EDITOR'S NOTE: This commentary was written in response to Robert Bateman's essay The State of Wildlife Art that appeared earlier at Wildlife Art Journal magazine.
By Tony Angell
I remain perplexed that this matter is even debated. As artists we do what we want to do and if it sells in the market, is respected by galleries or acquired by museums, that becomes part of the experience. The Werner Herzog film, Cave of Forgotten Dreams reminds us again of the emotional motivation behind great works and few would argue that animal subjects have ever been rendered more powerfully than those cave paintings.
If questions are to asked about the state of Naturalism today perhaps a review of why some paintings and sculpture (yes Bob, there is sculpting to be considered in your article and Koons' toy dogs don't really cover the subject) fail as art.
So much of what is out there looks like everything else that is out there as it lacks originality and any sense of the individual artist's point of view, experience or values. There are certainly many reasons of course and that really is the basis for a more extended response, but suffice it to say and contrary to Bob's argument, I would argue that the technology of the camera remains an obstacle that many artists seem incapable of moving beyond.
"A technically adroit recomposed or
directly copied photograph, no...
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Post Date:October 26th, 2011
'American stone carver Tony Angell marshals a response to Robert Bateman's essay The State of Wildlife Art. It is part of a larger discussion that also includes Ron Kingswood, Simon Gudgeon, Andrew Denman and Adrian Burton weighing in.