[alt-photo] Re: an alternative to alternative

KISS BOB bobkiss at caribsurf.com
Mon Apr 2 12:25:25 GMT 2012

      You have no idea how much your kind words lift my 
      Lest you think me impractical, when it comes to 
applying for grants, I DO stack the deck (of my prints) to 
appeal to their particular preferences but I don't MAKE 
images and prints for them.  I make what I am motivated to 
make then search through my work to find what might tweak 
their noses best.  There is a very big difference between 
MAKING work for the PAL or to please a selection committee 
and remaining true to your vision and then sorting through 
your body of work to show them that part of your work that 
best appeals to their sensibilities.
      I can't remember which philosopher or zen master 
said, "I must live IN this world but I shall not be OF 
this world".  Perhaps I wax too philosophical here but 
blame it on the Tramadol (quite like the bossa nova of 
pain killers)!  And, when waxing philosophical I can never 
decide if I should use Renaissance or Dorland's wax.  As 
Mark is known to say, "He he he"!

On Sun, 1 Apr 2012 20:22:21 -0700
  Mark Nelson <ender100 at aol.com> wrote:
> Heal Quickly Bob!
> Mark Nelson
> www.PrecisionDigitalNegatives.com
> PDNPRint Forum @ Yahoo Groups
> www.MarkINelsonPhoto.com
> sent from my iPhonetypeDeviceThingy
> On Apr 1, 2012, at 12:36 PM, "KISS BOB" 
><bobkiss at caribsurf.com> wrote:
>>     I think we agree on everything.  I was pointing out 
>>two different things:
>> 1) I was refuting the suggestion (not yours, that of the 
>>aforementioned gallery owner) that people who buy photo 
>>prints don't care about the print medium.
>> 2) I was pointing out that the gallery owner who shows 
>>some of my prints agrees with us...EDUCATION is 90% of 
>>selling prints, once a viewer has expressed interest.
>>     I agree with you completely and would never suggest 
>>that we should not invite the PAL to see our work and, 
>>with education, turn as many as possible into savvy 
>>collectors.  But we must NOT allow the PAL to influence 
>>the medium in which we express our vision.  We must do 
>>creatively what we must do and hope that our audience 
>>will continue to buy while evangelising our beloved media 
>>to the PAL.
>> *****Please note that I am recovering from total left 
>>hip replacement two weeks ago and still taking strong 
>>painkillers.  If I make less sense than usual, please 
>>forgive me.  Who knows, perhaps I make MORE sense while 
>>taking these things!  ;-))
>>               CHEERS!
>>                  BOB
>> On Sun, 1 Apr 2012 14:06:12 -0400
>> Diana Bloomfield <dhbloomfield at bellsouth.net> wrote:
>>> Hi Bob,
>>> I don't think I'd disagree with anything you say here, 
>>>and I definitely agree with your last sentence, in 
>>> I will add, though, that while savvy collectors are 
>>>absolutely what we'd all like to cultivate,  I certainly 
>>>don't spurn the Public at Large (PAL).  At some earlier 
>>>point in their lives, those savvy collectors were the 
>>>PAL.  So, to educate the PAL, many of whom are genuinely 
>>>interested in art and in photography, specifically, 
>>>would/should be a purposeful goal.  Doing so might just 
>>>transform them into savvy collectors of 'historic/alt' 
>>> I personally have always loved traditional printmaking, 
>>>and through the years, I've amassed a nice little 
>>>collection of mezzotints.  When I first became enamored 
>>>with them, though, I just simply liked the look of them. 
>>>Most I saw were relatively small, and I just thought they 
>>>were like perfect little jewels.  The more I saw, the 
>>>more I was intrigued, and-- ultimately-- I became more 
>>>interested in and educated about the specific 
>>>labor-intensive process itself.  But what drew me to them 
>>>in the first place was simply the look of them.  At the 
>>>time, I could have cared less about all the gritty 
>>>details about how they were made.  I think a lot of 
>>>collectors start out that way.
>>> So I would hope for a dealer or gallerist to welcome ALL 
>>>potential clients who walk through their door (not just 
>>>already established collectors), and with the help of the 
>>>artist, educate them in the process.  Otherwise, I think 
>>>a great opportunity will be sorely missed.
>>> Diana
>>> On Apr 1, 2012, at 11:28 AM, KISS BOB wrote:
>>>>    I tend to agree with you on this.  The dealer who 
>>>>shows some of my prints in NYC was also my Prof of 
