Friday, May 15, 2015

"Art" Photography

Many people seem to think "Art" Photography is inaccessible, pretentious, crap. Only critics can make sense of it, in their own weird little world-bubble.

This is false. What are inaccessible are artist's statements. They're not for you, anyways. They're mostly incomprehensible, mostly meaningless, and entirely social signaling.

The pictures themselves, just look.

Consider, say, Gursky's Rhein II. If you happen to know that it's something about Germany and her relationship to the Rhein River, well, it might help a bit. But you need none of that to make sense of it as some sort of abstraction of river-ness.

Cindy Sherman, well, she's witty at least. There's a bunch of subtext about.. feminist theory or something? Maybe? Knowing that probably wouldn't hinder your understanding (and frankly for some of her work it's not subtext much at all, it's pretty in-your-face).

And so on. You might not get all of it without being a critic and an artist and knowing how to decode International Art English, but you can get the important stuff just by being familiar with mainstream human cultures.

It might be bad art, but it's not inaccessible.


  1. Andreas Gursky is a man. Regards

    1. Indeed. The 'her' refers to Germany, but you are quite correct that this is not obvious!

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