What is an Artist’s Statement & How Often Should It Be Updated?

What is an Artist’s Statement & How Often Should It Be Updated?

An artist’s statement is a statement of ideas and thoughts that describe your philosophy, vision, and passion towards your artistic creations.
Ponder over the following questions prior to writing your artist’s statement:
Is your work whimsical, thought provoking, or edgy?
Does it portray a series of stories?
Whom or what has influenced you the most?
How is your work meaningful to you?
How do you begin to write your artists statement? You could begin by writing a quote that has inspired you and your work, or you could create a strong sentence that summarizes your philosophy about your life and how art has changed your views on life in general. You could also include what type of style and technique that motivates you the most while creating your art creation.
Some artists have writer’s block when it comes to putting down their thoughts on paper. I would suggest that you start with words that best describe your art and inner thoughts then go back to edit them into definite statements. Most artists know and feel what they are trying to convey to their audience, however, writing it down becomes a huge task.
Personally, I believe your artist’s statement should be written by yourself because of the personal touch you would be able to provide to it. No one knows better about your artistry other than yourself. Your audience will get a feel of what your inner thoughts are and how you find this passion to be a lifestyle and not a hobby.
Make sure you aren’t using too many words that only artists would recognize. Express yourself while allowing your words to flow. You are expressing your passion; so don’t feel pressured to become a renounced writer.
While being an artist is a rewarding career, unfortunately, there are people outside of this industry who would say it is a hobby. So, it is very important to express how you feel about your craft through your artist’s statement. Writing a one-page statement would be sufficient in getting your statement across to your audience, but if it runs to a page two, that’s fine. Clearly, it shows your audience that you are vividly and precisely getting your thoughts across.
Your artist’s statement should be updated as your career inspires new direction and when there are profound events that have captured new inspirations in your creative vision. Your statement could be updated at the same pace similar to updating your résumé.
If you’re still unsure how to get started, here are two excellent sites that have sample statements: www.mollygordon.com or www.naia-artists.org
Your artist’s statement is a very important tool. Take a block of time out of your daily or weekly schedules to create the type of statement that will allow your audience to understand how you began your journey.

Airbrush Art Tattoos

Airbrush Art Tattoos

A fascinating form of airbrush art is the airbrush tattoos. These tattoos can be applied to any part of the body and last longer than most temporary tattoos. An airbrushed tattoo will last for 7 days unlike other temporary tattoo that start to come off when you are bathing. It takes time or baby oil to remove an airbrushed tattoo. Tattoos that are done with airbrush art look realistic compared to other temporary tattoos.

Henna as temporary body art does last for awhile requiring time and lots of exposure to water to fade and disappear. Henna though takes a long time to hand paint onto the body. The bigger the artwork the longer it will take the artist to pain the henna design on. Airbrush art goes on quickly thus saving lots of time compared to henna as well as airbrush art is waterproof. Unlike henna lots of exposure to water still will not fade your tattoo. Where it would take an artist 6 hours to pain on a large henna design the same artist could airbrush the design on in around 30 minutes. This is a major amount of time saved for the artist as well as the recipient that must stay still during this process.

Another great thing with using airbrush art to create tattoos over real tattoos, is that there is no risk of infection due to piercing of the skin with a needle. There is no healing time needed with airbrushed tattoos. The great part is there is no pain involved. Real tattoos come with pain and is one of the reason that some people do not get them. So using airbrush art to create a tattoo gives people the chance to have realistic tattoos without the pain.

Real tattoos are permanent and you are stuck with what ever you get. The only way to remove a tattoo that you do not like is to either do a cover up tattoo or go and have laser surgery to remove the tattoo. With airbrushed tattoos you can get rid of it with baby oil or just wait about 7 days and then it is gone. No need to go and get an even bigger tattoo to cover up the offending one or go through the hassle of laser surgery.

