[Musician and artist, b. 1952, Dumbarton, Scotland, lives in New York.]
…if photos can reproduce the world more perfectly than any painter, can capture an instant, a look, a gesture, then what makes a painting good anymore? Painting subverts this subversion of its traditional nature by redefining itself—art is idea, not simply skillful execution. So, a work can be crudely made, or even machine made—but it has to be practically and functionally useless.
Is giving in to the photographer’s presumably natural impulse to compose and light well sometimes okay and not okay other times?