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Camperjim
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"Pollock describes his artworks as a hybrid between the easel painting and the mural."

I guess there is a what but not a hint of how or why. I am not sure I understand but is this supposed to be an example of how poor and useless artist's statements can be?



May 29, 2022 at 10:04 PM
RustyBug
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airfrogusmc wrote:
Found this Kent

What are the 3 parts of an artist statement?

What information does an artist's statement need to include? There are three elements to consider: the “how,” the “what,” and the “why.” There should be enough information in your artist statement that someone can begin to imagine the art that you make without having it in front of them. Jul 23, 2016

From Jackson Pollack
https://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/items/detail/jackson-pollock-artists-statement-15420



Thanks.




May 29, 2022 at 10:08 PM
RustyBug
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Camperjim wrote:
"Pollock describes his artworks as a hybrid between the easel painting and the mural."

I guess there is a what but not a hint of how or why. I am not sure I understand but is this supposed to be an example of how poor and useless artist's statements can be?


I think the "why" is couched in the terms "precedent" and "future" ... i.e. lobbying / driving for something different / change from the historical / status quo. Which might be oversimplified ... to drive or propel toward something different.

At least that's what comes to mind in the short term.



May 29, 2022 at 10:11 PM
Camperjim
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airfrogusmc wrote:
Sour grapes ain't gonna help you get your work on the wall of a gallery. The" I'm right the world is all wrong" attitude usually doesn't work. King of forum land might be just that when it comes the world outside forum land. I do see a lot of horizontal growth on forums and little vertical growth. The question then becomes how do you get your work to the next level?


In keeping with my belief that this forum can be valuable, I have spent a lot of timing thinking about these few comments.

I look at my current work and I am not sure it is much different than what I did years ago. In fact I just presented a 10 year old landscape photo for critique. I don't seem to have even a vague idea of where I want to go, of the next level, or how to get there. At least that is the case for my photography. Over the next week or so I will be doing to painting and next weekend will be participating in a plein air event. The idea of moving to the next level has stimulated me to think about using some new techniques to see how they work. There is a substantial risk that my efforts will not work well and I will not have work suitable for submitting to the gallery exhibition for this event.



May 30, 2022 at 05:50 AM
airfrogusmc
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p.5 #5 · p.5 #5 · Competition Entries ...


I love this forum. FM has my favorite thread on the world wide web but it doesn't mean I think that this or any forum is a good place for critques.


May 30, 2022 at 05:57 AM
RustyBug
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Jim,
Just for a point of clarity, please don't think that I'm "telling you" these things I'm about to write ... rather, these are my springboard thoughts that are inspired by consideration to your points. Shared, in the event that a nugget of value exists for yourself or others. Written for reinforcement / etching into my own mind. (FWIW, for all that the PC Forum is not as a critique, it does offer a historical record of our thoughts, that non-written, verbal critique exchange does not afford (leaving to memory alone). And writing (journaling, if you will) does have value in ways that I'll forego, atm.

Camperjim wrote:
I just presented a 10 year old landscape photo for critique.


I don't think submitting an older work necessarily defines the growth (or lack thereof). Although, it does bring the point of recent works (i.e. last 3 years, etc.) being defined in entrant rules of some comps ... to the adage of "You're only as good as your last shot." I don't fully adhere to that in literal terms, but we can and do get rusty (hence namesake) or in a rut.

I'm beginning to think that there is some shifting of perspective to be understood. It is starting to strike me that the focus is shifting from the image alone, as to what is captured on the inside of the tool ... to what is on the inside of the one wielding the tool as to why the capture is made.

And then, as an extension of that ... an interest in a vicarious journey (by others) to see where we might take them along for the ride. Contrast that to the premise of the image as a stand alone piece. Or to a small exhibit, or to a catalog of lifetime works.

The journey vs. just a singular moment.

Thinking a bit about Roy DeCarava's quote, that I adhere to:

I don't really think that the technique really determines the veracity of the image. It's what the image does to the viewer that determines whether it's right or wrong.
Roy DeCarava


To this, I think of an image hanging on a wall, and a person walks by the image, day after day.

Does that image (for that person) continue to do something to them ... conjure a memory, soothe or relax them, stimulate or invoke philosophical thought, provide ideological association, instill dreams, provide coordinating color decor to harmonize a room, provide a contrast to the room for a focal point or splash of interest to a neutral room, etc. ... i.e. what is it that the image does, or is capable of doing to the individual? The list of what an image can do is varied, but in certain regard, that depends largely on the frame of reference for the viewer, relative to the image.


