Why are artists needed if there is a photograph?

View of the square (Wageningen, 2017)
When photography was invented in the 19th century, and then cinema, then any sane person would have a question – why do we need artists now if we can just take a photo? I also pondered this question. What is the difference between photography and painting, what is the essence of the artist’s field of how the display of reality has become available to everyone at the click of a camera. The camera quickly and accurately captures facts, people’s appearance, environment and environment, objects, shapes, light and shadow. Of course, the camera lens distortes something a little, does not convey all the colors that a person sees with his eye, but you must admit that 90% of artists can cope with realistic images, and if you add speed and cheapness, you can say that realism has remained the conscience of photographers. What does the artist do? If before the invention of the camera, the picture was supposed to be “photorealistic”, to transmit real life as close as possible to what the eye sees. What is the point of painting today? Over the past 150 years, fundamental changes have occurred, someone might think that artists have forgotten how to draw. But this is not so. I would say that artists no longer see the point of even learning to draw that realism that is much easier to photograph. Why spend a lot of time and effort on the fact that the output will not differ much from the photo ?! People are still a little rational, and if earlier such efforts were appreciated and well paid, today your realistic paintings can be bought for little money, and even then with luck. Any graduate of a decent art institute can copy reality quite convincingly, can even make a reproduction of the paintings of great masters of the past, and so you won’t tell where the copy is and where the original is. This is not to say that people cannot draw as before. It is worth saying that today this type of painting is not in demand, and therefore, even those who can very accurately reproduce realism, go to other genres and create paintings, looking at which you just want to repeat: “Kitty, can you draw?”. The joke is that the level of skill over the past 150 years is evaluated very differently than before. This can be sad or lamentable, but the fact remains that artists no longer seek to compete with photography and cinema.
Man of Dots, 2017
When I think about the meaning of what I actually do, when I create a picture, I definitely understand that I do not “photograph” the world around. I am doing a new thing. Canvases, paints, brushes and other things fall into my hands – these are the initial objects, they are known to everyone, they are the same all over the world, everyone can find them in an art store. Making a picture, on the one hand I have a great time in my world of the subconscious, where you can get only by doing something creative at the level of intuition. On the other hand, at the exit, I see a new object in this world – my picture. You will not see on it that will give you a 100% guarantee of similarity with something, you will not know the exact time, and sometimes the place. This item consists of a case multiplied by universal admiration in half with unlimited sadness. For me, a painting is an object that has the ability to communicate on its own. It’s not me who conveys any meaning to someone through the picture. This picture in itself, as a separate entity, begins its life and its own history, it can speak with one of you, or can live silently for two centuries without revealing its secrets to anyone. The picture may turn out to be friendly and sociable, or it may turn out to be a bore and a snob. And you never know who will return with you to this world, because the creation of a picture is not some kind of thought-out technology, but a true act of creativity, and if the artist is real and not pretending, then the thing turns out to be real, which can no longer be confused with idleness , even if it may be pleasant or not to your liking, but it will be clear to everyone that there is a living story in front of him. It all sounds rather strange, like the artists realized that there is no money in the paintings, since there are photographers, and I had to invent something mystical and sophisticated in order to stay afloat and still not lose relevance. Maybe for someone the task was just that. But imagine a new person who was born in the heyday of photography (it’s me), who knows that there are many different activities with which you can make money much easier and more. Why become an artist in such adverse conditions? Why draw, spend time and money on art materials every day, if it’s very difficult to compete and sell even the best of your own paintings to professional artists. I think that the point, as usual, is that sincere people do some things in life not “for something”, but “because they like it” or “just like that”. In any activity that I like, in fact, it’s of little use, and no use in itself interests me. The process captures me, as I like to say “the meaning is in the path, and not in going through it” (she came up with it). So it is with drawing. I think that at every time there were people-conjuncturists who simply chose some business because it was profitable or for some other mercantile reasons. And there were people who do something from the heart and at the behest of the heart. Both those and those can become artists. Just someone will study the market, adapt to demand and do what is for sale. And someone else will walk through their worlds, returning there again and again, ignoring the cold wind.

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