6.29.2009


it's beautiful here, isn't it...




luigi ghirri



there is something about european art.


ah!
can you help
me pin point it?


I have this feeling
that we americans,
never quite get it.
or achieve it


even when we try.

12 comments:

Étienne said...

the first things that came to my mind...
--americans have never [really] had a monarchy
--young vs. old countries
--geography

maybe also europeans are more conscious of working within a tradition, whereas the american spirit is often to move beyond boundaries & into the new...

Kylie said...

I wouldn't say that... (Australian speaking here!) I think we are always harder on ourselves and our own kind perhaps? We bring a host of preconceived ideas to anything we observe, the same with art. It could just be something as simple as the light over there, you know? ;) Lovely post - thanks. K

joy said...

I think that American, European, and Asian photographers are driven by different things and that is shown in their works. I think it is doable to do all of these styles but you have to look at them less like styles and more at what they are photographing

mieletcannelle said...

perhaps the striving at imitation, and failing at it.. the growth towards something similar that results in something so different in comparison - that's what makes it American? Not in a negative way - but in a way that always pushes us forward, where "successful" imitation isn't an option or a desire, but an effect and a genre in itself?

rhan small ernst said...

i have to say that your question is a little general - i'm not sure what you are talking about

Anonymous said...

Your quest is a bit confusing:

you say you don't know what "it" is about european art--then at the same time you say "americans don't get it"--so, just what isn't an american getting if even you don't know what it is?

Perhaps rethink what you are asking: ask instead, is there a tangible, recognizable difference between an American and European artist/photographer/et al?

Frankly, unless someone is already established--a Cartier-Bresson, an Ansel Adams, a de Kooning, a Richter-- I doubt the average art appreciator can distingusih twixt the two identities...

And isn't the question a bit sub-categorical to what is art in the first place? good art transcends mere nationalism

virginia said...

i think americans, in the past, always wanted to start with a blank space and fill it with new things. a person could move to a new state, keep their mouth shut about their humble beginnings, and invent a new family history, complete with newly-purchased-matching artwork, and furnishings.

we're an older and more sophisticated country now, and there's a new sensibility...cull from the past, but re-arrange and re-furbish the discarded. jump forward a couple of generations from original poverty, and fading objects take on a romanticism that the original owners could not have imagined. that first generation wanted distance from the poverty, but the second was nostalgic in ways that only the never-struggled, could be.

sources and inspiration are available without the expense of travel, now, so i think we will soon be catching up. inherited objects will be incorporated into the modern space, in much the same way that it is done in europe.

i think maybe we have grown more confident in our taste, and less apologetic of our idiosyncrasies. europeans (and i lived in france when i was young) assimilate their past, begrudgingly memorize the classics, and then go their way without regard to rules.

maybe it was all the wars...

Eric Orozco said...

no need to do it better.

no need to invent things. no need to be bored of the original.

love things for themselves. what this day does. what moves me about it. it is itself a thing to appreciate.

allow things to happen like they want to happen. and appreciate pleasurable accidents, yes.

what life enjoyment is. the what can be of life.

craft. the thought put into craft.

Anonymous said...

Strange, we fascinate them....they fascinate us....good we are still paying attention. xxooLynnda

Nicolas said...

totally unrelated. but the top luigi ghirri photograph must be an homage to giorgio morandi. you might already know of him; but if you don't, i recommend looking into his work. beautiful, quiet, and balanced still lifes.

i saw his work in a gallery in bologna. i could have stayed there for days.

nic from rolu

tony said...

If there is a difference perhaps it lies in a question of 'speed' which spills over and shapes perception. Straight line versus the curve; travelling from A to B in the fastest time possible against the detour; the imperative of the new against the weight of the past; the disposable against the kept; the abrupt against the continual; the moment against an age; surface against the hidden etc., etc.

tony said...

I've tried to slim down the long-windedness of my previous post -for which I apologise.
Perhaps the main difference can be refined into two notions .

America runs at the rate of 'time-mechanic' whilst the European psyche is rooted in 'time-organic'. The one not being necessarily compatible with the other - hence so many misunderstandings arise.