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Thread: What's the point?

  1. #51
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    Re: What's the point?

    Quote Originally Posted by beamon View Post
    This thread makes me ever more mindful of what a simple example of Homo sapiens I am.

    Images to me, whether mine or others, are simply a means of freezing actuality so that detailed examination can be carried out to whatever depth the viewer wishes. If that examination triggers high order feelings and appreciation...fine. Otherwise, move to the next image.
    Yes indeed, I couldn't agree more . . . . . but if you present the viewer with a box with 5,000 slides in it . . . . . or a computer library with 5,000 shots, then the depth the viewer wishes will be no depth at all, they'll pass on the opportunity and do something else.

    The subject of the thread was
    'What's the point' with a good image
    My point was that unless people look at them, the answer is 'no point'. Hence my points about making them palatable to view.

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  2. #52
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    Re: What's the point?

    The point for me is being inside the moment while it is happening,it doesnt really matter if I press the button on a camera or not.The camera just gives an excuse for looking.You hear a lot of the missed photographs,or if only I had a camera ...;relax,its almost the same,just savour the memory of the moment before it slips away.
    Its more interesting to be able to see than it is to be able to photograph but one helps the other and so the vanity of the act is acceptable.Its possible thats what picasso meant.
    Last edited by nei1; 30th December 2008 at 11:51.

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    Re: What's the point?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    The subject of the thread was
    'What's the point' with a good image
    My point was that unless people look at them, the answer is 'no point'. Hence my points about making them palatable to view.
    Depends if you particularly care if people look at them. If you take them for your own benefit then why not. Bit like the difference between cooking yourself supper and being a chef, food is still good when you only cook for yourself, still achieves a worthy purpose.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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    Re: What's the point?

    I am a bit late on this interesting subject.

    99.99% of my pictures are seen by nobody but me. Showing the pictures isn't the main purpose, it flatters your ego and we all love it. But it is not the point.
    For the Japanese archer, the aim isn't the target but the perfect attitude, the very instant which match mind and gestuelle.
    For me that instant is a thrill of joy, the culmination in the shutter release. To be trivial, there is some sort of orgasm in there. All what comes after, printing and so forth, is a way to live this instant again.
    I am unable to snap a 36 exposures film in a day, twelve at best, and I am puzzled at guys who can take thousand shots in a week-end.
    Things are of course much different for the sport/wedding photographer who has to come back with material to sale. When I was 21, I started doing wedding.... for two months .... I realised how bad I was spoiling my joy of taking pictures then did something else.

    Nowdays I take even less pictures, watching, guessing the perfect moment in a scenery are nearly enough to my pleasure. If I walk in an old town I am not focus on "what this building was for, when was it built etc... no it is more like from where and when am I going to get the most of it. I am out of everyone consciousness really.

    Hope I managed to express myself.

    Michel

  5. #55
    Oxide Blu
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    Re: What's the point?

    I take pictures because I have to. It's an emotional thing, nothing years of therapy probably couldn't fix. Now go away.

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    Re: What's the point?

    I must say that this thread, and those who have responded so far, is one of the best and most thoughtful multi-response things I've read on any photographic forum ... and I am saving it to read again in future.

    A few additional thoughts on my part:

    I wonder how many years it takes before self actualization becomes old? (Don't confuse this with burn-out or "writers block.") Which leads me back to Picasso's quote ... "A painting kept in the closet, might as well be kept in the head." ... BTW, I like the notion that if you enjoy "seeing" in it's most personal form you do not need a camera ... so one could say that the camera is merely a training tool that one eventually outgrows and no longer needs. Man, THAT would save a lot of money


    Since I started this life long trek as an artist ... and a pencil and paper was my initial "media" from which I graduated to oil painting ... seeing has always been part of living to me ... kind of like breathing ... or occasionally excreting However, "breathing", "excreting", "eating", "seeing", etc., are living in the moment ... which can most certainly enrich one's life rather than sleep walking through it. Yet, the point is, I do not need a camera to see. God already gave me the tools to do that. One way or another, painting or photography is seeing with a purpose. IMO, that purpose involves "others" seeing what you saw. If I wanted to share what I saw without a picture, I would have become a writer.


    IMO, one of the most profound quotes concerning photography is from Robert Doisneau's "Three Seconds From Eternity": "A hundredth of a second here, a hundredth of a second there ... even if you put them end to end, they still only add up to maybe one, two, perhaps three seconds snatched from eternity."


