
Can someone explain to this unedumacated togger what the big deal with the Two Buckets picture is, or at least what its merit is. I'm not bating BTW.
 
Messages
5,845
Name
Dave
Edit My Images
No
Can someone explain to this unedumacated togger what the big deal with the Two Buckets picture is, or at least what its merit is. I'm not bating BTW.
One reading of it is that it shows two objects both of which could be described as 'a blue bucket', but which differ from each other in both design and blueness. Thus raising the question, "What is a blue bucket?" It also raises the issue of what is asuitable subject for a photograph. At least it did when it was taken as it is now accepted that 'everything exists to end in a photograph' (Sontag) and that anything is a suitable subject for a photograph.

Or it could be that the two shades of blue look nice next to, or interact in an interesting way with, each other as blocks of colour in an abstract frame - that they are buckets being incidental.

Or...

Whatever the reading, the picture of the buckets was never intended to be just a picture of two blue buckets, although it is that as well.

That's my take. Others will differ, I am sure.

Edit to add: As always it's worth going back to look at the influences on a photographer. In Fraser's case a major influence is William Eggleston who also takes photographs of the mundane and manages to make them something else. Sometimes through the use of colour, sometimes juxtaposition or viewpoint. And so on.
 
Last edited:
Messages
5,896
Name
Ian
Edit My Images
No
Going back to the music analogy, we have both orchestral music and pop music and consensuses about what is good and not so good in each of those genres can be formed separately, one doesn't negate the other.
I think a lot about music when comparing to visual art. I've just spent 20 minutes trying to find a Cramps guitar solo that is basically a single note played in rhythm with the drums and requires no skill or talent to copy, and it makes me smile (physically) every time I hear it.

The thing with music is that it's completely ok for me to like what I like and whilst I may get ribbed about it, no one will earnestly try and convince me it's rubbish because everyone knows that musical taste is going to be different for different people. Why can't it be the same for visual arts? Even as a musician (and I use that term in it's loosest possible interpretation) I may have taken the p**s out of other bands, but I always respected their right to do whatever the heck they wanted to. Even if they were wrong. :)

Dragging this back to the OP, I have to say that I like your work Chris. Can you take photographs that more people will like? Yes. Would you lose me as a liker of your work if you did? Entirely possible! Does that matter to you? There's the question!
 
Messages
5,845
Name
Dave
Edit My Images
No
The thing with music is that it's completely ok for me to like what I like and whilst I may get ribbed about it, no one will earnestly try and convince me it's rubbish because everyone knows that musical taste is going to be different for different people. Why can't it be the same for visual arts?
Pictures can't make you tap your feet!

Perhaps it's because music is expected to be act on us in an emotional/intuitive/visceral way whereas there's a learned expectation that visual arts should be authentic representations of something seen.
 
Messages
17,477
Name
Toni
Edit My Images
No
I think a lot about music when comparing to visual art. I've just spent 20 minutes trying to find a Cramps guitar solo that is basically a single note played in rhythm with the drums and requires no skill or talent to copy, and it makes me smile (physically) every time I hear it.

The thing with music is that it's completely ok for me to like what I like and whilst I may get ribbed about it, no one will earnestly try and convince me it's rubbish because everyone knows that musical taste is going to be different for different people. Why can't it be the same for visual arts? Even as a musician (and I use that term in it's loosest possible interpretation) I may have taken the p**s out of other bands, but I always respected their right to do whatever the heck they wanted to. Even if they were wrong. :)

Dragging this back to the OP, I have to say that I like your work Chris. Can you take photographs that more people will like? Yes. Would you lose me as a liker of your work if you did? Entirely possible! Does that matter to you? There's the question!
I suspect we also recognise that some *legitimate* music is rubbish, some shallow, some complex, some subtle and sophisticated, some simple and some demanding. Perhaps it's because I'm still more musician than photographer that I would prefer unity than division over the various kinds and forms?

One reading of it is that it shows two objects both of which could be described as 'a blue bucket', but which differ from each other in both design and blueness. Thus raising the question, "What is a blue bucket?"
Thanks for taking the time to answer. I wonder how one can get others to look at the images you might create and convince them it's investing this much in appreciation?
 
Messages
5,845
Name
Dave
Edit My Images
No
I suspect we also recognise that some *legitimate* music is rubbish, some shallow, some complex, some subtle and sophisticated, some simple and some demanding. Perhaps it's because I'm still more musician than photographer that I would prefer unity than division over the various kinds and forms?
Something I've found strange on TP is the 'ignorance is bliss' attitude. I've seen people post that they don't look at other photographer's work because they don't want to be influenced by it, or that they have no interst in the history of photography because what was done in the past is of no relevance. Yet all artists in all areas DO study what others have done and are doing and what has gone before. Listen to any guitarist of note and they will have a list of 'influences' stretching way back.

You find someone who's style you admire (be that in music, photography, painting, poetry or whatever) and you search out who they admired, where they came from and it leads you into whole areas which you would never have thought of exploring. This broadens your knowledge and appreciation and influences what you do, making it richer.

