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The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls
— Pablo Picasso

Lots of us are spending more time at home.  Many are entertaining/teaching children who are home from school.  Plans and social get togethers have been canceled leaving us with time to ourselves.  For some, the corona virus not only upends plans and social life, it is also a source of anxiety and fear. For others, it is lost income, lost business and lost employment.  The next little while is going to be a tough slog for all of us on many fronts.

It’s okay to be wondering or worried about what we face— that sense of urgency is what is going to get everyone through this pandemic. But it’s also important to take a break, to not let those concerns consume us. That is where art comes into play. Taking the time to enjoy and appreciate art can be the respite we need. In times of uncertainty, like this, art can be a steadying force. It can also be good for you.

When we marvel at something, whether it is a painting, a photograph, a turn of phrase or a piece of music, we are reminded of the human capacity to create and endure. When we engage in art, it is not always about escapism. It is also a practice in patience, such as figuring out the meaning of a poem or a novel, and an exercise in appreciating beauty.

Did you know that looking at art makes us feel good, improves perception skills and helps us process information in a way that we can better understand the world around us?

  • Art helps us understand the world around us: Neurological researchers at the University of Toronto showed painted art to 330 participants in 7 countries while they underwent MRI scans. The study’s results  showed that looking at art led to increased activity in the brain systems that ‘underlie the conscious processing of new information to give it meaning. In other words, looking at art helps us understand the world around us better.
  • Art makes us feel good: Another study found that “when you look at art there is strong activity in that part of the brain related to pleasure.” The blood flow to the brain increased when looking at a beautiful painting just as it increases when you look at somebody you love. This tells us “art induces a feel good sensation direct to the brain.”
  • Looking at art improves perception skills: Art is unique in unlocking multiple perception skills at once. Research suggests that more engagement with the arts is linked to a “higher level of subjective well being.”
  • Art helps our bodies re-balance.  Looking at art is a proven way of helping us de-stress and improve our brain function and thinking patterns. It can also improve our physical wellbeing, with studies identifying a link between looking at art and the normalisation of heart rate, blood pressure and even cortisol levels. Gazing at art – even for a minute a day – represents a chance to switch off and to give our brains and bodies a moment to pause, reflect and refresh.
  • Art enhances children’s education: Research shows that children who are involved with the arts make greater achievements in their education

Sources and more info: https://www.littlevangogh.co.uk/blog/2016/3/16/lkguq03frjfr5viqhw8lomf65lmlzm
https://www.shenarttherapy.com/single-post/2016/04/14/Viewing-Art-Rewards-the-Brain

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time
― Thomas Merton, No Man is an Island

Enjoy Some Art…here are some starters

While museums, galleries, Broadway shows, concerts and other arts and cultural facilities and events are canceled, we have seen the people of Italy singing on their balconies together.  Musicians, from their homes, and orchestras, from empty concert halls, have streamed mini-concerts online.  The Broadway veteran Laura Benanti, a Tony Award-winning actress and singer who found herself sidelined, thought about the young people facing their own canceled shows and she created the hashtag #sunshinesongs where kids whose shows have been canceled could share their personal video performances.  As we social distance, these are just a few of the new and interesting ways artists are sharing work. So, if you have some time, look around and take some art in…or order a good book and dive in.

And don’t forget, as you check out art online, many arts organizations have closed and artists are small businesses too–so if you see something you like or want to donate to a local arts organization, this is a good time to support the arts and artists to help them get through this too.

Here are some links that might be fun starting points for some adventures and time with art:

Here us a great collection of Youtube videos about great photographers put together by Andy Adams.  Or check out my Flipboard magazine for some interesting reads about photography.

From CNN, just a few options in a virtual sea of things to do. Explore, or look up your favorite local cultural landmark to see what online offerings they have.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art offers The Met 360, an immersive video series exploring the Met’s art and architecture. It offers virtual tours of the Great Hall, the Temple of Dendur and the Arms and Armor Galleries, as well as the Cloisters museum and the Met Breuer. The Whitney has its Watch and Listen page online to offer discussions with artists, and other presentations related to the collection.

