Monday, June 29, 2015

You Don't Need to be Creative to Make Art

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I see plenty of photographic images which, in my mind, qualify as being "art" but aren't especially creative. (If they're creative at all.)  In fact, there seems to be two kinds of artists and art: creative artists/art and not particularly creative artists/art.  Neither is more or less qualified as "artists" or "art" than the other. They're just... different. Different kinds of art, that is.

I should mention there's a difference, in my mind, between "creative art" and the "creative process."  Artists who make art with photographs often make art that isn't particularly creative, per se, although they use creative tools and creative processes to make their not-particularly-creative-art into, well, art.  But just because someone uses creative tools and processes to make art, it doesn't automatically follow that the art they're making represents creative art. It might still be art, of course, just not creative art. In other words, all art isn't a product of creativity. All art might be products of creative processes but creativity? I don't think so.

Art that is truly creative is less seen, different, or unique art. Art that is not less seen, different, or unique, however, can still be art. Good art. Great art. Inspiring art! It just isn't particularly creative art. Not really.

Truly creative art represents a much smaller percentage of all that is art, whether it's good art or something else. How many truly artsy photos of, for example, sunsets have you seen?  Were any of them art? I'll bet more than a few of them qualified as art in your mind and many people's minds, more so when the image is blown up, printed, framed, and hung on a wall. The fact that we've all seen plenty of sunset art means that sunset art, as a rule, isn't particularly creative; you know, it isn't less seen, different, or unique. In fact, it can border on common and being down-right pedestrian yet it's still art. Go figure, right?

Picasso was a creative artist. His art was definitely less seen, different, and unique. Dali's art was the same way-- different and unique. Yet Rembrandt's art wasn't particularly less seen, different, and unique but it is still thought of as some of the best art ever produced. Again, go figure.

Art it seems, much like beauty, is in the eyes of its beholders. (After all, everyone's a critic.) And art's beholders don't necessarily consider honest-to-God creativity to be much of a requirement for art to be classified as "art," even great art. That's why some photographers, perhaps many, can make art, real art, that isn't particularly creative. (Good news for many, right?) Although creativity isn't a requirement for great art, great art still needs to exhibit excellent and skillful creative processes employed in its making, at least for the most part. (Which, alas, might be bad news for some.)

Anyway, just some thoughts on art and creativity not being all inclusive or inseparable, except for when it is.

The gratuitous eye candy at the top is Joanna Angel. For me, the photo doesn't represent much in the way of creativity nor do I see it as art, per se. (Unless I consider the Art of the Tease as being legitimate art.) I still snapped the picture, however, utilizing some of the very same creative processes often used for making actual art, creative art or otherwise. Plus, I think I captured it with a certain level of artist-like skill if I do say so myself. Course, that's not really my call to make, everyone being a critic and all.

The pic was shot in a studio called The "Goat House" in North Hollywood, CA. The Goat House was so named because it's located adjacent to a Los Angeles city animal shelter and, out back of the shelter, next to the Goat House's rear parking lot, there are barnyard animals often kept and wandering around. I lit Joanna with three light sources: a 5' Photoflex Octo for my main, just slightly camera-right, and a pair of Chimera medium strip boxes, either side, from slightly behind her off to each side. ISO 100, f/5.6, 125th with an 85mm prime on my Canon 5D (classic.)


Winston Cooper said...

I suggest that just the female form in itself such as demonstrated by this lovely model has always been and always will be fine creative art.

jimmyd said...

@Winston: Can't argue with that. Not even a little bit considering how often and how many times i've photographed that beautiful form! :-)