What makes photography special?
People have been collecting photographs since photography began in the early 19th century. Although there have been many books and papers written defending photography as art, there will always be those collectors and art aficionados who will disagree.
Many of us can honestly say that we have little or no skills as a painter, printmaker, or sculptor. But, we’ve all taken a photograph. The apparent simplicity of the process prompts the question: How can photography be considered art when the process seems so easy?
It’s true that anyone can take a photograph, but not everyone can do it well. Because we have been surrounded by family photographs our entire lives, we don’t see the need to make an effort to look beyond the snapshot, to take that extra step which might very well open us up to a whole new world.
People love photography for a lot of different reasons. For some, the discovery of photography as art is a slow process. And, sometimes it happens by accident: seeing that one photograph that unexpectedly stops us short and makes a strong personal from the curator connection. Once we realize that a photograph has the ability to move and challenge us as much as any other artistic medium, it is difficult to turn back. For New York collector Sondra Gilman Gonzalez-Falla, who was initially interested in only painting and sculpture, the moment was “an absolute epiphany,” and one that made her want to learn more about photography.
For anyone interested in learning more about photography, my best advice is to look at as many pictures as you can. The more you look, the more you will learn about quality and how to distinguish a great photograph from one that is not-so-good.
The Light Factory is the perfect place to look at a lot of photographic art. Not only are our galleries free and open to the public, we have many other ways to connect with art and the people who make it, including the monthly Sunday Afternoon Salons and the Annual Members Show.
To learn more about photography, learn more about The Light Factory, and call me if I can help you in that exploration.
- Dennis Kiel, Chief Curator of The Light Factory.