January 9, 2011

Art Opens Minds


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True. Very true.

It was the eyes on the billboard that first grabbed my attention, then I read the words. The words definitely resonated with me.

I studied art in college. Took all of the studio courses and studied its history. I began to appreciate artists and techniques that, didn’t previously appeal to me. The “dawn breaking over marblehead” moment for me was when we were studying the works of Picasso. Professor Cheney showed a series of slides (remember slides?) … simple line drawings of bulls, a frequent theme in Picasso’s work.

I was mesmerized by them. About a dozen bulls in various poses composed of simple, elegant lines. It wasn’t the line drawings that were the most impressive to me. As great as they were, I started to think about what it must have taken Picasso to get to the point where the bull could be reduced to a simple line drawing and remain a bull. That was the moment I began to appreciate cubism.

I did a quick Google search to try and find that Bull series but came up empty. What I did find, however, was a great series of Picasso’s lithographs that show the evolution of his thought process.

So what’s that have to with this image? Or photography, for that matter? The billboard reminded me that we can all have preconceived notions about what art is, what photography is, or should be. The reality is, there are no rules. Not in art. not in photography. I know, we have rules of composition that we follow, but for every great image that follows the rule of thirds, you can find its counterpart that breaks it.

Keep an open mind. Go out, shoot and break some rules.

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  1. I LOVE this photograph!
    It looks like a photo-realistic painting to me.
    Rather surreal.
    Very nice!