Does that explain my difficult relation with photos, and with photographic art? Or is the root-cause my traditionalistic, romantic objection against High-Tec art: artists depending on state of the art technology, which he or she cannot understand nor influence, just acquire at often high costs. So I am still doubting if photo art is really art. In a similar manner I do not consider Formule 1 racing, motor racing and so on as real sport……
Although, I will immediately acknowledge that there are many beautiful and impressive photographic productions, and that photography very well be combined with other forms of art.
Photos and images are in another way important, that is, as a source of inspiration. Christiaan van Tol, well known Leiden artist, has an exposition at present (in the Leiden Law School), with paintings and drawings based on photos from the media, re-interpreting images of the daily news and changing them in colourful productions (http://www.christiaanvantol.nl). Herre Methorst, based in Gouda, takes Google ‘street views’ from all over the world as basis for his computerised art (http://www.streetviewart.nl). And this week Marlene Dumas received an important recognition – the Johannes Vermeer Prize – for her work which also often is based on photo images (http://www.marlenedumas.nl). Her portrait of Osama Bin Laden is a well-known example (acquired by the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam).
Dumas has beautiful work and appeals to me because indeed she still uses the same ‘old fashioned’ techniques as I do - just paint, paper and brushes. The newspapers qualify her art as beautiful, consoling and cosmopolite - her work forms a bridge between imagination and reflection. Dumas is born in South Africa (1953) but moved to the Netherlands to continue her art studies and stayed here. Politically engaged, energetic and highly motivated. Her own website states: “In 2011 Dumas has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Stellenbosch University because of her commitment to challenging representational stereotypes of gender and socio-political identity. She has also been honoured for the standing she has achieved in the international art community through her engagement with the medium of painting.”
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