OK, get home last night, drop the mail on the table and settle in for a little dinner. Start flipping through the mail and catalog, catalog, catalog, donation request, bill, bill, Advertising Age, and Newsweek.
Start flipping form the back of the mag (old habit) and hey…there’s a Cindy Sherman photograph.
Â© Cindy Sherman
And a big headline. “Is Photography Dead?”
Wow.Bold question. Then basic premise of the article bemoans the current (last 30 years) “hot” photographers manipulation of imagery. Photographs are now made, not taken. The blur of truth in a photograph is more obvious.
And the line in the sand, as it were?
As her work, which recreates movie stills or illustrates various personal incarnations, was accepted and lauded in the art world, the writer seems to think this was the beginning of the end.
So here is another question: were all of the Life magazine images pristine reality? Have “editorial images” never been prompted? I remember the story of the famous dust bowl image of a father and son heading into the wind being a posed shot.
The analogy is made to sculpture, as a hole in the sand can be considered a sculpture as opposed to a finely crafted dimensional piece.
I guess the real question is: what is art? Is that big enough for you?
Art critic Peter Plagens is the one to ask that question. And that question has now come into the realm of photography.Maybe that means that photography has achieved global acceptance as fine art.
Of course it according to Mr. Plagens it may be a post mortem.
If video killed the radio star, did technology kill the true photographers?