Do we get too obsessed by "real"?

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
moedius
moedius Contributing Member • Posts: 596
Re: Do we get too obsessed by "real"?

John Crowe wrote:

For ME photography is about real images printed on photographic paper to recreate the reality as much as possible. If one is going to print on canvas, and/or destroy a photographic image to make it look like a painting, then why not simply paint it in the first place.

On the opposite approach, I must say I am extremely impressed by those painters who paint images that look like photographs. That is an insane skill but I suspect I have more appreciation for the artist than the actual work.

This reminded me of my attitude towards photorealistic artists when I was in art school.

I've matured a lot in the decades since, but as a cocky 18 year old I would laugh at my fellow students who would spend such insane amounts of time and effort to reproduce reality, "if I wanted that I would just take a photo."

I can appreciate the craft and nuance behind it better now, but at the time I couldn't figure out why you would spend weeks or months effectively create a photo in ink or graphite or paint, when there's virtually no limit to what you can create when you're fully drawing from your imagination.

Also, as a fun side note for those who might not know, arguments have been made that many of the classical painting greats used optics as aids (like the camera obscura) in their painting.

https://amp.theguardian.com/theobserver/2000/feb/06/focus.news

And of course this offends some, which is ridiculous IMO.  Of course they would use the tools available without compunction, anything to elevate their craft would have been fair game.  Unfortunately I think these aids and their use fell under their secretive tricks of the trade and weren't documented aside from occasional oblique references.

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"Banal ideas cannot be rescued by beautiful execution" - Sol Lewitt

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