As a lover of photography, I’d be lying if it didn’t get my back up that the topic of the essay was to find an artist who uses photography as A PART of their art. This module is about photography, so I did find it odd how it’s been dismissed as a form entirely. The merits of this medium have been discussed throughout Part 4, looking at the digital world and how it has diluted a once mechanical medium, which was taken more seriously, was tangible, and perhaps better respected.
Present day realities of instagram and photobooks published by Beckham’s son, no wonder no one wants to call photography “art” anymore. The subjects are becoming mundane and one side or overly uncensored on the other, either shocking or average.
However, looking back….
The romantic age of the 70’s & 80’s, when Andy Warhol ran out of film one evening at a party, and Louise Lawler had an extra, which in turn he sent her a signed poster. When words held weight equally to their art or photograph, when women artists we’re finding their voice and taking the piss on the patriarchal unbalance of the Art world around them, when artists would contribute to each others work, by conglomerating ideas, and putting each other on their shoulders. This was the Picture Generation.
Deriving their images from photographic sources, their philosophic underpinnings from the French Deconstructionists and their attitudes towards presentation from commercial and corporate campaigns, the Pictures artists ascended the heights of art world stardom in short order. Their assimilation of the mass media and use of nontraditional means is a prime influence on todays New Media. James Kalm
I wanted to find an artist who was firstly a photographer, not an artists who simply used photography as a tool. I wanted to make a point, that a photographer with enough vision, is already an artist, and their photograph worthy of the pretentious title of art.
I found this in the artist mentioned about Louise Lawler.
I really, really admire this woman, the more I research her work, the more layers peel away to reveal a modest, funny, feminist who speaks of worthy causes, politics, war, institutional art, by using photography as her voice.
She recreates her photographs from microscopic to monumental while capturing concise images which are clear and real.
She didn’t call herself an artist for years, and constantly challenged the ideas of how we see art, where is is located as well as it’s place considered a larger context.
I am constantly reminded of Jon Berger’s novel “Way’s of seeing” with I will revisit during the writing of this essay.
MoMA says this about Lawler’s work:
Lawler evokes critical theories of reception, acknowledging that the meaning of an artwork shifts and morphs depending on who looks at it and the context of its display.