Friday, April 27, 2012

This Should (Still) be a Photograph

So the other day, the Huffington Post had a piece on the work of Paul Cadden. The header was "This is Not a Photograph." Yesterday, my Facebook circle being what it is, there were a few friends of friends who were linking to it. Today, it's on Andrew Sullivan's blog, where "Sully" does a similar Wowzers! comment.

I've long since given up talking about being bored by this kind of photorealism, i.e., the masturbatory kind that exists solely to produce the reaction Cadden is getting from HuffPo, Sullivan, and their enormous readership.

I haven't quite given up on pointing out the silliness of people who look at something that was clearly meticulously copied from a photograph with a sort of "Can you believe this isn't a photograph???"

First: I can! 

Second: I have the suspicion that it would be much easier for all of you to believe it if you weren't looking at a photograph of a drawing of a photograph, and were just looking at the drawing of the photograph in person--although I am sure the illusion is still pretty compelling.

Third: Once you get past the initial Wow factor, what is it that you think you're going to like about this drawing in the future that you wouldn't have liked about the photograph? Why is this intrinsically better or more interesting than the photograph it could not have come close to existing without? Because, you know, if photorealist depictions of watery people is your thing, there is a precedent for people doing it in a way that, I think you can argue, actually elevates it above the source material.

No comments: