Peter Lik

Started 4 months ago | Discussions
Aaron801 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,166
Re: Peter Lik
1

doady wrote:

jeffnles1 wrote:

I sometimes think the general direction of conversation on DPReview lends more toward the technical and less toward the art of photography. I guess that is understandable with a site that is primarily focused on gear and we tend to "nerd out" on the technology and measurements (MP, MFT charts, lines per inch resolution, Chromatic Aberration, etc.).

In the "technical" perspective, yes, many of his images appear to be composites and pretty heavily post processed. However, looking at it through the eyes of an artist, it matters not how much post processing or how many composites make up the image. If we see it as art, the primary objective is to stir some emotion and the technology behind it becomes less meaningful.

There is a difference between "documentary" photography and "art" photography.

At least that's my thoughts.

Jeff

Documentary photography and art photography are different, but they can also overlap. I have no problem with composites.

I think where Peter Lik's work really differs from art is that he does it primarily to make money, and from unsuspecting tourists mostly. His photography is made for mass appeal as a part of a commercial venture rather than for himself as a form of personal expression.

That's not to say whether or not he is a talented photographer. But whether someone applies their talents more to business or more to art is a different story. I don't think his work will be hanging from the walls of galleries and museums after he dies. Or at least not galleries and museums that aren't part of the Peter Lik Corporation.

I agree with what you say... except for one small point that really is just a more subtle matter of semantics. I see what the man does as art since the work isn't for any other purpose other than contemplating (the way that he markets it aside) but I don't think that it's particularly creative, thoughtful art. I think, as you say that it's really pitched towards and audience who aren't particularly interested or well informed about the greater world of art. Not that I'm saying that this somehow invalidates what he does, but that it very much does seem to be for that specific audience. It may also be why his work has apparently turned out to be such a poor investment. If it isn't collected buy the kind of folks who typically collect art, it doesn't get their endorsement and therefore isn't going to have that kind of value...

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SonyOB Contributing Member • Posts: 810
Re: Peter Lik in the pudding
1

We are not wolves. We are apes.
In my world, a person who has the brains and the persistence to create a million-dollar enterprise is an alpha male. A leader with a vision. The status that Peter Link has achieved clearly indicates that he is one of them.

Ah, postmodernists and the blank slate people!

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lilBuddha Veteran Member • Posts: 4,376
Re: Peter Lik

doady wrote:

jeffnles1 wrote:

I sometimes think the general direction of conversation on DPReview lends more toward the technical and less toward the art of photography. I guess that is understandable with a site that is primarily focused on gear and we tend to "nerd out" on the technology and measurements (MP, MFT charts, lines per inch resolution, Chromatic Aberration, etc.).

In the "technical" perspective, yes, many of his images appear to be composites and pretty heavily post processed. However, looking at it through the eyes of an artist, it matters not how much post processing or how many composites make up the image. If we see it as art, the primary objective is to stir some emotion and the technology behind it becomes less meaningful.

There is a difference between "documentary" photography and "art" photography.

At least that's my thoughts.

Jeff

Documentary photography and art photography are different, but they can also overlap. I have no problem with composites.

I think where Peter Lik's work really differs from art is that he does it primarily to make money, and from unsuspecting tourists mostly. His photography is made for mass appeal as a part of a commercial venture rather than for himself as a form of personal expression.

All art is commercial art unless one does not attempt to sell it. Motive is a false differentiator. Picasso used to use doodles to pay restaurant bills, how crass is that?

That's not to say whether or not he is a talented photographer. But whether someone applies their talents more to business or more to art is a different story. I don't think his work will be hanging from the walls of galleries and museums after he dies. Or at least not galleries and museums that aren't part of the Peter Lik Corporation.

GoodKnight
GoodKnight Forum Member • Posts: 76
ugly cheap looking work IMHO

I personally lean way more to Michael Kenna’s style of work and don’t like Peters at all really. But hey it is all personal opinions so more power to him.

lilBuddha Veteran Member • Posts: 4,376
Re: Peter Lik in the pudding

SonyOB wrote:

We are not wolves. We are apes.
In my world, a person who has the brains and the persistence to create a million-dollar enterprise is an alpha male. A leader with a vision. The status that Peter Link has achieved clearly indicates that he is one of them.

We are not wolves, but the terms alpha and beta and the behaviour ascribed to that was developed from a study on wolves and was then misapplied liberally.

Our closest living relative is the bonobo, which stray very far from the alpha-beta model.

They use sex and favours to negotiate.

Ah, postmodernists and the blank slate people!

