a photograph is not a painting

Disaster stroke last week; I lost the battery of the Leica dlux3. This essentially meant no snap shooting for a few days and the realization of how important this has become for me in the last few years, first using an Olympus mju2 and now the Leica dlux3. The evidence is that I  always photograph best when I am not thinking and only looking. Thinking does not engage feeling and snap shooting  is a good way to feel the world around; in that sense, photography is for me an artistic medium, like Haikus rather than philosophical statements. Not for me the big epic, the fresco depicting Hell, Heaven, the damned and the beautiful, I am only looking at the footprint, the chard, the electric wire. By having a thorough knowledge of art history, I often see elements of the real world which recall an art movement, sometimes a painting. This is somehow reassuring for me; what I see is part of the whole, others have seen it before me, be a long time ago or just a few weeks. When I see "that way", I might inconsiderately decide to shoot. It is probably my way of saying to dead artists:I know your work and I embrace you. Photography can hold hand with painting, the way it does with everything that might ever come out of a human brain, the way René Magritte hold hand with pipes and hats. But a photography will never be a painting. The time spent, the smell, the white canvas, wood, plaster which will be covered by hand, the patience also the impatience, mostly the time spent to produce one painting can never be compared to even the longest exposure, the most fastidious Photoshop fiddling, or chemistry enhancing of a photography. So what is Jane Ure-Smith trying to say in this week end FT Life and Art, when she titles her review of Andreas Gursky new show at Sprüth-Magers in Berlin "Painterly Photographic"?, calling him a "painter" of modern life? Possibly, she does not know her De Kooning from her Richard Misrach. Did she meant to refer to his sense of composition? It seems Mr Gursky affirms not being interested in an objective view of the world but a painterly view, which is not the same idea at all than him producing "painterly" photographic work. He mentions the formal qualities of painting, that is the form, not the essence. Form follows function and it is evident here that Mr Gursky is not about to abandon the walls of the museums to start a blog showcasing the snapshots of his "carefree days, driving through some nice landscapes."
I shot the back of this advertising board in front of the old Commonwealth Institute and I was in  a Lucio Fontana meet Picasso mood.



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