You should be able to look at me and see my work. You should be able to look at my work and see me.
Roy DeCarava


To this, I think of the journey involved to come to know the person and the work, as it relates to one another.

In this regard, if we are focused on the image (to the first quote), the artist's statement may seem of limited interest.
Whereas if we are focused on the journey, the artist's statement takes on a different relevance of interest.

Here again, there is a degree of contingency upon the interests and desires of the viewer(s), to whether or not they are interested in our journey. But, in some regard I'm reminded of a successful date vs. a successful marriage ... and the underpinnings that yield each. The former is often rooted on an attraction, the latter is often rooted in understanding ... both of which have their place and purpose, the former being the gateway to the latter ... but, the growth in understanding must develop, or the latter is not likely to succeed on the merits of attraction, alone.

A vicarious journey (by others) to see where we might take them. Can a photo competition even support that, or is it merely the equivalence of speed dating? That's not to denigrate the competition, but rather an understanding of its suitability, for its fit for purpose ... which the segues me to this.

I don't seem to have even a vague idea of where I want to go, of the next level, or how to get there.

For me, I have a vague idea (metaphor of the print emerging in the developing tray, slowly coming into view) ... but, the next level and how to get there eludes my sense of direction for which to proceed.

The idea of moving to the next level has stimulated me to think about using some new techniques to see how they work. There is a substantial risk that my efforts will not work well and I will not have work suitable for submitting to the gallery exhibition for this event.

New technique ... to craft a differentiator, or as a tool to construct what the image will do the viewer.

I don't really think that the technique really determines the veracity of the image. It's what the image does to the viewer that determines whether it's right or wrong.
Roy DeCarava


When we look at new techniques, is it to be cool, to do what all the cool kids are doing ... or does it add to our arsenal. I tend to think of techniques like the different brushes of a painter. The artists strokes themselves don't dictate anything, really ... but, choosing a different brush does influence what it might do to the viewer (i.e. razor sharp lines vs. pointillist rendering), and how cohesive (or incongruous) that is to what we want to convey.

Then, coming back to the photo comp ... if it is akin to dating vs. journey, then why? Just for an ego stroke? For a data point on the CV? For the practice and experience of preparation for the critical exposure? For the steeling of the artist to rejection? For the strengthening of the artist to (internally / mentally) defending their work? Other, et al?


Summation:
Artists statement relevance to the journey of knowing the artist, moreover than explaining a single work context alone.
Mission of competition, to be better understood for what it is vs. what it isn't ... and how that fits (or not) into the vertical mission.

Goal:
Determine "next steps" ... for redirecting from horizontal to vertical.
Note to self, if I thought expanding my horizontal direction was stretching me, out of my comfort zone ... better hang on for the vertical ride.







May 30, 2022 at 09:36 AM
RustyBug
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airfrogusmc wrote:
I love this forum. FM has my favorite thread on the world wide web but it doesn't mean I think that this or any forum is a good place for critques.


Roger the love for FM.

May not be the best ... but it has been home for a few of us to help one another within the constraints / limitations, so noted.

Iron Sharpens Iron

Hoping, that we all continue to develop a keener edge with each successive stroke. Sometimes, we sharpen, sometimes we hone, sometimes we debur. But, in the end the goals are to grow one another ... even, if occurring in a less than ideal way.

Is it time for some to seek a more refined level of grit (beyond the PC Forum) ... may be. Kinda depends on how sharp you want / need the edge.




May 30, 2022 at 09:50 AM
Camperjim
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Kent, lots and lots to think about in your post. I am going to return later with more time and give it more thought.

You did look at the issue of standalone versus intent with a different perspective. Both can make sense under different times and circumstances. I have a perspective that sort of falls in the middle. I don't necessarily believe we need to know and understand the artist's thought process or intent. If the artist applies creativity, thought and intent to their process, the power will emerge and the viewer with gain some sense of it and relate from their perspective.

When it comes to a juror or jurists picking work for an exhibition lots of factors enter in. In spite of creds, some of them may not be very skilled. All have personal biases and preferences. Do they even look at the artists' statements? Rarely do we have a hint as to what they are looking for unless there is a defined theme and most of those are very vague.

It is very likely that we are grossly overdoing the thought processes. I am not sure I will ever understand what vertical means or how judges judge. It is probably best just to enjoy the creative process and pay less attention to the outcome and even less as to how others perceive it.



