What are the criteria we accept for discerning photography now?
The work I see in many galleries, both bricks and mortar and the more recognized online ones, leans heavily toward generic images: landscape, documentary, and portrait. Ninety nine percent of the work is digital color. It is easy on the eyes, bland, and bankrupt. Cloud and sunsets, numb portraits, well-lit domestic scenarios of upper middle class spaces, vacant landscapes. Mute and Large. They are like travel pix, plain mug shots, stock photos. They challenge nothing, stimulate nothing more than the eye at best.
What is the purpose of these images?
I am going to grab four random free stock photos and show you some examples of what I am talking about.
These are nice pictures. They are available for download for .99 cents. They look like what win Emerging Artist Competitions. Gag me with a spoon. Now.
I am compelled to address the Humbug Factor that has grown in me. On examination I don’t think I buy Jesus as God. My husband and I talked about this in the car on the way to my Dad’s house the other day and we both agreed it’s pushing it to expect us to believe what appears just plain loco. I am part Jewish, I have discovered, so the Catholic brainwashing I endured has retreated into the cultural-learned-behavior region of my consciousness. (Blood is blood, after all.) There are other reasons, though.
One: I just can’t go for the Immaculate Conception (what? even a pregnant teen is smarter than to use that or the toilet seat as an excuse). Two: there’s the Son of God made Man. Would the God I DO believe in, the Prime Mover, the Source of all Energy and Life, really do that to his kid? And, three: I think that all the lights, presents, and Santa constitute an ancient, really twisted, albeit extremely attractive, Ponzi scheme.
I do not intend to insult anyone who does believe in Xmas (that X is NOT a cross, btw; it is an X, a sign to me that there are others out there with me who might be hesitant to alienate the righteous and oft-reactive majority). In here, you don’t have to feel shunned just because you don’t buy the party line. As I wrote a friend in my hyperbolic fashion, my neighbors are lucky I don’t etch a pentacle into the vinyl siding and light that fucker up.
Anyway, I believe that we should all try to be as nice as our pets. That is the goal, not just for this season, but for every day. Under these guidelines, the worst you will do is eat a shoe.
With that, I will go the couch, give Mango and Blue a couple of treaties for being so wonderful, and wish you all a nice week.