Ilford PanF 50 - pulled to 25

Ilford PanF 50 - pulled to 25

Ilford PanF 50 - pulled to 25

Ilford PanF 50 - pulled to 25

white" nature landscape

Ilford PanF 50 - pulled to 25

white" nature landscape

Ilford PanF50 - pulled to 25


Ilford PanF50 - pulled to 25, originally uploaded by Paul Cooklin.

white" nature landscape

Ilford PanF50 - pulled to 25


Ilford PanF50 - pulled to 25, originally uploaded by Paul Cooklin.

white" nature landscape

Ilford PanF50 - pulled to 25


Ilford PanF50 - pulled to 25, originally uploaded by Paul Cooklin.

white" nature landscape

Self-Processed - Ilford HP5


Self-Processed - Ilford HP5, originally uploaded by Paul Cooklin.

and white" film

Self-Processed - Ilford HP5


Self-Processed - Ilford HP5, originally uploaded by Paul Cooklin.

and white" film

Self-Processed - Ilford HP5


Self-Processed - Ilford HP5, originally uploaded by Paul Cooklin.

and white" film

Self-Processed - Ilford HP5


Self-Processed - Ilford HP5, originally uploaded by Paul Cooklin.

and white" film

Self-Processed - Ilford HP5


Self-Processed - Ilford HP5, originally uploaded by Paul Cooklin.

white" "oil drum"

Self-Processed - Ilford HP5


Self-Processed - Ilford HP5, originally uploaded by Paul Cooklin.

white" "oil drum"

Self-Processed - Ilford HP5


Self-Processed - Ilford HP5, originally uploaded by Paul Cooklin.

white" film

Self-Processed - Ilford HP5


Self-Processed - Ilford HP5, originally uploaded by Paul Cooklin.

white" film

Self-Processed - Ilford HP5


Self-Processed - Ilford HP5, originally uploaded by Paul Cooklin.

white" film

Self-Processed - Ilford HP5


Self-Processed - Ilford HP5, originally uploaded by Paul Cooklin.

white" film

Self-Processed - Ilford HP5


Self-Processed - Ilford HP5, originally uploaded by Paul Cooklin.

Self-Processed - Ilford HP5


Self-Processed - Ilford HP5, originally uploaded by Paul Cooklin.

Self-Processed - HP5


Self-Processed - HP5, originally uploaded by Paul Cooklin.

Self-Processed - Nature - Panf50

film nature

Self-Processed - Nature - Panf50

film nature

Self-Processed - Sky - Panf50

Self-Processed - Sky - Panf50

Self-Processed - Sky - Panf50

The Truth About Modern Art

Opinions and views expressed by Xianru Shen at 3752 Blogs

"Even I can draw better than that! That can't possibly be called art."

I hear this all the time, at museums, on the street, or during casual talks with friends. And usually, I have to bite back my tongue not to leap up in retaliation to such statements, take a deep breath, and remind myself of what's going on here.

We've all seen the political cartoons, the comic strips, the satirical references on late-night TV shows: "modern" art is, to many people, not much more than a splat of paint on a canvas, sold at millions of dollars for no good reason, and fussed over without real basis. Indeed, it wouldn't surprise me if most people think art reached its peak during the realism-infested Classical period of the 1800's, or the light-dappled style of the Impressionists in late nineteenth century. Some might even go so far as to praise the unique brush strokes and skewed perspective of Van Gogh, but many would be reluctant to offer the same appreciation for Piet Mondrian's works that seem to be little more than coloured rectangles from only a few decades later. Has art slowly deteriorated over the ages? Have artists, tired of imitating life, started toying with the general public by trying to make us believe dumping a paint on a canvas is now sufficient to display at museums?

That is not the case.

There are many interpretations out there, but modern art, in my opinion, has tried to capture the abstracts in life. And to capture that which has to definite shape, and no definite image, it makes sense for artists to use only the most basic of the elements and principles of art to convey these concepts. Colours and simple shapes are not meant to encapsulate still life, but rather invoke emotions, thoughts, and memories. It's true that the same can be achieved through an intricate, realistic picture. But the appeal in modern art is that for the first time, artist are trying to call forth the same impact art has always had on people by using another route, another method, and another style.

It's not art because someone smacked a paintbrush against a canvas. It's art because it was done deliberately; because the artist felt that that was the most effective way to capture, in as tangible a way as possible, what is not only intangible, but fleeting. A feeling, a message, or an experience. The goal of art has, and should be, to communicate. Furthermore, modern art isn't just cubism and minimalism, which seem to be the only ones ever referenced. There are other styles that also define this era, such as surrealism and abstract expressionism that are worth closer looks.

