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Old 11-18-2017   #41
x-ray
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Quote:
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You're entitled to it, but that's a gross under interpretation of Gursky.
Have you stood in front of any of his work?
I'm only talking about Struths images.
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Old 11-18-2017   #42
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A couple more routine industrial shots. This is why I say what he does is nothing out of the ordinary for a commercial / Industrisl photographer.
I find it incredible that you appear to be suggesting the only thing separating your work (at least as shown here) and that of Gursky and Struth is that they employ better PR people.
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Old 11-18-2017   #43
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I find it incredible that you appear to be suggesting the only thing separating your work (at least as shown here) and that of Gursky and Struth is that they employ better PR people.
Why do you find it incredible?
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Old 11-18-2017   #44
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I find it incredible that you appear to be suggesting the only thing separating your work (at least as shown here) and that of Gursky and Struth is that they employ better PR people.
I didn't mention Gursky did I.

I'm saying Struth doesn't do anything any number of us in the industry haven done before and hasn't done it any better. I was just giving examples of what industrial photographers shoot on a daily basis. It is routine work. And yes I think he has a very good PR guy.

I'll bet if you surveyed a group of industrial photographers they'd laugh at Struth.

EDIT:

I think some of you would agree with me if you'd ever worked as an industrial photographer. The images are fascinating for those that have never been in those environments but for those of us that have, it routine work. Syruth makes a big deal that he's doing something unique and his scouting is something unusual when it's not. He's just doing what any good industrial photographer does.
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Old 11-18-2017   #45
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Printing huge does have impact. Can't tell you folks what years it was displayed and of truth I've never saw it myself but Kodak's 'Colorama' at Grand Central Station in NYC was startling by all accounts. Although the subject matter was often ordinary 'Kodak moments' just the shear size had impact whereas looking at the same print in a magazine one might quickly pass by it after a short glance.
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Old 11-18-2017   #46
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Originally Posted by x-ray View Post
...

I'll bet if you surveyed a group of industrial photographers they'd laugh at Struth.

...
They are certainly not his intended audience.

This same argument can be made about countless artists using photography. Ryan McGinley, Bill Jacobson, Ron Jude, Raymond Meeks - heck even Stephen Shore. They have taken a different, much more difficult route to success, tho in many cases commercial work is a piece of the financial game.
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Old 11-18-2017   #47
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That's quite a statement and I think it does a disservice to him, and you. How many times has a photographer said "well, I could have shot that!" Sure, okay, perhaps you could've taken those photos. But you didn't, and he did. And through whatever mechanisms, like PR and marketing etc., it was hanging up in the High Museum for people like me to see, who have not been inside the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor and whatever else.

As someone who is focusing on landscape, I could say the same thing about any number of landscape photographers who are having more success at marketing their images. And people have told me "well I could have shot that if I was there." And sure, maybe that's true. But they didn't. Every photographer also puts their indelible mark on their photos at a given location, and while the conversation as it relates to PR, marketing, and who "makes it" is a good one, I think these kind of "I could have done that" statements are not helpful to anyone.
I don't know if this pertains to the topic exactly but, I know of a photographer, who had photos lifted for screen prints by Andy Warhol. He took a trade of art, in a settlement, that's probably worth a million dollars today.

Much of the Düsseldorf school is based on the industrial look. Look at the factory photos. Gursky in his altering of the images, is the most "art like" to my taste.

The art world has some of the best BSers the English and Psych. Departments of ivy league colleges have produced. Many get high paying jobs as AD copywriters. Some work in the art world. Look at the Christies latest verbal roll out on the questionable Da Vinci pre sale PR blitz. The art world is about money for many in it. The plane honest truth about the art world was turned into a successful career by Jeff Koons.

