Get flash to fully experience Pearltrees
2009-12-20 Update: This article is #1 in Google for “photography sucks,” so I see why it gets so many comments. Don’t take me too seriously. Photography is really an art form and I am playing devil’s advocate here.
How is that even remotely possible? The medium certainly looks alive, well and, if anything, overpopulated. There are hordes of photographers out there, working with back-to-basics pinhole cameras and pixeled images measured in gigabytes, with street photography taken by cell phones and massive photo "shoots" whose crews, complexity and expense resemble those of movie sets.
Botticelli's Birth Of Venus...a long lost craft. Photograph: Corbis I've spent the last few days immersed in a world of oil, gesso and cartone paper, of workshops and apprentices and guilds. I've been writing about the Italian Renaissance, and writing can be a form of time travel. You find yourself, for a moment, in a world when art was a craft; when levels of skill were so mind-boggling that it's easier to take them for granted and concentrate on the meanings and ideas - because to comprehend the technical achievement of a Botticelli or a Leonardo is all but impossible. There is a profound difference between art rooted in craft, and art that has no interest in it.