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Wednesday, 01 April 2009


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Simple, enchanting, "no bullshit" images. And with a great, if individual, aesthetic sensibility, they won't/don't appeal to everyone but I could spend hours looking at his work.

I like the Zoe Strauss comparison as well, another person who uses simplicity to let the image talk.

Your comment about what the viewer brings is interesting, I have always thought that the viewer has as much to do with the image as the maker. And we as viewers (without getting too post modern) will always bring different things to an image (or series) that should not be underestimated.

Now, can I justify buying a book ........

Hi Mike,
I greatly admire your site and don't want this to be understood in the wrong way, but I don't understand the picture of this Post. It looks like a badly taken photo of an oil painting. (So much light reflecting I can't see the 'fugitive slaves') Is this the wanted artistic effect, or is it simply a bad picture?

Perhaps it's just a matter of taste,, but the above image doesn't do anything for me. Is it just a photo of a painting, with glare from an overhead light source obscuring the rider's head?

If you like "Permanent Collections", then see this (not that it matters, but done long before Davis's PC)




And a link to an interview with Sybil Miller about the Statesmen work.




I like it.

I first heard about Tim Davis on Noel Rodo-Vankeulen's blog We Can't Paint. I almost bought My Life In Politics from a used book shop but it wasn't in great shape and it tuned out that it cost less new from Amazon!

Vankeulen makes an interesting point on his blog about why he dislikes most street photography while discussing why he finds Tim Davis's work so interesting


I was interested to see the shot you include here (and others at his web site) of photographs he's taken of paintings. I've taken some nice photos of interesting artwork but I've never felt they have any value because it feels like I'm just piggybacking on other work, stealing credit from another artist. But Tim's deliberate use of carefully placed flash starts to make the artwork, the photograph his own. Interesting to think at what point such work becomes one's own. It's not unlike the reappropriation that occurs commonly in other mediums like printmaking.

I liked some of it. I thought the hospital series was successful, and "KMart Hobby Horse" from Lots made me kind of start when I saw it- don't know why, but I really like that shot.

The photos of artworks are interesting its a bit like looking at a cascade of mirrors. I recently visited the Gerhard Richter Portraits exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London - They were all paintings of photographs. Richter is interested in the idea that painted portraits are more about the artist than the sitter and paints from photographs to emphasize it. Unfortunatly you weren't allowed to take photographs

The Sybil Miller stuff is nice. Liked the "City Seen" images.

The two photos you show us in this article just look like mistakes to me. I've taken too many photos like that, but I don't show them to people, because they're *bad photos*.

"I don't show them to people, because they're *bad photos*."

Right, and Bob Dylan can't sing. Heard it before.

What you say is exactly what was said about Robert Frank's photographs in The Americans, and innumerable other art projects that are now understood and valued. The French Impressionists were vilified hysterically, and almost nothing in painting is so adored by the public now. And so on, ad nauseam.

If an artist is trying to make a point over an extended body of thoughtful and directed work, there are a lot of responses that seem valid to me. But their resemblance to pictures that someone thinks are "bad" is not one of them.

--Mike, to whom a lot of "good" photos are "bad"

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