Sunday, February 22, 2009

Photography- The Lowest of Arts

My wife was watching Vicky Cristina Barcelona when I heard it. The movie heroine was experiencing some vast measure of artistic, creative angst. Rather, she doubted she had any artistic ability whatsoever. She couldn't draw, she couldn't paint, couldn't play an instrument, couldn't... but wait! Hadn't she been snapping photographs on her vacation? Is it possible, could it be? Could photographic technology provide this young, clueless artistic wannabe the last possible recourse for her budding creative juices? Of course, says her world famous, sculptor, lover, mentor-muse!

Wouldn't we all be busy with brush or guitar neck in hand if we had any real talent? Why else would we settle for some so called, alleged art form that Susan Sontag repeatedly reminded us couldn't even achieve the very minimum for which it was most often credited?

And so, we persist...

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Stan,

My first post. Get a grip :)(an Aussie expression). Why be so defensive? Applaud the instance, that, in this movie, someone who has been searching for their artistic metier found an ability to express this creative feeling as a photographer. Whether you agree that the photographic talent displayed by the character portrayed by Scarlett Johanssen was significant is beside the point- in the movie her artistic expressions photographically were accepted and encouraged by two supposedly very creative artists. Woody Allen has hits and misses, but just enjoy this piece of romantic fluff for what it was - an enjoyable piece of romantic fluff that had its good and bad moments.

Cheers
Alan Betts

Mike Johnston said...

Stan,
Photo schools the world over count on this very principle....

Mike

Stan B. said...

Alan- all tongue in cheek, mate! Actually, this is at least the second time I've come across this particular train of thought in a film- and I think the first time was in an even earlier Allen vehicle...

Mike- This might be the very first school year when they can't count on it. It's been certainly true since at least '75 when I slept my way through SVA for one year as others aspired to make their living publishing their very own photo art books.

Joe Reifer said...

Photography IS easy -- just press the button, right? Convincing people that the result means anything or qualifies as "art" is the tough part.

Stan B. said...

Joe- there are times you have to convince me it all means anything...

Tom White said...

I quit painting to pursue photography, and I thought I was actually a pretty good painter...

Stan B. said...

Isn't painting like... done?
PS- We're stronger with you, Tom!