We, like other animals, are very much guided by ingrained behaviours, much more than most people are willing to accept. And we do have variations in behaviour, both from nature and nurture. I am not arguing against that, I am explaining why the whole alpha thing is ill-informed.

Peter Lik has no status from his art. His money lends him status in our society, yes, but that doesn't make him a leader. I find neither his art nor business model visionary. Neither are original.

If you must persist with misapplied metaphor, Lone Wolf would be more apt. Also problematic, but closer.

We can learn from studying animals. Though, caution should be used in determining meaning within a species and extreme caution used across species. Especially simplistic models onto complex behaviour. And to be avoided when the model doesn't even fit the animal from which it was derived.

The alpha metaphor resonated because it was simple* and justified behaviour, much like the caste system in India. And it is just as artificial.

* we are a complex species, but we like simple explanations and attributions. Which is often to our detriment.

stevo23 Forum Pro • Posts: 22,749
Lik's philosophy
1

Lik doesn't have to create art, he doesn't have to be original. If people buy his work and make him rich, none of that matters to him.

And I think his philosophy is just that - he's not creating art, he's just creating images people are willing to buy and he's willing to lie about how they were created to sell the images.

But also, looking through his work, there are a lot of nice images if not overpriced. But a lot of schlock. It's as if to say, "If I shoot this in a large enough format with enough resolution and enlarge it enough, it immediately transforms from schlock into something special."

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Kung Fu
Kung Fu Senior Member • Posts: 3,636
Re: Lik's philosophy

stevo23 wrote:

It's as if to say, "If I shoot this in a large enough format with enough resolution and enlarge it enough, it immediately transforms from schlock into something special."

And there’s an ounce of truth in that.

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Crash N Burn
Crash N Burn Regular Member • Posts: 119
Re: ugly cheap looking work IMHO
1

GoodKnight wrote:

I personally lean way more to Michael Kenna’s style of work and don’t like Peters at all really. But hey it is all personal opinions so more power to him.

You're onto something there. Regarding your estimation of Lik's work, which I happen to agree with, I don't believe it's all personal opinion, though. Some perceptions are more factually based--not unlike how most of us know something sticker or oilier or greasier than something else.

AOC
AOC Regular Member • Posts: 277
Re: Peter Lik
1

There are people who wait months and years to get just the right shot. This guy appears to peddle some fake version of reality that anyone can concoct and digital artists do all the time.

I see nothing more in his images than the cheap, dime a dozen wallpaper backgrounds we see on the Internet.

MyReality
MyReality Contributing Member • Posts: 802
Re: Peter Lik
1

I am painting a fence right now.  Can I hire you?

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stevo23 Forum Pro • Posts: 22,749
Re: Peter Lik

MyReality wrote:

I am painting a fence right now. Can I hire you?

I'm expensive.

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jeffnles1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,220
Re: Peter Lik

MyReality wrote:

I am painting a fence right now. Can I hire you?

The real genius is when you get people to pay you for the fun of painting your fence.

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Bill Ferris
Bill Ferris Veteran Member • Posts: 4,438
Re: Peter Lik

stevo23 wrote:

MyReality wrote:

I am painting a fence right now. Can I hire you?

I'm expensive.

And the fence will only fetch pennies on the dollar, once he's done

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Teila Day
Teila Day Veteran Member • Posts: 4,879
((chuckle))...
1

AOC wrote:

There are people who wait months and years to get just the right shot. This guy appears to peddle some fake version of reality that anyone can concoct and digital artists do all the time.

Oh good grief.. There's a marked difference between "doing it" and doing it and actually selling the work through your own gallery and getting well paid.

I see nothing more in his images than the cheap, dime a dozen wallpaper backgrounds we see on the Internet.

Well you can't hang those dime-a-dozen backgrounds on your wall now can you? But you can hang a huge Lik print on your wall, unlike most dime-a-dozen shots on the internet.

You remind me of people who slave at some ratty-behind 9-5 job all day long going on about how Rap music isn't really music, is just simple to make, isn't original, so easy to make that even their kid can do it... Yet here they sit, 20-30 years later still in their same crummy job, making the same crummy money... going on about how easy it is to create the same product that others are making hundreds of millions of dollars from.

I say, if it's that easy- why aren't you doing it?...

Yeah.. exactly..  

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Aaron801 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,166
Re: ((chuckle))...

Teila Day wrote:

AOC wrote:

There are people who wait months and years to get just the right shot. This guy appears to peddle some fake version of reality that anyone can concoct and digital artists do all the time.