To do airbrush art in the form of tattoos you will need certain products. First off you will need an airbrush gun, 10′ Hoses braded hose, stencils, glass airbrush bottles and an air manifold. Then off course you will need airbrush paints that are designed for the human skin. This is usually referred to as airbrush tattoo ink. To finish up the process you will need talc powder and 70 percent alcohol.

The stencils are available in a wide variety of designs thus giving you almost limitless creativity when using airbrush art to create tattoos. The talc powder is to be applied to the tattoo after it has dried. The powder helps to keep the tattoo from fading. The 70 percent alcohol is to clean the airbrush gun and glass bottles with after you are done.

Airbrushed art used to create tattoos will last for 7 days on the norm. Now if you have extremely oily skin it could start to fade in a couple of days. If you have dry skin it could last past the 7 days. To help keep your airbrushed art tattoo for as long as possible keep applying talc powder to it every so often. If you are ready to get rid of it then just rub it down with baby oil and it will come off.

A Look At Airbrush Art Workshops

A Look At Airbrush Art Workshops

Learning airbrush art from books and videos can only take you so far with your art. To take things to the next level and gain some insight straight from an expert, then enroll in an airbrush art workshop. Airbrush art workshops are offered around the world by many expert artists who will show you up close and personal how to create art like a pro. These workshops range from beginners to advanced classes. Each artist and each individual workshop will teach you something new and exciting about the world of airbrush art.

The Learning and Product Expo: Art is one such place to take part in workshops with airbrush experts and gain some hands on experience. While under the supervision of an expert you can quickly learn where you are making some mistakes with your work. Expert instructors include Peter West and Pamela Shanteau who hold classes at the Learning and Product Expo: Art for beginners through to advanced.

AirBrush Action offers their Airbrush Getaway Workshops that run from a one day class to four day classes and are located in Las Vegas, Nevada. The workshops offered cover airbrush t-shirt art, murals on steel introduction, achieving photorealism, pinup art, pin striping and much more on airbrush art. The pricing for AirBrush Action’s workshops runs $150 for a one day class and $575 for the four day classes. This is a small price to pay to learn hands on with experts such as Cross-Eyed, Javier Soto, Jonathan Pantaleon and Craig Fraser.

In the UK airbrush art workshops are being offered by Organic Image with instructor Beej Curtis. Beej Curtis instructs on airbrush art in 1 and 2 day classes covering different aspects of airbrush art. Beej Curtis also offers private 1 on 1 lessons for anyone wanting to learn in a more private setting. The private lessons are 3 day classes that will take you from beginner to advanced airbrush art techniques. If you have experience then start where you know and go forward advancing through airbrush art techniques.

Workshops can cover a wide variety of different styles and techniques of airbrush art. Makeup artists that practice airbrush art for makeup sometimes will offer workshops in their salons to teach the art of airbrush makeup. So when interested in learning about how to apply airbrush makeup then look into the websites for artist that practice this form of airbrush art. Usually they will have a place on their website that talks about offered workshops. One such airbrush artist is Suzanne Patterson of Creative artistry. Suzanne Patterson has held several workshops teaching people hands on all about the art of applying airbrush makeup.

With airbrush art is does not matter what your skill level is because there is a workshop out there for you. So even if you have read almost nothing on airbrush art or tried anything with airbrushes then learn all about it in a beginner’s airbrush workshop. Find the workshop that works for what you are wanting and needing to learn then get ready to learn hands on from the masters of airbrush art.

Folk Art Auctions

Folk Art Auctions

Folk art auctions feature a wide range of objects that reflect the artist’s craft traditions, and traditional social values. Folk art is generally produced by people who have little or no academic artistic training. Folk artists usually use established techniques and styles of a particular region or culture.

Folk art auctions include paintings, sculptures and other decorative art forms. Some artists also consider utilitarian objects such as tools and costumes as folk art. For the most part, the category of folk art auctions exclude works by professional artists.

It has been my experience that folk art auctions have something for just about anyone. I found a folk art painting of a cat in a peach tree that was done by the artist Tascha. The artist also noted on the folk art auction that they create unique ceramic tile art.

