A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

Don't Know Much About - Lowbrow Art
Saturday, August 18, 2012


Nicole Steen

Don't know much about history
Don't know much biology
Don't know much about a science book
Don't know much about the French I took

But I do know that I love you
And I know that if you love me too
What a wonderful world this would be

Don't know much about geography
Don't know much trigonometry
Don't know much about algebra
Don't know what a slide rule is for

But I do know that one and one is two
And if this one could be with you
What a wonderful world this would be

Now I don't claim to be an "A" student
But I'm trying to be
So maybe by being an "A" student baby
I can win your love for me

Don't know much about history
Don't know much biology
Don't know much about a science book
Don't know much about the French I took

But I do know that I love you
And I know that if you love me too
What a wonderful world this would be
Sam Cooke




I do think I know a bit about history, geography, biology. But I must admit that my French consists of three or four words. Of the so-called Lowbrow art faction I know absolutely nothing except that its principal protagonist in Vancouver, 12 Midnite, is a pleasant chap with a penchant for painting flames on matt black 1950 Chevys.

I have photographed 12 Midnite at least three times through the years. On one of the occasions I came up with the idea of doing a collaborative illustration for his interview in the Georgia Straight. I was rather pleased except I must note that art directors, for reasons unknown to me, do not like to attribute these illustrations to more than one person. My constant needling to make sure that the double credit is given has not made me friends.



On another assignment perhaps only six years ago I was assigned to photograph Lowbrow artist Nicole Steen. I concocted a scheme using the then still available Polaroid b+w Instant Print Film that would involve some fun collaboration.

It was not to be. The folks (and in particular the art director) of the publication that had hired me said that my stuff was unusable. I was not paid and a handout picture for the exhibition (at the then Tart Gallery) was used instead.



I did not know quite then but this marked a new trend in Vancouver in which illustrations for magazines and newspapers became conventional and in my opinion boring.

Art directors like to design covers for their publication in which their use of typography (a dying art it seems) and layout design trumps any photograph. A good photograph (beyond just being in focus and properly exposed) might compete with the overall design. So those photographic images are kept conventional.



At a recent Western Magazine Award presentation I noticed that one art director won a best layout award for simply coming up with the brilliant “new” idea of running a photograph for a business article as a full-page vertical bleed.

I think I can figure it out now. Lowbrow art may just be much too smart. But then how would I know? I am just a dumb photographer.




     

Previous Posts
Casi-Casi Intervenes & A Little Girl Smiles

Deco Lamps, Fake Leopard Rugs & Rosemary's Black L...

Paul St. Pierre - Death Is The Cure For All Diseas...

One Might Easily Wish He Were A Horse

Monkeying Around In The Garden

A Face

A Kirengeshoma Through A Pinhole

Excitement In Virtual Solitude

The Lockheed F-104 & The Right Stuff At The Vancou...

The Right Stuff At The Vancouver Planetarium



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10/23/16 - 10/30/16

10/30/16 - 11/6/16

11/6/16 - 11/13/16

11/13/16 - 11/20/16

11/20/16 - 11/27/16

11/27/16 - 12/4/16

12/4/16 - 12/11/16

12/11/16 - 12/18/16

12/18/16 - 12/25/16

12/25/16 - 1/1/17

1/1/17 - 1/8/17

1/8/17 - 1/15/17

1/15/17 - 1/22/17

1/22/17 - 1/29/17

1/29/17 - 2/5/17

2/5/17 - 2/12/17

2/12/17 - 2/19/17

2/19/17 - 2/26/17

2/26/17 - 3/5/17

3/5/17 - 3/12/17

3/12/17 - 3/19/17

3/19/17 - 3/26/17

3/26/17 - 4/2/17

4/2/17 - 4/9/17

4/9/17 - 4/16/17

4/16/17 - 4/23/17

4/23/17 - 4/30/17

4/30/17 - 5/7/17

5/7/17 - 5/14/17

5/14/17 - 5/21/17

5/21/17 - 5/28/17

5/28/17 - 6/4/17

6/4/17 - 6/11/17

6/11/17 - 6/18/17

6/18/17 - 6/25/17

6/25/17 - 7/2/17

7/2/17 - 7/9/17

7/9/17 - 7/16/17

7/16/17 - 7/23/17

7/23/17 - 7/30/17

7/30/17 - 8/6/17

8/6/17 - 8/13/17

8/13/17 - 8/20/17

8/20/17 - 8/27/17

8/27/17 - 9/3/17

9/3/17 - 9/10/17

9/10/17 - 9/17/17

9/17/17 - 9/24/17

9/24/17 - 10/1/17

10/1/17 - 10/8/17

10/8/17 - 10/15/17

10/15/17 - 10/22/17

10/22/17 - 10/29/17

10/29/17 - 11/5/17

11/5/17 - 11/12/17

11/12/17 - 11/19/17

11/19/17 - 11/26/17

11/26/17 - 12/3/17

12/3/17 - 12/10/17

12/10/17 - 12/17/17