When writing the dissertation for my degree, I argued that increased levels of access to the internet and smartphones had created a global democracy; Anyone with web access and a phone is now a potential broadcaster of content, either good or bad.
Another aspect of this digital democracy, is in the hybridisation of art forms. Admittedly, protagonists such as Gerhard Richter and Andy Warhol were adapting photographs by applying paint as early as the 1960’s, but now we have the option to create these effects electronically.
If photography is allowed to stand in for art in some of its functions it will soon supplant or corrupt it completely thanks to the natural support it will find in the stupidity of the multitude. It must return to its real task, which is to be the servant of the sciences and the arts, but the very humble servant, like printing and shorthand which have neither created nor supplanted literature.
Charles Baudelaire, 1859.
Photography is I believe, ‘coming of age’. The once hard and fast opinions that were espoused by people such as Charles Baudelaire are being eroded and broken down by a succession of artists who have embraced the art form and who are keen to experiment and push the boundaries and capabilities of the photographic process. We are now in a time where there is no clear demarkation between ‘art and photography’, where the lines have blurred and like an eddy in a fast flowing river, interesting and truly unique patterns are being created consistently and constantly.
Having arrived at University with the mindset of a ‘traditional’ photographer, the discovery of different styles of art and the encouragement to explore and experiment has been profoundly influential in my latest (and I believe, most interesting), work. Although not a painter, I am starting to think like one in my approach to creating an image- colour, texture and form are now massively important to me, as is the need to capture an element of how I feel in my work, rather than an absolute copy of what I see through my lens.
Art is and always will be, an ever changing melting pot of ideas, concepts, observations and self expression. As artists, I feel we have to be somewhat selfish, but also altruistic; There is an interesting dichotomy in our need to create and self express, but also in our desires to share our experiences with a wider audience. By inhabiting the blurry state between pixels and paint, I hope my work will appeal to people in both camps.