Re: size as esthetic (was photogravure)
Yes-- I agree, Judy, about "plenty of junk art" at smaller sizes.
Actually, I don't see so much of the huge digital work that I used
to see ALL the time in galleries or anywhere else, so maybe the tide
is turning. That's all I would ever see for a while there. Of
course, this is only my perspective-- from where I'm sitting (not
located in the art capital of the world here). I do remember a time,
though, when galleries would absolutely refuse to show work that was
small. In fact, I have a good friend whose work was represented by
the John Stevenson gallery-- probably more than 10 years ago. He is
probably one of the best platinum printers I know, but he was dropped
there because his work wasn't "big enough," and that he just couldn't
sell small work-- or at least that's what he was told. He never
printed bigger than 5x7. Now when I go to galleries, or anywhere
work is exhibited, I see much more of a range-- which is refreshing.
Oh, and that phrase-- "If you can't make it good . . . " I was
taught that! I still remember it and think about it all the time. ;)
On Apr 3, 2008, at 7:36 PM, Judy Seigel wrote:
On Thu, 3 Apr 2008, Diana Bloomfield wrote:
I agree completely about these huge color prints I often see that
are really no more than rather uninteresting snapshots (badly
composed to boot); their size is what gives them notice (the only
thing that makes them noticeable). It does get old after a while.
But for 50 years the rule in America has been "bigger is
better." (When my kitchen appliances broke down after the first 30
years, I discovered they were no longer made in the "normal" sizes
of refrigerators, ovens, etc. when they were installed, but so huge
I would have had to tear down the kitchen to replace them. And
tended to have all sorts of "features" that took up more space
(like computers!) I finally found some that could be squeezed in
(with only a day's worth of carpentry) but they're not as well
planned or functional as the originals.
"Bigger is better" got to be the rule in art, too, starting with
"action painting." We used to sneer: "If you can't make it good,
make it big, if you can't make it big make it red."
Meanwhile, the rule of thumb which almost always fits (except when
you just need to cover space in a McMansion, or for effect in a
corporate lobby) the best viewing distance for art is generally
considered the diagonal. For instance, if a picture is 8-1/2 by 11
inches (standard letter size) the diagonal is about 14 inches, and
that's found to be the best general viewing distance.
Of course if we're really loving/interested in a work, we view it
from at least 3 distances -- stepping back for the "long view", the
diagonal for regular taking it in, and really close up (don't you
love just getting your face right in there -- unless the museum
guard spoils your joy). So in effect no matter how big the work is,
we're getting our view of it at the same scale.... but dealers want
them big because they sell much more readily & of course for much
more. In other words these things are often determined by marketing
AND the current style,... common sense has nothing to do with it.
I myself am going through a phase of wanting to work really small..
And in a museum I just love finding a work of art the size of my
face-- and we see so much of it only in books, where it's probably
no more than 8-1/2 by 11 anyway.
On the 3rd hand, I give Sookang the benefit of any doubt. If she's
working so large, odds are they're wonderful (Keith too -- tho he
seems possibly somewhat ambivalent.)
And PS. there's plenty of junk art at 8-1/2 by ll... The names are
forgotten now, but wasn't the most popular painter in America in
the 1950s the guy who did the big-eyed girls ... What was his
name? ("John Keane" comes to mind.)
I know someone who makes the most beautiful mezzotints-- none
larger than about 4x5 and some not much larger than a postage
stamp. These are so hauntingly beautiful-- I can't tell you--
and perfect for his particular images. Every time I think about
printing big, I think about those mezzotints.
On Apr 3, 2008, at 5:27 PM, Mark Nelson wrote:
I don't think photography should be limited by size and you point
out good reasons to make larger prints for different display
spaces. What tires me are the huge, over-saturated color prints
with no content. You see them in galleries all the time. Bigger
doesn't make these prints better.
PDNPrint Forum @ Yahoo Groups
From my iPhone
On Apr 3, 2008, at 2:28 PM, Dan Haygood <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Yes, I agree. Large prints have made their way into many homes
as a showcase piece of artwork. It has put photography in a
place were it is being noticed. Look in interior design
magazines and they all have large scale photographs hanging on
the walls of the homes they are featuring. Small images create a
more intimate feel and are displayed in settings that the viewer
can get close to. In other fine arts, one will always find a
diversity of sizes of images that reflect what the artist is
trying to impress upon the viewer. Why should photography be
confined to a small scale?
From: Jon Lybrook [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, April 03, 2008 12:15 PM
Subject: Re: Photogravure was: Re: SPE and alt update
Wee little prints are just fine for the right image, as are huge
ones. I hope and trust no one ever curses you and things you've
devoted yourself to doing in an ugly and boorish manner.
Sandy King wrote:
Yes, is it not a fact about big. I am so tired at this fad with
huge prints I want to vomit. I hope the people making those huge
prints never sell a one of them and have to build new storage
rooms to hold them until their descendants destroy the atrocities.
Now, a nice 5X7 contact print, there is something to hold close
to your eyes and treasure.
At 2:05 PM -0400 4/3/08, Ender100@aol.com wrote:
Content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8
It's an American French Tool Press by Conrad Machine Co. I got
a table top model that will handle 18" wide paper. It may also
be a great pasta machine. Josephine Sacabo had just gotten the
big brother to this machine when I worked with her last fall on
polymer plate photogravure-it was great fun. Unfortunately it
takes 3-4 months to build and deliver.
I think I got "big" out of my system with inkjet printing
It's AlIVE! IT'S ALIVE! THE ALT PHOTO LIST IS ALIVE!!!! Chris
must have given it an enema.
Precision Digital Negatives
PDNPrint Forum @ Yahoo Groups
Mark I. Nelson Photography
In a message dated 4/3/08 12:56:50 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
Congrats on the press Mark! What kind did you get?
But 'little'? I'm doing 20x30" now and they are available at
30x40"...and even larger, so I've been told.
Larger plates present a new set of problems, but they are still
alot of fun to work with (more so when the pesky contact issues
have been overcome).
Planning your summer road trip? Check out AOL Travel Guides.
Tera Bear Consulting