Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Only Artists Make Art

Joseph Beuys famously repeated “Everyone's an artist”, thereby acknowledging that creativity is a universal human tendency. It’s a liberating idea, but in spite of its egalitarian directness, which can be traced back at least as far as Novalis (from whom Beuys reputedly borrowed the idea), the familiar old hierarchies continue. It's almost taken as a given that printmakers and painters are artists, but when it comes to photographers, opinions are less certain. According to one of my old student notebooks it was the gallerist and curator Graeme Murray who, during a group tutorial at Glasgow School of Art, once said: "Painters make paintings, sculptors make sculptures, printmakers make prints and photographers make photographs, but only artists make art." It's a little pedantic perhaps, but for a young fine art student working with photography, it struck me with the force of a revelation.

It’s not your medium that defines you, but what you do with it.

3 comments:

Tamsin said...

Oh Lord! Major pressure!!! But fascinating....

TOR said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmwLPU5H6_Q

J. Hamlyn said...

I can't even begin to work out how your mind retains such perfect details Tor, but Thanks.

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