My mother purchased a blanket chest for me years ago that I listed recently in a folk art auction. The chest was made about two hundred hears ago and is very beautiful. The original painted decorations are still intact.

I found an interesting folk art auction for a carnival knock-down dummy in the shape of a large cat. It was made around 1930 and is twice the size of similar items. I researched the item on a non-auction site and found that it is worth a lot of money.

My heart is still swayed by Americana folk art auctions. I recently fell in love with a painting I found up for auction of Elvis on a Harley in front of a large American flag. It was spectacular! The stretched canvas was painted with acrylics.

I especially like the Halloween themed folk art auction I found that was offered by Sister Raya New Orleans Folk Art. The title of the painting was Little Spooky the Cat – Awaiting the Great Pumpkin. The painting was painted in classic vintage style and used gold maple, red sapphire, blue pearl, white, pumpkin orange, sable brown, amber rust and jet black. I would love to have this hanging on my wall all through the autumn months.

Another folk art auction that I found and was sad to bid up past my budget was a handmade set of miniature dominos. The set was in a folk art decorated maple case. The set dates from the mid to late 1800’s. It was really exquisite and I’m sorry that I missed out on it.

I really liked another folk art auction that I found for a modern fraktur. A fraktur is a specific kind of Pennsylvania German folk art. The fraktur I found was a watercolor of a marriage record. It was very colorful and looked like it held very special significance to its original owners.

I found a wood box from Maine in a folk art auction that really appealed to me. It was rather small, but was painted chrome yellow and was trimmed in forest green. The paint was crazed and worn and it was made in the late nineteenth century. There were no visible nails and the hardware was reported as looking original.

The folk art auction that I missed out on that was way out of my price range was for an Andrew Clemens sand bottle. The sand bottle was date 1887 and was covered in patriotic decorations. It was an apothecary style bottle with a stopper and it contained at least ten different colors of sand. The bottle ended up selling for eighty five hundred dollars. I’m sure that it has ended up in an excellent collection of folk art.

I found an amusing folk art auction for three wooden carvings. The name of the piece was Three Articulating Folk Art Whimseys and were all made by the same artist. The carvings were accented with sheet metal neckties. The first carving in the folk art auction was of a cobbler, a blacksmith and a gentleman with a donkey. The second carving was a diminutive soldier and the third was a cobbler smoking a pipe. I think that this piece of Americana was purchased at a low price of three thousand dollars and was worth much more.

How To Get Started In The Trade Of Art

How To Get Started In The Trade Of Art

Being able to sell art is not an easy task. Even those
people who are already art collectors are hesitant to
be the first buyers from obscure or not so well known
artists. Additionally, it is way more difficult to
sell to people who are not really art collectors and
do not know anything about you. However, once you get
to make that first sale of your masterpiece, selling
again would be a lot easier than before.

Is Your Art Ugly?

As an artist, you should not start doubting yourself
about your creativity and skill with your art if you
are unable to sell them or only sell a couple. There
are several reasons on why people who already like art
do not buy pieces often. Such reasons are related to
their knowledge about art, self-confidence, identity
crisis of what their taste really is, and how much it
matters to them what other people would say about the
pieces they buy.

A lot of people in the art industry, whether they are
new ones or old, usually worry of what other people
would say about their purchase, or that their
colleagues and friends would make fun of them. Even
though a person likes a certain artwork of yours, they
are probably not sure on how well done the piece is,
whether it’s really worth the price, or whether you as
an artist is established enough in your career to
warrant such prices.

Thus, your job as an artist is to help those people
that admire your art feel secure and comfortable with
you both, as an artist and a businessperson. As you do
this, you help alleviate whatever other fears that
they may have and have a higher probability that
they’d buy your art.

If you don’t know where to start, then here are some
tips on how you can make admirers of your art buy your
piece and hopefully in time, turn them into patrons.

