is it art? no. not yet.

I was reading an interesting Guardian interview with the veteran photographer Ferdinando Scianna – you can find it here – and he offered up this thought about what photography should be considered as being art.

Grayson Perry made me laugh in his book ‘Playing to the Gallery’ where he examines what makes a photograph ‘art’. He asks three questions:

Is it colour or black and white?
Then it’s not art.
Is it printed big?
Then it’s not art.
Is there anyone smiling in it?
Then it’s not art.

So that sorts it out. A lot of my work is black and white, and it rarely has people in, let alone smiling ones. But, according to Grayson Perry, (and, I must say, I do find myself agreeing with him on this) it only qualifies as being art if you have a big print of it.

He also claims a success rate of about 50 good shots in one million, taken over 55 years, so that’s a target to aspire to.

Handily, I have a Redbubble store, where you can get high quality big prints of black and white pictures without anyone smiling (art) of most the images you see here on my blog on your little screen (not art).

I do feel this would be one of the occasions on which I could employ a winking face emoji, but I don’t really use them, so you’ll have to use your imagination.

12 thoughts on “is it art? no. not yet.

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    1. Yes, but luckily his definition was only talking about art photographs, so smilers in paintings are safe from having repaints of their faces being done to add turned down lips and furrowed brows.
      Now, how am I going to sell big prints of my pictures if everybloodyone with an imagination can just imagine it big? This is no good… I’m now firmly against people being allowed to have imaginations.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. In all seriousness, Ellen, I do find it interesting that emojis are used all over the world to supply meanings that are universally understood, without any language barriers. Images can do that I suppose. Although of course they don’t supplant actual languages – would be difficult to do Hamlet in smileys I expect.
          I’m just snobby about how childishly cartoonish it makes everything look… 🤷‍♂️ Like that.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Ditto, on both the positive and the snobbishness. Not only because they make everything look childishly cartoony but also becausee they oversimplify and flatten everyrthing out. But I am guilty of using the stupid blue thumbs-up from time to time. It’s quick. It’s there. Hey, don’t blame me, blame the culture.

            Liked by 1 person

  1. I could spend a long time soaking in the details of this shot; wish I had the budget to hang a whole gallery of these! But next pension check is coming…. 😌

    Liked by 1 person

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