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Thread: Ross and Vitali

  1. #21
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
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    Ross and Vitali

    Jorge, I'm sorry to have pissed you off. It was not my intent, although I understand that you did not sign up for this kind of interrogation when you commented on some pictures.

    I am still curious to know what work you do admire ... I've laid at least some of my cards on the table here but, as QT Luong pointed out, we still don't know what you like or why.

    Struan, my first impressions agree with you when you say, "For me, Vitali isn't really all that radical or different, except in the polish and skill of his execution." Based on those web images, I'd like to see more of his work, but I suspect I'll still like my old Egglestons and Shores more. We'll see.

  2. #22

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    Ross and Vitali

    So much depends upon a red bikini... William Carlos Williams

  3. #23
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
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    Ross and Vitali

    beside the white chickens ???

  4. #24

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    Ross and Vitali

    Exactly!! Actually all I am trying to say is that an entire universe can hinge on the seemingly insignificant......

    Here is a link to someone that has some interesting thoughts on Vitali and his relationship to the contemporary landscape....


    http://www.modemonline.com/bio/massimo_vitali.html

  5. #25

    Ross and Vitali

    Jorge, can you give us examples of what is NOT ordinary pictures or ordinary subjects, and explain why they are extraordinary in the same depth as Paul has explaned what he saw in those Vitale images ?



    Good enough, here are 3 from Kerik Kouklis:


    http://www.kerik.com/gum6.htm

    http://www.kerik.com/1351.htm

    http://www.kerik.com/2155.htm


    Here are a couple from an APUG member who has a very unusual style


    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=4266&sort=2&cat=500&page=1

    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=5009&sort=2&cat=500&page=1


    The reason I like these pictures is that they show not only care on printing, but they also show a "personal" way of seeing the subject. I purposely included the color picture to show what I thought was a well printed color photograph regardless of medium.

    Michael Smith calls this kind of pictures, "easy" pictures, and I suppose for those of you who like to "work" at pictures might think the same thing. This is exactly my point, the photographer has destilled any unnecessary elements to create an appealing picture. IOW it shows the photographer has taken some care and effort in making the photograph.

    I will repeat myself, wether one likes/dislikes Vitali, Struth, Gursky is a matter of taste and inconsequetial to this discussion. What I object to, is this notion that when someone expreses disagreement about the "greatness" of these pictures/photographers, he/she is told.."ah, you just dont get it." Many of us who "dont get it" sometimes wonder if you guys who do "get it" are not just enamored with the newness of making big prints and are simply tired of seeing the derivative "rock and trees" and are reacting to them by "seeing" things in these new pictures which simply many of us dont see.

    Regardless of the motivation, I find it arrogant to tell people "you just dont get it". That is my one and only point.

    Struan, I never said these pictures were "crap". I said I find nothing excpetional about them.

    Paul, I have no problem with being questioned. Anybody that has frequented this forum knows I dont shy away from controversy, but when you say: "I'm doing it because your idea constitutes a limiting belief, and it's one that I hate to see people carrying around." This assumes you "know better" and that you are going to "guide" me to see the light. With all due respect, I doubt there is much you can show me, either in photography or life.

  6. #26

    Ross and Vitali

    Well hell, dont know what happened. Here are the two remaning links from Kerik:


    http://www.kerik.com/2155.htm

    http://www.kerik.com/gum6.htm


    I will ask Thomas if he will let me post some of his pictures here.

  7. #27
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
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    Ross and Vitali

    Interesting essays ... so far I only made it to the second one.
    The first one points out something that should have been completely obvious that I missed, when noting the strangeness of the pictures: the perspective. That 18-foot high, removed from the earth vantage point is central to what gives these a slightly fantastic, unphotographic feel .. we as viewers are not part of the scene in any concrete way, but are more like Emmerson's disembodied eye.

