Criticism....

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Chemiker, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. Chemiker

    Chemiker Guest

    When one looks at a picture, does one judge it it on the basis of what
    the photog tried to say (often unknown) or what one thinks s/he SHOULD
    have said? I suggest the latter is improper, unless you believe in
    GroupThink and are PC.

    Which says more ? Dali's "Persistence of Memory", Picasso's
    "Guernica", Vermeer's "Girl with a Pearl Earring" or Van Gogh's
    "Starry Night"?

    Each was controversial in its time. What SHOULD they have painted
    instead?

    Just askin'.......

    Alex
     
    Chemiker, Jun 4, 2012
    #1
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  2. Chemiker

    Savageduck Guest

    You have posed a classic multiple part question to which there are a
    series of answers all related to different technologies for recording
    an image and how images are used in society.

    Since you started with photographers and how their images should be
    interpreted, one should be careful not to blanket all photographic work
    with a single critical eye. There is a big difference between
    photographs taken for the purpose of photo-journalism, fashion shoots,
    crime scene photography, family snapshots, vast landscapes &
    cityscapes, and pure abstract creation. All have different standards
    and tolerances. All are saying very different things, and assuming what
    they are saying can make a fool out of the critic who makes that
    assumption.

    There are the purists who say a photograph should represent visual
    "Truth". However, there are the photographic artists who will
    manipulate an image to create an abstraction of that truth. Therefore,
    the photo critic should only speak from the point of the technical
    aspects of creating a particular photograph which should include
    subject, composition, and issues related to exposure. Beyond that we
    are talking about taste and emotional impact on exposure to the image.
    A simple B&W portrait of a subject known only to the photographer and
    one other viewer might be far more emotionally important to them that
    to those who might be severely critical of it.

    Regarding the sample of brush artists you list, each with the exception
    of Dali & Picasso lived in different times. They all have one thing in
    common, in that each worked in a different school of art and with a
    different intent. With Vermeer he created works of astonishing photo
    realism. Van Gogh produced works of emotional expression which would
    not have been accepted as fine art in his time or earlier, but has come
    to be accepted as the emotional work of a troubled genius since.
    Both Picasso & Dali had oddly opposed political agendas, and criticism
    of their work related to preconception of their alleged political
    leanings. Picasso did whatever he could to support the Republican cause
    against Franco. Dali ended up accused of being "Hitlerian" because he
    held that Dadaism and surrealism should be apolitical, and in the
    Parisian salons he was seen to be on the "wrong side" because of his
    hedonistic lifestyle and failure to actively support the Spanish
    Republicans due to his political indifference. Then he move to the USA
    for the duration of WWII, and that did not enhance the reputation of
    his character. So his work was subject to criticism based on his
    character, not on the quality of his work. Much the same could be said
    of Picasso, but for different reasons.

    So emotions and politics beyond the actual quality of the work of
    artists and recorders of time, both wielders of the brush and
    photographers have too great an influence on valid criticism.

    ....and then there is taste.

    So critics, past and present need to be evaluated by their own depth of
    knowledge, social, political, and personal bias.

    As for others not claiming the mantle of "critic" there is only
    personal bias, taste, and knowing what they like, or love.

    The emotional impact of some images, great and ordinary, good or bad,
    can withstand the critics.
     
    Savageduck, Jun 4, 2012
    #2
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