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image  1 Benjamin Everett - The clam diggers
October 10, 2022

The clam diggers. A rainy day conversation with, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, and Idris Khan, perhaps a drop in by Todd Hido...I don’t know any of these cats. Idris and Todd are making powerful work today, but James was born in 1834, so it might be a challenge for us to get together. But, that’s the cool thing about art. We can dialogue with anyone throughout time.This one finds me curious about their feelings on substance vs style. Inspiration vs appropriation. The relationship between how we make something, and why. Idris created a seminal series that appropriated the work of Bernd and Hilla Becher, with (it appears) the intent of adding meaning. Todd’s style is highly copied by other contemporary photographers, who arguably don’t add additional meaning. And James was a big proponent of art for aesthetics alone - meaning be damned (and fought over in lawsuits.) Of course his stance was taken in an age when images were relatively rare and filled with allegory, which to him might have made this fight feel - quite meaningful. 🙃
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