Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Yes, all art is still subjective

PDN was nice enough to put some of my work up on their site the other day, as part of their Photo of the Day feature.  

A random reader named "Tom" took some time to share his thoughts on each of the images:

1. The back end of a car just sitting there, nothing happening. Aren’t drag cars suppose to be burning rubber and/or moving? What’s with the vertical orientation with the car dead center. Same with the smoke. Center focus point, click.
2. That bright sign is stealing the smokes ‘thunder’. All my eyes are drawn to is the bright signs.
3. Decent detail shot, would go well with a story about drag racing (vignetted why though?).
4. Probably the better of the four but still just doesn’t seem quite there.
Also, it looks like these photos were batched vignetted the exact same way to make them dramatic but the photos themselves lack any action/dramatic events happening. For PDN I would expect better work to be praised.
I just checked out the photographers site and he’s got some nice work (a little heavy on the same post-vignetting), much better than what these photos portray. I would expect much better out of this photographer, especially one who has access to get 5 feet away from the cars.

There was once a time when any sort of criticism of my work would really get to me.  Then I went to art school and spent lots of time in small rooms with other artists, where we would tear each others' work to pieces.  One teacher actually told us to arrange everyones' work on the wall, from best to worst, then left the room for ten minutes while we got all Lord of the Flies on each other.  Eventually, all the fear of rejection just went away.

The truth is, that everything I put out into the world is something that I believe in 100%.  Otherwise, it never sees the light of day.

Individuals will always respond to art in their own way, and no one is right or wrong, whether it's Joe the Plumber or Larry Gagosian.  The latter, however, has a slightly better understanding of the art market, and stands to make a bit more money from it. 

So to Mr. Tom, I tip my hat.


Anonymous said...

I have to say...I am a lover of photography and pop into your blog (amongst others)once in a while. I have a degree in Sculpture and understand the critical piece. Coming from a place of insight- criticism is valuable. While you tip your experiential hat to Tom, your lack of ego serves to make your work better...and that is where it's at!

stuart rayner said...

Tom's lucky there's a vehicle out there to vent his bitterness in a semi-anonymous way . In the good old days his ignorance would have been confined to his bedroom . A little knowledge can make a cyber-critic out of every Tom , Dick or Harry .