As photographic artists, we place a lot of pressure on ourselves to create fully resolved works. There are a lot of reasons for this, but mostly it is do to the medium’s reliance on reality (ie. the photographer is merely a recorder, the photographer does not create, etc.). The need to prove that what we are offering as artists is the result of an intensive process, involving both thought and skill, reduces our output. It inhibits us from picking up a camera and photographing something “cool”.
That said, I think that “sketching” with your camera, or going out into the world as a photographer with no preconceived notion of what you will photograph, offers tremendous insight to the artist, and is as important of an activity as sketching in drawing. Not to mention, staying active with the camera keeps it out of your way when you really want to use it (isn’t when the camera disappears the greatest true measure of technical proficiency for a photographer?). Personally, I do this mostly through taking pictures of my family/son, or by staying active with Photo Flood Saint Louis. (more…)
Art instruction offers unique conditions for exploring pedagogical ideologies. Within the discipline, the educator may be expected (depending upon grade level) to cover content ranging from practical or material techniques relating to painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, photography, design, performance, video and film, and more. Additionally, art education practitioners might be called upon to teach art history, art theory, or creative strategies. Given the myriad of possibilities for lesson planning, it goes without saying that the educator needs to have a firm grasp upon what they teach, why they teach, and who they teach. (more…)
Jason Gray; Coefficient II, 2013.
In mathematics, a coefficient represents a numerical value which is assigned to a variable (ie. in 4x, “4″ is the coefficient). For this series of films, each frame represents an individual person, and is the result of a simple activity. In Coefficient II, the activity is to draw a line down the paper from one end to the other, while in Coefficient I, the activity is to choose a letter stamp and to make a mark or marks on the paper with it. In this way, every person approaches the assignment with a different understanding of how to accomplish it, making the variable unpredictable. As films, the frames moving together in succession offer insight into the complexity of societies.
Jason Gray; Coefficient I, 2013. (more…)
Old North St. Louis, 2013.
Welcome to part II of my ongoing posts dedicated to the sublime beauty of the city of St. Louis. Part one is available here. All of the photos contained in both posts come from those that I have photographed on excursions with Photo Flood Saint Louis.
The Patch, 2012.
When I go roaming around in my “street photographer” clothes, I’ve noticed that I have a tendency to take a certain kind of picture. For whatever the reason, I gravitate toward images that are a little lonely and quiet (thanks Mr. Badger, for the term). Although you could argue that St. Louis is a bit this way, I tend to find this quality no matter the place.
Naturally, over time I’ve begun to build a portfolio of these images, which I’ve feigned sharing with all of you because many of them already appear on the website for my organization, Photo Flood Saint Louis (you’re subscribed there already, right?). Well, today I’ve decided to let the flood gates open. Enjoy this first round of an ongoing project-post, and please let me know what you think in the comments below.
Old North St. Louis, 2013.
Recently, I had a student ask me about whether or not beauty (ie. aesthetics) influences my decision-making about the pictures I choose to take. Certainly, I consider composition in my work, but my idea of beauty may be different than the student’s, yours or other photographers’, furthermore, it is not always my prime consideration. How can this be? (more…)
Tomorrow night, Photo Flood Saint Louis will be exhibiting prints from our Floods for the first time at RAW:St. Louis’ 2013 launch event, “Discovery”. We will be showing over 60 photographs by 17 photographers, and the event will also be an official Mini-Flood, so your pretty face could wind up on our website.
Come out and show us some support! Details below.
Location: Paragon Theatre, 1911 Locust
Time: 8p to Midnight
Admission: $10 in advance, $15 at the door
“Photography is a very lonely medium. There’s a kind of beautiful loneliness in voyeurism. And that’s why I’m a photographer.” –Alec Soth, 138*
Photographers are watchers foremost. Some watch with the intention to belie what they see, and some do so with the hope of capturing that which they observe. Alec Soth is certainly in the latter category, peer to a growing group of contemporary photographers who are all looking to eschew the cold conceptualism of the Düsseldorf School by appealing to that which is still warm in all of us. To say that Mr. Soth’s work is visceral gets to the point quickly, but his pictures portray a lyricism as well. This intangible quality is easily felt in photographs of a certain age, as in those of Walker Evans, Garry Winnogrand, Diane Arbus, et al; however, in the medium’s fight to be the champion expression of the post-modern age, photos that simply “tell a story” became passé. (more…)
(This is an old article, I know, but a part of the contemporary discussion I think; especially here in St. Louis, where a large Richard Serra piece still causes controversy.)
There is no doubt that public art, that commissioned by Federally or locally regulated governmental bodies, exists chiefly for the decoration of public spaces, and therefore is fated to the will of public acceptance. This is not to say that this is the approach of the artists whose work is being commissioned, but rather a pragmatic realization of the motives behind the commissions. A government, especially a representative democracy, initiates programs, like the General Services Administration’s Art in Architecture program (a public art program), only when public opinion demands it, laws make them necessary, or the general health (whether fiscal or social) of the country necessitates mitigation. It should therefore go without saying that when the constituents’ opinion of an artwork placed under this context, in the public sphere, largely clamors for its removal, the government, in this case, the judicial body, usually obliges. However, the nature of Robert Storr’s essay is not so much focused upon public art, so much as it is on art in the public interest (as the title of the encompassing book surmises). (more…)