    To me, THAT'S the point of still photography ... and it doesn't matter if it's "just the right nano second of a landscape", or to communicate an idea, or if you are snatching those 1/1000ths for someone else. Even with much of my paid work, clients may provide the purpose, but my camera and I provide the nano second(s). Hmm, that sounds like a title of a book ... "My Camera and I."


    As a side note concerning sharing: with my wedding work the single best thing I've recently done is provide a client's wedding story on a USB-2 Jump Drive. It has profoundly altered how many people get to see the end result because the Bride carries the darned thing in their purse, and everyone has a computer. Mundane? Perhaps. However, I strive to make the work anything but mundane, and the challenge is to transcend that mundane purpose by snatching those precious nano seconds out of the thin air of eternity.

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    Re: What's the point?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    Depends if you particularly care if people look at them. If you take them for your own benefit then why not. Bit like the difference between cooking yourself supper and being a chef, food is still good when you only cook for yourself, still achieves a worthy purpose.
    Hi Ben
    I'm not sure that the cooking analogy really holds up, in that any particular piece of food CAN only be consumed by one person, whether it was cooked by a chef or by yourself - still, I do take your point.

    I did actually make this qualification in my original post,:

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    So, after my preamble, let me get to my point. Leaving out commercial photography (which, for my point we could describe as pictures taken for someone else's purpose) I think there are 3 reasons people take pictures:

    1. The Process
    i.e. pictures taken for the sake of taking them - this might be comparison of one camera to another, experimentation, or just to play with our new toys. This site is full of such shots, it's a perfectly valid reason to own a camera, and it makes a fine (if expensive) hobby.

    2. Recollection
    Pictures taken to remember an event, a person, a scene or holiday. Nothing else needs to be said - although if they also communicate then my points below are probably relevant.

    3. Communication.
    Pictures taken to communicate to others.
    I really like Neil's point about being inside the moment, and not even needing a camera, and I'm certainly in Oxide Blu's camp in that I cannot stop taking pictures. Perhaps this goes into the 'process' section above, I think the idea that snapping away is training in looking is splendid - perhaps for me it's the biggest personal bonus photography has given me.

    But I hold to my point that if you have any artistic pretensions, then the photographs are designed to communicate something, and in that case it needs to be seen by someone to have a point, and it's the artist's duty to make that job easy.
    Last edited by jonoslack; 31st December 2008 at 03:48.

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    Re: What's the point?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    One way or another, painting or photography is seeing with a purpose. IMO, that purpose involves "others" seeing what you saw. If I wanted to share what I saw without a picture, I would have become a writer.
    . . . and how much MORE rigorous one would have to be then!

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    As a side note concerning sharing: with my wedding work the single best thing I've recently done is provide a client's wedding story on a USB-2 Jump Drive. It has profoundly altered how many people get to see the end result because the Bride carries the darned thing in their purse, and everyone has a computer. Mundane? Perhaps. However, I strive to make the work anything but mundane, and the challenge is to transcend that mundane purpose by snatching those precious nano seconds out of the thin air of eternity.
    What an excellent idea - another way of providing images in a format which actually gets looked at.

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: What's the point?

    I read this thread and it is just a nice constant reminder why i spent 90 percent of my entire life shooting as a kid to being a adult, well still working on that part. LOL

    Honestly not sure what my life would have truly been have I not found how to express myself at this level. I always wanted to be a teacher and maybe why I enjoy doing the workshops so much. But the main point is my mind feels like a 24/7 365 around the clock non stop photography induced mind set. Just never leaves me and I think if i had to quote myself on this subject is i need photography to breath . Maybe the best way i could sum it up and kind of scary thinking if i have not found it what my life would have been otherwise.

    Maybe i need that second espresso now
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  10. #60
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    Re: What's the point?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    ... But I hold to my point that if you have any artistic pretensions, then the photographs are designed to communicate something, and in that case it needs to be seen by someone to have a point, and it's the artist's duty to make that job easy.
    I have a close friend that is a very successful painter, oils. One day I was asking her about learning to paint. She commented about how long it would take to go thru the learning curve, and then how many 'great' painting would I be able to make in what is left of my lifetime? Enough for a show? I told here all I wanted was just one.

    Some time later she told me she started painting for herself, for the first time. These are paintings she does only for herself because she wants to, without regard of ever showing them or selling them. I asked why the change, she said it was because of my comment about wanting just 1 good image. She realized I do my art for myself, not others, and she had not satisfied her own internal 'artist' by painting to fulfill the demands of others, the galleries, what sells.

