January 23, 2014

the perils of dabbling with artiness


click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Yesterday I was describing some of the perils of being a pho-tog, so today maybe we can open up that big Pandora's Box of snakes and vampires that I loosely refer to as artiness.

And it is just my opinion, and what do I know(?), but I tend to be slow in jumping on the bandwagon in being so reckless with the word "art". After all, since "art" can be applied to just about anything--well done or not--I think it is a fairly meaningless term.



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

I do not call myself an artist, as I think the term "photographer" is quite sufficient and more accurately describes the process. One of the greatest photographers who ever lived, Edward Weston, reportedly balked strongly when someone categorized him as an artist. Back in the 1930's Edward Weston was preparing for an important exhibition in New York City when he received an advance copy of the exhibition catalog. Boldly emblazoned below his name was a title of "photographic artist". He fired off an angry letter to the people who were organizing the exhibition and demanded that they change his title to simply "photographer".

Currently I think I like the title of "pho-tog". Yeah, I think I will go with that, realizing that I have a tall mountain to climb before I am going to be fully proficient at this "craft". I think the jury is still out on the photos I am showing here today. What do YOU think?


Photographing Marin County - the exhibit and book   


10 comments:

Zoomie said...

I think most of your work rises to the level of art, even if you don't... :-)

Michael Strickland said...

This jury member likes the Arty Photos, for what it's worth.

John W. Wall said...

“I would say to any artist: ‘Don’t be repressed in your work, dare to experiment, consider any urge, if in a new direction all the better.” – Edward Weston

- See more at: http://www.johnpaulcaponigro.com/blog/12034/23-quotes-by-photographer-edward-weston/#sthash.jQrLOMuF.dpuf

AphotoAday said...

Hi MIKE STRICKLAND -- Thanks... "Artiness" is exactly what I was going for with these two.

AphotoAday said...

Thanks JOHN WALL -- That and the other 23 quotes are gems... I've been meaning to re-read both volumes of EW's daybooks. As you probably know the first covers his time in Mexico and the second is during his time in California near Point Lobos (I grew up nearby). By the way, I got to attend a lecture by John Paul Caponigro last year and enjoyed what he had to say and show thoroughly. I was really into his father's stuff when I was a kid.

AphotoAday said...

Hi ZOOMIE -- I somehow delte (by accident of course) a reply I wrote to your kind praise. --Having my photography classified as "art" is the highest award a fellow can get. Yep, art is the goal. But for the sake of decorum (and modesty) I try not to over-adertise or over-estimate myself. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I don't. Great fun in trying. (((And it makes a great excuse to get out of the house)))

John W. Wall said...

I'd never heard of the daybooks, so I checked the library, only to find you can't check them out. They're for library-viewing only. Might have to spring for Vol. 2 at least....

Namastenancy said...

I agree that the world is overused but it's not meaningless when applied to your photographs.

Patricia Wilson said...

I like the term photog & agree photographers can be artists & count you as one of the artists among photogs.

regards.

Patricia Wilson said...

I like the term photog & agree photographers can be artists & count you as one of the artists among photogs.

regards.

 
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