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Thread: Avedon

  1. #51

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    Re: Avedon

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    And I'll repeat, Avedon never was in the West, at least psychologically, because he didn't seem to see a damn thing. He was just bringing marketable NYC stereotypes of the West with him. Should have stayed in NYC and kept taking pictures of corny models wearing suits made from recycled tin cans.
    .
    Sometimes being an outsider looking in allows us to see things we do not see when we are part of it. So it's not always a bad thing

  2. #52
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Avedon

    How about the real West as a backdrop instead of a sheet? One can learn more about the actual people of the West from the setting alone, and what they left behind, than they can from person after person taken out of context and put in a zoo. But that takes its own kind of specific cultural sensitivity. Avedon was blind to it and trying to substitute something else he brought with him. That's fine if you're trying to understand Avedon per se. But he was in his own head and never saw the West or really appreciated it. He was out specimen collecting for sake of his own little taxidermy dioramas in NYC mode. Big difference. I'm not saying it's wrong. It just leaves me cold, unsatisfied. And that whole 60's thing might have been a refreshing overturn of a previous art regime at one time, but for several decades now it has become an even worse stuffy regime, a stuck record, long overdue to be in the rear view mirror.

  3. #53

  4. #54
    Pieter's Avatar
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    Re: Avedon

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    How about the real West as a backdrop instead of a sheet? One can learn more about the actual people of the West from the setting alone, and what they left behind, than they can from person after person taken out of context and put in a zoo. But that takes its own kind of specific cultural sensitivity. Avedon was blind to it and trying to substitute something else he brought with him. That's fine if you're trying to understand Avedon per se. But he was in his own head and never saw the West or really appreciated it. He was out specimen collecting for sake of his own little taxidermy dioramas in NYC mode. Big difference. I'm not saying it's wrong. It just leaves me cold, unsatisfied. And that whole 60's thing might have been a refreshing overturn of a previous art regime at one time, but for several decades now it has become an even worse stuffy regime, a stuck record, long overdue to be in the rear view mirror.
    The book is titled, "In The American West" for a reason--it is not meant to be a book about the American West but rather what Avedon saw of interest there. His photos are of people, his interest is in photographing people as he saw them, isolated from settings or environment. You may not like that, but that is what art is about--personal expression. His, not yours or what might appeal to you.

  5. #55

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    Re: Avedon

    There are artist-photographers that use their subjects (noun) as a device-prop as a means to express. More often than not the innate personality of the prop is of little to no significance to the image maker as it is being used as a prop, essentially imposing the ego of the artist-photographer upon what the artist-photographer is bent on achieving in the work produced.

    ~Richard Avedon is one of many who practiced this as a photographer.

    Alternatively, artist-photographer is much about capturing the personality and expression of the subject (noun) with as little artist-photographer's ego being imposed upon the subject.

    ~Name a photographer that practiced this method of artistic expression?



    Bernice

  6. #56
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Avedon

    William Mortensen VS Karsh
    wear mask or NOT

    is ???

  7. #57
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Avedon

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    I like Steichen. He was more upscale and glamorous. The physical prints looked that way too. Those times have apparently passed. Too bad.

  8. #58
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Avedon

    Take a look at the Navajo portraiture of Laura Gilpin. Definitely not ego driven. That would have been a non-starter. Steichen was a giant. I actually most admire his earlier "Pictorialist" portraits, but he really had two distinct phases, just as Edward Weston did. Avedon is interesting. I just find that whole fashionista culture which gave him a good living to be trivial and shallow to the point of being disgusting. And in fact, he often portrayed it with a considerable amount of cynicism, wry wit, and thinly veiled ridicule. That's why he, in his own words, stated he loved the 60's - it was so over the top, and that apparently matched his own personality. If viewers like that, no problem. I prefer nuance to noise.

  9. #59

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    Re: Avedon

    I think we missed the point.
    I personally don't evaluate a peace of art by my sympathy for the artist, instead a see his work, if it give me an emotion what ever it is; if it add something to me or if it leave me indifferent.
    In the American West is probably the biggest photography work ever made. Every photograph in it is simply amazing.
    It took 10 or 100 sheets of film to made a single portrait? Who cares if the result is to have that perfect picture.
    Is it full of Avedon's ego? Sure and then, who cares?! It is a beautiful work of art.
    There are many other cynic photographers out there; about some of them I like the work (Witkin for example or Sally Mann since someone consider her work as cynic) about others I don't (Bruce Gilden or Antoine D'AgatÓ for example) but it is based on their work, not if they dressing in blue or red.
    A good picture requires taking risks

  10. #60

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    Re: Avedon

    I'm an Avedon fan but to each their own.

    Like Ricky Nelson said, "Ya can't please everyone so you got to please yourself"!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Th_LYyRhRlE

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