Monday, February 15, 2010

Put Your Head Here.

c. David Grim (taken 8/20/08)

Here's a shot that I think is both seasonal and topical. It's got imagery that seems to fit the current environmental conditions of the Northeastern United States. Still, that resonance alone is not why I chose it for today. In my last post I wrote about the dialogue that an artist has with past masters. This is fairly well-trod ground when it comes to painters. It's likely impossible to work in a style that's wholly original. The world of 20th Century Fine Art pretty much saw to that. Even if it wasn't nice to look at... even if it was annoying as hell... someone had to do it just 'cause.

As far as photography goes- forget it. You're not going to stumble onto unique subject matter, unless brand new phenomena starts manifesting. So there's nothing new under the sun. Who cares? But a "dialogue" with photographers who have reached the level of "icon"? I guess you can do it. What about a "dialogue" with painters/sculptors (etc.) via photography?

I've never felt that comfortable taking images of others' work, and thinking about it as show-worthy material. Because at what point have I truly made it mine, with enough of my own interpretation to make it stand out from the original subject? With photography the process of appropriation can be more literal and obvious than in other mediums. It's a tricky business, and it lends itself to accusations of thievery.

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