Little ballerinas

Started Jun 3, 2014 | Discussions thread
(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 2,216
Re: Little ballerinas

RaajS wrote:

Actually, Joe, I think a conversation on theory & composition is a great idea. Let's start with that image titled "7" by the incomparable Misha. Would love your take on that image. Any one else that "gets" that image is welcome to educate and illuminate the rest of us Philistines that don't get it. Welcome your input.



I'm a bad person to ask. See, I've always earned a living doing science / applied maths, and my enthusiasm for things like photography and playing music (both done badly...) is a sort of counter-balance to that, so I've got a high resistance to over-theoretical approaches to art; but I do know enough to say that the idea of an axiomatic basis for art to the point where someone could build a large machine where you feed photographs into a slot on the side and an indicator on the machine registers "Good" or "Bad" is based on fundamentally flawed thinking...

I'd claim I was fairly open-minded about photography. I've spent many a long hour in the pub downing more than a few glasses of beer defending Stephen Shore's American Surfaces as a work of art of the highest rank against those who say it is just a collection of poor-quality snapshots, for example. And if you look at that kinda stuff for long enough then you eventually come to realise there is more to composition than the Rule of Thirds.

As for our gloomy artist, Mr Pie-and-Mash as I can't help thinking of him ever since I saw the anagram, there's usually some sort of theme in his photographs, like little hidden messages and repeated or echoed motifs and tones, plenty of stuff that could be quite abstract symbolism, and usually a very strong left / right composition of the elements. So it's quite interesting to look at, but is it any good, though, or are they just mediocre photos wrapped up in a lot of pretentious academic twaddle?  That's the question, I guess. I have my opinion, but I'll keep it to myself.

When someone says that if you understood this better you'd appreciate it more, then I'm willing to approach it with an open mind, but my BS detector is pinging quietly in the background, y'know. The photographer himself said that if he explained it then the meaning would be lost, which is almost the definition of a joke; so there is always the third possibility...


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