The PetaPixel Podcast: Would You Keep Taking Photos if Nobody Cared?

On this week’s episode of The PetaPixel Podcast, Chris, Jordan, and Jaron discuss the last week in the news as well as ponder this question: Would you continue to create if you knew pretty much no one would appreciate your work during your lifetime… or ever?

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This conversation was sparked by a story that was published on PetaPixel last week, where a talented landscape photographer says his decision to reject most social media platforms has resulted in him being “virtually unknown” and he is ready to bow out of the medium entirely. It got the guys thinking: how much does this matter to them?

On that note, there have been several artists who gained recognition and acclaim posthumously, despite their relative obscurity during their lifetimes. Here are a few notable examples:

1. Vincent van Gogh: One of the most well-known examples, van Gogh’s works were not widely appreciated during his lifetime. He struggled with mental health issues and sold only a few paintings before his death. Today, he is considered one of the most influential and celebrated artists in history.

2. Emily Dickinson: Although Dickinson wrote prolifically, only a handful of her poems were published during her lifetime. It wasn’t until after her death that her unique and introspective poetry gained recognition, and she is now regarded as one of America’s greatest poets.

3. Franz Schubert: The Austrian composer was relatively unknown during his short life, with only a few of his compositions published and performed publicly. It was after his death that his musical genius was fully recognized, and his works are now highly regarded in the classical music repertoire.

4. Henry Darger: Darger was an American outsider artist who worked as a janitor and lived a reclusive life. He created a vast body of work, including paintings and writings, which went unnoticed during his lifetime. After his death, his imaginative and intricate artwork was discovered, leading to posthumous recognition and exhibitions.

And finally, and perhaps most notably, Vivian Maier, who shot more than 150,000 photos over more than 40 years while working as a nanny. She is now famous after her photos were discovered in boxes at an auction.

These are just a few examples, but there are many more artists across different fields who gained significant recognition and acclaim long after their deaths. It highlights the complex nature of artistic appreciation and how the passage of time can reveal hidden talents and artistic brilliance.

In addition to this main topic, the team also digs into the news from the past week. Below is an index of the topics discussed in this week’s episode:

00:00 – Intro
06:13 – What have you been up to?
11:02 – Sony ZV-E1 gets 4K 120p
16:21 – NatGeo no longer has staff writers
23:52 – Metalenses are hitting mass production
28:35 – Photographer gets a new lens after last one was broken by a baseball
32:32 – Chris sidetracks us
34:36 – Would You Keep Taking Photos if NOBODY Cared?
57:16 – Never Read the Comments

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