Dilemma 011 – Art Photo Instances

The “duplicate photos floating around on different platforms” dilemma of the artist, refers to the feeling of discontent one may feel during or after the following procedure:

  1. Take a photo, of your art, creation, or what have you
  2. Post your photo in one place, like a blog post, facebook post, in a gallery, or on a profile you maintain.
  3. Realize, (if you’re unlucky enough to have such a realization), that the context in which your photo is presented, is, shall we say, inadequate. The layout is bad, the story is missing, the point is lost, the photo is bad, etc. You’re not sure what else to try, your mind goes blank, and you can’t proceed, to make it any ‘better’.
  4. You then push your post/photo around the inter-webs; cross-sharing, re-posting, adding in other galleries, submitting to contests – and any other plug-in outlets you can find out there, desperately trying to fit your creation into a ‘better’ context, a better frame. Seeking to highlight your art, your work, in all it’s glory, for the value it truly  holds, exposing it’s story for all to see, in it’s best outfit.
  5. And then, if you are indeed unlucky enough to be affected by this dilemma, the discontent will arise, that you have sold your art/work short, that you have sullied it, in all your attempts to lift it up. In the propagandization, the dilution, what was once original and potent and true, is now squandered, miss-represented, and miss-interpreted.

Alas, I have no answers for the quelling of this dilemma. But I’m sure we’ll figure it out. Perhaps a cold and hard rule to not proliferate duplicate photos, to keep only one instance of each? That would be hard to implement, and uphold. Seems somewhat silly, to me. It would take so many tries to get it right – blowing away countless pieces of art/work on poorly told stories, before improving enough to be able to tell a story well, on the first go, without wanting to scrap it and retell it in another light. What if it was a piece that you worked on extensively, or that has untold meaning and value? Do you save it, until you become a more ‘worthy’ storyteller/poster/photographer?

There is another approach…  … a longer, more patient, approach… What about taking a long time to tell your story? Put lots of time and work into composing the story, before sharing it. Yes, like a writer does with a novel, or such. As a scientist would with a published research paper. You, an artist, with your piece of artwork. Your prized piece, having, or not, mystery, aesthetics, references, background, etc. As with any story, your story need not provide answers and explicity; perhaps your story only raises questions, feelings, or abstracts. Who prepares their story before telling it? Who puts any more effort into compiling the story and context of their art than to simply plop a photo of it into a machine of a platform?

Photos of our art may indeed be quite more than what their projection onto the screen lets on. We are tempted and enticed to squander their worth and what they represent in story, by the way those glossy, polished platforms, galleries, and profiles make images pop, and look like candy – the appeal of quick and easy aesthetics blind us, blind us to that which is hidden, lying beneath the attractive surface. Quite; photos of our art may be much more than a computer file that can be copied, edited, and spread about at will, without degradation.


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