Photography is art and always will be by Sean O'Hagan

Do Jane Bown, William Eggleston and Diane Arbus not sing on a gallery wall? Photography critic Sean O’Hagan hits back at Jonathan Jones’s damning claim that photographs cannot be considered fine art

Jonathan Jones: why photography is not art

Still intensity … Samuel Beckett

Still intensity … Samuel Beckett

Imagine, if you will, the following scene. I pop into the National Gallery to view the 2014 BP National Portrait Award and look in bemusement at the exhibition, which is mostly comprised of rather old-fashioned paintings. It’s an uninspiring show, a hotchpotch, as are most exhibitions drawn from open submissions. Inexplicably enraged by this, I rush home and pen an article claiming that painting is dead and that it looks anachronistic, indeed stupid, on a gallery wall in the 21st century. Not only that, but I then extrapolate that all painting is dull and stupid – Caravaggio, Rubens, Picasso, Hockney, Richter, the lot.

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Source (http://www.theguardian.com) via (Chris Weeks facebook)

BOOK REVIEW // Street 'Yasuhisa Toyohara'

by Jesse Freeman for Japan Camera Hunter

Street by Yasuhisa Toyohara
If you like Japanese street photography then you are going to really enjoy this book review. Jesse shares with us the 80′s street photography of Yasuhisa Toyohara. Check it out.

A lot of times I simply just trust the name of a publisher or distributor. Whether it is a film distributed by Criterion Collection, a Jazz record put out by Blue Note, or a novel published by Penguin you find you usually can’t go too wrong as the only discrepancy that could arise is a matter of personal taste. For Japanese photo books I always liked the now defunct publisher Mole. Think so far though the only other Mole published book I reviewed was Ikko Narahara’s Tokyo, the 50s. Having never heard of the photographer here, I chose it based off the publisher and was pleased with what I got.

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Source (http://www.japancamerahunter.com)

INTERVIEW // “Robert Frank, Sarah Greenough, Ed Ruscha and Joel Meyerowitz on ‘The Americans'” (2009)

A half century ago, one photographer took to the road, visiting, bars, factories, cemeteries, documenting a country in transition. His book was called, The Americans, his name, Robert Frank. 

Hitchhikers leaving Blackfoot, Idaho towards Butte, Montana, 1956

(Transcript from a Tom Cole / NPR segment, 2009)

 

Cole: The Americans was actually reviled when it was first published in this country, say Sarah Greenough, who curated the current National Gallery show.

Greenough: Popular Photography asked a number of writers to critique the book, and almost all of them were very negative. It was described as a sad poem by a very sick person.

Cole: The Americans offered a very different view of America than the wholesome non-confrontational photo essays offered by such magazines as Popular Photography, and Life. Robert Frank captured people who were not always sharing in the American dream of the 1950’s; factory workers in Detroit, transvestites in New York, the black riders in a segregated trolley in New Orleans. He didn’t even get much support from the art world, as he recalled in 1994, the last time the National Gallery mounted a show of his work.

Robert Frank: The Museum of Modern Art wouldn’t even sell the book, you know. I mean, certain things one doesn’t forget so easy. But, the younger people caught on,

Joel Meyerowitz: It was the vision that emanated from the book that lead not only me, but my whole generation of photographers out into the American landscape, in a sense, the lunatic sublime of America.

Cole: Joel Meyerowitz was one of the young photographers inspired by The Americans. So were Garry Winogrand, and Lee Friedlander, and Ed Ruscha.

Ed Ruscha: Robert Frank came out here and he just showed that you could see the USA until you spit blood.

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Source (http://www.americansuburbx.com/)