Google Arts and Culture offers online access to 500 cultural organizations around the world, from museums to historic sites, all viewable without ever leaving your living room. The virtual platform features some of the most prestigious institutions on the planet, as well as an opportunity to explore smaller, more obscure institutions that you might never have discovered otherwise, such as  National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.  TED talks about art can be found here.

With venues & bars shut down from coast-to-coast, here’s your guide from Billboard to the best live-streamed music content.

Check out the Library of Congress digital collections for everything from the Farm Security Administration dust bowl photos to Aaron Copland music archives.

The Way I See It is an art podcast dream-team: the BBC and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York partnered late last year to create The Way I See It. In each of the 30 episodes a person of note discusses a favourite work from the museum’s collection. Hosted by the art critic and broadcaster Alastair Sooke, accompanied by MoMA’s curators, the guests include the actor and comedian Steve Martin, the Minimalist composer Steve Reich, and the artist Richard Serra. Also, check out the Modern Arts Notes Podcast — a weekly, roughly hour-long interview program featuring artists, historians, authors, curators and conservators.

For something completely different, Comic book writers and artists are rallying online to offer activities for those staying at home. They are offering scripting lessons, art activities and even posting some of their own public service announcements.

So, here is to hoping you all manage your way through and stay well in these unusual times.  Also hoping a little art along the way brings you some joy and some benefits

This is an excerpt from my monthly newsletter, where I write about photography and share some news.  You can get a feel for the previous newsletters and sign up for the mailing list here.

Photography has every right and every merit to claim our attention as the art of our age
Alexander Rodchenko, Russian artist and photographer

I wanted to write about the LIGHT gallery in NYC in the 1970s because it reminds me a little about what PhotoNexus is all about — a place where people meet, discuss and share ideas about photography. PhotoNexus 2020 will go live in the next few weeks.  This is based on the Center For Creative Photography recent symposium about the LIGHT gallery

Legacies of LIGHT, a pioneering New York City Gallery: Imagine in the 1970s a new gallery devoted to photography opening in the heart of New York City’s gallery district. They call The New York Times to get listed in the arts section and are told photography is not art. Few commercial galleries included photography.

At that time, Fern and Tennyson Schad had a vision to make photography an accessible and collectable art through a gallery devoted to photographers and their photographs. Photographers would be at the center of all they did. They lured Harold Jones away from the Eastman Kodak House to build the gallery — which was premised on modern photographers, monthly exhibits of new work that was matted, framed in standard silver aluminum frames, and hung beautifully in the gallery. Exhibit openings became parties and part of the evolving New York Art scene. It was a place where both staff and visitors learned about photography from the photographers. The gallery was known for the flat file cabinets which made the gallery inventory accessible for visitors to peruse.

LIGHT became more than a gallery. It became the epicenter for the photography community. It was a place where people could meet, discuss ideas and feel a sense of camaraderie. Its impact touched artists, institutions, curators, writers and critics and existing and future photography galleries, such as Peter MacGill, Robert Mann, Laurence Miller and Rick Wester.

The early Market: LIGHT was also at the center of building the market to make photographs collectible. Staff often filled boxes with photographs and went across the country to meet museum directors and private collectors – encouraging them to buy prints or complete portfolios from the photographers LIGHT represented. When LIGHT opened, Harry Callahan’s pictures were sold for $75.00 – $150.00. In the late 1970s his photographs started selling for $750, following his exhibit at MOMA. “Young people started buying photographs” – 10 photos at $300.00 paid off monthly through LIGHT’s installment program (see the 1:56 minute point of this video). Today, in one gallery Callahan’s work starts at $15,000.00. At auction he has commanded $25,000,00.

For more context, you can check out this video from the live stream of The “Legacies of LIGHT” symposium at the Center for Creative Photography (CCP) at the University of Arizona which I was thrilled to attend earlier this month. More videos here)

Image of Light Gallery via Charles H. Traub

Explore Photography at PhotoNexus 2020
One of the reasons I was excited to attend the LIGHT symposium at the Center For Creative Photography at the University of Arizona was because in its own very small way, PhotoNexus is a little bit like LIGHT, without the gallery component. PhotoNexus brings together people interested in exploring the art of photography and those who want to buy photographs with the people behind the art — including curators, educators, galleries and photographers. It is an opportunity for photography enthusiasts to learn and share about photography while taking advantage of the small group setting to gain insights and personal perspectives from the people behind the art.

