Friday, June 26, 2009

My Art Versus Your Art - The Great Debate

They say that art is a subjective thing. I'll go along with that, but the image we're talking about today is not an image of Christos work. The lamp itself could be considered a work of art in itself. If we were to limit a photographer to only those things man didn't have a hand in we'd all be nature photographers. One of the things we do as photographers is try to "see" art in combinations of objects. A bowl of fruit for example. Someone crafted the bowl, if it's mass produced or individually thrown on a potter's wheel. It's someones creation. Same with a really great shot of a locomotive, a lighthouse, a bridge or a cityscape. Yep, we are recording what's in front of us, but it's the way we make that recording that makes an image "our" art.

Read my thoughts after the jump.

Today's image certainly can be called art on it's own. If it were to be published for money it would be nice to give Christos a nod, but I can't imagine splitting the payment with him. His "art" isn't recognizable on it's own. Without the orange frame or the inclusion of other "Gates" the drape becomes just that, a drape. It could have, just as easily, been in the studio. There are bedsheets of the same color and five minutes in Photoshop could have produced the same thing. If something is in the public domain, available for anyone to freely view, it would be difficult to successfully keep a photographer from using it as an element in her/his artistic creation.

Obviously you wouldn't be able to pay money, walk into an art museum, grab a shot of a famous painting and say "hey, look at my art". If you had to pay money to get to the place where the original artwork resides, it ain't your art. In fact, you might find yourself on the arm of someone in a uniform being escorted toward the door. On the other hand, the Minuteman Monument, Fisherman's Memorial, the interior of the Guggenheim Museum have frequently been the subjects of photographic art.

How far you can, would, should go is up to you. There are plenty of people willing to tell you where the imaginary line is that separates your dipping to far into someone else's art pool