Sunday, April 02, 2006

Photography debate - Marilyn Minter

In the April issue of "Art News" magazine there is an article about how ethical it is that artists employ photography in the creation of their artwork. The article presents some of Marilyn Minter's work, among others, up for debate. The article then proceeds into the different ways artists employ photography, and how some artists simply use photos as a reference (their own photos), while others project their photo onto the canvas in order to trace the photograph and bypass many of the problems with drawing. Some of the photos in use by artists are photos that aren't even theirs. It's a pretty hot debate it seems. Personally, I don't like the idea of using photos that aren't my own, and if I were to use a projector, it would be to project a drawing onto the canvas and not a photo to trace from. I understand that a lot of photo realists use a projector in order to be as accurate as possible, and since photo realism isn't my interest at this moment, I don't employ the method. So I won't tell anyone they shouldn't do it. I don't especially like the idea of projecting, but I think it's ridiculous to say that an artist can't use photography at all in their work. As long as the photo you're using is your own, and you are the one working on the painting, what is the problem? If the photo isn't yours, or if your assistants are doing all the painting work, we can argue about copyrights and originality, but otherwise, what's debatable?

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