Saturday, May 24, 2008

Revenge of the Goldfish

I was browsing through one of my favorite photography books the other day ("Photography: A Cultural History" by Mary Warner Marien), and came across one of those photos that always has been a favorite.

Revenge of the Goldfish (Sandy Skoglund, 1981) depicts a child's bedroom in wich everything has been painted a teal-ish blue-ish color. The furniture, the bed, the walls, the floor, the blankets, everything. Two children (normal color, not blue) are in the bed, one sleeping and one sitting. And hanging from the ceiling, all over the floor, on the shelves, and coming out of the dresser are dozens of bright orange goldfish. OK - it's a bit abstract, and hard to explain - so click here to check it out.

I've always been a big fan of the abstract - Worhol, Koons, Basquiat, Dali, Jasper Johns, Pollock, Picasso, etc. This approach to photography is cool as well. It really became widespread in the 1980's, the Directorial or "fabricated-to-be-photographed" approach - creating a piece of art, scuplture, etc - with the sole intention of creating a photograph from it. The art form was born out of cinema - creating sets and elaborate staging purely to be filmed led to the creation of elaborate staging of artworks for the still camera.

Side note - I was re-reading the page above this photo, and discovered I am apparently a Modernist Photographer: "Where Modernist photographers combed the visual field for delightful coincidence, poignant metaphors, or abstract patterns, none of which were (or should have been) contrived, the photographers working in the Directorial mode conceived and fabricated subjects, disregarding photography's traditional assignment of finding meaning from the look of the world.

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Bamdesigns said...

That is such a neat picture- great blog. Thanks for the comments on my blog.

3rdEyeMuse said...

That's a crazy-insanely-cool photo. Thanks for sharing it.

side note: if you haven't seen it yet, you should go play at: ... I think you just might find it kind of fun.