Or am I being a romantic fool?

Thanks for taking the time to answer. I wonder how one can get others to look at the images you might create and convince them it's investing this much in appreciation?
I think it comes back to the matter of education. If an open minded critical way of approaching 'art' was instilled early as a matter of course then it would be a natural way to look at things. As it stands I get the impression that it is seen as a specialist approach which only 'insiders' get to learn and use when they move into further education.
 
Messages
662
Name
Mike
Edit My Images
Yes
This sort of thing is where I part company with "art critics". I believe that art is entirely personal and that everyone's opinion is exactly equal. That being the case, you cannot be taught to appreciate art, only trained to accept someone else's assessments. Other opinions are, of course, available.
I don't think everyone's opinion is equally valid.
There are those whose opinion follows along the lines of the critics think it's good so it must be. These are the ones who's opinions have little relevance!

Untrained people can see things to like in loads of images (even if it's just a cat central in the frame...).
Some with lots of training in art can see the merit of modern art images that do absolutely nothing for me.

Both are valid.

I can see merit in loads of images that I don't like, but also feel some of them are highly over rated (particularly those made with very few big regular shapes of uniform colour) & can't compare to quick sketches done by Rolf Harris etc. who create a recognisable & pleasing image with just a few lines.

I do find many images are over saturated, unbalanced and even too sharp, Sometimes these properties work well for the image but they don't work all the time. Sometimes deliberately breaking recognised 'rules of composition' is the making of an image :)
 
Messages
17,477
Name
Toni
Edit My Images
No
I think it comes back to the matter of education. If an open minded critical way of approaching 'art' was instilled early as a matter of course then it would be a natural way to look at things. As it stands I get the impression that it is seen as a specialist approach which only 'insiders' get to learn and use when they move into further education.
In the case of art, it feels as though those 'in the know' have built the walls around themselves, possibly because they fear ridicule, possibly because they know that not everything can stand scrutiny and they are afraid they will be put to shame. People who are secure don't normally act that way. The Jonathan Meades video was interesting in this regard, ditto Justin for slightly different reasons. ;)
 
OP
sirch

sirch

Official Forum Numpty 2015,FPOTY 2020
Messages
10,434
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
Perhaps it's because music is expected to be act on us in an emotional/intuitive/visceral way whereas there's a learned expectation that visual arts should be authentic representations of something seen.
This, really. Music is inherently abstract, there is no associated frame of reference other than musical expectations. Visual art influences our, well, visual sense and that is very much anchored in the real world.

Something I've found strange on TP is the 'ignorance is bliss' attitude. I've seen people post that they don't look at other photographer's work because they don't want to be influenced by it, or that they have no interst in the history of photography because what was done in the past is of no relevance. Yet all artists in all areas DO study what others have done and are doing and what has gone before. Listen to any guitarist of note and they will have a list of 'influences' stretching way back.
I suspect much of that is because there are people who really are just interested in gear and technical craftsmanship, they really don't care about photography as a cultural thing.

Or am I being a romantic fool?
Sorry but :LOL: you don't strike me as overly prone to romance.
 
OP
sirch

sirch

Official Forum Numpty 2015,FPOTY 2020
Messages
10,434
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
Dragging this back to the OP, I have to say that I like your work Chris. Can you take photographs that more people will like? Yes. Would you lose me as a liker of your work if you did? Entirely possible! Does that matter to you? There's the question!
Thank you Ian, much appreciated and don't worry I will hold off on my drive for over night superstardom.
 
Messages
5,845
Name
Dave
Edit My Images
No
In the case of art, it feels as though those 'in the know' have built the walls around themselves, possibly because they fear ridicule, possibly because they know that not everything can stand scrutiny and they are afraid they will be put to shame. People who are secure don't normally act that way. The Jonathan Meades video was interesting in this regard, ditto Justin for slightly different reasons. ;)
I think the art world is just very small TBH, although some artists do think they are special and more important than they actually are. Others, like Grayson Perry and David Hockney manage to connect with both the art crowd and the general public. A hard trick to make work!
 
Messages
6,915
Edit My Images
Yes
When viewing a photograph I'm subconsciously thinking "Do I like it"? If the answer is yes, then I ask myself why? If the answer is no, then I ask myself why not? I think that's all you really need to do when looking at photos and paintings.
 
OP
sirch

sirch

Official Forum Numpty 2015,FPOTY 2020
Messages
10,434
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
When viewing a photograph I'm subconsciously thinking "Do I like it"? If the answer is yes, then I ask myself why? If the answer is no, then I ask myself why not? I think that's all you really need to do when looking at photos and paintings.
I agree in part, I often want to know what others see in something that may be I don't see, can I learn something external to my own tastes.
 
Messages
23,897
Name
Phil
Edit My Images
No
Untrained people can see things to like in loads of images
Exactly!
You can like any old rubbish.

but that’s not really relevant as to whether the work is worthwhile.

I like KFC, but it’s not worthy of comparison to confit duck leg.

My granddaughter likes Baby Shark but it’s not worthy of comparison to Beethoven.
 
Top