Monday, 11 February 2013

The New Fine Art: The Unstoppable Rise of Photography [Huffington Post Article]

In an article for Huffington Post, James Holmes writes about the rise of photography as a fine art and cites the work of Skinny Dip photographers Lawrence Watson and Dean Chalkley.

"Interest is also growing in conceptual photography, such as the late 20th century photogram artists like Floris Neusűss whose work may be considered fine art by virtue of not being reproducible. 
But things can get out of hand, as seen in the poisonous, mercantile aspect of the art auction. In 2011, a 1999 Andreas Gursky photographic work called Rhein II was sold for $4.3 million at Christie's. The art world possesses the power, therefore, to attach a price tag to a work of art in the same way a mortician ties a tag to the toe of a cadaver. This system of value serves only to weigh down the artist with the notion that his creations possess ludicrous values, whereby he is robbed of the hunger which caused him to create in the first instance. 
But it is of small consequence that art sells. It has been like that for millennia; with a patron and a brief, an artist can go to work. And artists have been very productive of late. Photographers like Rankin or Dean Chalkley have smuggled their art into the mainstream and have been rewarded for it. As has Betina La Plante, a Los Angeles-based commercial and fine art photographer working almost exclusively in portraiture. Working in black and white, she renders a chiaroscuro effect that unites the emotional expression that can be found in charcoal sketches with the pin-sharp exactness of a Zeiss lens. A person's physiognomy is turned into a landscape, as can be seen in her portrait of the late Chris Stamp. 
The considered approach of La Plante is similar to that of Lawrence Watson, a photographer popularly known for capturing iconic images of Oasis and Paul Weller (above). In paying close attention to his subjects in carefully chosen environments, such as in recording studios or atop the Empire State Building, his compositions threaten to burst from their frames, and as a result, live long in the memory."

Read the full article here -

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