Lens. Paper? Canvas!
Photography by Sarah Alexander
About the Exhibit
Photography is an interesting medium. From its inception, the world was captivated. But the photograph was viewed as a functional item–a record of people and the surrounding world. While the skills and talent involved in producing a sculpture or painting were revered by the public, few saw any artistic value in the photographically recorded image. For years photographers fought for the photographic image to be accepted as a true fine art form. Eventually it was. Composition and technique were considered the cornerstones of the medium and the unique aesthetic formed by mastering those concepts sent apart the artist from the amateur.
Today, the photograph has become probably one of the most ubiquitous items in the world. Unfortunately, it is exactly that pervasiveness that may lead to the end of the photographic art form as we know it today.
With the advent of the digital camera, its reasonable cost, and its amazing ability to almost all of the work for the photographer, it seems that, once again, fewer and fewer people appreciate the artistry and skill involved in taking a beautiful or compelling photograph. Sculpture and painting are still held in awe, with the audience readily acknowledging the existence of a special talent to produce such works. But these days, according to the digital camera manufacturers, if you let the camera do the work for you, anyone can produce something worthy of the wall space.
So what does that means for the future of the photograph? That remains to be seen. Perhaps, like the societies that are documented, the future of the photograph is to constantly morph; to find more mediums on which to present itself until those, too, become mainstream and the medium is forced to evolve again.
This show strikes out on that trail and examines what happens when the photograph is presented in a different format – when it is combined with one of the staples of the fine art world-the canvas. What happens when the photograph meets the canvas? Does it look like a photograph or does it more resemble painting? Is it more interesting than the traditional image on paper? Is it more valued as an art form? Come and see.
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