16 April 2009

Helen Levitt, Photographer, 1913-2009

Interesting piece.

I especially appreciate the observation that we tend to suppose a genius to creating art, a master status for an artist. There isn't, you know... neither genius or master. You just get out there and do it. If anything sets an artist apart from others it is a trained eye (ear) and an obsession. Like anything else, if it is important enough, you do it over and over and over - looking for ways to do it better. Some of us read every book and article on art like ours. Some of us make and make and make, honing our skills, practicing our praxis. Some of us study the HIStory of the art we do. Some of us strike up conversations with every other artist we encounter, picking their brains for ideas and inspiration. Some of us experiment and push boundaries - our own boundaries, our audience's boundaries, and the boundaries of the media we work in.

Some of us actually do get better. Some of us become masterful in skill and expert of eye. Not Masters, but masterly.

It's not as special as you might think.

Anyone can do it, with enough passion, enough work. Some do it better than others (and therefore are able to sell/show work - although much of what sells isn't particularly better than that which never graces a gallery wall or floor, just better marketed).

More thoughts later...for now you should watch this video.

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