It Doesnt Amount to a Hill of Beans

On March 14, 2013 I received an email from a “Master of Photography” and a “Photographic Craftsman” that was doing nothing but ripping myself, my art, and those that look at my art apart.  Below is a quote from that email:

“I don't care who or how many times you get compliments from non-photopgraphers, it doesn't amount to a hill of beans.” (Yes the spelling error was in the email just like that, that is a cut and paste from the exact email)

At no point have I ever made Art for Artists, Photographers or those with a background in Art.  My art is made for my viewers and not only do I make Art but I make Fine Art, pieces that evoke or invoke emotions.  My pieces have always dealt with social and political issues, things that affect us in everyday life.  It might not always be a pretty picture but if it conveys feelings, a message and relates to the topic at hand than it is, by definition Art.


This email is something that I found rather devastating due to the contents of the rest of the email which has no bearing on the moment at hand.  If you are not making work that is liked or loved by non-photographers then that means that you are saying those who run galleries, book publishers and art collectors are immaterial.  Not are you only dismissing them but you are saying they are beneath you.

I do not know about you but I know that I respect the views of Gallery Curators, Book Publishers and Art Collectors.  Most of them have been trained classically into what is art, what sells and can give your work the attention it deserves or can point to you where your work is weak and needs help.  

I would never consider telling Richard Armstrong, the Director and the Solomon r Guggenheim that his opinion did not “amount to a hill of beans” nor would I be so arrogant as to even think these thoughts.  I had a hard enough time typing that sentence since I respect the entire staff of the Guggenheim and the vast knowledge that they hold about Art.

What about Glenn D Lowry from the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City?  Would you tell him to his face “You are a non-photographer and your opinion does not amount to a hill of beans”?  If you did you would be beyond ignorant and the stupidest person in America.  

So I know by now you are asking me where I am going with this whole post, I am getting there.  My point is that Art is not and should not be made for other Artist, it should be made for the viewer.  Art should also be made that it is aesthetically pleasing, has a point to being made and conveys a message to the viewer.  If you are making Art to please other Artists then I recommend you get all of these artists together and create your own little commune.  Then you can all sit around and pat each other on the back all you want and leave the rest of us REAL Artist alone to produce work like we always have, To change society and make life better for everyone else.

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