>>>>History and Aesthetics of Photo at RIT all those decades 
>>>>ago.  He did his Masters at Visual Studies Workshop with 
>>>>Beaumont Newhall and Nathan Lyons as his thesis advisers. 
>>>>He also held an important chair in the Grad Photo Dept at 
>>>>Pratt for over a decade.  He has had a successful photo 
>>>>gallery in NYC for over 30 years.  I mention all of this 
>>>>just to suggest that he might know of what he speaks.
>>>> 1) He ALWAYS told me to distinguish between "the public 
>>>>at large" (PAL) and "your audience" (YA).  The PAL won't 
>>>>know or care about the processes but YA will!  Mass 
>>>>market vs. YOUR market.
>>>> 2) He said no one ever comes in and says, "Take me to 
>>>>your gum prints".  They ask for certain subject matter or 
>>>>the work of one photographer and he shows them that plus 
>>>>other related work.
>>>> 3) He said every one buys because they love the image 
>>>>but they pay a given price because of so many OTHER 
>>>>aspects such as PRINT MEDIUM (pt vs silver, etc), print 
>>>>number in the edition, the quality of the printing, the 
>>>>condition of the print, the fame/notoriety of the 
>>>>photographer, and so many other things.  So, to the 
>>>>collector, print medium IS an important aspect of why 
>>>>they buy and what they are willing to pay.  To a truly 
>>>>savvy collector it may be an extremely important aspect.
>>>> 4) He said that selling photographic prints is 10% hype 
>>>>and 90% education.  E.g., he might see someone admiring 
>>>>an Evans' Sea of Steps.  He would say, "Amazing movement 
>>>>in that image!  And quite significant in early 20th C 
>>>>photography.  And this is one of the best examples of a 
>>>>platinum print from that era."  He then sits back and 
>>>>answers all of the questions stimulated by his three 
>>>>short sentences contributing a few more details if the 
>>>>client shows more interest.  Mostly education with a VERY 
>>>>little hype.
>>>>    Now, if one's intention is to sell to the PAL make 
>>>>LARGE, highly saturated, inkjet prints mounted on 
>>>>aluminum and stand them up in any gallery.  There is 
>>>>nothing at all wrong with this if it is what you want to 
>>>>do but, if that is what list members wanted to do, then 
>>>>why are we donning our latex/vinyl gloves and 
>>>>respirators, handling toxic and ridiculously expensive 
>>>>chemicals, and trying to minimize our exposure to plate 
>>>>burner UV a few times a day?  We must be highly motivated 
>>>>to make something special.   Now this may be our own 
>>>>problem but there IS an AUDIENCE out there for each of 
>>>>us, perhaps not the public at large.
>>>>    Having been an advertising and fashion photog in NYC 
>>>>and Europe from 1974 to 1993 (when I moved here to 
>>>>Barbados) I have had more than enough of applying my 
>>>>creativity to reaching the public at large.  I shoot what 
>>>>moves me and print it in whatever medium I feel best 
>>>>carries the feeling that made me want to make the image 
>>>>in the first place.  The most interesting discovery I 
>>>>ever made since 1993 is, the more deeply personal my 
>>>>motivation for making an image and print, the more it 
>>>>seems to resonate in the soul of my audience and the more 
>>>>prints I sell.
>>>>           CHEERS
>>>>               BOB
>>>> On Sat, 31 Mar 2012 18:35:13 -0700
>>>> Mark Nelson <ender100 at aol.com> wrote:
>>>>> I really don't think he knows what he is talking about. 
>>>>>Mark Nelson
>>>>> www.PrecisionDigitalNegatives.com
>>>>> PDNPRint Forum @ Yahoo Groups
>>>>> www.MarkINelsonPhoto.com
>>>>> sent from my iPhonetypeDeviceThingy
>>>>> On Mar 31, 2012, at 11:10 AM, Diana Bloomfield 
>>>>><dhbloomfield at bellsouth.net> wrote:
>>>>>> I've had so many conversations with my gallery owner 
>>>>>>here about this, and while he shows a ton of printmaking 
>>>>>>(mezzotints, monotypes, etc), and certainly makes 
>>>>>>distinctions there-- he is insistent that with 
>>>>>>photography, it doesn't really matter how an image is 
>>>>>>printed (nor what camera was used-- which we don't 
>>>>>>typically point out)-- what matters is how strong the 
>>>>>>final image is, and how it resonates with the viewer.  He 
>>>>>>admits that the WAY in which an image is printed is 
>>>>>>certainly part of the final look, of course, but he 
>>>>>>maintains no one really cares-- ultimately-- about the 
>>>>>>specific printing method.  Yes-- he's a real gem-- but, 
>>>>>>sadly, I think he's speaking the truth.
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