Thursday, March 8, 2012

death and artists

I was seated next to a music industry reporter at a wedding reception.  I am not sure if she arrived drunk or it was just her personality but she almost immediately became my bestie and began confiding her woes regarding the photographer at our table.  She had some kind of love/hate thing with him because she seemed to hold him in the highest esteem and yet also recognized that he was a patronizing ass.  During the entree course she whispered to me that he had recently closed his studio due to a dwindling client base.  But, she informed me during dessert, he used to be highly sought after and was brilliant with analog photography.  As the dancing and mingling portion of the night began I pulled out my digital camera and unknowingly took the shot that was heard around the ballroom.

Music Reporter said something to Analog Photographer that was intended to be fawning and he responded with derision.  The conversation eventually escalated to an argument even though both people were on the same side.  AG went on about how digital photography wasn't art and any idiot could do it as opposed to the craft involved in analog.  MR fervently agreed with him and cited electronic voice modulation and manipulation in the music industry.  AG sneered at her lack of understanding because she wasn't an artist.  She finally had enough and called him certain names that involved creative combinations of insults.  My opinion of MR rose.

Eventually I was drawn into the argument, not surprising since I was holding the instrument of AG's hatred.  No, I don't think that I'm a professional artist, I said.  But since they were involving me in the conversation I pointed out that evolution and adaptation are part of the art world.  AG went on the attack, making derisive comments and quizzing me of my knowledge in photography.  Of course I had no idea what he was talking about.  Still trying for a decent debate, I cited myself as an example.  I am a fantastic hand drafter.  Before computers became mainstream, drafting firms used to look at candidates' samples of lettering to determine if there was talent.  Now very few architects can properly use architectural lettering or draft.  It is a dying art that I am very proud of having picked up in my spare time, but in this age it is a rather ridiculous skill.  These days a vision for designing a building is dependent on one's ability to render it on a computer.  The new, electronic forms of design have allowed for architecture to progress.

Rather than being impressed with what I thought was a lovely comparison to his situation, AG decided to discount my statement by grouping architecture as "commercial" rather than pure art.  Off went the pleasant expression and out came my claws.  Actually, we were both involved in commerce, only I had learned the new skills and was applying them while he was still clinging to an obsolete form.  It is rather difficult to be avant garde when stuck in convention.  And with that, I picked up my easy, digital camera and took my stupid self off to get a picture of the bride and groom cutting the cake, one of at least forty amateur photographers vying for the same shot.  But only I will add starbursts and pink hearts to my picture in Photoshop, thus making it avant garde.

1 comment:

Gweipo said...

have an idea no one was going to appease this man's artistic sensibilities no matter what! His poor partner!