Lee Sacrey Photography – Lee's Chatter

Mainly Photography but a little of everything at times

What is Art?

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Several months ago, well almost a year ago now, I had the pleasure of meeting Daryl Benson. Daryl, in my opinion, is one of the greatest photographers on planet earth. I understood, long before I met Daryl, that he was not just a Photographer but an artist. You see for me, an artist isn’t just someone who paints or sketches but someone who creates art. I have felt that way for a long time. What I quickly figured out during Daryl’s visit to Yellowknife is that my understanding of art was still narrow. I knew I didn’t like terms like “fine art” or “fine art photography”. It was either art or not art for me, fine art is just some elitist view on the whole thing. Daryl ask the question “What is art?” and then a short time later he asked “Can anything be art?”. We talked for a fair amount of time on the subject, me trying to answer the two questions and Daryl it seemed already knew the answers. There was a discussion about how anything that someone put time into creating could be art. Could the perfect loaf of sweet bread be art created by the baker? Things jumped into my head, things like an Audi R8, a Ferrari 458 or the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione are art. To me the Alfa maybe the most beautiful car ever made, not to drive (as I have never driven one) but to look at and admire. It is just that pretty! So, in the eye of the beholder, anything could be considered art. Daryl also has a wonderful understanding presentation. His explanations on why presentation is important made me think that the presentation is art just as much as the object being presented. It really has to do with your view on things. The new question for me was does an artful presentation add or take away from its subject. I think if it is done correctly the art and the presentation will compliment each other making the combined piece art and each piece art in its own right. So, where is all this going you ask? Well, with a mind more open than before Daryl’s visit, I have been trying to view things differently. This brings me to the presentation of my art (if I could be as bold as to think what I create can be art). With a new view on the art of presentation, I went to Visual Effects, a local framing gallery here in Yellowknife. A friend of mine, Peter, works there and I have always admired Peter’s ability to understand what mats and what frames look good with the piece being framed. So, I had and idea. I want to present some images in such a way as to relay a message on photography. I brought in one large print and several 4 x 6 prints and told Peter my idea. The idea for me was the easy part, creating what I wanted and presenting it just right was the hard part and I was leaving that to Peter. With no idea how everything would turn out and no idea if Peter really understood my vision, I left it in his hands. Today, Peter called and told me to drop by the shop. Being a block from my office I was there quickly. Peter unveiled his work and I was amazed. It was more than I had expected. The idea was what I had visioned but, the colours used, the placement of each piece and the over all presentation is art. Art created by Peter. The photographs are mine and I think the images are art but, the combination of my art and Peter’s art together just makes it that much better. Peter’s work doesn’t take anything away from my images, it adds to the images make the whole package better. Even though I believe the image below doesn’t really do the piece justice here it is. The frame is a gloss black metal frame. The main mat is a moss-green colour which really works with the green of the aurora. Spread across the large aurora image are a series of smaller aurora images presented to look like a strip of film. The film conveys that fact that my art is the photographic images. The whole package conveys Peter’s art, the presentation of my work in such away to tell the viewer what I do. Peter, I have learned, is an artist. Thanks Peter for your work, I can wait to see the lighthouse print we have talked about. To all of you readers, thanks for coming by and as always, Happy Shooting.


Written by leesacrey

January 10, 2012 at 9:24 PM

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