Thursday, April 7, 2011

Where Does Photography End And Art Begin?

They say there's a thin line between any number of things.  Love and obsession, genius and madness and how about if we add photography and art.  Okay, there is the art of the photograph, well shot, well developed, well finished, with good subject matter and emotional appeal to the viewer.  That's not really what I'm talking about.  There are people who are very snobbish about what should be classified in a specific category.  There's the musician who says computer generated music isn't art, but who also can't diddle on their chosen instrument in an ad hoc sort of way.  Someone who has to have the sheet music in front of them or they can't make a sound.  Is that person a musician or a technician?  Knowing where to put your fingers, or knowing which buttons to push in Adobe Photoshop is a technical thing, not an artistic thing.  I'd like to set some ground rules.  Something, anything is or isn't art dependent on if it has a market value.  If it can be sold.  If someone is willing to put some money down and say "I want that for my own", then it's some sort of art.  It can be art that ends up in a corporate advertisement or hung in a gallery to be sold to the highest bidder.  Art is like a set of stairs.  Getting to the first step is pretty easy.  Getting to the top step is pretty darn hard.  In between there's many levels that can be considered "art".  Jackson Pollock was considered one of the premier artists of the twentieth century.  You can try your hand at being the next Jackson Pollock at  Whenever you snap the shutter, what is your thought process?  Are you looking to create art or record an event?  Is the release of the shutter the end of your creativity or the beginning?  My formative years were spent during the time when the mantra was "Question Authority".  Who's it say if your work is art or just a photograph?  The market will tell you.  If you're in it as a recorder of events, fine.  To prove yourself as an artist, sell something.