“No, this rant is about the increasingly popular idea of making actual real-life prints from Hipstamatic images. The Guardian ran a piece this week on a London gallery which is holding an exhibition of Hipstamatic prints. My first thought on reading this was whether prints of Hipstamatic images could be anything but terrible. And a Sunday-afternoon walk through the Marais gave me an answer as I happened upon a gallery with a Hipstamatic print in the window. I may have been influenced by the exquisite Bruce Wrighton prints that I saw just a day earlier at Les Douches gallery, but this print was bad enough to feel like an insult, particularly as they had gone to the trouble of making a pigment print on some fancy paper in a limited edition of 3 priced at over $200 in all its grossly-pixelized glory. This image would never look any good at anything larger than the palm of your hand on the low resolution of a screen. And here it was, a sad piece of hyper-colour mutton (totally over-)dressed as lamb. Can’t we please just let these Hipstamatic images go about their business of passing the time for us on the internet, or on our smart phones where they belong?”—
“It’s interesting to see that their talent selection has a strong inter-resemblance in terms of colour, topic and technique. Maybe I am getting old, but I wonder what this is. I wandered through all the flairy, rainbow coloured, self-expressionistic double exposures and I didn’t get the clue. I admit that some images are nicely done, especially the images of jennifer abessira, joshua dalton and osma harvilahti have an attractive, atmospheric quality. But in general I miss some “real” content. Lifestyle and a relaxing mood seem to be the main issues that concern them all. Perhaps the impression I got might have been due to the selection of the “dazed digital jury”, which has a specific interest in showing just the happy-go-lucky type of images”—happy go lucky | Mrs. Deane
“I think there’s a common supposition in fine-art portraiture that too much emotion can interfere with revelation. To get at someone’s true character one needs to dig beyond flitting moods like happiness or brooding. Those get in the way, and in fact it takes work to avoid them. To get the shot you hang around a person. If they happen to be laughing you wait it out, and you certainly don’t ask for a smile. Finally when the moment is right, when they’re showing nothing, you have them stare at the camera and the image magically shows who they are. That’s the idea anyway.”—B: The Space Test
“At the same time, however, it’s easy to sneer at the labor-of-love types: the art world has internalized the idea that labors of love are only worthwhile so long as they fetch a goodly number of dollars, or at the very least have a veneer of art-school sophistication — a veneer which becomes even more important if your art is popular or decorative or minimally functional. (Elsewhere, Powhida notes that “fashion isn’t considered art. Sorry!”)”—A guide to the market oligopoly system | Analysis & Opinion |
“You changed your facebook picture to a photo that shows of half your face, the other half is blocked by the still-in-pristine-condition camera (that real photojournalists can’t afford because we do this for a fucking living and make 10% of what you do) which you used once before you took that photo just to post on your facebook profile to announce to the world “look! I have a camera! I’m a photographer!”—Shit Photojournalists Like | Judging Amateurs
“My photographs are straightforward. I always asked permission before taking pictures. I wanted to get close and make the people be the most important thing in the frame. I never directed them or told them where to stand, how to hold their hands, or what to wear. The only thing I asked them was to look at the camera. I liked it when I saw their eyes and that’s when I knew I was ready to make their picture. Typically I would make 2 or 3 exposures. When you look at these pictures you know that I was not sneaking around trying to steal pictures of people.” (…)
Woodman was largely unknown during her lifetime. Her work was first introduced to the public at a Wellesley College exhibition that opened in 1986, five years after her suicide. At the time, much significance was attached to its apparently autobiographical qualities, which continue to intrigue audiences today. Her death does not simply cast a shadow on the images, but suffuses them with a strange, spectral light, in which everyone looks like Woodman—photographs of models are frequently mistaken for self-portraits—and facts resemble foresight. The artist seems always to be anticipating her own disappearance.