"How Koons managed to go from obscurity to white-hot to near ruin and then back again to the pinnacle is a classic American tale of self-invention, ingenuity, and unbreakable will, not to mention a genius for salesmanship and spin."
https://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2...y-retropective




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Old 11-18-2017   #48
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James Rosenquist was a sign and billboard painter. He adapted those techniques to make his art-gallery works. Commercial skills can help in the fine arts, not so much the other way around.
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Old 11-18-2017   #49
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Originally Posted by x-ray View Post
I'm saying Struth doesn't do anything any number of us in the industry haven done before and hasn't done it any better. I was just giving examples of what industrial photographers shoot on a daily basis. It is routine work.
Struth may sometimes show similar subjects or environments to the industrial photographs that you cite but that is about all they have in common. I'm not a great fan of Struth but even I can see he has a recognisable and consistent style that elevates his work above routine commercial industrial photography. You don't need to view the original prints to see that either.


Quote:
I think some of you would agree with me if you'd ever worked as an industrial photographer. The images are fascinating for those that have never been in those environments but for those of us that have, it routine work.
I think you are barking up the wrong tree if you think it is the subject matter which makes some of these Struth photographs significant.
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Old 11-18-2017   #50
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This has probably been posted before but I find this interesting.

https://petapixel.com/2014/10/31/99-...y-didnt-shoot/

Ian, feel free to believe what you wish but I totally disagree. However I will say making huge prints has a part in his fame but as to a unique style of shooting, no.
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Old 11-18-2017   #51
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I agree with Ian. This is not a personal attack x-ray and I respect your opinion and you are free to have it. My issue is the idea of "I could have shot that" or "that's basically the same as what I shot."
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Old 11-18-2017   #52
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Originally Posted by x-ray View Post

Some industrial work is extremely dangerous. I've had to cling 400 ft cooling towers and haul equipment to the top, work in areas of extremely high voltage (500,000v) where you can hear the static electricity on the power equipment cracking above your head and feeling it to being exposed to plutonium and beryllium dust. It's really interesting work but can be extremely dangerous.
Well, lets see.. I was on site for two explosions at steel mills, a couple of years apart. I photographed one, as it happened in front of me. I replaced a photographer who was killed a week before I arrived at a large mining operation. He was run over by a 50 ton gravel truck while taking pictures. I missed going down in a Long Ranger by a week. When figuring out our pilot was drunk, we got on the ground ASAP. He, and 5 passengers crashed into a volcano a week later. I photographed a sodium injection system at a paper plant that exploded about a week or two later killing 3 and leveling a good part of the plant. Industrial photography can be very dangerous.

Edit: X-ray, you will love this one being a pilot. While doing an annual report, my design client and i were traveling in the corporate plane. We picked up the CEO at one point while flying across the states, he took the copilot seat. We were landing in a small Kansas airport and the CEO tells the pilot, let me land the plane. So, this CEO proceeds to make an iffy approach and at about 50 feet above the runway, the stall warning goes off. The pilot nosed it a little and we recovered. There were 8 + people onboard. I was the last to get off. I told the pilot I knew what that buzzer was and, if the CEO was in the second seat when we boarded, I was flying commercial and calling the FAA. The CEO was gone when we got back. He had no rating in that craft (and no hours, the plane was a month old and new to him) and had no business at the controls.
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Old 11-18-2017   #53
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When I was younger I used to think like others here that Gursky and his Düsseldorf ilk were horrible. As I've aged and perhaps become more knowledgable about art in general, and maybe most importantly questioned my own opinion, I no longer think completely the same way. I think familiarity with the intent of the photographer makes space in your mind to at least understand where they are coming from which grants at least a little respect. I've seen a few Gursky's in the intervening years. I wouldn't say they were great photographs, but they are intellectually interesting as art objects.

Personally of all the Düsseldorf grads, I like Eiger Esser the most.

By the way, the "cult of personality" determines a lot in the art world. That is why you can see some horrible images that sell for ridiculous amounts of money. Everyone wants one by that artist in their collection.

Gursky and a lot of contemporary photographers aren't really marketed as photographers either. They exist in the art world not the photography world. Their work is compared to paintings which is why they command high prices. They are made for the comparison too which is why they are so large. You saw a good example of this difference a few years ago with Eggleston when they attempted to push him into the art world space with large inkjet prints. Technology has enabled other photographers to jump on the bandwagon too as long as they can afford it. Sad statement that.

