Why is it art or rather… why could a photograph be art?
The photo is a personal creation. It’s an expression. It has its own language, code, assumptions, interactions with external factors, expressive tools, technical means, possibilities and limitations.
Photography is a social creation. Expression of the time, of the economic-social conditions, of the aesthetic preferences, of the developments that no citizen of a place leaves unaffected…
It interacts with the other arts, the aesthetic currents, the cultural values, it is influenced by the technical developments (like all the arts! And more so…) and above all it moves!
It can move us to create different emotions, thoughts, suggest actions or prevent, change consciousness or just bring before us beautiful images that will please us purely aesthetically. It may just leave us indifferent – but any work of art can do that!
Whatever definition one gives to art, photography covers it, starting with the ability to move aesthetically and emotionally or to produce interesting mental works, as many contemporary artists want.
- Creates (not so often anymore) works with material substance – printed photographs and some of them have timeless value. They are carefully stored, analyzes and reviews are written, they have commercial value.
- Requires studies (but in all arts there are great self-taught creators), study, personal work, perseverance, talent, mistakes, experimentation, influences, time – years of personal artistic development and luck – to be recognized before you die…
Photographers create aesthetic proposals, personal themes, use specific techniques and tools. In the early years of photography many said that it could not be art since it is a mere mechanical representation of reality. Soon, however, the richness in thematics and aesthetic approaches clarified the issue!
“What does the photo look more like? By writing. Everyone knows how to write, but few are writers” – Mary Ellen Mark