Young artist Scott Blake‘s article about his altercation with photographer and painter Chuck Close starts with a simple question: “When one of the world’s richest living artists orders you to stop making art, you do it. Or do you?” It’s been two years since Close, who is referred to in the article as “the wealthy bully,” put a stop to Blake’s Chuck Close Photoshop plug-in by threatening a lawsuit, and Blake still hasn’t managed to put what he sees as the injustice of the whole situation behind him. Hence, his article. Read more…
Hyperallergic has published an essay about a project titled Free Sitting done by artist Nora Herting, who got a job as a photographer at a JC Penny portrait studio for the project. Here’s the essay’s description of the project:
The portrait serves a testament to the subjects’ prosperity and personal relations, and yet, despite the time and care people take when having their pictures taken at commercial studios, the resulting photographs are rarely considered aesthetic objects. They are documentation. Herting’s work questions what, exactly, we are documenting in this benign, constructed way.
The studio-portrait experience has a structured set of parameters that form a stylistic equation. When participating in this process we become blind to its constructs. Artists disrupt and violate codes and, in doing so, bring them to our attention. Herting breaks the rules of the studio portrait, and the resulting photographs no longer fulfill their role as social symbols. Images programmed to be evidence of happiness or prosperity become painful, ugly or embarrasing, possibly revealing something unseen before.
If you can wrap your mind around this, please leave a comment with your translation or interpretation.
An Artist Goes Undercover at a JC Penney Portrait Studio (via MetaFilter via Nerdcore)
Image credits: Photographs by Nora Herting