May 30, 2022 at 10:21 AM
airfrogusmc
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Yes Jim it is subjective. Thats why I feel you need to have a clear strong sense of who you are as an artist/photographer. And submit what work represents you and let chips fall where they may. Tune out the noise. The noise is all the people in on line crits that may or may not know what are talikng about. Taylor your work to that and you will loose yourself as an artist to please those that may or may not have a clue.

Spend time with the masters work at museums. Learn to have confidence in your own ability to judge what is or isn't a good piece for you and who you are as an artist/photographer. Spend real time with your work and again tune out the noise.

Research who is judging your work before you enter. Is it an artist or someone whose work or opinion that you repsect?

All vertical growth means is growing as an artist. Horizontal growth mean you are creating but not growing. You keep running in circles instead of moving ahead.



Edited on May 30, 2022 at 10:56 AM · View previous versions



May 30, 2022 at 10:40 AM
RustyBug
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Camperjim wrote:
how others perceive it.


When Poe wrote, when Van Gogh painted ... they wrote what they wrote, they painted what they painted.

If kept entirely to themselves, then the issue of how others perceive is totally irrelevant. OTOH, if one is looking to share their works beyond anonymity ... how others perceive will always be in play, to a degree. So, for me ... an understanding of how others perceive is then pertinent. That's not to suggest one should play their creativity to the game of how others perceive ... but, maybe in understanding how the two match up.

In that regard, I think Allen's point about "time will tell" is relative to those perceptions of others ... as it may be an acute appreciation, or it may be a slowly evolving appreciation. Which then takes us back to your point about "do what you do" ... and let the chips fall where they may.

But, to me ... Allen's point about getting a good "match" suggests that for all the variation in creativity, and all the variation in viewership, there could be the potential to find a (some) good match(es).
To borrow from a colleague of mine:

"That's the tricky part."









May 30, 2022 at 10:54 AM
 


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airfrogusmc
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Like getting into the right gallery for what you create. If your work doesn't get in front of the right eyes, well you get the drift.


May 30, 2022 at 11:18 AM
RustyBug
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airfrogusmc wrote:
Like getting into the right gallery for what you create. If your work doesn't get in front of the right eyes, well you get the drift.


Yup ... the tricky part.



May 30, 2022 at 11:48 AM
grandmas
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I see the word creativity popping up in this thread. I have never figured out why some folks have an abundance of creativity while others do not have any. The creativity part is something I have thought about a lot. I am almost certain that it is like talent and they are born with it. If that is the case can a person learn to be creative?


May 30, 2022 at 12:53 PM
Camperjim
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You might find this of interest. He often speaks and has numerous YouTube videos about creativity.




May 30, 2022 at 01:57 PM
airfrogusmc
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Hi Jim,

I met him some years back. Great photographer and great guy. His father was also an amazing photographer.



May 30, 2022 at 08:14 PM
airfrogusmc
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grandmas wrote:
I see the word creativity popping up in this thread. I have never figured out why some folks have an abundance of creativity while others do not have any. The creativity part is something I have thought about a lot. I am almost certain that it is like talent and they are born with it. If that is the case can a person learn to be creative?


I do think it can be nurtured and brought out. I like to think of say someone like Michael Jordan. He was an amazing talent when it came to basketball but I think it took the right coaching and the right environment for him to thrive and become the Michael Jordan we came to know.

A great book on creativity is a book by Betty Edwards, "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain." It is not only a book about drawing but there are some interesting thoughts on creativity. She touches on some of the same things that John Paul Caponigro touches on in the piece Jim posted about how we are all born creative.



Jun 02, 2022 at 07:02 AM
sbeme
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Kent,
I've been AWOL for a while and not ready to jump into the fray. Instead, let me congratulate you for this summary presentation of some of your best images. The color image with columns is a standout, in part because I don't believe I have seen that one presented before.
I'd love to hear how you make out with your entries.
I have decided that these super large national/international shows are too much financial investment for little reward: a bit like the lottery with long odds, great payoff if you win, and at least far more skill needed to be in the top tier.

Scott



Jun 04, 2022 at 09:46 AM
RustyBug
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Hey Scott.

Thanks for the kind words.

Pretty sure I'm not at the "top tier" level ... but, I try to keep notching my level upward.

