Photo Contests & Artistic Choices

I found a funny photo game on my phone called GuruShots (it’s a website too). They invent many “challenges” like “Anything Blue” or “Remembrance” or “Animals”, or “Cities in Black & White”.

It’s well done and exciting like every contest – though your rapidly feel that they want to sell you “boosters” and “exposure bonus”. If you pay, you have more chances to be seen. I understand they have to make money, that’s the game…

I also like to see other peoples pictures : some guys are great, very professional. But I see too many winners with THIS kind of “gorgeous” pictures :

 

In French, we say “Pouah !” for your ugh! or yuk!

YUUUrKKK!!

We all have our bad tastes, I reckon. But this gorgeous jolly happy colored shit banality is really unbearable, right?

“HDR landscape” (Google it) and “water reflection” photos bring this to my head : “This is disgusting“. They try to activate one low level single string in the audience : “Oh this is gorgeous look at the coloooooors”. Yuk and puke! So there.

There are many little levers I also activate when I post a picture, like “it’s too easy” : nostalgic light, a mood, too much contrast, abstract blurry, lines, too dark, etc… Well, this is my way :

 

So what? I don’t win any challenge here.

For now I’ll keep posting a couple of pictures in certain ones (but not all of them : nothing for “Tatoos”, or “Africa”, haha), to determine how high I can climb without cheating.

 

The dials I see here are : 

What do I seek when I take a picture? To marvel people, or to make them wonder? Or smile? If you’re not a pro (asked to do this and that), what is it you do? How do you progress?

Do you Art to please an audience (with success) or do you Art to do what you like, even if the audience likes it less? What if these two aspects coincide?

Sorry for my frenchy English, I’m probably rusting…

Thanks for reading!

 

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Invitations to GuruShots : https://goo.gl/pwnAtP

 

 

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Wes Anderson, Edouard Manet and modernity

You remember, I wrote articles about Manet and modernity, here :

In brief : there was a period in Art when artists really stopped hiding it’s a painting. For example, they were not afraid to show the brushstrokes anymore.

Valéry says : some works of Art want you to dream, others want you to THINK.

Today I read an article about Wes Anderson‘s movie Isle of Dogs, which is an animated film.

The author says that there are two types of animated movies :

  1. One tries to mimic natural movements, tries to make us forget what we see is the result of photographies in a row, a “reality effect”.
  2. The other one shows characters as objects or puppets, it brings the audience to the reality of… making. A little cloud of smoke does not hide it’s a little bowl of cotton.

This second “way” (which is Anderson’s way, of course) is exactly the way Manet paints (and after him, the impressionists)… and then…

Another poetry comes from that, you can almost see the animator’s hand. Why do we prefer “this” poetry?

Thanks for reading!

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Many MTWs (Picasso)

Marie-Thérèse Walter was one of Pablo Picasso’s mistress. Today we see her as a Type (young, sweet, sunny, blond, athletic girl), which is incorrect but interesting, if you study Types along the life of the painter.

We all know the Picasso-esque messy faces, sideways-full-faces with eyes all around, with an ear on the forehead et voilà.

Today I chose three ways for MTW : photographies, paintings, and drawings. All of them are very different, though you quickly realize he managed to show something of her on each. Showing the person, her kindness and her curves, her half smile, her strength, her splendid profile and…

…well : see by yourself :

 

Seeds for the mind : what does a painter show? What do we see in Goya “official” royal family portrait? Reality, or what’s inside? Lines, or the painter’s feeling?

What could we do with these questions? In photography, poetry, storytelling.

What is hidden and shows something?

Have a great day!

Treating the Fringe

When you work, there are often two parts :

  1. One part you have to deliver – and you’re paid for it. It’s the “main thing”, your job.
  2. There’s another part, where you treat yourself, or where you treat your audience…

 

“you offer them a treat” : what’s that word which is a noun and a verb? What’s that verb which sounds positive and lovely to me, and at the same time which need “well” at times : to treat well…

Question : does “to treat” contain “to treat well”, “to give pleasure”, or not?

 

It’s a two-parts-pattern all creative people know well.

If you’re a teacher and you have to teach a complicated maths lesson for 2 hours, if you’re a director and your job is to make a film to promote a train station, if you order books for a library, etc :

  1. you can do it the normal, proper way
  2. you can do it in a splendid inventive way
  3. you can play a cursor between both

 

This “3.” is interesting. How do you do it?

  1. Do you begin with pleasure and complexity aimed to an intelligent marginal group, THEN you add elements to help others to stay on the road?
  2. Or do you build the average normal job, then hide smart elements to be seen and guessed by the clever fringe?

 

If your fringe becomes too large, you’re elbowing them, good to you, but you lose the next one, who will look at you as a smart arse : not good, right?

