04w11:3 Photo vs. Painting

by timothy. 0 Comments

Good Reads Mailing List | 2004 week 11 number 3 (photo vs. painting)


The Richter Resolution | Jerry Saltz
“In defense of the staggeringly radical act of really looking, the wildness of the imagination, and the limitlessness of pictorial invention, I propose a 48-month moratorium on the reproduction of photographs via overhead, opaque, or slide projectors in paintings (this means tracing too). Call this the Richter Resolution […] Like brushes and rulers, projectors are tools. This is about how these tools are used, which lately has become unadventurous.[…] By now, almost everyone would agree that the traditional Warhol-Richter-Walter Benjamin defense of the use of photography in painting, the Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction argument, and the chatter about ‘interrogating representation’ or ‘investigating the problem of the photograph,’ isn’t just dated, it’s shtick. We all know that photography is a remarkable and remarkably complex way of seeing and picturing the world; that the space between the photograph, the photographer and the thing photographed is incredibly rich; that the graphic field of the photograph is often scintillatingly alive, specific and very post-Renaissance; and that reproducing photographs in paintings once represented a significant repudiation of dearly held beliefs.”

The camera today? You can’t trust it. | Jonathan Jones and Gerard Seenan
“David Hockney, the celebrated pop artist who has worked extensively in photography, has fallen out of love with the medium because of its digital manipulation and now believes it is a dying art form. […] ‘We can’t go back: Kodak got rid of 22,000 people when it ended its chemical developing. You’ve no need to believe a photograph made after a certain date because it won’t be made the way Cartier-Bresson made his. We know he didn’t crop them – he was the master of truthful photography. But you can’t have a photographer like that again because we know photographs can be made in different ways.’ […] The impact of computerised images was most strongly brought to his attention much closer to home: ‘My sister, who is just a bit older than me, she’s a retired district nurse, she’s just gone mad with the digital camera and computer – move anything about. She doesn’t worry about whether it’s authentic; she’s just making pictures.’ ”

Disposable cameras | Jonathan Jones
“It adds fuel to his belief that painting can do things photography can´t, even when it comes to telling the truth about war. Everyone used to assume photographs of war were ‘true’ in a way photography can´t be. But Hockney argues that the digital age has made such a conception of photography obsolete. You can change any image now in any way you want. He once saw what a famous LA photographer´s portrait of Elton John looked like before it was retouched. The difference, he says, was ‘hilarious’. And now everyone can do this. […] If photography is no longer blunt fact, why not accept that painting has equal status? War photography is as fictional as painting, but painting can express profound insights denied photography. The famous photograph of a Russian soldier placing the red flag over Berlin is an example: ‘With the man putting the flag on top of the Reichstag – how did the photographer happen to get there first?’ wonders Hockney. By contrast, Goya´s image of the executions of May 3 1808 has a truth that transcends whether or not he was an eyewitness. Hockney thinks Picasso, when he painted his extremely anti-naturalist Massacres in Korea in the 1950s, was making this very argument against photography: instead of random glimpses of violence, Picasso´s painting presents his understanding of the war. ”

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emailed by Timothy on Friday 12 March 2004 @ 4:08 PM

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