    The only way you can satisfy your own internal 'artist' is to work for that 'artist', and only that 'artist', without regard for the consequences of critics or the bias of seeking someone else's approval that precedes any expectation or anticipation of showing your work. And it has nothing whatsoever to do with anyone's "duty".

    And no, I still haven't touched oils.

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    Re: What's the point?

    I've read this thread with real interest. Lots of good opinions. And I've contemplated several replies. One of which was to make a comparison between fly fishing and photography since there are at least as many books, gear heads, and opinions regarding the "art" of fly fishing as there are concerning photography. And it's another endeavor that seems to beg the question "why?" Also, since I'm all about catch and release, "what's the point?" is frequently asked.

    But the heck with that. It's New Years Eve and right this minute photography feels like a ride on a fast horse in the moonlit desert. Or the smell of hot tar and gasoline as you ride past the beach on your Triumph motorcycle. A handful of your lover's hair as you approach the entrance to the Magic Kingdom. The wonderful taste of fine whisky or the salty surprise of a fresh Oyster. Beethoven, Etta James, Def Leppard. For some it's a single note in a grand symphony--for the more gifted, maybe a full measure or even an entire movement. Whatever it means to you needs no justification or defense. It's another fantastic element in a universe of life experience. Why? What's the point? I say, why the hell not.

    Happy New Year everyone!
    Tim

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    Re: What's the point?

    Well said, Tim!

    Ciao,

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    Re: What's the point?

    Quote Originally Posted by TRSmith View Post
    I've read this thread with real interest. Lots of good opinions. And I've contemplated several replies. One of which was to make a comparison between fly fishing and photography since there are at least as many books, gear heads, and opinions regarding the "art" of fly fishing as there are concerning photography. And it's another endeavor that seems to beg the question "why?" Also, since I'm all about catch and release, "what's the point?" is frequently asked.

    But the heck with that. It's New Years Eve and right this minute photography feels like a ride on a fast horse in the moonlit desert. Or the smell of hot tar and gasoline as you ride past the beach on your Triumph motorcycle. A handful of your lover's hair as you approach the entrance to the Magic Kingdom. The wonderful taste of fine whisky or the salty surprise of a freshOyster. Beethoven, Etta James, Def Leppard. For some it's a single note in a grand symphony--for the more gifted, maybe a full measure or even an entire movement. Whatever it means to you needs no justification or defense. It's another fantastic element in a universe of life experience. Why? What's the point? I say, why the hell not.

    Happy New Year everyone!
    Tim
    Wonderful Thread & Insightful Posts
    BUT At Last some Poetry....
    Eric Hill brought in the Magic aspect to this Thread & You the Sublime

    May we All be Blessed with Wonder & Good Cheer in 2009
    Last edited by helenhill; 31st December 2008 at 14:46.

  14. #64
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    Re: What's the point?

    Quote Originally Posted by TRSmith View Post
    ...

    But the heck with that. It's New Years Eve and right this minute photography feels like a ride on a fast horse in the moonlit desert. Or the smell of hot tar and gasoline as you ride past the beach on your Triumph motorcycle. A handful of your lover's hair as you approach the entrance to the Magic Kingdom. The wonderful taste of fine whisky or the salty surprise of a fresh Oyster. Beethoven, Etta James, Def Leppard. For some it's a single note in a grand symphony--for the more gifted, maybe a full measure or even an entire movement. Whatever it means to you needs no justification or defense. It's another fantastic element in a universe of life experience. Why? What's the point? I say, why the hell not.

    Happy New Year everyone!
    Tim

    Started celebrating the new year a little bit early, did you, Tim?

    Hey, happy new years to you, too, and to everyone.

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    Re: What's the point?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxide Blu View Post
    The only way you can satisfy your own internal 'artist' is to work for that 'artist', and only that 'artist', without regard for the consequences of critics or the bias of seeking someone else's approval that precedes any expectation or anticipation of showing your work. And it has nothing whatsoever to do with anyone's "duty".
    I wasn't for a second talking about 'approval' or any expectation of it, simply that if it's designed to communicate, then it needs to - even if it really bugs people.

    Still, I know your argument and obviously we'll have to agree to differ . . a good thing to do on the first day of a new year, and in the light of Tim's excellent post!

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxide Blu View Post
    And no, I still haven't touched oils.
    Quite right too.

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  16. #66
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    Re: What's the point?

    Happy new year to everyone,how lucky we are to be able to talk and disagree without fear,......whatever youre on Tim send it out ,express;blanket coverage!......Neil.
    p.s.Id like a small file of the antidote though please.
    Last edited by nei1; 1st January 2009 at 04:16.

