We all know that art is subjective. Hell, we all know the line “I may not know art but I know what I like.”
On the third episode of Polarizing Images, we talk about the importance of prints and we lament how people just don’t put as much value into physical photographs as they once did. The printed photography seems to have lost its value.
Is Art Losing It’s Place in Homes and Collections?
So that got me thinking. Although we don’t see as much artistic works in our lives, I’ve been seeing a trend of people referring to their style of work (yeah, primarily talking about photographers) as being artistic.
So how the hell did we arrive at this place where we don’t value art but, at the same time, feel that it’s okay to call our work artistic? I don’t know – perhaps I’m off-base with the assumption that, culturally, we don’t value it like we once did. I know the sales of my prints have dropped substantially, established art galleries are closing their doors after being open for many years… There certainly seems to be enough anecdotal evidence that art sales are declining.
So, yeah, how can we refer to ourselves as artists or photographers producing “artistic” work when the role of art in our lives is minimal? And which came first? Is there less emphasis on the work of others now that more people are producing their own works of art? I hope not because, as I’ve said in previous posts, my own work has gotten better because I’ve learned to appreciate the photography of other shooters and it pisses me off that so many of my peers are dismissing the works of others for no other reason than the people they ignore are fellow photographers and are seen as “competition”.
I’m all for art and shooting stuff that can be described – either by yourself or others – as artistic. But for God’s sake, let’s stop separating the two and be willing to embrace art again as a noble pursuit and watch our own artistic work improve at an exponential rate.