In the previous post, I went in a slightly different direction than I intended, but what I found quite interesting was the definition of “10 best photos of all time”. Most articles brought up by the mighty Google were journalistic photos, often depicting the worst side of humanity; wars, famine, torture…
A lot of the photographs were not even objectively good images and relied on a description of what was happening to give them their power.
I was actually surprised there were no images by Ansel Adams, or Irving Penn, or other “famous” photographers on the first page of results. Now I am not expecting the average internet user to have an education in art history, let alone photographic art history, however I thought images like “Moonrise over Hernandez“, or Edward Weston’s “Pepper No.30“, or anything by HCB (you know you are famous when you are referred to in the art world by your initials) would be represented somewhere.
Then, an interesting twist, I did a search for “10 best Photographers of all time”. All the photographers I learned about in art school came up, along with their images.
I am not going to give a lot of credence to my random Google searching, and I may be fitting observations to what I want to see, but this does illustrate part of my initial point in the last post. To most people, photography is a way of remembering. An image of an historic event is more important than a piece of Art (for some meaning of Art with a capital ‘A’), but the Artist as a creator is remembered above and beyond what they create.
So then does the artist create the art, or does the art create the artist?