Tag Archives: art appreciation

(L)earned Appreciation.

Art history was a subject that I hated in school. It was required, however, and by some divine intervention I passed my classes. The thing that school can’t teach is appreciation.

The image above is from my project, The ______ War. I created realistic war scenes with toy soldiers, utilizing lens tricks to blur the line between fantasy and reality. My statement was that war themed toys are given to children to make war acceptable later on in life.

The picture above was taken by Eddie Adams and captures General Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing a Viet Cong prisoner in Saigon. This is one of the most important photographs in the history of photography. Not only did it prove how powerful photography is, but it continues to be the centerpiece for the argument regarding involvement and boundaries for photographers.

Whether I liked it or not, these historical photographs were burned into my memory. Photographers likeĀ  Robert Capa and W. Eugene Smith laid the foundation.

The two above are Capa’s while the one below is mine.

And then there’s David Levinthal, who’s been photographing toys since the 70’s.

Suddenly, art history isn’t so bad. In fact, without it I’d have no point of reference. The more I know and understand, the richer my work becomes.

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The beginning of the end.

There are two good friends: one is a photographer, the other a chef. The photographer wants to get together with his friend and share his most recent work. The two decide on a cafe and meet shortly after. Upon arriving their conversation begins immediately. Somewhere in the middle, the photographer removes a freshly printed portfolio from his dark leather messenger bag and hands it to the chef.


The chef is so wrapped up in the images that he manages to remain silent for a full ten minutes.

“These are amazing!” The silence is finally broken. “Where did you take these?” the chef asks.

“Some were shot outdoors, but most were shot in studio,” replies the photographer.

“You must have an amazing camera,” the chef adds.

The conversation shifts several times before the two decide to leave. Before they do, however, the chef insists on preparing dinner for the photographer the following evening.

“So long as I don’t miss Wheel Of Fortune,” the photographer jokes.

They depart in agreement.

The next night, the chef prepares a full spread and when the photographer arrives they waste no time. They begin with soup, bread and wine. A light pasta dish is next, followed a heavier, yet fair plate of roasted chicken. For dessert: homemade limoncello.

Needless to say, there wasn’t an abnormal amount of conversation being had during this feast. However, as the two sit fully satisfied, the photographer voices how much he enjoyed the meal.

“That was amazing!” the photographer said with his arms spread wide. “Are these your recipes?”

“Mostly, although I had to borrow one for the penne arrabiata,” the chef replied.

“Well, you must have amazing pots!”


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