PhotoNexus 2020 will include several new components including:

Collecting American Snapshots: It is all about the Image an evening with a well known collector discussing his collection and what makes for powerful photographs. His collection has been part of exhibits at the National Gallery and other galleries across the country;
Ansel Adams and Advocacy for American Photography a lecture from a person who worked with Ansel Adams and is a prominent consultant in the marketplace today. This session will look at the impact of Ansel Adams on the growth of the fine photographic print market and its evolution to new buyers and new paths to purchasing collectible art;
Photo Books a visit and discussion with the pioneering book store in this field

PhotoNexus also includes salon-like discussions and experiences, such as: a photo walk with photographers to gain insight into what they are shooting; gallery and studio visits with discussions about how they choose to mount shows and work with photographers; a photographers panel; a look at trends in photography; and, a panel about the photographic print.

PhotoNexus 2020: The Art of Photography
Behind the camera. Behind the print. Behind the art.
Save the dates and plan to join us in Santa Fe, NM, July 23-25, 2020.

You can see last years program online. The PhotoNexus 2020 webpage will replace the current page in the next few weeks.

“When you look at a photograph that is printed, you are free of distraction allowing you to really engage and experience all that it has to offer. The experience triggers an emotional response very different from simply seeing an image for a fleeting moment on a screen. The print is a finished product that engages the viewer. People want to move closer and even touch a print. Viewing a print encourages the viewer to travel into the frame imagining the experience of being in that place.” – Seth Resnick

Whether it is the social feeds and stories on Instagram or Facebook, the unorganized photo album on our phones, flipping a page in a magazine or book or the onslaught of visually enticing advertisements that we see every day, we are awash in a world of images.

However, photographic prints are not the same kind of fleeting and temporary experiences. Prints are tangible.  Prints bring scale to the image. A small print forces us to look more closely and a large print creates an immersive experience.  Prints bring details in the photograph to life.  Prints encourage us to view images in different ways — to reflect and to see more.

Photographers make lots of photographs. But we print the ones we think are best and most important. Prints bring our work out of the camera and digital work flow or dark room into the world where the image can be shared and experienced in a more complete way.

Prints are a demanding part of the process that take a photographer’s vision and bring it to completion.  Determining what kind of print to make is one part of the complexity. For example, prints can be made using processes like dye-sublimation on aluminum or pigment ink printing on archival paper or in traditional dark room processes or by making a negative of a digital photo in order to make platinum/palladium print.  Take a look at all the options.

Whatever process and size of print is chosen, the photographer then works hard to ensure that the light, tone, color and composition are coming to life the way they want.  For example, a print I wanted to do on clear aluminum did not work and so I had to change the media it was printed on.  Ansel Adams worked on printing “Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico” for 40 years making adjustments along the way.  Making prints is a complex part of bringing the vision of an image to realization.

Prints offer viewers the chance to consider not only what the photographers saw and how they saw it, but also the way it has been printed to be shared. The final print is the object and the carrier of the story.

 “A print is much more than a mere reproduction of an image.  It is the culmination of the inspiration and vision of the photographer.  It is the clearest, most direct and powerful form of the image and has the ability to move beyond words, ideas and concepts to touch and move the viewer”  — Christopher Burkett

or, as noted here, just start printing

A look at some of the black and white infrared images coming out of digital processing. Images are from the recent road trip along Route 66, time in New Mexico and back through Mississippi

My friend Geoff Livingston, who was featured here in a photography showcase, has a podcast (also available as video) called the “Show me podcast” where he chats with folks about iconic photos and why they work (or not).

We caught up to talk about Robert Frank’s book, The Americans.  And then we talked about the Roadside America project, Infrared photography and some of the thoughts behind PhotoNexus (at the 27 minute point) which I am organizing in Santa Fe, July 26 & 27.

Hope you can find the time to check out the podcast…and yes, a saxophone walks through it.

