WHEN DOES A PHOTO BECOME ART?

Public Art, an independent feature film, attempts to answer that question in a slow-moving satire. Think of My Dinner With Andre meets low-budget Hawaii.

Although the film is low budget, the ideas it explores are not. And many of those questions deal with the idea of photography as an art form.

If you think about it, is clicking a button an act of artistry? Or are we all missing the point? With every phone being a camera, and some people filming movies with iPhones, is everyone who takes a picture an artist?

Where do you draw a line between someone taking pictures for fun and someone who is a serious artist? And just because someone might consider themselves to be a serious artist, does that mean that their work is art?

public art

In the film, Gary asks his friends at a party if they are familiar with the work of Gregory Crewdson. He mentions that Gregory Crewdson stages a scene in real life and that staged creation is actually art, but then Crewdson snaps a picture of the scene and calls the photograph his art and "confuses the hell out of everybody." The guests at the party seem bored and perplexed with Gary, but the point is well taken.

For something to be art, you have to create something that doesn't exist in reality. You have to show us something that we can't see for ourselves. If someone takes a picture of a Stop sign, does nothing further to the image, and prints it exactly how it looks in real life, that's not art. You might say it is historical documentation, but it isn't art.

Without giving too much away, the story ends with the main character coming to this very realization. Art requires some degree of staging or image manipulation. You can say that some art is photography but not all photography is art. And for photography to be considered as art, there is definitely more required than just clicking a button.

 

THE PUBLIC ART TRAILER

 

 

THE WORK OF GREGORY CREWDSON

 

 

YOU WERE MINE

 

 

IS PHOTOGRAPHY ART?