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Archive for the ‘painters’ Category

Fake your art

These are out attempts to fake famous fine art through photography. We had a lot of fun pulling these out 🙂

  • William Hogarth
  • Gerrit van Honthorst
  • James Tissot
  • Lucas van Leyden
  • Nicolas Poussin
  • William Hogarth
  • William Hogarth
  • Gerard van Honthorst

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Few to none people would openly admit they don’t like art. Especially if we talk about old masters of art, universally accepted as the founders of new art forms, geniuses of all times. But to me it is obvious that art is very personal matter, and everyone should be free to experience it that way.

At school, I wasn’t so fond of Art History lessons. I was too consumed by computer-related discoveries and had little time to ponder on how perspective was discovered or how chiaroscuro changed the way emotions were depicted. I did not appreciate the world of art, because I had few tools to really grasp it. I memorized the names and passed all tests with flying colors, but didn’t feel like I understand the basics of art. Not that it bothered me in any way.

Learning to see art

After graduating from high school, I was accepted to pretty good University and started to study journalism. Being writer and “teacher” since I can’t remember, I was fascinated with how media works. Karel Čapek, famous Czech journalist and writer, once called it the “everyday mirracle” – the newspaper, no matter what, are published every day, somehow all these hundreds of authors and graphics come together to create one piece of papers with texts, pictures and (hopefully) meaning in it.

I also found the love towards photography. Or, I should probably say, discovered, since I realize now this comes from my father, keen photographer since his childhood. When applied to black and white photography course, I thought I knew how to take pictures. You point and shoot, then you crop and play with your software until something you can post on-line comes out, right? Luckily, we were taught how to do the “old-school photography”. You know? Film, darkroom with dim red light, developing, stabilizing, washing, drying, lot’s of paper, trial and error… And, after long journey, mastery. Or, at least, understanding.

We also had many courses about history of photography. How the technology was born in the 19th century, who were the first masters and how photography parted from painting, dominant art form of that time. And this brought to my attention two important things.

The Inspiration of Saint Matthew by Caravaggio

Caravaggio's painting "The Inspiration of Saint Matthew" got my attention in Rome like few other pictures. The clean composition (thanks to dark background and warmly lit figures) is something we can learn to do in photography as well. We will have trouble making the draperies so well-arranged, though.

First, I realized how history is tremendously important to understand the core of almost any skill, knowledge or subject. The process of developing the current state of knowledge is not only interesting, but crucial to realize the inner meaning of individual pieces of knowledge in their context. Knowing how and why flash photography was born and utilized, I know what problems the flash brought and what problems it was supposed to cure. When learning a language, seemingly absurd rules can be explained by their historical reasons, thus better and firmer understood. I recently read a book from Neil Postman called Technopoly, where he argues for every subject in elementary school to be taught in its historical context and process. I’m not sure how that would go, but I certainly encourage anyone to dig, time to time, into the history of things, to uncover their meaning in context

Secondly, I found how important it is to study other people’s work to grow. If you want to write well, you need to read twice as much. And if you want to take good, lucid, interesting photos, you need to learn from the masters. Not only from current photographers (it is too easy to find a photographer these days, but too hard to find one that knows what he or she is doing and why), but also from the painters. It was them who discovered (either mathematically or through trial and error) the rules of composition, golden mean, color balance or emotional charge.

Discover, learn, aw

And that is the true meaning, true reason for this blog to spring into existence. After graduating in journalism, I started another university, this time not that photography or art related. And although I am happy analyzing cultural meanings of symbols through the statistical methods (it doesn’t sound like fun, does it 🙂 , I want to deepen my somewhat shallow relationship with art. I want to remember the name of the artist whose picture I remember, and I want at least try to discover some stories and lessons in their lives.

Well, this is the prospective history of this blog. Wish me luck. Obviously, this blog is not going to give you any shockingly new informations on art. That never was the intention. I want to slowly make a list of really interesting art-related people or significant concepts. There will always be links to my sources and I will finally fully use the books about photography and paintings. I hope we can ponder on some art together – after all, art is here to provoke discussion and imagination. And I plan on having a lot of fun writing this. Hope reading will do the same for you 🙂

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