Monday, May 9, 2011

Cash Brown's use of Henson snaps reveals disdain for skill and hard work

Bill Henson is involved in another brouhaha. But this time the issue of whether he's a creepy ol' perve or not are peripheral. (Although they might become central again if the story keeps developing.)

See, some of his shots (along with ones by other photographers) have been used without his permission in the work of another artist, Cash Brown. They are not too happy about it.

What's interesting is Ms Brown's candour about her lack of skill as a creative artist, admitting that she's "a shithouse photographer" and adding:

''I'm terrible at it apart from documenting works. As far as making art through a lens, no way. I leave it to people far more gifted and tenacious.''

So she went and nicked a couple of ready made snaps and whopped them into her montage, followed by a price tag of close to half a grand. The fact that initially she had no compunctions about doing this reveals much about the art scene today. Skill and hard work are certainly not valued highly, if at all.

You really can build a career even if you have little or no ability to draw, paint or take photos in a unique and skillful way. You just need to do something that certain groups (eg Christians) find offensive using only what's out there already. If you generate enough publicity, the squitterati will often think you're a "great artist" with an "uncompromising vision" or some such rubbish. But chances are you're just a lazy fraud who can't by arsed doing your own work!

Well, at least the artist in this case was honest. Quite refreshing, actually. 

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