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question

so lets get down and dirty. what is the epitome of a good picture. paintings, drawings, photographs, collages; all these things can be called pictures. for this line of thought i want to talk about pictures that have their derivation in photography. the majority of the work i have uploaded to RB has been of a photographic nature. extending from this those pictures are all collages with a smaller or greater number of individual images constituting their overall structure. some of the pictures are simply abutted against each in the attempt to create repetitious interplay that is hopefully interesting in one way or another. some of my more recent work there has been quite a lot of variation in the individual panels opacity levels and some layering. it goes without saying that digital imagery would not have half its kudos without the infinite manipulatory possibilities open to the artist, designer etc. this brings me to the crux of this little spiel. i have noticed, correct me if i am wrong, a certain modernist hangover regarding the purity and magnificence attached to the unpolluted, unmolested photographic image. i refer to the perfect shot that has not been altered, filtered or changed in any particular way. i am not in any way saying a great artistic shot cannot be taken, that would be exclusory and hierarchical. i have no time for that. the particular point i would like to touch upon is the perceived prejudice cast upon the manipulated image. i have noticed some people have qualified some of their shots with ‘no photoshop layering’ etc. its as if the perception exists that says this shot would have less value if it did have layering or any other manipulatory device. we all take an extraordinary number of perfect, remarkable pictures in a continuous unrelenting manner. i refer obviously to our own recording mechanism ‘the eyes’. i do have a personal irritation with the idea that a particular shot supersedes and makes what we see continuously somewhat mundane. the value, for me, in photography exists in recording the world we experience. it is a kind of documentary action. when i think art, and this is where i diverge from a lot of post-postmodernist thought, i think about what is my vision, what is it i can imagine and in turn how can this become a visual reality. at the moment i am collating, grouping and joining images to create pictures the camera cannot. it is a spontaneous activity that follows from a exploration of my immediate world with my trusty little recording device. now i pose the question to you all ‘can the single perfect image be taken and if it can does it have any great artistic value in a world characterised by transience’.

Journal Comments

  • Robert Knapman
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