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Thread: Who is this Ansel Adams guy anyway?

  1. #11

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    Mar 1998
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    Who is this Ansel Adams guy anyway?

    Three more: Andrea Modica and Graciela Iterbitude (hope I got the spelling right on that one!) and Susan Meiselas.

    Josh, try Photoeye Books out of Santa Fe, one of the best photographic bookstores in the world. I assume their URL is www.photoeye.com but if it is different I'll post the correct one in a minute.. Josh (and Rene) you should come down to Houston for Fotofest 2000 this coming February, you'll see work and meet photographers, curators, collectors, & editors you'll never get a chance to meet anywhere else; especially if you come during the first two weeks when there are big critique sessions all day and strings of parties at night.

  2. #12

    Who is this Ansel Adams guy anyway?

    Dear Ellis

    You need to chill put a little and stop putting your foot in your mouth. How long has Cindy Sherman been around? Can you say that there are equal number of women photographers who are as highly regarded as men? As it is, in your last post you struggle to come up with scarcely enough names to cover your hands. These days there is interesting work being done by women and I'll grant you that that is true THESE DAYS. But back when Cindy...

    As it is you need to grow up a little; I gather that your chief pleasure comes from stroking your fragile little ego and pouncing upon other people's pronoucements and declaring them wrong. If being able to call someone wrong gives you pleasure and fulfillment I can only feel sorry for you. It is time to know that you are no longer in high school. The political dogma that Sherman's stuff represents 'ART' is yours and is the myopia that you so readily attributed to me. If you do not agree with me, fine, but your ready arrogance in pronouncing rightness or wrongness is startling. So if I do not agree with you I am wrong. Who the hell do you think you are? So tell me then, what makes Cindy Sherman's stuff 'art' as you call it. Or don't you know?

  3. #13

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    Who is this Ansel Adams guy anyway?

    Rene, Thank you for the gift of your sorrow.

    Hey, listen I don't particularly like Cindy Sherman's work any more than you do, I think most of it is banal and didactic and sometimes pug-ugly, but I do think it has a place in the art world. what do i like about it? That I still don't see anyone else copying her; that some of her images disturb me and make me ask questions about what is going on. Why are you so cocksure it doesn't belong? What are you so threatened by? If you had read my previous entries in this discussion you would have seen that I listed a mere handful of males doing work I consider art. I still get pissed of about people like Jay Maisel, Gregory Heisler, and William Albert Allard not being given the respect they are due by art world.</ P> To get back to Josh's original question: the why behind the comparative neglect of photography is the same reason people like Annie Leibovitz and Herb Ritts and bad Picasso's and counterfeit Dali's and other celebrity artists are ooohed and aahhed over by mass crowds and curators: because there is more money involved.

  4. #14

    Who is this Ansel Adams guy anyway?

    Is Looking Lousy legal? The first constitutional amendment says yes. The question behind that one is. What is legitimate in Photography? Many people detest the ways some others work and condemn it as totally unacceptable. Most of us do, but then our own photo's in which, let's assume we believe without question_which we love_ may be just as unacceptable to those whose work we hate, then who's right? The too simple answer is everyone and no one. Everyone is right to follow his or her own chosen path, provided ethically and perhaps legally, that it harms no one else....

    Want to know more? (quote D.Vestal) Stop this flame, go out and make images or do you just talk about making images? Respect each others work, you are not obliged to give your approval...

    Looking lousy is legal.So is looking good...You choose....

    Regards, John D. de Vries (pres WFPA)

  5. #15

    Who is this Ansel Adams guy anyway?

