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Poll - As a photographer, do you consider yourself an artist?

Discussion in 'Weekly Poll' started by Chrissie_Lay, Mar 31, 2016.

  1. Trannifan

    Trannifan Well-Known Member

    Hmmm, there are sculptors who work with castings -reproduceable unless they destroy the mould. Now of course they can also use 3-D printers. Ditto those who work with ceramics...........Then there are painters who incorporate photography into their work, either as part of the process or, no doubt a nice little earner, selling limited edition photo prints of their paintings.

    Now, as photographers, can we call ourselves 'Artists' if we make one print and then destroy the negative/ slide/ data?

    Lynn
     
  2. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Hi Lynn, or constrain ourselves artificially by using only a 35mm lens on a 35mm camera? ;):) I'd put that in the art bracket, especially after a quick look-see at your web-site. Cheers, Oly
     
  3. Trannifan

    Trannifan Well-Known Member

    ????????????????????????

    Lynn
     
  4. beatnik69

    beatnik69 Well-Known Member

    Would that also disqualify something like Warhol's silkscreens or silver clouds?

    I'd never thought of myself as an artist. When I think of it though, I have a few of my photographs mounted and framed on my walls at home. There are also photographs of my family and my wife and I on our wedding day. I suppose I might consider the landscapes/seascapes etc to be art but I'm not sure about the family portraits and weddings photos. They could be art as the poses, lighting and technique have all been carefully considered by the photographer.
     
  5. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    No. It just disqualified Sewell, who was a pompous idiot incapable of clear thought.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  6. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Good question. I'll throw it back at you. Can you make art out of lies? If not, why not? Indeed, can you make art out of anything other than lies?

    Perhaps we need to distinguish between art and artists. Art is what artists create. They may then if they wish pretend that it isn't art, or that they aren't artists.

    The question underlying all of this is, who cares? If someone wants to call themselves an artist, let 'em. Personally I find it unbearably pretentious (and meaningless, and stupid, and patronizing) when someone says, "I'm not a photographer: I'm an artist who uses photography." On the other hand, some of them are inadvertently telling the truth: they're such bloody awful photographers that if they are (mediocre) artists at all, it must be in some other field.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  7. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I always enjoyed Sewell. Hardly ever agreed with him, but I rather enjoyed his particular brand of pomposity. Certainly got this one wrong.
     
  8. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I would say that both my aunt and my sister might say that, and it would be true and not remotely pretentious, but only insofar as neither of them are looking to create art from their photos, nor are they great photographers; they simply use photography to create visual notes for later use. If I were to say it, I would 100% agree with you, because insofar as I am an artist, it's through the medium of photography. In fact I have a bit of fun sometimes with people more pompous than myself (yes, they exist) by describing myself (tongue firmly in cheek) as an "artist of the found environment".
     
  9. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Nick,

    I used to find him amusing, but then I began to suspect that he had started to believe his own nonsense. Not a bad entertainer: just a total waste of space as an art critic, and (as I said) incapable of clear thought. Anyone who chose reproducibility as a criterion for art was either pig-ignorant or not very bright. As I believe he knew quite a lot about his chosen subject, this leaves only the second possibility.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
    Benchista likes this.
  10. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    My opinion is along the same lines. When I agreed with him, it was generally because he was stating the bleeding obvious.
     
  11. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Nick,

    Fair enough. But you know the sort I am referring to: the ones who do produce (usually mediocre) photographs for public appraisal, but for whom merely being a photographer is not rarefied enough.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  12. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Absolutely, Roger, I could name quite a few. ;)
     
  13. Trannifan

    Trannifan Well-Known Member

    This is the first time, even if it's not meant personally, that anybody has thought me "Pretentious" ( to say nothing of "meaningless, stupid" ) and possibly "patronizing". Yes, I am trying to be an artist who uses photography - the rest of the time I'm taking 'normal snaps' (whatever they might be!) so I'm then a merely average snapper. If I was up there in the Robert Frank, Andreas Feininger, Ansel Adams, Joe Cornish league I might consider calling myself a photographer as well - but I'm not.

    Lynn
     
  14. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    I would consider my self as a Photographer, I have no pretensions of being an artist.
    If any one were to consider one of my photographs to show artistic merit, it would be entirely fortuitous.
     
  15. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Lynn,

    Forgive me if I misunderstand you, but I fear I must have done. Please correct me if I have.

    What do you see as the difference between calling yourself "an artist who uses photography" and "a photographer"? I can understand Benchista's point about his aunt and sister using the camera as a notebook, but I really can't understand what I see you as saying.

    From what you have written, it seems to be that you do not see yourself as good enough to be "a photographer", but you do see yourself as good enough to be "an artist". If the end product of your art is a photograph, rather than (say) a painting based on a photograph, this is the purest nonsense and the most ridiculous false humility. If you don't think you're good enough to call yourself a photographer, how on earth can you imagine that you are good enough to call yourself an artist, regardless of whether you use photography or not? To do so would be to place "artist" on a lower level than "photographer", which makes even less sense than saying that photography isn't or cannot be an art.

    As for your comparisons, they are worthless. Just like you, I wouldn't clam to be in the same league as Frank, Feininger, Adams or Cornish. What of it? All it means is that I'm not as good a photographer. There are other photographers whose work I admire more, but that's beside the point. Likewise I'm not as good a cook as Rick Stein. That doesn't stop me being a cook. And my wife, who studied ballet for 50 years, was never of Ballet Russe standard but it would be both demeaning and meaningless to say that as a result, she was never a dancer but an artist who used dance.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2016
  16. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Terry,

    It's not a pretension. In fact it doesn't even matter. Until someone can provide a half-meaningful definition of "art", it's meaningless anyway. But why are so many people so afraid of the word "art", and of being accused of producing it?

    Cheers,

    R.
     
    Watson Lavery likes this.
  17. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    I am not at all afraid of Art. However I rarely if ever take photographs that are intended to fall into that bracket. Taking photographs that are well composed and could fall into a "graphic design" style does not automatically make them art.
    Like my woodwork I always try to create things that are pleasing to the eye and useful. It probably comes from studying at a school of printing and graphic art.
    My third love, of spinning and weaving, I have left by the wayside over the past 20 years. Though I do still show the odd few people, or should that be the few odd people, how to spin.
    I would perhaps prefer to be thought of as an artist craftsman.

    Which is how I view many people's photography...
    Though others have clearly set up camp and established themselves in the FineArt category.
    The majority however rarely graduate beyond being camera users.

    Few are afraid of Art, though they might have little appreciation and understanding of it. Nor may they show much ambition in that direction. The lack of understanding and appreciation might be thought disappointing, but their ambition might be in other directions
     
  18. Watson Lavery

    Watson Lavery Member

    I'm an artist who uses photography as one of several tools just as most artists do, Gillian Wearing and Tracy Emin for example.
     
  19. Watson Lavery

    Watson Lavery Member

    Not only East Anglia, several other red brick and virtual unis too.
     
  20. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Hi Lynn, You appear like an artist to me with that work; if you don't mind being bracketed you are principally a 'fine art' photographer. If you do mind, tough! I think your work would have quite a broad appeal in the art world generally. How have you done on print sales to date? Cheers, Oly
     

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