Tell Them: It’s OK, Really

Before you even start off with your sales talking, you
should be able to show people that purchasing your
artworks is okay. You can try talking about other
collectors that have bought your pieces, what kind of
people they are and how long you have been transacting
with them. Doing this would make your prospective
buyer let go of the thought that you’re just some bozo
trying to sell him a piece of junk and get hold of his
cash.

However, if you haven’t had any collectors, then you
should say so honestly. You should tell your
prospective buyer that you are open to the possibility
of selling your art to them, although you haven’t
really done this before.

How Do You Sell?

You should also talk to them about your method of
selling your art and in what specific circumstances do
people buy it. Additionally, it would be helpful if
you tell stories or anecdotes of how other collectors
have bought their first artworks from you. You should
also talk about your most recent sale, how you were
able to sell it, and for how much.

The method of how you price your works should be
mentioned too, along with which of your work types is
the favourite among collectors, and how many have you
sold all in all.

Exposure

Lastly, it would be very helpful to talk about the
exposures that you’ve had in the industry, such as
museum or institution exhibits, galleries, trade
fairs, and awards or honours that you’ve received.

Buying Art Reproductions: Mistakes To Avoid

Buying Art Reproductions: Mistakes To Avoid

If you do not want to spend a lot of money, but still enjoy art, you may want to consider what art reproductions have to offer. The nice thing about art reproductions is that they look just like the originals, but they will not cost you nearly as much money. But with that being said, not all art reproductions are the same. For this reason, you need to know the common mistakes that some buyers make time and time again.

1. Buying some items online is a good idea, but when it comes to art reproductions this does not always hold true. If you are going to buy online make sure that you have the chance to see the entire image in full size. Buying based on a small thumbnail is never a good idea. The website owner or artist should be able to email you a large file that will allow you to see the art reproduction in full. If they cannot you are better off buying your art reproduction elsewhere.

2. Do not buy an art reproduction just because it is for sale. Remember, they are not all the same. There are some companies and individuals that are much more reputable than others. You will want to find a company that is experienced in creating art reproductions, and can also back this claim up with testimonials from other buyers. If you are going to spend money on an art reproduction, you want to make sure that you get your moneys worth.

3. There are some people who buy art reproductions just because the original was produced by a famous artist. While there is nothing wrong with this, it is not something that you should do without reason. For instance, if you are using art reproductions to decorate your home it does not matter if the artist is famous or not.

These are three mistakes that you will want to avoid when buying art reproductions. Although there are many others to be aware of, these are the ones that the majority of buyers make when they are new to this industry.

Keep in mind that just because you can make mistakes does not mean that you should stay away from buying art reproductions. Instead of staying away you should actually begin your search for what is right for you. There may be some mistakes that could harm you, but the benefits of buying art reproductions outweigh them by quite a bit.

All in all, reproductions are perfect for art lovers who are looking for great pieces of work that do not cost nearly as much as the original. If this sounds like you, seek out one of the many art reproductions that are for sale.

Giclee Printing – A True Fine Art Print Process?

Giclee Printing – A True Fine Art Print Process?

The association of giclee printing with its conceptual cousin – inkjet printing – has led some people to question the validity of this printing medium as a true fine art system. To address this, I think that it is first important to look at the history of fine art printmaking and see if giclee printing fulfil the parameters set out therein.

Fine art printmaking has traditionally been based on the concept of creating a master plate – known as the matrix – from the original and using this to reproduce a predetermined number of ‘editions’ of the original artwork. Historically, the matrix was then destroyed by the artist, producing a set of truly limited edition prints. The more traditional printing techniques such as etching, lithography and linocut have evolved into art forms themselves and required a huge degree of expertise to reproduce the original to the artist’s precise demands.

