Just a few comments on the recent forum controversy...

Started Mar 29, 2013 | Discussions thread
panos_m
Senior MemberPosts: 1,211
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Re: 1/2, perhaps
In reply to Toccata47, Apr 1, 2013

Toccata47 wrote:

panos_m wrote:

Toccata47 wrote:

panos_m wrote:

Toccata47 wrote:

The sad fact of photography and wealth is that wealthy photographers have historically been responsible for 0.0% of great photography. I challenge posters to prove otherwise.

I know two:

  • Henri Cartier-Bresson
  • Jacques Henri Lartigue
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Panagiotis

Bresson was famously poor.

Bresson's father had a company named Cartier-Bresson Textile. He was very wealthy. There is plenty of information in the internet about this.

Sure, it's the first line of his wiki bio entry. There's more to the story, of course. His family may have been wealthy but they were exceedingly thrifty and certainly did not finance his lifestyle. For example, upon contracting a deadly virus while in Africa he sent his family a post card with instructions for his funeral. The reply that came back was essentially they found it too expensive and he was advised to cut costs by dying at home. The upside of this was upon his return and recovery he picked up a second hand leica and a zeiss lens because he couldn't afford a leica lens.

Ok. I failed to convince you that Bresson was wealthy. But maybe it's more interesting to discuss why you think that wealth and great photography (and also great art in general?) cannot go together.

Lartigue's merit could well be debated and to my mind he leans more toward an early "model mayhem" than an Avendon. An early photographer with access to people other people wanted to look at, at the time. Lasting value or meaningful contribution to photography? No, I don't think so. But to each his own.

Lartigue was a natural born photography talent. He is mentioned in detail in every class about the history of photography I am aware off. At least where I live. So I consider his contribution meaningful and of a lasting value.

William Talbot is also mentioned in every photo school, that doesn't make him a great photographer. Both figures are of historical interest, but when was the last time you gave headspace to calotype? Still, "great photography" isn't exactly objective and if you believe Lartigue to be in the same league and value as Bresson that is most certainly your perogative.

Ok. I failed to convince you that Lartique was responsible for even a fraction of a percentage of great photography. I just want to add here for completeness (and as a last attempt to better support my argument off course ) whatJohn Szarkowski wrote about Lartigue in his "Looking at Photographs" (page 66):

http://www.masters-of-photography.com/L/lartigue/lartigue_articles3.html

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Panagiotis

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