Almost as good as a Photograph

Rivals in the world of arts 


Paintings and photographs. Two artforms which have been living side by side for many years. And all these years there´s been a considerable amount of rivalry between them. 

The paintings were here first - no doubt about it. But the painting´s kid brother, photography, who rudely entered the scene and almost overtook it and pushed the good old painting away from center stage - at least for a while - is a fierce rival. Because of that rivalry I feel there´s been a lot of confusion regarding the justification of each of the two. Is the painting becoming increasingly outdated? Is the photograph really an artform? 

I have heard people say both of the following sentences. "Oh, this photograph is so good it´s almost as good as a painting" And "Oh, this painting is so well made that it´s almost as good as a photograph" I don´t know whether photography is an artform or not. As a matter of facts it can be really hard for me to have an opinion on the subject since I haven´t got a clue as to what the term "art" really means. But I know that photography captures beauty. And that it moves people. I know for a fact, too, that it is a powerful language - therefore a tool of communication across borders. All that goes for painting, too. 

My conclusion will have to be, that I cannot define a significant difference between the two. Except that the tools used to achieve the goal are different. Light, camera and paper versus paint, brush and canvas. Man Ray, US painter, sculptor and photographer, had his say about this, too. "I paint what cannot be photographed, that which comes from the imagination or from dreams, or from an unconscious drive. I photograph the things that I do not wish to paint, the things which already have an existence."


 One of my photographs exposed to Photoshop. Does that make it "as good as a painting"?