What is Fine Art?

Over at Shutterfinger, Gordon Lewis has a take on how you define “fine art” these days. Using a list from Alain Briot, I think the first one eliminates all of photojournalism and documentary photography:

1. Fine art photography is first about the artist.

I have no problem with art (aside from an inherent inability to understand an awful lot of it). I have a problem with artists who claim their work is journalistic or documentary and viewers who can’t tell the difference between art and journalism.

While we use a lot of artistic concepts in photojournalism and documentary photography, it is not art. It is not about us, it is about our subjects. It is their story that we are telling, not ours. It is most definitely not, “metaphorical level of meaning.” Because I don’t even know what that means

Mark E. Johnson

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