Nowadays, the production of a printing matrix is no longer necessary as the high quality scanning techniques employed by printing companies results in a perfect facsimile of the original painting or photograph. Giclee printing offers incredibly high degrees of fidelity and richness of colour when compared to other ‘traditional’ printing methods and because no screen or other mechanical device is used, there is no visible dot pattern. The expertise that is employed involves the careful monitoring of the colour system through the use of colour profiling techniques and the understanding of the colourspace that the machine operates within.

The print-on-demand nature of the printing process enables photographers and artists to maintain full control over the artistic integrity of their work which, coupled with the proven archival permanence of giclee prints (when coupled with specifically designed output media and inks) ensures that the artist’s work will be enjoyed for decades. Naturally, the understanding between the artist and their customers that the edition is truly limited must be maintained. The matrix is no longer destroyed, but the original scanned file must be deleted or removed from circulation upon reaching the defined number of released editions, but this has always been the case and the advent of giclee printing has no impact on this mutual understanding.

Giclee printing is indeed a fine art printing technique and one that is truly liberating for photographers and artists wishing to share their work with the widest possible audience whilst achieving a quality that was hitherto unobtainable without huge expense.

Modern Art a Conspiracy Part 2

Modern Art a Conspiracy Part 2

They have never been interested in others but for what they can get. The opportunity to study other cultures have presented it self severally but they were not up for it. They have written mind alteration books for their vision. It would have been ideal for them to introduce most of these books into their schools for knowledge, more researches and better appreciation of others. But hell no they were only interested in altering our mind set, artifacts and how much they can make from the unknown world.

My gratitude goes to our men and women, most of whom have lost their lives in saying the truth. Truth must prevail; I have realized danger of the silence conspiracy to erase anything African in the face of the earth. The fact that civilization of man started in African has disappeared from the pages of history books, even pyramids of Egypt to some people were built by aliens, It is too good to be African; if given a chance to recreate the map of Africa, Egypt and some part of South African will definitely be carved out of the map to serve their purpose.

There have been conflicting records of when Europeans came in contact with African Art. With due respect to our art historians who have made references to 1905 as the year of European first contact with African Art as widely documented. I beg to disagree. We should not forget the looting of Benin Art treasures. The Punitive Expedition of 1897 was a military excursion by a British force of 1,200 under Admiral Sir Harry Rawson that captured, burned, and looted the city of Benin, incidentally bringing to an end the highly sophisticated West African Kingdom of Benin.

Secondly, the Scramble for Africa (or the Rat Race for Africa) was the proliferation of conflicting European claims to African territory during the New Imperialism period, between the 1880s and the start of World War I. This era was more of art and treasures than territories. You are free to disagree. You can as well tell me of any other continent; that has suffered massive global extortion and exploitation of arts and culture. A visit to museums around the world will shade more light on this.

The earliest documented entry of a piece of African art into a European collection occurred around 1470, with a work that a Portuguese collector acquired from the kingdom of Kongo.

Please permit me to introduce the so called founder of cubism and modern art, Picasso and his rivalry and partner in plagiarism Matisse, who were first European avant-garde artist collectors of African Art. His full name was Pablo (or Pablito) Diego Jose Santiago Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Crispin Crispiniano de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santisima Trinidad Ruiz Blasco y Picasso Lopez. We know him today as simply Picasso.

Pablo was born to father, who was also an artist, known as José Ruiz y Blasco; his mother was Maria Picasso y Lopez. His earliest paintings were signed Pablo Ruiz after his father, but around 1901 he started using his mother’s name, Picasso. He studied graphics in Spain and graduated in 1900.

Pablo was among the long list of bored minds, whose art of imitation and copying couldn’t sustain. He found himself in a nasty dance of poverty and isolation because no artist would want to risk their creations with a copy artist like Picasso. Shortly after graduation He moved to France 1901 where he quickly laid his hands on African art works. In his words I do not seek. I find. You can imagine the innocent creations of African masters in the hands of a man who had copied art most of youthful age. Pablo believed that Bad artists copy. Good artists steal.

