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Joe Deal: New York, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 1273

Essay

Analysis

Joe Deal creates art through the use of black and white photography. The particular photograph: Joe Deal: New York is a depiction of landscape scenery with both horizontal and vertical design. Good art photography is through selective photography however choosing the best weather conditions, time of year, focus and contrast and saturation (colours) are essential to presenting good photography. There are only slight variations that can be accomplished after taking a picture through contrast and colour saturation hence the photographer is not simply a picture taker but an artist.

The focal point of this photo is the turbulent waters amidst the lovely landscaped scenery. Next my eyes focus on the ‘tainted’ obstacle that appears in the front of the photo. The mixture of emotions present that there may be disruption by the unsettled waters and what secretly lives amidst the waters. After splitting the photograph into three both horizontal and vertical the focal point was defined however the turbulent water was not very impressive as a focal point for this photograph.  Further it appears that the viewer is peering into the picture through a looking glass or a small cave opening that opens into a secluded but unsafe place. The horizontalness of the picture displays peace and sereneness of the waters yet an unwary nature that goes with any undeveloped area. The vertical part of the photo depicts prima face safe and somewhat trespassed landscaping. This presents the idea that there may be something of mystery or something of energy occurring in the woods. The tone of the water with the black surrounding the water brings attention to what action is taking place inside the water. The colour contrast is one of the best attributes of the photograph.  The setting appears to be in the sandy backwashed beaches of any underdeveloped place. The place does not necessarily appear to be uninhabited because the impressions of the water tend to make the viewer believe there are aquatic life and perhaps amphibians of large size and maybe unknown living deep in the waters.

Professor and photographer Joe Deal explains that his philosophy is the more you know the more knowledgeable you become, but the more knowledgeable you become the narrower your level of enquiry becomes. Further he revels that talent alone does not lead to mastery but talent allows the person of talent to pick of on a skill much faster than those without the perceived talent.

Interpretation

My opinion is that the artist created the work in order for each and every viewer to have different impressions of the work or he vicariously chose this photograph through ramped emotions. The meaning of the work is beneath every cranny of the earth lies some form of nature hidden from our eyes. The presence may be peaceful and natural or it may contain creatures or other inhabitants that we may not want in our presence. The purpose is for the viewer to expand his/her mind and make his/her own interpretation of this piece of art assuming the artist was completely lucid and stable at the time of presentation to the art gallery. William Jenkins explains Deals works present an “anthropological rather than critical, scientific rather than artistic” presence. Most of his works contain images of suburban backyards, beach communities, the desert, and life on the San Andreas Fault Line and San Andreas Fault Line in Southern California.” (“Robert Mann Gallery”). “Deal’s work is dense with contextual information that communicates this uneasy balance: the stark geometry of housing developments under construction; the tangled undergrowth of desert vegetation; intersecting lines of dirt roads and power cords; subdivided backyards; and people occupying themselves with the mundane chores of daily life.” (“Robert Mann Gallery”). His particular work Joe Dean: New York is not conducive to most of his previous works of art. Most of his art works are realistic and define a focal point. On occasion he has presented one photograph that was out of character with his past works of art photography.  Evidence to support my theory is in some of the other pieces of photography that the artist has completed and presented his works to numerous galleries. He most probably gained fame and recognition with his initial pieces of work and gained respect from a niche crowd that keep coming back for his work.  His type of work appears to be tranquil and serene prima facie however as you glance into the photograph with more discern you will notice it takes on a new meaning if you open your mind to creativity and wonder. My interpretation of his work can be simplified into one sentence if it is required, “Assuming the photographer is emotionally stable, his work presents itself as unstable and inconsistent with a very fragile focal point; hence creating too much emotion incorporated into the photograph.” This theory can be validated by previous works completed by the artist that are presented in a creative yet stable form that pull one or two simple emotions from the viewer

It is not my favourite style of art however I would find it a good piece of art photography because it brings out emotion and it is created with good contrast and energy.  The beauty of art is in the eye of the beholder. Certain people view works of art in different ways hence they prefer different types of art. The idea that the photograph offers a wonder to the mind of the viewer is great for it creates energy for those avid art connoisseurs’ who thrive on landscape yet want a little spunk to their artwork. Personally I like art that is creative yet stable with consistency with work.

Bartlett’s Principles of Interpretation

If a person admires nature, landscape, black and white photography and energy this photograph might suit them very well. If someone is looking for a more distinct, defined piece of fine art with defined interpretation and principle they may want to search for another piece of art. The photograph has life to it and depicts mystery however if I am going to purchase art I would like art that creates a certain picture in my mind especially a picture of happiness or an emotion that is stable. This picture does not do such that for it presents different emotions with the use of rippled water and an uninhibited object in the front as the photographer is taking the picture gazing through what appears to be a looking glass/spy glass or a cave of some sort. There appears to be a mixture of too many lines and circles in the photograph. The photographer would have been better suited to choose a subject with a more common defined stance.

Deal is a well-respected Professor of Photography so obviously he can teach the essence and art behind photography but can he be a good photographer. There have been many great professors of law that were horrible attorneys because they did not have the ‘zing’ to litigate a case in court. Perhaps Deal has not found his niche with this piece of photography. Research shows he has changed his style somewhat between the years of 2005-2007 to a more serene landscape type of photography and has been known to dabble in photography across the United States. Perhaps he is creating too many works of art and is not concentrating on that perfect piece of art. Again, this is my interpretation and others may not share the same critique.

Works Cited

Barett, Terry Art Criticism and Formal Analysis Outline 1994. 09 Oct. 2009 < http://www.uwgb.edu/malloyk/art_criticism_and_formal_analysi.htm>.

Barnett, S. A Short Guide to Writing about Art 2007 January 11 October 2009 http://search.barnesandnoble.com/A-Short-Guide-to-Writing-About-Art/Sylvan-Barnet/e/9780136138556.

Robert Mann Gallery Joe Deal 31 January 2004. 11 October 2009< http://www.robertmann.com/exhibitions/2003/deal/press.html>.

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