One of the aspects of PhotoNexus that excites me is the talented group of people who have come together to share their knowledge, insights and inspiration with the small group of people attending the event.  We have brought together an outstanding group of independent curators, galleries, photographers, and photography educators who will offer a broad perspective on the art of photography, as well as take you behind-the-scenes with their own personal experiences and commentary.  Among the people behind the art, who PhotoNexus attendees will meet and engage with, are:

  • a person who apprenticed under Ansel Adams and was selected to print his Yosemite series.
  • among the photographers we have people whose work is in the National Portrait Gallery, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Center for Creative Photography, Tucson AZ– to name just a few
  • we have a person world renown for his platinum palladium prints
  • the galleries who are involved work with museums and private collectors. They also manage estates of some famous photographers
  • an expert on the historical development of photography and how it has influenced the contemporary artistic medium
  • the person who leads one of the world’s most prestigious and significant photography education programs, as well as a former member of the faculty of Art Center College of Design
  • a leader in the world of fine art photography and today’s digital world who has developed new approaches to fine art printing, book making and exhibiting
  • a pioneer in the photo books segment

On Saturday afternoon, we will make a special field trip to visit David Michael Kennedy’s studio and dark rooms.  Here is a preview

Meet the Talented People: here is a little more information about the distinguished and talented people who will share their insights and inspiration at PhotoNexus:

 

(Update) Nathan Benn: Over the past fifty years, Nathan Benn has worn many professional hats related to photographic arts, including National Geographic Magazine photographer, Director of Magnum Photos, curator, Internet entrepreneur, and museum Trustee. He is currently vice-president of CENTER for Photography in Santa Fe and is working on a sixth solo museum exhibition of his photographs. Nathan’s photographs can be found in the permanent collections of the National Portrait Gallery, the Rijksmuseum, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Harvard Art Museums, and George Eastman Museum.  In parallel to his career of making and managing photographs, Nathan has been a serious collector of photography and early American decorative arts.  He will talk about the homes and collections in New York and Santa Fe that he shares with his wife, Rebecca Abrams, a fine arts photographer.  His presentation will be about their evolution as collectors, what inspires them to live with photographs, and personal concerns and strategies regarding photography collecting and preserving one’s photographic legacy  https://www.apeculiarparadise.com/   https://www.kodachromememory.com/

Mark Berndt: Mark Berndt is a photographer whose work celebrates people and the circumstance of life. He brings the experience of a long and varied career in the visual arts, offering a select set of services in photography, filmmaking, design and teaching to professional and emerging imaging artists in Santa Fe and worldwide. With more than 20 years of teaching experience, he brings considerable knowledge about, and experience in, the art and business of visual image-making and communications. http://markberndt.com/

Reid Callanan has spent his entire adult life focused on photographic education — the past twenty-eight years as Director of the world renown Santa Fe Photographic Workshops and before that working at Maine Photographic Workshops. In addition to his role as director, Reid has taught a workshop named “Cameras Don’t Take Pictures.” While his business career is mostly all consuming, he also makes time to photograph every day and for his ongoing projects.  Reid also founded the non-profit Santa Fe Center for Photography, now known as Center, and is currently an officer on its Board of Director. https://www.santafeworkshops.com https://www.reidcallanan.com/about

Natalie Christensen is a photographer based in Santa Fe, New Mexico and has shown work in the U.S. and internationally including London, Dusseldorf, New York and Los Angeles. She was one of five invited photographers for the exhibition The National 2018: Best of Contemporary Photography at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art and has recently been named one of “Ten Photographers to Watch” by the Los Angeles Center of Digital Art. Her photographs are in the permanent collections of the Fort Wayne Museum of Art and the University of Texas at Tyler.  In addition to pursuing her interests in art and design, Natalie has worked as a psychotherapist for over 25 years and has been particularly influenced by the work of depth psychologist Carl Jung. This influence is evidenced in her photographs, as shadows and psychological metaphors are favored subjects.  https://nataliechristensenphoto.com