Modern art is simply a conspiracy child of racism and imperialism. The so-called founder had these to say. Today, as you know, I am famous and very rich. But when completely alone with myself, I haven’t the nerve to consider myself an artist in the great and ancient sense of the word. There have been great painters like Giotto, Titian, Rembrandt and Goya. I am only a public entertainer who has understood his time. What was his time? It was said the confession is good for the soul.

In the part 1 of this article I mentioned the conspiracy of European avant-garde artists, art collectors, art critics, art historians and imperialist to create away out of their creative drought using African Art as escape goat. The artistic elite was mainly concerned with the rejection of academic tradition. African art became a source of inspiration for these artists who were searching for systems of representation other than naturalism and illusionism. The critic front-runner of this group was the French art critic Louis Vauxcelles who coined the term Cubism after seeing the landscapes Braque had painted in 1908 at L’Estaque in emulation of Cézanne. Vauxcelles called the geometric forms in the highly abstracted works “cubes.”

Louis Vauxcelles (1870-?) was an influential French art critic. To him are attributed the terms Fauvism (1905), and cubism. Vauxcelles coined the phrase ‘les fauves’ (translated as ‘wild beasts’) to describe a circle of painters associated with Matisse as well as the audiences who criticised them (he couldn’t decide which were more arrogant).But an artist can demonstrate zero proof of his artistic ability in the context of established representative visual art, yet he could end up as a master of modern art? Tell me you smell something funny about this too.

The Cubist painters rejected their inherited concept that art should copy nature, or that they should adopt the traditional techniques of perspective, modeling, and foreshortening. They wanted instead to emphasize the two-dimensionality of the canvas. So they reduced and fractured objects into geometric forms, and then realigned these within a shallow, reliefs like space. They also used multiple or contrasting vantage points. Louis Vauxcelles and his group were not interested in professionalism but escapism and name calling for the propagation of their supremacy vision. Pablo had them all fooled; the agony is that many are still fooled till date. I guest because of their common denominator of hate and racist drive, none really cared about the long time effect of their deceit.

In the words of Pablo the founder of your modern art; an artist must know how to convince others of the truth of his lies. The people who make art their business are mostly imposters. There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality. How naïve can you be, the man who had over 100 African art in his collection, copied and made money of them do not believe in abstraction.

Lets look into more facts in the part 3 coming soon.

Mystical Abstract Art

Mystical Abstract Art

When attempts have been made to describe a work of abstract art many people have used words like “feelings”, “emotions”, and “soul”. I think these words are clues to what is actually happening within both the viewer and the artist.

The world of art and the environment of the mystical go back a long way together with many facets in common with one another – one being that they both seek to look into a deep unknown – and then seek to manifest it into this physical world by one means or another.

Therefore it is understandable that a non-representational picture can be difficult to comment on. The viewer might be “moved” by the artwork, but they may not really know why. I believe it has something to do with their sleeping soul being gently (or violently) shaken into a specific awareness. The earthy physical body may have very little understanding as to what might be happening, so they are left to struggle in explaining a spiritual concept from a physical point of view.

However, as an artist who has acquired (and lives by) a little understanding of certain spiritual aspects, here are my offerings of what I believe happens when a viewer comes across a mystical abstract painting.

In order to do that I want to present the whole episode from all aspects:

The Spirit
One of the Spirit’s major intentions is to bring spiritual understanding into the physical realm. One way to do that is to enter time and manifest a potential opportunity for a receptive body. That receptive body can either be the person being offered the opportunity – or the messenger of it. If they are the messenger then there are many ways in which that message can be put across … and one of them is by producing a provocative illustration or allegory in the form of an abstract painting.

The Messenger
… Or Artist in this case … Or more specifically an artist who is prone to take note of their own inner enigmatic visuals. Once inspired the artist then sets about translating these visions into a personal style of depiction. I think it is quite probable that many an artist will be unconscious of what exactly they are putting down upon the canvas … all they might know is that there is an urgent complusion to work with particular colours, or in a specific style.

