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Thread: Abstracts

  1. #481
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    My definition of an abstract

    I agree with Kushnirenko. While I think that your digital manipulations are great and I do not mind them being posted here, I do not think that they qualify as a real abstract. Of course, when you extend the definition of an abstract to something as wide as "not trying to show things as they would be seen by a camera" almost anything can qualify.

    What I believe makes a photograph an abstract is that the work of art has a deeper meaning beyond what is shown. Obscuring the subject of the photograph with a brush-strokes filter does not give it a deeper meaning in my opinion. An abstract is not just showing your subject in a different way. For instance your picture of the spring flowers; your definition definetly makes this picture an abstract, but ultimatly, is there anything this picture shows beyond the flowers on it?

    Kushnirenko's shot, on the other hand, shows a guitar and beer. It's a simple shot, as many abstract photographs are, but there are definetly deeper meanings one can attach to the picture. The picture could for example show the rock and roll lifestyle. Kushnirenko is not just trying to show us beer and a guitar, he is trying to show us more. Another example of an abstract I saw recently is a picture of a clock. That picture didn't just show a clock, but it has a deeper meaning, for instance the passing of time.

    Another form of abstract you often see is that only a part of the true subject is shown. For instance, when you see a picture of a hand and a pen the true subject may well be the writer. Finally, an abstract can also be a picture showing colours and shapes to signify a certain emotion, mood or athmosphere.

    We can of course emphasize the meaning or athmosphere of the picture in various ways. We can choose different exposure settings, opt to make our picture black and white, or even sepia. We can also add certain elements by changing our composition or even adding a certain object. And finaly, in the new era of digital photography, we can use filters in photoshop. However, this in itself does not make the abstract.

    Don't get me wrong. This is not meant as criticism. This is just my opinion on the definition of abstraction as applied to photography. I guess this is not the only opinion. If you believe something is an abstract just post it here. This thread is often used as a thread where people - me included - post pictures they don't know where else to post, anyway. Keep posting your digital manipulations, some are really nice .
    Last edited by Prospero; 05-07-2006 at 06:33 AM.
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  2. #482
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    Thank Prospero!
    I share your point of view. My knowledge of English do not allow me to state the ideas so in detail. Especially when it concerns abstraction.
    I think you are absolutely right that abstraction, it something the greater, than simply a picture, is simple digital manipulations. Abstraction, as it seems to me, that has some inner meaning...
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  3. #483
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    Interesting ideas, Prospero. I've been thinking that what makes an abstract is that the subject is unrecognizable. Or at least an unusual viewpoint of the subject, where you have to think for a minute about what it is.

    Your definition reminds me of 24Peter's post in this thread: http://www.dcresource.com/forums/sho...hlight=mangoes

    Quote Originally Posted by 24Peter
    the difference between a photo and snapshot. One records what anyone could see and the other conveys a vision/emotion or tells the story the photographer wants to tell
    Any other ideas out there on what makes an abstract?
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  4. #484
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    Quote Originally Posted by toriaj
    Any other ideas out there on what makes an abstract?
    Art is whatever the artist says it is...and those who attempt to define art are merely pompous, self-aggrandizing pedantics more interested in their own postulations than the voice of the artist. Art is what it is. And no one should have the audacity to take it upon themselves to judge or place limits on what art is or how an artist chooses to express themselves.

    How's that for an idea?
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  5. #485
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    Hello, Prospero.
    I'm glad you shared your understanding of "abstract" with us. It is good you always used : "In my opinion". It is very polite and nice of you.
    I wish comrade Kushnirenko used it too.
    I'd like to ask you a question, Prospero. You probably have seen at least some paintings by Rembrandt . Do they have "deeper meaning beyond what is shown" in your opinion? In my opinion they do. In my opinion each and every "brush-stroke" made by Rembrandt has lots of "deeper meaning". Does it make Rembrandt's paintings abstract? No, it does not. It is the classic art. (It is not my opinion, it is well known fact)

    On the other hand have you heard about Surapa, Painting elephant?
    You can read about him here:

    http://www.roadsideamerica.com/attract/NYBUFsurapa.html

    He paints perfect abstract pictures without "deeper meaning beyond what is shown" except you can see some.
    Last edited by sod1; 05-07-2006 at 11:28 PM.

  6. #486
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    Quote Originally Posted by sod1
    On the other hand have you heard about Surapa, Painting elephant?
    You can read about him here:

    http://www.roadsideamerica.com/attract/NYBUFsurapa.html

    He paints perfect abstract pictures without "deeper meaning beyond what is shown" except you can see some.
    Hang one of the elephant paintings on the wall in a nice frame with a halogen light shining on it, and I'm sure you could get all kinds of self-styled "critics" to find the deeper meaning...
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  7. #487
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    Friends! I did not want anybody to offend.
    I can not always simply express precisely my ideas on English.

    Naturally only the author decides where and what to place.

    It seemed to me that a part of photos in this Thread concern to Thread Digital Manipulation

    And in fact in this Thread there are many remarkable abstraction!

    Though I, as well as any person can be mistaken.
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  8. #488
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    Quote Originally Posted by JTL
    Hang one of the elephant paintings on the wall in a nice frame with a halogen light shining on it, and I'm sure you could get all kinds of self-styled "critics" to find the deeper meaning...
    You are right, JTL. Already elephants painting are sold for thousands of dollar and placed in galleries around the world.
    It is here:
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n..._elephant.html
    You can see some paintings here:
    http://www.novica.com/search/searchr...yword=elephant
    They all have a name, which means that "self-styled "critics" did find the deeper meaning" in elephants paintings (truly abstract art).
    Last edited by sod1; 05-08-2006 at 07:53 AM.

  9. #489
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    Sod1, thanks for your reply. I am glad you didn't take it the wrong way. I'm sorry to see you removed all your pictures, though. I really liked the one with the solar prominences, and I think that is definitly a good example of an abstract.

    The points I made were my view on abstractism as applied to photography. I admit that it gets a lot more difficult when looking at other types of art, like painting. I am familiar with some of the paintings by Rembrandt (living in the Netherlands it would be an embarisment if I was not ) and you're probably right in saying that every brushstroke has some deeper meaning and that his work is by no means an abstract.

    Toriaj, good point and it definitly applies to some abstracts. However, when looking at abstracts on the internet, you can often see at once what is on the photograph. However, it's the message behind it that remains obscure. For instance the brilliant abstract with that plant growing out of an egg. You can at once see, there's a plant growing out of an egg, but what could have been meant with it is indeed something you will have to think about.

    Sod, I enjoyed the article about the elephants. I think its madness people are paying so much for their work, but then abstract paintings are not really my favourite kind of paintings. It seems to me that you can earn a lot of money with such an elephant considering it creates three of these things every day .
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  10. #490
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prospero
    The points I made were my view on abstractism as applied to photography. I admit that it gets a lot more difficult when looking at other types of art, like painting.
    Why do you draw a boundary where there is none? I am truly intrestred in why you feel the media and medium matter. To me, a sensor is a canvas, light is a paintbrush...bits and bytes are paint. Who is anyone to dare question the validity of what the artist chooses to do with these tools?

    There will always be artists and there will always be critics. But who do you know that has art reviews hanging on their walls?
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