Wednesday 17 August 2011

The paralysed cyclops

Just every so often a project - or even a single picture - is finished.

In most of the photography world, "finishing" a picture is (almost) just clicking the shutter button. The rest of the processing is a formality - whether it be film or digital. In the art world, finishing a picture can be a major event. In fact, many people say a picture is never finished, just "good enough". What is the difference?

Real art, I believe, is, as well as about looking and recording what is there, is about the processes of evaluating the marks placed on the paper, or canvas, and repeating them or re-doing them until they are right. This process of evaluation and development is what makes the difference between the fine qualities of marks or whatever seen in true art, and bad art or (sigh) most photography. One of my artistic heroes is Frank Auerbach who would paint over and over a painting perhaps a hundred times, most times each being only loosely based on what came before, but always looking for that elusive "finished" painting.

I have set up a companion blog for my "finished" work, The title comes from a statement by David Hockney, saying that photography cannot be art because it only has one eye (the lens). In saying this, I think he is wrong occasionally, but (sadly) this is right most of the time. I hope my finished photographs are the exception rather than the rule. Please look at it. All this talk of camera mods and hacks would be quite empty if there was not an objective, and it gives my best attempt at showing that objective.

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