David Michael Kennedy. His body of work spans over 40 years and is held in both private and museum collections including The National Portrait Gallery, The Smithsonian Institution and The Harwood Museum, among many others.  His impressive and vast body of work includes iconic portraits of musicians, actors and artists. Visitors often find themselves stumbling onto recognizable pictures of Bob Dylan, Debbie Harry or Willie Nelson –pictures that they have known well and for years-but now have the opportunity to meet the artist and hear the stories behind the famous images.  Leaving New York and commercial photography in 1986 David Michael Kennedy moved to New Mexico and began to focus on his fine art photography. His name quickly became synonymous with New Mexican Landscapes and we are fortunate to see it through his eyes. Kennedy’s images are materialized through the traditional analogue technique of Platinum/Palladium printing, of which he is widely considered to be one of the best in the world. https://www.davidmichaelkennedy.com

Pilar Law has been in the business of photography and a photographer’s advocate for 14 years. She’s worked with photo stock agencies, technology companies and photo labs to bring them online and to develop new approaches to fine art printing, book making and exhibiting, social media marketing and sales. During the course of her work, she studied with photographers who encouraged her to hone her own skill and pursue fine art photography. http://www.pilarlaw.com/about.html.  Edition ONE is a unique contemporary photography gallery specializing in editions of one. Edition ONE collectors will find exclusive access to new photographic works both from emerging and established photographers in Santa Fe and around the world.

Monroe Gallery of Photography specializes in classic black & white photography with an emphasis on humanist and photojournalist imagery. The gallery features work by more than 50 renowned photographers and also represents a select group of contemporary and emerging photographers,  some of the best photography the 20th and 21st century have to offer.  Sidney and Michelle Monroe maintain extensive personal connections with important photographers, clients, collectors, dealers, estates, auction houses, and archives world-wide. They have consulted with photographers, estates, and archives to curate and organize programs and exhibitions. They advise private collectors, museums and corporations with an emphasis on building significant collections with a variety of prudent focuses. They are acknowledged experts on the life and work of numerous important photographers, including several famed LIFE Magazine photojournalists, such as Margaret Bourke-WhiteCarl Mydans, and Alfred Eisenstaedthttp://www.monroegallery.com/

Photo-Eye  was founded in 1979 by Rixon Reed. It is the world’s foremost online photography bookstore featuring over 30000 fine-art photography books.  It has since grown to also become one of the world’s foremost website devoted to contemporary photography and the photo-eye Gallery was established in Santa Fe New Mexico in 1991 as a division of photo-eye and has been selling prints online since 1996.  https://www.photoeye.com

Alan Ross is an internationally respected master photographer and educator who worked side-by-side with Ansel Adams. He continues to be the exclusive printer of the Yosemite Special Edition negatives, an assignment Adams selected him for personally in 1975.  Alan makes each print by hand from Adams’ original negatives using traditional darkroom techniques. As an artist, Alan is known for his tonally exquisite black-and-white photographs of the American west. His photographs are in collections and galleries around the world including Houston’s Museum of fine Arts, The Yale Museum of Art and the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson.  He teaches about the art of seeing and is also a master printer. https://www.alanrossphotography.com/

Scheinbaum & Russek, are celebrating 38 years in business and they specialize in 20th century vintage and contemporary photography as well as representing the Estates of Beaumont and Nancy Newhall and Eliot Porter. Scheinbaum & Russek have approached the gallery world through their roles as educators, artists, and collectors and bring to their gallery an appreciation of photographers, the fine print and the history of photography.  http://www.photographydealers.com

Jennifer Schlesinger, Owner and Director of Obscura Gallery, is a Curator, Gallerist, Educator, and Artist. Schlesinger has approached her fine art photography with an interest in how the historical development of photography has influenced the contemporary artistic medium – mostly exploring the 19th century albumen and 20th century gelatin silver printing processes and combining them with contemporary landscape surrealism. Obscura Gallery represents the finest contributions to the history of photography both through contemporary and vintage works.  https://www.jenniferschlesinger.com/ https://www.obscuragallery.net

 

Come join us.  More information and registration at: https://binhammerphotographs.com/photonexus

 

Time magazine recently published an issue reflecting on how art is at the heart of optimism.

“Art calls to the optimism within us and beckons us to breathe…To meet us where we are and to invite us in – to think, to feel, to wonder, to dream, to debate, to laugh, to resist, to roam, to imagine. Art is worthy of our interrogation”

For 41 years and counting, Artexpo New York has changed how people buy and sell art. This year, Artexpo New York champions the transformative power of art with the powerful theme of “Transform.” Art challenges the status quo, changes our perceptions, and pushes us to see ourselves and others from a new perspective. Through its power, art transforms.

