Feb 5, 2010

Fine art vs. Editorial: Is There Really a Difference in 2010?

In this economy, I have been struggling---like many people---with making ends meet, especially as I have made the decisions in life that: 1. I am a photographer. 2. I am an artist---not necessarily in that order. In fact, these 2 sentences are one and the same, as I have an MFA in photography and am a photographer. However, I have been coming across an attitude lately that these are not in fact one and the same, that a photograph is either editorial / commercial OR fine art. This seems like a curiously antiquated view, but I have been giving it some thought. For my own work, I look both to the high and mighty art-photography gods and goddesses as well as photographs considered more 'editorial.' As I photograph mostly architecture and architectural subjects, I have spent a lot of time researching such creative masters ad Ezra Stoller and Julius Shulman. I feel through their technical execution and passion for the subjects they photograph, the work is both fine art and editorial. It is a document and it is concept, as well as being exemplary of certain schools of thought on modern architecture and the built environment.

© Robert Polidori

Other photographers whose work I greatly respect are Robert Polidori and Andrew Moore---they also execute extreme technical precision while alluding to contemporary topics through their choice of subject. I guess ultimately for me, one must master technique in order to show concept; otherwise a photograph can be a sloppy snapshot with a whole lot of theory and photography history lumped onto it. And I just don't buy into that. I feel that ultimately, if passion, knowledge, and technical ability all come together in a photograph, it is a success, and can therefore be labelled editorial or fine art or whatever, but it works as an image. Isn't that what is most important? Interested to hear your thoughts on this one, my dear readers.

(Here is a new picture I photographed of Erie Basin, a beautifully curated little shop in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Is it art? Or is it editorial?)

1 comment:

guido castagnoli said...