Saturday, March 1, 2008


I'm starting this blog to open up the discussion on success in contemporary art photography.

Success has become very formulaic for all but a few contemporary photographers. Unfortunately the "booming" art market of today has set up a hierarchy of money over ideas. Today's collectors and critics seem more interested in the monetary value of pieces than their originality. Most of what is written about photography today is journalistic and speaks of insignificant details of the artist's process, but doesn't tackle the important themes of the artists' ideas.

Photographers tend to overlook the history of their medium and repeat the patterns of work from previous generations without expanding or evolving the ideas into something new. Today young artists (and this is in all mediums) are exhibited right out of school. Many artists are unable to live up to this initial success and expand their ideas past the current fads. They endlessly repeat themselves and their peers. Many artists today are making work for the gallery market and not for themselves. Are young artists not thinking about these problems? What can be done about them? Can we change photography? How can we make ideas more important than money and notoriety?

I'm starting a project to document the paths and ingredients for a successful career in photography. I'm studying and analyzing the ways in which photographers find success in today's art world, and I would love to hear other people's opinions and experiences about success and contemporary photography.


adammarcinek said...

I think this is a great idea Eric, not idea, but conversation. It also allows for the opportunity to not speak about photography in such acedemic ways, and be able to talk about it as a process. thanks for starting this and I look forward to what you post.

Ian Aleksander Adams said...

Also looking forward to it.

I'm a current art school student as well, and you're right, I've been involved with gallery projects before I've even gotten here. I'm not sure I've ever really made work to sell in a gallery though, I've only sold prints in galleries for charity... Any prints I've sold to support myself have been outside galleries. Not by design, and I'm not unhappy about it. I enjoy galleries as a place to see work organized in a way that gives impact, not as a place to find a wall furnishing. I'll see if I can hold that perspective as time goes on.

subjectify said...

cool angle.
i'll be excited to check out your thoughts.

Success said...

Thanks for the interest in the blog, I hope to realy get this project started, and everyone's input has been great so far.

Heidi said...

I am also really interested what the new ingredient for new photography could be :)