Just a few thoughts.
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Old 11-18-2017   #54
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...My point is Struth didn't do anything that hadn't already been done over and over. He didn't do the shots any better than the guys that made them first....
While that may be the case, what Struth and others of this school did was to present their photography as "art" from the get-go.
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Old 11-18-2017   #55
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When I was younger I used to think like others here that Gursky and his Düsseldorf ilk were horrible. As I've aged and perhaps become more knowledgable about art in general, and maybe most importantly questioned my own opinion, I no longer think completely the same way. I think familiarity with the intent of the photographer makes space in your mind to at least understand where they are coming from which grants at least a little respect. I've seen a few Gursky's in the intervening years. I wouldn't say they were great photographs, but they are intellectually interesting as art objects.

Personally of all the Düsseldorf grads, I like Eiger Esser the most.

By the way, the "cult of personality" determines a lot in the art world. That is why you can see some horrible images that sell for ridiculous amounts of money. Everyone wants one by that artist in their collection.

Gursky and a lot of contemporary photographers aren't really marketed as photographers either. They exist in the art world not the photography world. Their work is compared to paintings which is why they command high prices. They are made for the comparison too which is why they are so large. You saw a good example of this difference a few years ago with Eggleston when they attempted to push him into the art world space with large inkjet prints. Technology has enabled other photographers to jump on the bandwagon too as long as they can afford it. Sad statement that.

Just a few thoughts.
Limiting your output to just a few large prints (under 10) will help put one in the Art league (no pun). People like Lee Friedlander, refuse to edition prints. These two extremes define the photo/painter from the photo/photographer in art marketing. There's lots in the middle. Simon is doing media like stuff in addition to photographing. She is on her way to the photo/painter world with this change in her work.

Gallery owners often push or suggest these moves to "enhance" a talent monetarily. At museum parties, you often see gallery owners hanging with curators and critics. Then introductions (planned) are made between buyers and artists. At a gallery that handled my stuff, I had to agree (contract) to be present at every monthly gallery opening, if I was in town. This was so the owner could make introductions.
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Old 11-18-2017   #56
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I'm only talking about Struths images.
I'd make the same comment to you.
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Old 11-18-2017   #57
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Years ago I was working at a contemporary art museum of some repute and we had a Thomas Struth exhibition there.

For various reasons, this thread makes me smile...
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Old 11-18-2017   #58
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Marketing the artist

From Struth's Art Net bio..

“[When] I am taking a photograph, I am conscious that I am constructing images rather than taking snapshots,” he said of his process. “Since I do not take rapid photographs it is in this respect like a painting which takes a long time where you are very aware of what you are doing in the process.”

I can make a lot of 8x10 exposures in the time it takes a painter to stretch a canvass.

Constructing images? Unless he's building sets or doing table top arrangements, he's selecting and framing from reality, like the rest of us. It's gallery Hype!

"Since I do not take rapid photographs.." Anyone using a plate camera experiences the same thing. It's not unique but, is made to look so by the PR writer's choice of quotes.

Notice the magic line: "like a painting", used to conger rarity and increased value.

Art Net is a paid placement model. Galleries write the bio and pay for placement.
http://www.artnet.com/artists/thomas-struth/

When I read my first gallery bio, I thought, I don't know this person. It was completely factual, no lies... But, massaged prose made me look like something I wasn't. I complained to the gallery owner about it. She said, we are experts in this business, just let us do our thing. No lies were told. It was an eye opener for a guy, who thought his AD agency clients played with reality in their copy.
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Old 11-18-2017   #59
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“[When] I am taking a photograph, I am conscious that I am constructing images rather than taking snapshots,” he said of his process. “Since I do not take rapid photographs it is in this respect like a painting which takes a long time where you are very aware of what you are doing in the process.”
He is hardly unique in that regard. "[C]onstructing images" is also known as composition. Sounds like it came from a Dilbert mission statement generator.
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