ArtExpo New York is an ideal opportunity to wander and enjoy more than 1,000 established and emerging artists, galleries, and art publishers.  Running from April 5-7, 2019 (with a special trades day on April 4th for galleries, designers and other trades in the art market), this annual curated show brings the biggest industry buyers and collectors together with artists and 35,000+ attendees.  It is a chance to see the newest, brightest faces of the art world and to purchase works from exhibitors in person.

Here is a link to ArtExpo NYC “discoveries” collection which features great options at $5,000 or less and is among the favorite picks from ArtExpo NYC.  Here are some of my items selected for the Discovery Collection and you can also see a set on Flickr.

 

New Dye-Sublimation Aluminum Prints: In addition to exhibiting these photos, I am excited to be working with BlazingEditions and trying something new beyond my own small batch limited edition archival prints on paper.  For ArtExpo NewYork, I am going to also show the two images below in a larger format (the cactus will be 30”x 40”) printed on aluminum.  Here is an explanation from Blazing Editions:

“Sublimation onto metal is a new, cutting edge, way to reproduce an image. Sublimation itself is the process of going from a solid to a gas, back to a solid – skipping the liquid state.

The image is first printed onto a transfer paper and then is adhered to pretreated aluminum (other substrates such as tile, wood, or glass are also available).

The aluminum and transfer paper are placed into a custom heat press, which is heated to temperatures exceeding 380 degrees Fahrenheit. While being subjected to extreme heat and pressure, the dyes from the transfer paper turn into a gas, are pressed into the surface of the metal, and then solidify into the treated aluminum. As the dyes cool they are permanently infused beneath the surface of the metal substrate.”

Fine art photograph of urban architecture Fine art conceptual photography of cactus landscapes, black and white infrared

The black and white infrared image is printed on clear gloss aluminum.  It not only “pops” because of the glossy metal surface but also has a sort of 3-dimensional feel to it.  The image “changes” as you walk around it going from a flat gray photo negative appearance to the popping 3-dimensional infrared image (this is influenced by the light reflecting off the aluminum).

I am both excited by this new print format and how it impacts the image, as well as a little nervous since the infrared image on clear gloss is a bit “out there” as it changes with the light.

Art Talks: In addition to exhibiting new works at ArtExpo NYC, I will also be participating in the Art Talks Topics & Trends Education Program where I will be discussing aspects of my art, inspiration and career as an artist.

Worth Noting the AIPAD show: At the same time as ArtexpoNewyork (and just up the street at Pier 94) is the Annual Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD) 39th edition of The Photography Show. Nearly 100 of the world’s leading fine art photography galleries will present a range of museum-quality work including contemporary, modern, and 19th century photographs, photo-based art, video, and new media. When I lived in NYC, I enjoyed this show every year.  Check it out too if you can.

If you are in New York, please drop by and say hi

a few books about photographers, the photograph and the photographic art forum that are interesting gateways to new learnings & photographic appreciation.

Every Photograph Has a Story: The Photograph Itself, The Photographer’s and The Viewers’: Some of the prints available on the website include the story behind them.  For example,  “The Carnival Stopped” is from one of the “Roadside America” trips along Virginia’s eastern shore where I was regularly exiting the highway to check out the villages, sea marsh and fishing boats.  In Wachapreague, Virginia, population 230, the fishing boats were either all out at work or gone forever. I am not sure.  The docks and handling facilities appeared to be in a state of disrepair, worn out or shut down.  But there at the corner of Atlantic Rd. and Ice Plant Street, was the carnival. Not a soul to be seen.  But there it was…a carnival stopped – a place of fun and community gathering but a little eery and ghost-like.  Much like the fishing town itself.