The Art
A personalized manifestation of the inner visuals … portrayed on board or canvas – or any other handy appropriate medium at the time. The artist lets the visual take shape in their mind and allows for interpretation into the physical world … which results in an artwork of surreal allegory, or be-riddled story, or just a simple abstract presentation of specific colours or shapes. Each element of the art will include (or be) a potential key ready to allow the appropriate viewer entrance into its intriguing yet creative environment.

The Viewer
A receptive observer viewing the art may initially have an indefinable affinity with it. They are perhaps first emotionally drawn to the image before them. And as their thoughts begin to trigger other thoughts, gradual realizations start to become apparent … gaining strength until they acquire a personal creative understanding seen only by themselves but which may eventually involve others who come into contact with them.

The Gift
The originally unknown vision now begins to unfold its truth within the receptive viewer. This can be in many guises … a simple affirmation … a personal revelation … a specific spiritual, mental, or inner encouragement … an energizing edification for a hungry or floundering soul … offering a sense of contentment within a challenging situation … This gift can be as simple or as complicated as is required for the viewer. Its influence can be timeless – remaining relevant over a period of days, weeks, months, or years.

So the next time you seek to produce a piece of art or decide to visit a gallery do not hesitate or dwell upon any lack within you … rather open your eyes (after all they are supposed to be the windows of the body) and prepare yourself to either see in order to create – or see in order to receive.

Is Photography Art?

Is Photography Art?

The controversy about whether photography is art is one that has been raging in the art world for a long time and we are not likely to totally solve it here. But it can be an important decision you have to make if you are considering a career in photography with the goal of producing quality art works. If that is where you are, the idea that someone would say “That’s not art, you just took a picture” is pretty disturbing. So it’s worth looking at the question from several different angles before we pick which side to weigh in on.

Of course, art is a subjective thing. Many people would look at a Jackson Pollack “splatter” artwork and determine most definitely that modern art is not art because it “doesn’t look like anything.” And if you spend any time in the modern art world, you will definitely see something at some time along the way occupying space in a perfectly respectable art museum that, to you, could never be considered art.

So is it just a matter of opinion? To some extent, yes. But there is an art world and an industry behind it that depend on there being some standards upon which art is judged. One such standard is the intent of the artist. If you produce a photograph or an art work derived from a photograph that is intended to be viewed as art, then the viewer is obligated to try to see the artistic merit in it. Whether the viewer sees that merit or not may depend on the viewer’s abilities, how good you are at getting your artistic message across or many other factors.

But just wanting something to be art doesn’t make it art does it? As a layman in the art world, I sometimes go with the “I don’t know art but I know what I like” system of evaluating pieces I see. Art, after all, has a tendency to touch us in another place that is above and beyond the image. It is an emotional place, a place of reflection and understanding. Maybe we would say it touches our “soul”. For a work to be art, there should be a message, a feeling, a reason the artist made the work because he or she wanted to say something, even if how I interpret the statement is different than what the artist meant.

So that might also be an evaluation of a photograph as to its artistic merit or not. Now the primary objection to whether photography is art sometimes is that a photograph is often a realistic depiction of a moment taken with a machine and some would say that “anybody can take a picture.” The implication is that the same mechanical skill it might take to paint a picture of sculpt a statue is not needed for photographic art.

It’s true that the mechanical skill that the guy at Wal-Mart might need to take baby pictures may be the same as a great photographic artist might need. But the objection doesn’t hold up because the same human language is used to create great poetry as it takes yell out obscenities at a baseball game. So it isn’t the skill that makes it art.

Good evidence comes from the credit some great art experts have given to photographic exhibitions in the fine museums in the world. The very fact that photography is considered art by those who know may be evidence enough. So the conclusion must be that because the arguments against the artistic value of photographs are weak and people who know consider photography to be art, then we are safe in viewing what we do artistically too. And that opens up that side of your soul to express yourself through the medium you love the most – photography. 642