Because I Enjoy Photographing Art
I love visiting museums and galleries. I appreciate the art, the architecture, the cafes and the shops. However, one of the things I often enjoy the most is photographing art.
I know I’m not alone in that pursuit. It’s easy to come to that realization when visiting almost any art space anywhere in the world. With the blessing of having amazing cameras in our pockets, and despite the fact that those spaces sometimes prohibit photography, we almost never hesitate to capture what catches our attention. We do it for fun, to not forget something, or as a means of communicating our exhilaration, or perhaps status, once we share those images over social media.
I suppose I’m guilty of all those things.
At the same time, I speculate that the need to capture specific pieces of art comes from a more profound, subconscious urge. As Henri Cartier-Bresson observed, “photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event.” And our encounter with a piece of art is an event which might be of significance.
Maybe there is something deeper at play when we are taking photographs of art.
Personally, it’s like I’m creating a new framework for observing what’s in front of me. I try to stay open and let myself to be drawn to a particular piece intuitively. Sometimes I take a photo of an entire piece, but often I crop, select and further abstract a work of art, maybe accentuating a particular detail, a texture, an emotion.
We can argue that by doing that, I’m stifling my authentic experience of art, and I’m sure that is sometimes true. But I’m also experiencing it differently, and after all, who says we can’t have both. In this case, I think that would be a false dichotomy.
Until now, I’ve just had those photos in my archive, or I would occasionally post some of them on Instagram. Since I genuinely enjoy taking pictures of art, I decided to take it a step further and make a simple blog feature out of it. That way I think I’ll be more dedicated to that practice. I’m straightforwardly naming it “Because I Enjoy Photographing Art.”
BIEPA will be an ongoing series of visual essays which portray my impressions from a specific art space.
I’m aware there might be copyright policies that I might be infringing. However, since this will not be a commercial pursuit, I’ll assume that what I’m doing is appropriate. The goal is to promote art and the art spaces. If you are a copyright owner of anything I’m sharing and notice I’m in any violation, please inform me about it, and I’ll immediately take down the images in question.
Tomorrow I’m publishing the first edition of BIEPA — the wonderful Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, which I had a pleasure of visiting in the summer of 2017.
Stay tuned and let me know what you think.
Image used for the illustration: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, photograph by Harris & Ewing, [reproduction number, e.g., LC-USZ62-123456]