In Henry Carroll’s new book, “Photographers on Photography, How the Masters See, Think & Shoot,”  I was struck by this quote:

“When a person looks at a photograph you’ve taken, they will always think of themselves”    Jason Fulford

Henry Carroll in is commentary notes, “right after we interpret the literal aspects of the image…we enter into a second, much personal meaning.  The second reading is informed by elements such as our memories, personal experiences, tastes and cultural backgrounds…this second reading is unpredictable and entirely outside the photographer’s control.  For Fulford, this gap between what is pictured and what it might mean is where photographs come alive”

There is an image on the website whose owner described it “art that stirs his soul.”  For yet another owner, their print has an intimate feeling, and a nostalgic tone with a sense of timelessness. It is their views that give the images meaning and excitement.

In a related story from Artsy about Keith Haring, they note,

“The quickest way to kill your art, according to Haring, is to rigidly define it. “There is no need for definition,” he wrote. “Definition can be the most dangerous, destructive tool the artist can use when he is making art for a society of individuals.” That’s not to say an artist can’t have certain concepts or themes in mind when creating an artwork. But the “artist’s ideas are not essential to the art as seen by the viewer.…The viewer does not have to be considered during the conception of the art, but should not be told, then, what to think or how to conceive it or what it means.”
This idea went hand in hand with his belief that artists should consider more than just the art world. “The viewer should be able to look at art and respond to it without wondering whether he ‘understands’ it. It does not aim to be understood! Who ‘understands’ any art?.…Nobody knows what the ultimate meaning of my work is because there is none.…It exists to be understood only as an individual response.”
 

Bringing Images to Life with Real Meaning: It is these kinds of personal reflections that turn the literal stories behind the images into your art.  That is what brings an image to life and gives it real meaning.

 

Art is very much a personal choice.  Giving art as a gift can be a very memorable and meaningful way to recognize a special someone.  Giving art to a family member, a valued friend or colleague can show how much they mean to you. It can brighten a home or apartment.  It can also be difficult to choose for someone else.

Here Come the Holidays,  Personal and Meaningful Gift Giving

As the holidays approach and we think about others, a work of art can be a unique and wonderful gift.  It is a more personal gift than a tie, sweater, gift basket or kitchenware.  

One of the most memorable gifts I ever received was art from a team I worked with.  They consulted with a friend and artist, Jennifer Dickson, and selected a work called “The Dreamer”.  To this day it hangs in my bedroom over my dresser where I see it every day.  

As a young boy, I wanted to give something special to my parents and siblings for Christmas.  I turned to art.  At that age, I was not buying original art. The gifts of art took the form of a box of Vincent van Gogh cards for Mom, an art calendar or print for Dad’s office and an art poster for my sister.  

How do you select a piece of art for someone else?  You could start by considering their design sense or thinking about things they do with their free time as a way to find some art they might like.  You could take them with you to a local gallery or engage with them in a discussion about a piece of art online to get a sense of their preferences.  For some other thoughts, here is a link to a post on Saatchi art about tips for buying art for someone who means a lot to you. 

However you go about deciding what art to buy, your buying options are plentiful: visit a local gallery or art fair; contact an artist you know; explore new artists and reach out to them on Instagram; or visit online galleries like Artsy,Artspace or SaatchiArt

Making it Personal and Easy
Giving Limited Edition Prints

If you have someone special on your list who you think might like new art, I am making it easy for you to give the gift of Limited Edition photographs. 

If you want to give art as a gift you can buy a gift certificate for a Limited Edition print for that special person and then link them to BinhammerPhotographs.com to pick the print they want. Or they can email me and I will search my archives to find a photograph they love, and deliver that memorable gift you wanted for them.

How it works: You contact me to let me know the size of print and who the gift is for.  I’ll send you an invoice and a gift certificate.  All they have to do is email me the name of the print they want and it will be shipped directly to them, with the certificate of authenticity and ownership in their name.

Book Ideas, Including Roadside America

Art books can also be a wonderful gift.  For some of the best coffee-table art books, you might want to check out these ideas.  For some of the years best photography books, The Wall Street Journal offers thoughts.   If you would prefer to give a different type of gift my Roadside America photography book is available for purchase on Blurb.  

Happy Holidays to You From the Digital Darkroom

Hope your holidays are off to a grand start.  

At this time of the year, I also hope you find some time away from the daily grind of life to  reflect and discover the beauty in our lives. 

Enjoy some special time with friends and family doing whatever it is that this special season means to you