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Thread: Still life = sentimentalist BS?

  1. #91

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    1,366

    Re: Still life = sentimentalist BS?

    Some very interesting and enlightening thoughts so far.

    The most important lesson I have learned from the history of art is that style matters more than subject matter. It's not what you do, but how how you do it.

    Shakespeare basically rewrote other people's plays. Paul Cezanne spent the last 35 years of his life painting Mont Saint-Victoire, Van Gogh's landscapes and still life were painted by other painters before him, there is really nothing new in Vermeer's subject matter. But how wonderfully they created their own worlds! In their beautifully created worlds, everything is perfect, nothing is less, and nothing is more.

    Photography is no different. Adams, Weston and many living photographers, some of them even in this forum, have achieved their remarkable personal styles. Admittedly, it's somewhat harder than other forms of arts. But with the help of choices of lenses, different ways of printings and especially your unique vision, it is still possible to create beautiful works out of still ife or whatever BS reflected on your ground glass.

    An important mark of style is the elimination of the separation of form and content. To achieve this, it requires decades if not life time effort. To use Flaubert's words: "One arrives at style only with atrocious effort, with fanatical and devoted stubbornness."

  2. #92
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    brooklyn, nyc
    Posts
    5,774

    Re: Still life = sentimentalist BS?

    Nicely said, Hugo.

    A major challenge comes whan a certain subject gets so closely associated with a style (a way of seeing, of thinking, of feeling, of executing) that we have trouble seeing beyond that style, and get trapped into copying other people's visions. Whether we're aware of it or not.

    Too much familiarity with history (or too little) can lure us into repeating it!

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