I can't argue that even the most veteran of artists can convince everyone that a paper with nothing but coloured strips drawn onto it or a sculpture that doesn't seem to represent any recognizable image is the most impressive of artistic legacies, but I think it's important for people to at least recognize their merits as art.

That brings up another point: why are most people today so out of tune with the artistic world, and its movements? Why is the average person so quick to criticize? One reason might simply be the way modern society works. Millions of people tune in to watch the Academy Awards, keep up with the latest TV shows, or read fashion magazines, but how often is world of art and its slow revolution ever discussed within earshot, unless you go looking for it? Art awards are given out frequently without any big public notice, museums are hardly ever as crowded as movie theatres, and people simply are not informed. So is it any surprise that without proper knowledge, once they were faced with something that isn't their traditional idea of "art", many people wrinkle their noses and consider it trash? This has happened many times in the past, through art history, and it continues today.

Maybe the flaw lies in our educational system. Maybe it's a larger societal problem. Maybe it's not a thing to be worried over at all. But to me, it seems that there needs to be an effort in educating most people at least in the basics of art, what's going on with art revolutions, and how to look at different kinds of art, because art has always been, and always should be, an important part to life, culture, and how we view the world.

For more in-depth discussions about modern art, and recent art happenings, visit:
http://www.paulcooklin.com/blog/2006/03/modern-art_26.html

Dramatic Clouds


Dramatic Clouds, originally uploaded by Paul Cooklin.

Bronica SQB test


Bronica SQB test, originally uploaded by Paul Cooklin.

Inspiration - Eddie O'Bryan


Amanda & the Spanish Moss, originally uploaded by Eddie O'Bryan.

Amanda & the Spanish Moss

Eight second exposure with a Hasselblad 6x6. Kodak Tri-X film. Developed in D76 1:1.

what we became


what we became, originally uploaded by seventytw0dpi.

Inspired composition by seventytw0dpi at Flickr

The new portfolio/catalogue


The new portfolio/catalogue, originally uploaded by Paul Cooklin.

available at www.paulcooklin.com

Suffolk - Astia 100F


Suffolk - Astia 100F, originally uploaded by Paul Cooklin.

What goes through their minds?

Blue Sky - Skyscape


Blue Sky - Skyscape, originally uploaded by Paul Cooklin.

Blue Sky - Landscape


Blue Sky - Landscape, originally uploaded by Paul Cooklin.

Fuji Astia - Landscape


Fuji Astia - Landscape, originally uploaded by Paul Cooklin.

Fuji Astia - Landscape


Fuji Astia - Landscape, originally uploaded by Paul Cooklin.

Lopham Fen, Suffolk - Landscape

Lopham Fen, Suffolk - Landscape

Lopham Fen, Suffolk - Landscape

In memory of Buttercup


In memory of Buttercup, originally uploaded by Paul Cooklin.

These photos of our ferret, Buttercup, or Ferrety as I used to call
her, were taken a couple of days before she was put to sleep and laid
to rest in our garden. She reached a ripe old age of 9, which is very
good for a ferret. She was a house-ferret, which is to say she lived
with us and just used her cage as a base to store food, when she
wasn't using the sofa or likely place. A sweet natured girl with lots
of energy and mischief. Rest in peace Ferrety, you'll be missed.

In memory of Buttercup


In memory of Buttercup, originally uploaded by Paul Cooklin.

These photos of our ferret, Buttercup, or Ferrety as I used to call
her, were taken a couple of days before she was put to sleep and laid
to rest in our garden. She reached a ripe old age of 9, which is very
good for a ferret. She was a house-ferret, which is to say she lived
with us and just used her cage as a base to store food, when she
wasn't using the sofa or likely place. A sweet natured girl with lots
of energy and mischief. Rest in peace Ferrety, you'll be missed.

Ilford XP2 - Barn Ruin (Update)

Ilford XP2 - Barn Ruin (Update)

white" B&W film 120

Ilford XP2 - Barn Ruin (Update)

white" B&W film 120

Ilford XP2 - Barn Ruin (Update)

white" B&W film 120

Ilford XP2 - Barn Ruin (Update)

white" B&W film 120

Ilford XP2 - Barn Ruin (Update)

white" B&W film 120

War Bunker - Fomapan


War Bunker - Fomapan, originally uploaded by Paul Cooklin.

There's too much glare (or light leak) on this photo. To date Ive not
had much success with Fomapan. The negs curl and difficult to scan on
a flat bed scanner.

Barn Ruin


Barn Ruin, originally uploaded by Paul Cooklin.

Im waiting for some film to come back from the lab which I shot inside
this old barn which housed some ancient farming equipment and rusty
bikes - very atmospheric and spooky inside. I will be posting the
photos this week.