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February 02, 2007

Are Concert, Fashion, or Celebrity Photo's Art?

Gursky_concert_photo Yesterday someone asked, after our over exuberant MAO homage to all things McGinley, the question, Can a concert photo be considered serious Art?

They then proceeded to give the wise advice.. "Don't be fooled by celebrity and fashion over substance."

What do you think?? 

Didn't Andy Warhol put this issue to bed 30+ years ago or not?

Is this serious art or just expensive fools folly?

Here are some of MAO's thoughts on the issue...1. Andreas Gursky (Photo #1)2. Andy Warhol (Photo #2), and 3. Irving Penn (Photo #3).

In fact, iWarholmarilynf you had, $100,000 dollars to burn, you still couldn't buy any of these :

This One Concert image..

This One Celebrity Portrait Painting, 

or even

This One overpriced Fashion photo.

Actually, I believe all three of these images

have broken recent auction records with both museums,

and super mega-Moguls rich cock, ego fighting it out on

the auction floor to acquire these works of serious ART!

Irving_penn_fashion_photoGranted, a sky high price doesn't make anything great art, and clearly only history will have to be the judge.

But at least for MAO.. celebrity, fashion and concert images... can indeed be appreciated as art with substance.

Plus they look pretty damn cool too!


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So what do you think my Foghat concert poster with a little sperm on it would be worth??

Who knew so many retards read this blog? Have any of you seen this Mr. Ryan show?

a) it's surprisingly moving.
b) it's not like his earliest work (which I like)
c) but much more interesting than the (crap?) stuff he showed at PS1 a year or so after The Whitney (crowned him)
d) the new york magazine article could make anyone wretch, but not about Mr. Ryan, mostly because it portrays (reveals?) Dash Snow as an idiot.

e) Conclusion? Ryan is a good photographer. Ryan had awesome success very early. Ryan freaked out and tried to replicate his downtown-friend pics up in Vermont and they were "staged" and flat. Ryan went back to the drawing board and said, "okay, I'm going to take picture of something I love, Morissey." And he did, and the genuine affection he feels for Morissey allowed him to capture something rather mystical/magical. I think the comparison to Gursky is very apt in some pictures. And the comparison to many, many "street photographers" from throughout history is also apt in the portraits of fan's faces.

It's also amazing that he can make a small photo as good as a BIG photo in this age where BIG photos are a plague upon the land.

(I've always wanted to use "plague upon the land" and not be talking about Kenny T.)

I always use "plague upon the land" and AM talking about KennyT!

Dear Captain America,
You're dead to me!

Kenny T

I think the difference between McGinley and Gursky is the critique of the spectacle of the concert that is implied in Gursky whereas McGinely's is all about beauty and heroes and pleasure. That doesn't disqualify it from being art, but there is no questioning or critique going on. Maybe it isn't "serious art" in the vein of Gursky or Thomas Hirschorn or something, but I don't think that anybody really says it is.

Other than Kenny T.... ANOTHER plague upon the land is people like Horton who think that if art isn't "critiquing" something or isn't "serious art".

Well, I don't think Mr. Ryan wants to be Thomas Hirschorn. And Mr. Thomas doesn't want to be Mr. Ryan. And personally, if my museum, I would have pieces from both. Those stomach-churning photcopies in the last exhibition were part of the must stunning installation in Chelsea in years. (ever?)

Anyway, just as Kenny T. is not mutually exclusive, neither is serious art vs. emotional art or beautiful art.

And best, I think, is when it's all three.

Also, what KennyT will give you does not discriminate but is seriously emotional!

Can't you people just mix your little packets in 8 oz. water like the instructions say and leave me alone already? The burning will go away in a day or two and all your emotions will be back to normal! That is MY art and I'm dead serious!

Hey Chris...
There are 157 Foghat items for sale on Ebay right now.. One signed poster for $79.99...


But your "Lewinsky" version might be in a category all it's own!

Hey KennyT..
We've been trying to leave you alone for years now...
But, I don't think their plague, can be cured by any 8oz packet!

Hey Sister Sledge.. Hearing the guy who covered the side of a building with his "Art" bemoaning the virtues of Big SIZE-Queen PHOTOs.. seems a bit ironic.. no?

In the 1930s, a lot of talented photographers worked for the Hollywood studios, making publicity photos. If you're willing to sift through piles of insipid starlets, you can find some really interesting Surrealist, innovative, and high-fashion pictures for about $10.

I was thinking the same thing when I read the mcginley post. I'm not saying his show might not be moving and the images not enjoyable. But I'm not paying more than $10 for a concert photo, not unless it is remarkably special. I mean insanely remarkable too. And these aren't. I can't think of many concert or celebrity photos I would pay for except possibly Diane Arbus. Other than her I can't recall a single celebrity photo worth the paper it's printed on. (Warhol's work was doing something different and can't quite be compared to this imo) But anyway mcginley is enjoyable but these photos are not in the same class as most of Gursky's work or the other major photographers.

I, of course, agree with Art Brute. Photographers have been taking concert photos/rock band portraits for 40 years since Harry Benson shot the Beatles. Anton Corbijn has been shooting wonderful photos of U2 for over 20 years. But you don't see the precious Chelsea art crowd anointing him some incredible art photographer. It's strictly because of the crowd McGinley hangs with, his hip gallery, the scene in general, and face it, because Morrissey is a gay icon. If these same photos were showing at a less trendy gallery and featured John Mayer, no one would pay attention. Even McDonald's coffee just beat Starbucks in a blind taste test. Ryan McGinley's success is based on fashion, not on any inherent quality. He's not in the same league as any of the top names in art photography. He should probably just parlay his 15-minutes of success into the film business and do a movie with Chloe Sevigny before the art world realizes he's a flash in the pan.

I still dont see the difference between his photos and Gurskys concert photos. Obviously here Gursky is the master and he is just appropriating his ideas. I wouldnt pay more than $25 for Ryans concert photos but would slap down $250,000 for a Gursky, its all about staying power. This kid is a flash in the pan

Wait a second, Morrissey is gay?


I think there's such a huge difference between Gursky and McGinley..
While this concert series of McGinley's does have some Gursky connections..
But, not past the obvious surface linkage.. for me the Gursky work is all about SIZE, the mass spectacle of art, life, and the world..while McGinley is much more intimate, personal, yet vunerable and yes.. very gen-y homoerotic imagery!

Also.. McGinley is still so young.. he's had almost too much success.. And I'd bet his best work is probably still ahead of him.. I think he's one artist who'll have staying power.. and certianly a huge NYC audiance.. now we'll just have to see if he can deliver.

While RMcG is talented, his old stuff like "tree #1" is cheap Bill Henson. His new stuff is a bit more interesting - he seems to be finding his own thing. I agree a few shots are Gursky-ish, but it would be an oversimplification to dismiss it as such (see above Henson comment). The current show is somewhere between rock photography and Gursky. It's surprisingly engaging. Hopefully RMcG's ideas will evolve to match his talent.

Ryan McGinley's talent is just average, I can't believe you guys compare him to Gursky. I like to look at McG's work, it is pretty entertaining and fun, but meaningful...not much...That Whitney show was WTF, it is like Nan Goldin knok off, but I have to admit that his new work is better, not good just better. He's got a good PR, that's it.

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