"The trouble with photography is that it’s been hijacked by the art world. I’m a photographer. I’m very happy with the title. I’m not an artist."
Posted by: Mike
(Thanks to John Denniston)
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Featured Comments from:
Manuel: "I disagree. He's an artist. His photography has solid composition principles and, like W. Eugene Smith, he is able to find beauty in the horrors of this world. Although a photojournalist, Don McCullin embeds an artistic language in his pictures. That, in my admittedly unqualified opinion, is enough to make him an artist.
"The first part of his quotation can be a bit more controversial. Was photography kidnapped by art, or was it adopted by art? I understand what Mr. McCullin means—some photographers, and lots of photojournalists among them, trade content for style much too often—but it's not such a bad thing for photography to be regarded as an art. If there wasn't an artistic element in it (a personal, original view on a given subject), photography would be rather prosaic and deeply uninteresting.
"But then again, Don McCullin was just being hyperbolic when he stated that. He is an artist. And he knows that."
David Elden: "Mr. McCullin appeared at a meet the 'artist' event at the National Gallery of Art here in Ottawa on the occasion of a large retrospective show of his life's work a couple of years back. He walked around the exhibit with a large crowd in attendance, was a mesmerising speaker, and made this same point about not being an artist quite forcefully."
Patrick Dodds: "'The majority of photographers still seek "artistic" effects, imitating other mediums of graphic expression. The result is a hybrid product that does not succeed in giving their work the most valuable characteristic it should have—photographic quality.' —Tina Modotti (via photoquotations.com, an excellent site that inspires and provokes in equal measure). I've certainly been guilty of the above, and still am from time to time."
toto (partial comment): "...There's enough photography to go around for everybody."
Gordon Lewis (partial comment): "In the end, they're all just labels. I am not my label and my label is not me."