    Dear Ellis

    I stand chastened...perhaps. Cocksureness doesn't quite describe me because if anything, I am rather timorous in life and careful with my words. More hensure, actually. It gives me trepidations to put forward a view which castigates Cindy Sherman, the darling of the 'art world'. But I broke my usual code of tolerance and reticence because I see nothing in her works which is compelling. I must admit that I do not possess the right diplomas to comment on such things; I am no art critic nor am I an art historian. "What I know is what I like" (a dangerous viewpoint sometimes) and I am reacting naively, strictly from the gut. Perhaps I did not articulate it well enough but is it possible that the empress has no clothes on (metaphor unintended)? I say this because if you have talked to any art student at any 4-year university art school recently you will find that he is poor in technique with a mind full of fancy theories. Yeah, all this semiotics and postmodernism stuff where anything which justifies these theories goes. ( I remeber we traded insults on visual semiotics once). Where are the standards? In a world with no standards and only relativism there is only noise. I must apologise for my previous tone of voice for I am a passionate man and being passionate sometimes I wound with my words or have an anger that is quickly aroused. But I recognise a passion in you too, so even though we may lock horns occassionally we are bound by the passion of our convictions.

    Dear John

    Looking Lousy is certainly not illegal, I concur. And I believe the Constitution of the United States of America still guarantees my right to state an opinion no matter how naive or silly or uneducated as I may be, in short my right to make a complete ass of myself if I wish to is assured by this country of which I am but a guest. At worst, I may be right. At best, I may be exposed to the world for the ill- informed blowhard that I may be. But illegal? No. Flaming? No. That's reserved for people with nothing to say nor defend. Besides making images it is important that we constantly talk about images that have been made because only then will our convictions be continually held up under scrutiny and questioned. It is not enough to make them, it is also important to think about them.

    Time is the greatest judge of whether Sherman shall be nothing more than a footnote or not. By the way, the problem I have with Sherman is not because her stuff 'looked lousy' which certainly reveals your reading of Sherman more so than mine, John.

    Dear Tuan

    Sorry for turning your LF Forum into a pulpit for hashing art theories.

    Cheers to all...Rene.

    P.S. For a 'real'photographer who also happens to be a woman, I nominate Carrie Mae-Weems.

    P.P.S. For the record I find Sherman manipulative and thus, disingenuous. That was what I found off-putting in her.

  6. #16

    Who is this Ansel Adams guy anyway?

    OOps, one more and I shall shut up forever (all of ten seconds).

    Dear John

    Respect for each other's work doesn't mean that we should suspend our critical faculties nor our remit to critique or criticise.

  7. #17

    Join Date
    Feb 1999
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    Who is this Ansel Adams guy anyway?

    Whew!That was alot of fun.Thank you all who posted. Nothing like a heathy discussion to get the blood pumping. To Ellis about 3/4 of my family lives in Houston and I have to visit them at some point. So I will seriously consinder going in Febuary, it sounds like alot of fun. To Rene I think we share some similar opinions about this whole thing. To John I would much rather be out taking pictures than sitting in front of this little box but alas I have no lens or film. but today is your lucky day because I will be accepting donnations. Josh

  8. #18

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    Who is this Ansel Adams guy anyway?

    Dear Rene, Okay last one for me too on this subject. I have been out in the real world for a lot longer than I was in academia and I don't particulary care for political correctness, or visual art that needs a plethora of words to explain it, of any stripe. College is the place where you get to try on foolish ideas (as opposed to high school where you get to where foolish clothes!) I am glad you see that we are both passionate on this topic. As a straight man I think bring women into the art party makes it that much more interesting. BTW, I wasn't an art student, I was a English/History/ major and my favorite teachers all turned out to be ex-Jesuits or ex-USMC who didn't put up with any bullshit. Where it comes to "art" photography, I am pretty much self-taught. Any photographic education I have had-- a couple of courses in college, a couple of workshops-- have been commercially oriented as I make my living making photographs. Thank you for the give and take and also thank you for reminding me of Carrie Mae Weems.

  9. #19

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    May 1998
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    Who is this Ansel Adams guy anyway?

    Co-moderator's note: The heat has now gone out of this discussion, but it did start to degenerate into personal insults. While passion is fine, insults are not. Thank you.

  10. #20

    Who is this Ansel Adams guy anyway?

    I'm so isolated, I don't even know who Cindy Sherman is! Assuming I have run across her work someplace, must not have made an impact. As for photography as art, the local art colony does not think it as. And the operator of my gallery (ahem!) says that when people walk in, the first thing they do is walk over, look at my photos and then say; "I could take a picture like that." and then buy something else. I have considered an $100 reward for anybody who can "take a picture like that.

    Dick T.

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