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    Re: What's the point?

    Agree, I love the different opinions we all have and still can buy each other a drink at the pub. You wonder why i love this place and this is it. Happy New Year folks. May we all be happy, healthy and prosper in 09. I know i could use it on all counts.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Subscriber Member Georg Baumann's Avatar
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    Re: What's the point?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Agree, I love the different opinions we all have and still can buy each other a drink at the pub. You wonder why i love this place and this is it. Happy New Year folks. May we all be happy, healthy and prosper in 09. I know i could use it on all counts.
    I'll join you on that count, happy new year Ladies and Gents!

    ....Hoping that human rights and peace may prevail, long over due.... may be that's the point!

    Best wishes from Ireland
    Georg

  19. #69
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    Re: What's the point?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    I wasn't for a second talking about 'approval' or any expectation of it, simply that if it's designed to communicate, then it needs to - even if it really bugs people.

    You missed my point; irrespective of any "design to communicate", nothing needs to be displayed, and any anticipation of display comes with the unavoidable bias from the weight of expected criticism.

    Except for her first published poem, the only stuff that Emily Dickinson "displayed" (published) was what she was coerced into putting out there. The overwhelming bulk of her poetry was discovered in a drawer after she died. She wrote nearly 2000 poems, and the number of those that were published could be counted on both or your hands. In her time there was a demand for her poetry, but she felt no need to publish it.

    If you (anyone) feels the need to display their works, then by all means, display it. But don't lose sight of the communicator's obligation to communicate clearly. And in that regard, art (photography) is probably not the best way to 'communicate' anything. (Hint: this thread is using text, not pictures, to communicate.)

    I think most displayed art is about either the pursuit of financial gains or the inner need for external approval. Any claim of "communication" is BS frosting to encourage the opening of wallets or an attempt to influence a more positive critique.

    Do we still disagree?

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    Re: What's the point?

    I photograph, therefore I am

  21. #71
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    Re: What's the point?

    you are photographed therefore you are

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    Re: What's the point?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxide Blu View Post
    You missed my point; irrespective of any "design to communicate", nothing needs to be displayed, and any anticipation of display comes with the unavoidable bias from the weight of expected criticism.

    Except for her first published poem, the only stuff that Emily Dickinson "displayed" (published) was what she was coerced into putting out there. The overwhelming bulk of her poetry was discovered in a drawer after she died. She wrote nearly 2000 poems, and the number of those that were published could be counted on both or your hands. In her time there was a demand for her poetry, but she felt no need to publish it.

    If you (anyone) feels the need to display their works, then by all means, display it. But don't lose sight of the communicator's obligation to communicate clearly. And in that regard, art (photography) is probably not the best way to 'communicate' anything. (Hint: this thread is using text, not pictures, to communicate.)

    I think most displayed art is about either the pursuit of financial gains or the inner need for external approval. Any claim of "communication" is BS frosting to encourage the opening of wallets or an attempt to influence a more positive critique.

    Do we still disagree?
    Absolutely!
    I think I disagree with every word of this.

    As for the Emily Dickinson reference, the point, surely is that until they were found, the poems may as well have stayed in her head (as per the picasso quote from Marc
    "A picture kept in the closet, might as well be kept in the head.".
    Mind you, I suppose there is a sense in which it refutes the statement in that the picture in the closet may, at least, be found by someone later!

    I would never pretend to being an artist myself, but I grew up amongst a community of artists in StIves (Hepworth, Heron, Wallis (died before I arrived), Nicholson, Wynter). They were friends of my parents, and with reference to the above I think:

    1. the crux of visual art is that you cannot communicate 'clearly' (i.e. as text), it's about communicating sensation, ambiguity, little edgy feelings, references to previous work etc. all of which couldn't be put into words. (If a picture is only worth 1000 words then use the bloody words!).

    2. the 'BS frosting' argument you suggest has been used for years by the 'emperor's new clothes' brigade, it's either a complete refutation of visual art, or else it's not even worth discussing!

    Interesting discussion though!
    Last edited by jonoslack; 3rd January 2009 at 02:19.

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  23. #73
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    Re: What's the point?

    Yeah, I have so many things to discuss, and so little thing-ability available to me.

    Let's start bu putting this quote in context, presuming Picasso actually said it:

    "A picture kept in the closet, might as well be kept in the head.".

    Picasso as very much about seeking approval of his paintings, and very very much about marketing his product. In his last years he was doing everything he could to exploit his celebrity.