On the other side, if you treat yourself with too much subtlety, it becomes a “private pleasure hidden, just for you”. And why not? :

Luxury is insular

 

Overthinking over it – two examples :

I talked with a friend who, in a way, complained that when you work and you add great and complicated elements on purpose, for the pleasure of resolving them (for example, a sequence-shot when you direct a movie), only a few percents of the audience will catch it (moreover : to find where to put the cursor is a mess).

Pablo Picasso explains that when he works on a complicated project for a cubist painting, he has to develop very subtle and complex balances, colors, masses, energies, frames, etc… This, as the core of his Art.
Then he adds little easy elements (like a necklace or a moustache) and then names the painting accordingly. This to… guide or please the unschooled, while the connoisseur will see the real purpose…

 

Thanks for reading! Have a great sunday!

JP

 

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Picasso about Matisse : “We must talk to each other as much as we…”

Picasso about Matisse :

“We must talk to each other as much as we can. When one of us dies, there will be some things that the other will never be able to talk of with anyone else.”

 

“Il faut que nous parlions ensemble le plus possible. Quand l’un de nous sera mort, il aura des choses que l’autre ne pourra plus jamais dire à personne”.

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Unconditional Friendship

The Art of Unfinished Art

If you explore books, quotes, articles about Art, you always meet the concept of “finished/unfinished“.

And this is what you find :

ONE

A whole lot of “simple” authors who seem to have common sense and think Art is like a normal part of society. They all say that a piece of Art must be finished :

  • “Never show unfinished work.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
  • “Behind unfinished art cries an unfinished artist.” – Terri Guillemets
  • “Finish the work, otherwise an unfinished work will finish you.” ― Amit Kalantri
  • “I know the sag of the unfinished poem. And I know the release of the poem that is finished.” – Mary Oliver

This sounds very good, right? It’s very satisfying. Everything must be finished, otherwise the world goes to chaos…

TWO

Another whole lot of artists, of course, say the contrary. Suddenly it becomes interesting :

  • “I always believed that my work should be unfinished in the sense that I encourage people to add their creativity to it, either conceptually or physically.” – Yoko Ono
  • “When I’m playing, I’m never through. It’s unfinished. I like to find a place to leave for someone else to finish it. That’s where the high comes in.” – Miles Davis
  • “Art is never finished, only abandoned.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  • Put your energy into ‘finishing’ – and you’re missing your next great painting. (J.R. Baldini)
  • In talking about the necessity to finish a thing, we said American painters finish a thing that looks unfinished, and the French, they finish it. I have seen Matisses that were more unfinished and yet more finished than any American painters. Matisse was obviously in a terrific emotion at the time and he was more unfinished than finished. (William Baziotes)
  • I don’t like finished things, because finished is over, dead. (Norbert Bisky)
  • To the impressionist, the work was finished, no matter how casual the execution, when the idea was completely realized on the canvas. (Richard J. Boyle)
  • How do you complete a painting, really? There are paintings by so many different artists that are interesting precisely because they haven’t really been completed. (Peter Doig)

 

Many masterpieces are unfinished : symphonies and cathedrals, Proust “La Recherche”, but most of modernity artists and thinkers know that finishing a work is killing it, it masks the work, the soul…

I found dozens more quotes. Each one could lead to an article…

What do you think?

 

Thanks for reading!

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Cf Non Finito : Inchoateness in Art

 

 

Picasso’s whirlwind

What is your exploration field, today? Japanese cinema, French classical music, British painters of 19th Century, US Civil War?

Picasso for me. There are constant exhibitions around the world, but there’s a big one in the Musée d’Orsay this fall in Paris. As a bookseller, I got the usual shower of new books. I opened one, and the summary stung me.

Mahler, Proust, Marx, I chose these three examples for this article : Jungle Syndrome. Something, in these, is “too much”. Too complex, too rich, too interesting, too big. You pick a leaf, then you have a tree, a forest, a universe. Gasp !

I also realized I had to find my own path : Feeling the air of Waterloo & other oblique explorations…

One explorer’s pleasure – when you want to explore a subject like this – is to gather weapons : documentaries, downloaded images or pdf, books. I ordered some, bought second handed others…

I’m reading the “first little guides”, one of Picasso’s wives biography, and many prefaces and introductions.

I ordered a huge biography, bought a second hand two volumes chronological illustrated book, found other things in my own shelves…

I already feel the fire, “this” fire you all know…

“Towering genius of the century”, “long and prolific career”, what I already know is this : nobody can explain or frame Picasso’s work. Every author talks about paradoxes or multifacets (like for every important artist or writer). Variety and never ending exploration, but with strong themes and structures under. Modern, but based on classics. Childish, but with strong work and maturity. Free, daring and casual, all driven by terrific invention. Revolutionary on many stairs.

So, yes, it’s whirlwindy, immense, impossible to cover. One of the good things is that Pablo Picasso talks and explains a lot about his work, about what he wants

This will be a lovely autumn, right?

Thanks for reading!

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