More Autistic Magnificence

Edward sent me a link to a cool article about Gregory Blackstock, an autistic illustrator.
Here's my favourite of his pieces:


The article poses some interesting questions about the nature of Art in a post-photographic world. Bri Vos is exhibiting some of her photographs from Bangladesh around the school; while I think some of them are amazing photos, I would never call them art, and I become irritable around people who do.

This leaves me scratching my head. If illustration can be artistic, why can't photography? Is it the manual drawing or graving of each line that makes the process artistic? Certainly we cannot say that drawing is intentional while photography is accidental; a good photographer spends hours looking for just the right way to expose light and shadow and colour, and both kinds of artist will throw away 90% of their work because it "just isn't right."
So, I cannot say why I insist that photography is "sub-artistic," but I do.

3 comments:

Naomi said...

The knife sketches really are something - there is even a hoof knife.
While photographs lack the quality of knowing that an artist had to become intimately involved in every pixel (which may still be the case for some pictures), in essence it seems the photographer gets off easy by just having to click the shutter button. While some artists may spend as many hours (or more) on a photograph as a sketch or painting, I think we more often dismiss photographs because they simply appear to take less work; they were already there, the photograph just records it. But at the same time those photographs may inspire just as much or more thought & creativity & contemplation in the audience, & isn't that what art is about?

Daniel Jackson said...

1) You know what's funny? I intended to post this picture (because it's actually my favourite) but I posted "the knives" by default...
2) I'm hesitant to agree about the "evocative" qualification for art, because it seems to me that it's a critic-centred way of thinking. If "inspired thought" is what proves a piece, then a critic could pick a rock up off the ground and make it into art by talking about whatever he feels/thinks. As Fielding says, It's an artist who makes art, not a critic. Then again, Art has changed a lot over the last 300 years; maybe the fact that Art criticism is still the same means that it's more valid than Fielding is giving it credit for...

Naomi said...

Exaclty.