    Keep in mind someone that is posturing to expand his audience, then re-visit that quote:

    "A picture kept in the closet, might as well be kept in the head.".



    Wouldn't you like to know the context of this Picasso quote:

    There are only two types of women - goddesses and doormats.

    Oops!
    Last edited by Oxide Blu; 3rd January 2009 at 13:55.

  24. #74
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    Re: What's the point?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxide Blu View Post
    Yeah, I have so many things to discuss, and so little thing-ability available to me.

    Let's start bu putting this quote in context, presuming Picasso actually said it:

    "A picture kept in the closet, might as well be kept in the head.".

    Picasso as very much about seeking approval of his paintings, and very very much about marketing his product. In his last years he was doing everything he could to exploit his celebrity.

    Keep in mind someone that is posturing to expand his audience, then re-visit that quote:

    "A picture kept in the closet, might as well be kept in the head.".
    I don't see anything wrong with that, why shouldn't he exploit his success and incredible talent? Do you think that art is only created in poverty and humility, or in a vacuum? I for one am grateful to all the talented artists who shared their vision and enriched my life for exploitation, greed, ego or whatever selfish reasons they had, there is so much brilliance created just because there was an audience. Do you think that Beethoven, Chopin or Mozart were posturing when they wrote their masterpieces? Where would Miles be today without an audience? Where would Jazz be without his posturing?

    I'm with Jono & Pablo here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxide Blu View Post
    Wouldn't you like to know the context of this Picasso quote:

    There are only two types of women - goddesses and doormats.

    Oops!
    Been there done that! Ooops....

  25. #75
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    Re: What's the point?

    \
    Quote Originally Posted by Oxide Blu View Post
    Yeah, I have so many things to discuss, and so little thing-ability available to me.

    Let's start bu putting this quote in context, presuming Picasso actually said it:

    "A picture kept in the closet, might as well be kept in the head.".

    Picasso as very much about seeking approval of his paintings, and very very much about marketing his product. In his last years he was doing everything he could to exploit his celebrity.



    Keep in mind someone that is posturing to expand his audience, then re-visit that quote:

    "A picture kept in the closet, might as well be kept in the head.".



    Wouldn't you like to know the context of this Picasso quote:

    There are only two types of women - goddesses and doormats.

    Oops!
    Actually, Picasso left several homes full of work which he never showed or sold.

    David Douglas Duncan tells of once when he was staying with Picasso one of the rooms was full of canvas covered with dust. DDD started taking them into the hall and cleaning the dust off. Picasso came by and said, "No, no David, leave them in there the dust is good for them."

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
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  26. #76
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    Re: What's the point?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxide Blu View Post
    Yeah, I have so many things to discuss, and so little thing-ability available to me.

    Let's start bu putting this quote in context, presuming Picasso actually said it:

    "A picture kept in the closet, might as well be kept in the head.".

    Picasso as very much about seeking approval of his paintings, and very very much about marketing his product. In his last years he was doing everything he could to exploit his celebrity.



    Keep in mind someone that is posturing to expand his audience, then re-visit that quote:

    "A picture kept in the closet, might as well be kept in the head.".



    Wouldn't you like to know the context of this Picasso quote:

    There are only two types of women - goddesses and doormats.

    Oops!
    You speak as if what you say is fact, rather than opinion.

    Exploit what? He was already the most famous artist in the world. He was also extraordinarily wealthy. In his later years he tended to close himself off from celebrity as being a waste of what time he had left ... and he didn't seek the approval of anyone, people hounded him for his approval. The guy was already immortal while still alive ... LOL!

    Artists like Picasso are "celebrated" but are hardly "celebrities" in the modern sense of the word. He helped revolutionize how thinking people see. Architecture, Design, all forms of visual thinking were forever changed by the time/space work of a few visual philosophers like Picasso.

    Read David Hockney's take on Picasso ... it's enlightening.

    IMO, there is nothing wrong with keeping your work private and doing it for the sake of self awareness or whatever reason you may have.

    In fact, it's too bad that more people don't do that

  27. #77
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    Re: What's the point?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxide Blu View Post
    Wouldn't you like to know the context of this Picasso quote:

    There are only two types of women - goddesses and doormats.

    Oops!
    Hmmm - surely the beauty of pithy quotes is that one doesn't know the context. It's rather like wanting to have a joke carefully explained by the teller.

    I'm not sure that one would want to take either very seriously - but they're certainly memorable.

    As for the rest? No need to cover the ground again I think.

    Just this guy you know

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