I Am Not An Artist Redux

I Am Not An Artist.

That’s a statement I’ve made many times before, so often in fact that it now gets all capital letters and has become somewhat of a mantra of mine.

The main reason I hold this view is because of how I define art. Art, to me, is goal directed. It’s conceived of and intended as a medium for a message. It’s meant to communicate something to the viewer – an emotion, a story, an idea. Often, it’s layered and subject to interpretation – but the point of it is still whatever message it’s conveying. I don’t do that – I just shoot things that I think are pretty or interesting, with no deeper meaning than that.

But another issue that I’ve often had with “art” are the attitudes so often expressed by the art community itself. “Real artists” take it way, way too seriously. They’re control freaks – obsessing about what the viewer can see and how they can see it. And that bugs me to the point that I simply want no part of that community.

(Caution: some not safe for work content in the next two links. I warn you just in case you’re actually at work. If you’re honestly bothered by nudity… you annoy me worst of all.)

One of the things the NYT article I posted about a minute ago enlightened me to was this fantastic treatise by Flickr photographer Merkley, I’m Not A Photographer, which says just about the same thing I’ve tried to say (substituting “Photographer” for “Artist”), only a whole lot better. It’s worth a read, and I thought worthy of its own post.

I take photographs and share images I like. Whether it’s any good or not is up to others to decide, though in all honesty I’d probably evaluate 75% of my own work as “or not”. But in either case, good or not, I’m not making art.

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