    The essays also illuminate what ultimately makes this work hard for me to love (although it doesn't influence how much I might admire it), and that is simply the subject matter. I have very little connection to the ideas and fantasies of this kind of leisure. I've never been a beach person. Like Struan, I'm a climber, and have strong connections to places that convey a sense of wilderness, of removal from comfortable and known space (even if these places are marked by human presense or even of urban origin) and resort beaches strike me as an antithesis to this sensibility. When I have a chance to get away from my everyday life, I head in the opposite direction of the places depicted in these images. None of this, of course, has anything to do with how good the work is; just an attempt to understand the nature of my personal connection to it.

  8. #28
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
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    Ross and Vitali

    "What I object to, is this notion that when someone expreses disagreement about the "greatness" of these pictures/photographers, he/she is told.."ah, you just dont get it." Many of us who "dont get it" sometimes wonder if you guys who do "get it" are not just enamored with the newness of making big prints and are simply tired of seeing the derivative "rock and trees" and are reacting to them by "seeing" things in these new pictures which simply many of us dont see."

    Well, that's not what I've been saying at all. I haven't even been claiming the unquestionable greatness of these pictures--just that I think they're very good, based on a lot of elements that I can identify and appreciate in the pictures. I don't object to someone disliking them, but what you in fact did was dismiss them on several grounds: that they are merely X, Y, and Z. Those of us here that like the work are saying, no, X, Y and Z aren't in fact what we're seeing in the work. There's more to them than that. It's your dismissal that there MIGHT be more to them is what I'm responding to.

    As far as "rocks and trees" pictures, that's actually where I came from. I liked pretty calendar photography in the beginning, and it was a stretch for me at first to appreciate Weston. Then Weston's modernism became like my native language, and it was a stretch for me to appreciate later 20th Century artists like Rob Adams and Eggleston. I probably agree with you on a lot of the contemporary huge color print pictures. In the 80s it actually became a joke among MFA students: "if it sucks, make it big. if it still sucks, make it color." There's a lot of this big, bright, crappy work out there. Which isn't the same thing as saying that all big bright work is crappy. While I'm not in love with Gursky, for example, I'm impressed by it, and I think it's important. I'm less impressed with Tina Barney. But whatever. I happen to like Weston more than all these people put together, still, but I recognize that the world does not need any more pictures that look like his. They would not be authentic on any level. Let Weston be Weston. Those of us born a century or so later have inherited a new world and a new history to stand upon.

    Are the other Kerik pictures you're looking for anywhere else on his site? He's a good friend of mine, and I've admired his work for a long time. His work straddles a lot of eras, I think, from the nineteenth century to current times. The two pics you linked that I could open are classic formal modernism. This kind of vision represents my roots, in a sense, although it's important to understand that most contemporary photographers are doing work that's informed by this type of imagery but also reacting against it. Or even reacting to the first generation of artists that reacted against it. Like it or not (I often don't) we live in a post-modern world, and historians that look for the important work from this era are going to pick work that reflects this in one way or another. Luckily "post-modern" is a phrase that still means a lot of different things to different people. But it does not mean High Modern or Early Modern.

    "Paul, I have no problem with being questioned. Anybody that has frequented this forum knows I dont shy away from controversy, but when you say: "I'm doing it because your idea constitutes a limiting belief, and it's one that I hate to see people carrying around." This assumes you "know better" and that you are going to "guide" me to see the light. With all due respect, I doubt there is much you can show me, either in photography or life."

    Perhaps not. But if there was a picture that you thought was remarkable and I could not see anything interesting in it, I would be asking you a lot of questions in an attempt to see what I might be missing. I'm open to learning about photography, or life, or music, or ice cream, from you or from anyone who offers the opportunity.

  9. #29

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    Ross and Vitali

    oh brother.

  10. #30

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    Ross and Vitali

    On business, I recently spoke to an optical engineer who worked for Clifford Ross (the other "highest resolution" poser) who basically said that he has gobs of family money and connections. And a good publicist. I guess he had this guy test lenses for him for a few thousand a day.

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