Fine art of not?

February 06, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

Fine art or Not?

Artwork is subjective, rather you like it or not and is very subject to a debate as to whether it falls into the class of Fine Art. Sometimes is is relatively easy to classify an image and it really depends on the reason WHY it was made. Most people would agree that selfies are not generally considered fine art. Fine art is often found in medium such as photography, painting, and sculpture and the intent is often to be displayed for esthetic purposes rather than what maybe considered photojournalism.

Elements such as color, space, light, and shape placed together in a cohesive package which may then may be displayed at an art show.  Images that depict a newsworthy event which is then sold to a news source typically would not be considered fine art at least initially. Then again, historic images that have been heavily edited and relate to an important aspect of our lives could be considered fine art. 

Usually, fine art is not created to be decorative nor would it be created to promote a commercial product. Typically, fine art does not contain a subject that we would use in our daily lives but rather we may see it in a gallery to be appreciated. In some cases it may abstract where no clear image is recognizable, other times it may actually be a picture of a person. Fine art is may be displayed in back and white format, but also quite a bit of fine art is represented in bold colors. 

Often fine art is created not to display a particular person (eg. such as portrait photography) but the subject is often heavily edited to create a certain response from viewers, and not just a memory.  A snapshot of a roller-coaster at an amusement park would not necessarily be considered fine art, but if the image was taken from the top of the hill and edited to appear as though it were in a lightning storm, that could then fall into the class of a fine art image.

Ansel Adams was once quoted as "Art controls reality .." and historically painters, sculptures, and other forms of art have traditionally been manipulated in some manner to create a pleasing image.  A landscape image taken during the day may be adjusted to produce a colorful sunset.  In the image above, a headshot of the subject would not typically be considered fine art, but by changing the lighting and photographing it as a silhouette changes the dynamics of the image.


In the end, knowing what the intent of the artist may be could define whether or not an image could be considered fine art. The line is very unclear and while some may consider it fine art, others may consider it otherwise. The choice is often with the viewer.



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