Body art is art made on, with, or consisting of, the human body. The most common forms of body art are tattoos and body piercings. Other types include scarification, branding, subdermal implants, scalpelling, shaping (for example tight-lacing of corsets), full body tattoo and body painting.
Body art is also a sub-category of performance art, in which artists use or abuse their own body to make their particular statements. More extreme body art can involve mutilation or pushing the body to its physical limits.
In more recent times, the body has become a subject of much broader discussion and treatment than can be reduced to body art in its common understanding. Important strategies that question the human body are: implants, body in symbiosis with the new technologies, virtual bodies, among others.
Photography, the art of capturing a moment in a film or a computer file
unlike any other visual image, a photograph is not a rendering, an imitation or an interpretation of its subject, but actually a trace of it. No painting or drawing, however naturalist, belongs to its subject in the way that a photograph does. It’s a positive way of looking at one of the differences between traditional art and photography. A photograph captures a moment in time in its actuality, whereas something like a painting or drawing, however accurate is essentially a rendering of whatever the artist chooses to see. But can photography itself ever be described as an art form?
I do believe that some photography can be viewed as art. If you take a close look at landscape and portrait images, you’ll often see the influence of paintings. Photographers often mimic the setup of groups of people in paintings into their own portraiture, along with the interesting expressions and moods that said painters have captured. So, before many of us have even pressed the shutter, the influence of art is apparent in photographic work.
The sort of photography that is viewed as art is the kind of work that has clearly had thought put into it, and in which both technical and artistic skills is evident. The most stunning portrait and landscape shots have clearly not just been ‘snapped’ with a camera phone.
Photographs where time has been taken to get the correct lighting, whereby possibly hours have been spent getting the set up right, a relationship with the subject has been established and is evident in the final result – these images are art.
There is a skill involved in taking images that speak to the viewer and provoke a reaction in them that’s no different to the reactions evoked by art.
So yes, in the right circumstances photography is an art form. And it’s an art form that takes skill, artistic ability and an understanding of technology. It deserves its place on the artistic forum.