Paper Describing the social influences on modern photography Good Content
Marking the Times:
A study of the political, social and cultural influences on the work of three photographers.
Of all the influences on an artist, the effect of the period in which work is
produced is often the hardest to discern. The era in which an artist lives and works
brings all of the social, political and cultural influences to bear and, while the
effects may be profound in terms of the work, they are some of the most subtle to
pick up. But the climate of an era must be understood in order to fully appreciate
the artist's work. Nowhere can this be seen more clearly than in the work of
photographers Lee Friedlander, Gary Winogrand and Nicholas Nixon.
While it could be argued that all art is influenced by all of history, this
effectively dismisses the effect of the social, political and cultural climate of an era
and represents a superficial view of the role of art.
Art is the engine that validates a
society's collective experience and, therefore is heavily effected by the climate of
the times. It is the era immediately preceding an artist's active period and the time
in which he works which have the most influence.
Both Friedlander and Winogrand worked in the 1960's and beyond-
Winogrand died in the mid 1980's but newly discovered works are periodically
displayed. Both are referred to as street photographers but are at the opposite ends
of the genre's spectrum. Friedlander, who continues to produce new work,
concentrates on the scene and allows the people who wander into the frame to
become elements of the photograph's setting while Winogrand's work concentrates
on the people, allowing the setting to become a stage for his 'actors.'
The time frame for...