Marcel Duchamp stated that "It was his achievement to treat the camera as he treated the paintbrush, as a mere instrument at the service of the mind” (Biography.com, 2017). In addition, the photogram might seem expressive and abstract, yet on the contrary, it is the precise medium to document the everyday objects in an unrepeatable and somehow uncontrollable way. The artist cannot predict how the selected objects will be recorded under the light sources that were tampered with. From the first glance, the image completely dissociated from its original subject, allowing one’s memory to fill the gap. Yet below its surface, the image is an accurate documentation that captured a moment of psychical intensity. It revealed a new visual experience, using objects in the simplest way. One can say that the use of this medium disclosed reality more preciously due to its invisibility and mysterious representation (The Museum of Modern Art, 2017).
It is said that “The true content of a photograph is invisible, for it derives from a play not with form but with time”. This makes me think that the real content of a picture, which is what the photographer tried to express, is not evident to perceive unless an explanatory text is provided. In fact, I believe that our perceptions of pictures changes over time as the historical context do. In addition, our opinions are never fixed as they are influenced by our environment. Therefore, when looking at a particular picture at a given time, it is certain that our perception of it will be different in the future based on what happen between the first time and second time we saw it.
As onlookers peer into the artworks in front of them, there is no question as to whether or not they considered what the artwork means, where it came from and what the artist was interested in who created it. The
The violent markings of the photo album and its images, however, produce an equally powerful message that jars the memory as it disrupts and distorts the photographic chronicle of her life and that of her family and friends. The result is a complex visual experience that addresses the use of images in producing knowledge and making history.
In “Ways of Seeing”, John Berger, an English art critic, argues that images are important for the present-day by saying, “No other kind of relic or text from the past can offer such direct testimony about the world which surrounded other people at other times. In this respect images are more precise and richer literature” (10). John Berger allowed others to see the true meaning behind certain art pieces in “Ways of Seeing”. Images and art show what people experienced in the past allowing others to see for themselves rather than be told how an event occurred. There are two images that represent the above claim, Arnold Eagle and David Robbins’ photo of a little boy in New York City, and Dorothea Lange’s image of a migratory family from Texas; both were taken during the Great Depression.
Baxandall argues that the ways in which people perceive images have differed throughout history, in accordance with the culture of a given place and time. He begins by explaining the idea that, whilst one’s optical perception of the world is unique to oneself, it is the interpretive skills or ‘cognitive style’ one possesses that results in a particular understanding of an image. Baxandall defines cognitive style as being comprised of: one’s ability to infer the meaning of an artwork’s formal properties, one’s knowledge of representational conventions, and one’s understanding of pictorial illusion. In discussing cognitive style in relation to a fifteenth-century viewer, Baxandall describes how the interpretation of imagery at this time was concerned
During the Great Depression, Walker Evans worked primarily as a photojournalist and documentarian, using the medium of photography to capture American life in visual detail. Many of Evans’s most famous photographs appear in his book, co-written with James Agee, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. The book was in part
The field of art history, like any discipline, is a wide and varied area of study. There are seemingly thousands of ways to interpret works of art and their places in history. Each has their own pros and cons and can greatly help to understand art and art-objects. In this semester’s Introduction to Art History course, we learned three different approaches art historians take when interpreting works of art: an object-oriented view, an artist-centered view, and an approach through medium. These approaches generally fall within one of two categories. The approaches through object and medium focus on readily apparent cues and symbols in the art object being studied. These approaches rely less on a study of history and more on visual evidence. The
Analysis of: American Legion Convention-Dallas: Street photography by Garry Winogrand Skip, Philadelphia: A photograph by George Krause Art is such an eternal concept and part of our lives. It lives on through generations, transcending many periods, and can speak through many mediums. Art is a way
Vanguard photographers might engage in critiques of the photographic referent, but Marco Breuer pursued a more literal and fundamental deconstruction of the matrix of the photograph. He began like so many other photographers in the 1960s with the cameraless photogram and cyanotype. Slowly he dispensed with the agency of light and the mechanisms of its impedance, instead directly attacking the surface of unexposed photographic papers, burning them, soaking them, scraping and abrading them, inscribing on and in them a record of death of the subject and posing a new set of terms for photographic communication. Breuer’s photographs bare evidence of their own decisive moments, however, moments not witnessed but physically observed. They are in fact, three-dimensional objects but also appear like photographs of the very surface they embody, with shadows, depth, and
A Photographic Reality Chaos, a state of utter confusion or disorder. Chaos, a word often used to describe the scene of a tragic event such as a natural disaster or an act of terrorism. Whether in movies or in real life we have all seen chaos at work. Smoke and screams fill the air. Law enforcement franticly runs about trying to help in any way possible. Reporters and photographers arrive in swarms to get the inside scoop on the next ground breaking tragedy. When the Boston bombing happened on April 15, 2013 there was no exception to this pattern of events. Many photographs were taken of the aftermath, but one photo in particular seems to have captured the frantic atmosphere of the moment. It depicts an older man who, mid run, had been knocked
An unknown author once said, “[T]he question is not whether photography is fine art per se – neither painting not sculpture can make that claim – but whether it is capable of artistic expression; whether in the hands of a true artist its productions become works of art.” This quote, published in 1862, in the Photographic Journal; although quoted over 150 years ago, during a time when artistry was taking different forms and evolving, this statement is no less true today. During these early years, photographers were in the infant stage; first crawling, experimenting with the camera, film, and subject matter, followed by the teenage grouping. Seen by groups of artist who followed similar paths and doubts, ‘What would the finished piece look like
The History of Photography The name "Photography" comes from the Greek words for light and writing. Sir John Herschel, was the first to use the term photography in 1839, when he managed to fix images using hyposulphite of soda. He described photography as "The application of the chemical rays to the purpose of pictorial representation". Herschel also coined the terms "negative", "positive" and "snapshot".
Overview Winogrand took photos of everything he saw; he always carried a camera or two, loaded and prepared to go. He sought after to make his photographs more interesting than no matter what he photographed. Contrasting many well-known photographers, he never knew what his photographs would be like he photographed in order to see what the things that interested him looked like as photographs. His photographs resemble snapshots; street scenes, parties, the zoo. A critical artistic difference between Winogrand's work and snapshots has been described this way, the snapshooter thought he knew what the subject was in advance, and for Winogrand, photography was the process of discovering it. If we recall tourist photographic practice, the difference becomes clear: tourists know in advance what photographs of the Kodak Hula Show will look like. In comparison, Winogrand fashioned photographs of subjects that no one had thought of photographing. Again and again his subjects were unconscious of his camera or indifferent to it. Winogrand was a foremost figure in post-war photography, yet his pictures often appear as if they are captured by chance. To him and other photographers in the 1950s, the previous pictures seemed planned, designed, visualized, understood in advance; they were little more than pictures, in actual fact less, because they claimed to be somewhat else the examination of real life. In this sense, the work of Garry Winogrand makes a motivating comparison to Ziller's
Untitled is freighted with untold stories. You feel the gentle breeze along with the heat of the day; the stale grass; the mute mutterings of the wind; and that moment smothered under the weight of its sheer lassitude. This portrait is somewhat less of a person or place but more of a single moment in time. He never has diminished what he sees but somehow enlarges both the trivial and the momentous. By supposing that photography is at its most vibrant when it seeks to understand not just a setting, but a single moment in time; or even just an feeling, or hard-to-place emotion, Eggleston makes the case for photography engaging on a deeper emotional level than simple aesthetics.