Regardless, I am looking forward to seeing the exhibit to find out what the IDPH thinks the "top tier" looks like. From there, I'll have my own assessment if the bar is higher, wider, or just different ... and by how much (to my eye). I don't expect it to have me "chasing" after what I see, but I will be curious to understand the weighting of genre in their selections ... be that contemporary, classic or avante garde ... PJ, pictorial, philosphical, sports, landscape, macro, abstract, etc.






Jun 06, 2022 at 10:43 PM
RustyBug
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Exhibit is up, took a visit yesterday.

Exhibit has 23 pieces on display. Probably 17 or 18 different photographers in total.






Jul 03, 2022 at 06:00 PM
liftedspirit
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I've not read all of the responses here, so forgive me if I repeat.

I'm a member in an artist co-op here in Denver and we have a couple of juried shows per year. I've also applied to more than my fair share of juried shows, most local to Colorado. To me, the shipping is too much of a pain to want to bother with, and this isn't my primary source of income.

The first thing I do when considering applying for a show is to consider what the show's theme is, (if any) and if I have any work that may fit it. I never try to fit my pieces to a show whose theme isn't necessarily appropriate for my work.

The second thing I do when considering applying for a show is to look at the juror(s). What kind of work do they do. It's a good bet that that will also be the type of work they're looking for. As a landscape photographer, I'm a bit of a mix between conceptual and representative photography, leaning more towards the representative side. So it's rare for me to even attempt applying to a show where the juror is obviously more conceptual. It's not because I don't want to be in the show, but because I want to spend my submission fees wisely. Occasionally I will apply to these shows, only to be reminded that sometimes I apparently like throwing my money out the window.

Finally, I look at the gallery/publication website. Is this a potential money grab where I as the artist get very little in return? Is this an "online-only" gallery where I have no idea how many people visit their website? Is the show for a month, which is typical or is it only a week or a weekend? What percentage of sales goes to the gallery, and what percentage goes to the artist? (anything more than 60 percent to the gallery is a ripoff, and even 60 is rare. 40 - 50 percent is fairly typical and less is a bargain for you) Do they allow bin work (if it's local) as another way to potentially make money/commissions? I also consider whether there may be hidden advantages to applying here - is the juror someone that may potentially help me by getting noticed by the juror? Would getting in here perhaps help me in some other way? (I'm essentially a member of the artist co-op by doing a joint show in a rented room of the gallery with a friend)

I would say that the best thing to learn when it comes to applying for shows/residencies/solo exhibits - is don't take it personally. It's not a comment on the quality of your work - whether you're accepted or rejected. One of our shows was a photography-specific show, and the juror said of all the entrants (we usually get between 70 - 120 entries with up to 3 submissions a piece and accept about 40 - 50 pieces of the up to 360 pieces submitted) received, there were a vast number of fantastic images, so the juror selected the images that moved her the most. Art is subjective. The feelings and emotions it stirs in the viewer can differ widely from person to person. I've had pieces that one person stares at for twenty minutes while ninety people take a cursory glance at and move on. People that peruse this site are often very technical in regards to our photos, but technical may be thrown out the window by the juror. If you think the work you submitted is great, it IS great! That doesn't mean everyone else will feel that way as well. But the better you can choose a theme that fits your work, and the better you can find jurors that will likely be drawn to your work, the better the odds of also submitting pieces that move that juror. If, or when, they say no, don't take that as a statement of the work's quality. You may very well submit the same pieces to a different show and get accepted.

As to sales...it's TOUGH to make a living off of print sales. Our gallery has done quite well and has been open since just before Covid. We've made a small profit each year, though we got a sweetheart deal on rent. But I'd say we sell on average, about $2K per month/show. Some months is better, some worse. It is, IMO, necessary to get as many eyes on the work/pieces as possible. It's hard to find a person with the wall space, color scheme that matches, artistic style that's comprible, and disposable income to want to buy that piece. It is to me, an incredibly humbling prospect when someone opens their doors to one of my pieces, and it's also not a common experience. The bigger the piece and the more expensive the piece, those odds decline greatly. We typically have shows that have large pieces, but also combine a number of smaller/more affordable pieces. Having said that, I have learned to never consider sales as a success criteria. It could be relationships built from a show, or just overall exposure, or perhaps experience of learning what works and what doesn't.

Final word of advice, as I know this was stressed before, so I'm only confirming it's the best thing one can do as an artist. Make work for you. Make work for you, then find the audience that appreciates that work. The worst thing you can do is go chasing an audience and what you perceive as what it is they want. It will come across in your work.



Jul 06, 2022 at 12:10 PM
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