Monday, March 11, 2013

What |makes| great| Art?

I've been pondering the question about photography and art in general the last few days. When I learned about Naked Judging: The 2012 Canteen Awards in Photography
I was immediately drawn to the idea of being be able to see/hear some of the judging process.

As a photographer who has submitted to a handful of photo exhibitions, I've always wondered what goes into the judging process and how the jurors come about their decisions and how/what makes it to the final cut. So, even though I did not enter this particular exhibition (I did not even know about it prior) I was more than intrigued to view the judging experience. (if by chance you did not know about or get to view the judging live, it was also recorded and can be seen here on You Tube). If you did watch, what did you think? Certainly the process is not without flaw, but say what you will it was transparent, and interesting to learn from.

Thus, the eternal question is the one that asks, "What Makes Great Art"? As always, Art is subjective in quality. What one may be enamoured with another may find dull. And it is this very idea that is curious to me. Personally, I am most intrigued with pieces of Art work (be in photography or otherwise) that ask a question, or makes me wonder. For myself, if the image is not making me think in some fashion, or give me a reaction in my soul (even if it is one that offends me), then I'm not sure it is truly a good piece. Part of this being from a social services background and my general favor towards photo journalistic style. But, honestly,  can't just about anyone grab a camera and take a photo of a picturesque lake on a mountain side while the sun rises t and most probably and it will look "pretty"?

That's not what it is all about to me. So, when you ask yourself what kind of art you seek to make- what do you answer? Are you making art with the sole drive that you hope/feel/wish others will like? Or are you making art that you get feel free to make and are happy producing? ( my answer is the latter, and I hope it is safe to assume that all great artists have also done/felt/thought the same). As viewers we want to see photos and art work that come from the heart. As readers we want to read words from the soul. People are not stupid, we can spot fakes a mile away.

So, be true to yourself. Create for yourself, and the vision will unleash itself accordingly. If you are in dire need of getting a congratulatory slap on the back and praise from those whom you look up to, then you may be in the wrong field. But, I absolutely believe if you do work for yourself and that comes from your soulful interest(s), then you will find success.

Those are my feelings on Art (and when I say art it is of many form;s visual, music, writing, etc..) and I could be way off, but it's my opinion. :)

What are your thoughts/feelings on the subject? I'd love to hear!

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