Oh good grief.. There's a marked difference between "doing it" and doing it and actually selling the work through your own gallery and getting well paid.

I see nothing more in his images than the cheap, dime a dozen wallpaper backgrounds we see on the Internet.

Well you can't hang those dime-a-dozen backgrounds on your wall now can you? But you can hang a huge Lik print on your wall, unlike most dime-a-dozen shots on the internet.

You remind me of people who slave at some ratty-behind 9-5 job all day long going on about how Rap music isn't really music, is just simple to make, isn't original, so easy to make that even their kid can do it... Yet here they sit, 20-30 years later still in their same crummy job, making the same crummy money... going on about how easy it is to create the same product that others are making hundreds of millions of dollars from.

I say, if it's that easy- why aren't you doing it?...

Yeah.. exactly..

I don't really agree with the "anyone can do it" part as I credit Lik as a pretty skilled photographer. I do agree though that the work is of a pretty generic, "this ought to match the couch" variety. Ikea has in its frame section mass produced prints that are framed and good to go. All of the art is really of a generic variety as the artists aren't credited and the look of the stuff seems to be designed far more for mass appeal (for decorative purposes) than it is to show off any kind of personality of the artists. Mr. Lik's work reminds me of the photos that I see in this kind of Ikea pre-framed art stuff. I suspect that if he wasn't selling his work as limited edition fine art prints, he could be very successful licensing the images for the aforementioned use...

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stevo23 Forum Pro • Posts: 22,749
Re: Peter Lik

Bill Ferris wrote:

stevo23 wrote:

MyReality wrote:

I am painting a fence right now. Can I hire you?

I'm expensive.

And the fence will only fetch pennies on the dollar, once he's done

Ha ha. But it will be huge - you have to be there to appreciate it.

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MyReality
MyReality Contributing Member • Posts: 802
Re: Peter Lik

I thought you would be altruistic and do it for the glory of art.

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biza43 Forum Pro • Posts: 10,794
Re: Peter Lik
1

Bill Ferris wrote:

It's so odd yet so typical to read the comments that are little more than uninformed speculation about Lik,how he achieved success and runs his various business interests. I get that folks don't like his photographic style or the technique of compositing to build imagined scenes. I'm not a fan, either. However, let's acknowledge some facts.

Peter Lik worked very hard to develop his craft, build a band anf achieve success. He came to the US in 1984 and spent a year traveling around the country in an old van doing photography. He returned in 1989 to undertake a project to make at least one quality landscape photograph in each of the 50 states.

In the early 1990s, he worked for the Queensland Department of Tourism in his native Australia, traveling the Outback photographing little known locations. By the mid-1990s, he'd opened a print studio in Las Vegas. He'd also stated a publishing company. He opened his first gallery (1997) in Australia and his first US gallery (2003) in Hawaii. His first book (1997) featured photographs of the Outback. In 2003, he published a coffee table book of his photography of the US.

Lik opened galleries in Las Vegas and Manhattan in the 2000s. From 2010 to 2013, he won multiple prestigious international photo competitions and placed highly in others. He's been honored as a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society.

Over more than 25 years. Peter Lik built a brand as a skilled photographer, an artist/adventurer with a camera, and as a person whose work is synonymous with, quality. He has one documented sale of an original photograph for $1 million and has claimed to have sold another photograph for $6.5 million.

Whatever one may think of his photography, style or use of compositing, Peter Lik has worked hard for his success. It's not the product of luck. Success wasn't handed to him on a silver platter. He worked his keister off, built a brand around his name and is reaping the rewards of his labor.

You are trying to instil some common sense into the minds of several fellow DPR'viewers... I fully agree with you. Photography as Art can not be limited by narrow minded preconceptions.

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biza43 Forum Pro • Posts: 10,794
Re: Peter Lik
1

AOC wrote:

There are people who wait months and years to get just the right shot. This guy appears to peddle some fake version of reality that anyone can concoct and digital artists do all the time.

I see nothing more in his images than the cheap, dime a dozen wallpaper backgrounds we see on the Internet.

Well, what is preventing you from doing it and be successful then?

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lilBuddha Veteran Member • Posts: 4,376
Re: Peter Lik

biza43 wrote:

AOC wrote:

There are people who wait months and years to get just the right shot. This guy appears to peddle some fake version of reality that anyone can concoct and digital artists do all the time.

I see nothing more in his images than the cheap, dime a dozen wallpaper backgrounds we see on the Internet.

Well, what is preventing you from doing it and be successful then?

Ethics.

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