Photography 1: Expressing your Vision, page 50 mentions two photographers on one page, Gianluca Cosci and Mona Kuhn.
There can be no better comparison of art over salesmanship then these two.
I know art is subjective and that beauty is in the eye of the beholder but really!
Cosci’s work, with the exception of some of his reflections in glass and the picture frames is awful.
The low to the ground, shallow depth of field urban pictures are truly bland in an epic sense.
They’re the kind of pictures, that if I took them would be relegated to the files bin on my computer.
I was a car salesman for many years in the U.S.A and knew that when I heard such gushing descriptions of something I was being sold a bill of goods, i.e something sub-standard.
Contrast these to Mona Kuhn’s work !
The use of good light, excellent framing and stunning subjects makes Khun’s work brilliant.
I may be being harsh on Cosci but if you where to display both these photographers works together, opened it to the public and took a poll I’m certain Kuhn’s work would be way more popular.
To me photography has to illicit a response, Cosci’s work does this but in a negative way.
In order for it to be considered good it must make people look and at least say “Hmmn” if not “Wow”! anything else is average.
Having looked at Alec Soths work on his web site I must say that most of his images are powerful.
When taken as a collection, such as broken manual; they also tell a story.
He seems to have the ability to relate with his subjects and get some of these wonderful characters to allow him to photograph them, the survivalist in this Gillie suite must have been a hard sell.
From the book Broken Manual by Alec Soth & Lester B. Morrison, 2010
His compositions, to me at least; are pretty simple for the most part but incredibly poignant.
There is a sense of lost hope and sadness to a lot of his work which I find depressing to some degree.
Overall I like most of his images and the stories they tell.
There were four points that stood out to me in Campany’s review of Thomas Ruff’s work that appeared in IANN magazine no.2 @ 2008.
The first was “It’s potent ability to solicit individual and global responses that cannot be entirely reconciled”, this is what I felt when first viewing his work; is it Photography, art or just a good printing job ?
The second was his questions about the information we now have at our fingertips , how it affects our lives and more importantly how it shapes our perception, morals and desires.
He also questions what we mean by ‘from the internet’? Is the internet an archive” ? , he goes on to say “In fact Ruff tells us they are from the internet”, meaning Ruff’s images.
My take on it is this, the internet is the mother of all archives; a Pandora’s box of mankind’s best and darkest thoughts and achievements.
The last point he makes is about how Ruff presents his work using very large prints that are beyond what is normally excepted for quality images i.e pixelated.
In Colberg’s review that appeared in his blog “jmcolberg.com/weblog/2009/04/review_jpegs_by_thomas_ruff/” I only took one point of view and a good quote from Ruff himself.
He says that Ruff is possibly “one of the most creative and certainly inventive photographers of our time” and that the more traditionalist photographers could question whether it is indeed photography at all.
He also has a quote from the Artist himself that was an Excerpt from a conversation with Max Dax, Dreissig Gespräche, edition suhrkamp, 2009; telling how he actually came up with the concept of his jpegs during his time in New York city the week of the 9/11 attacks.
Thomas Ruff has done similar work using images from NASA entitled M.A.R.S .
On a personal note I prefer his more abstract art as I find his jpeg and mars series to be too much like Andy Warhol’s work and it’s hard to compete with Warhol.