Is photography art? I recently watched interview with Grayson Perry asking him ‘what is art?’ this is what he said.
“This is a very good question, a hundred years ago Marcel Duchamp famously brought a urinal from a hardware shop and tried to exhibit it in an exhibition. Pretty much from that concept anything can be art was brought into the art world. What is art? is a socially constructed thing that certain number of people can agree on and there are various tests you can do to sort of work out what your looking at is art. The first thing you might ask is who is it made by? or whose chosen it? Ernest Gombrich the famous art historian said that ‘there is no such thing as art there is only artists’ the other thing you might ask is where are you looking at it? is it in an art gallery? because Duchamp the very act of bring the urinal into the gallery context, was hoping that it would redefine this object as art. I mean one of the areas I think its quite sort of blurry about what could be art is photography. I mean we all take photography now it rains down on us like sewage from heaven, the number of photographs we are all taking now but is this art? So I asked Martin Parr the famous photographer can you give me the definition of art photography? he said ‘if its more than two and a half metres high and its worth more than £10,000 and 1 of an edition of 5 it is art”.
Honestly I was disappointed about the last part of his answer, referencing Parr’s answer, is art only valued by its price? Does art need to be in a gallery to be called art? This question is asked so many times but what I find interesting is how it is answered. For me Duchump and Tracey Emin are pioneers of this.