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Digitalio Rising

January 31, 2009

Digital photography is ever-present in our contemporary world, but the fine art photography community has been the slowest sector to embrace the no longer new methods of digital imaging. Photographic artists print large scale work using digital systems for major gallery shows, and sell very large digital prints at major gallery prices. For smaller prints and fieldwork, film and the chemical darkroom still seem to be the norm. I find it curious that artists and galleries are resistant to change when, historically, artists are the ones who embrace the new and at times drag the hesitant public into a new era. What is the problem with our first tier photographic art makers? Over at Horses Think there is a discussion about new work from Richard Misrach, Thomas Ruff and Cindy Sherman.

Cindy Sherman can photograph herself as long as she wants and she can be whoever she wants to be.

Cindy Sherman can photograph herself as long as she wants.

Horses Think and Conscientious are leading an interesting debate about the nature of new work from gallery stars who repeat formulas that have succeeded in the past. Do galleries discourage their artists from changing? Could those in the contemporary fine art pantheon fear expansion? I’m looking forward to a Cindy Sherman self-portrait, in 20 years, dressed up as a 2029 teen pop sensation with a twist of all-knowing, 80-year-old attitude.

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