I was listening to TWIP episode 398 "Raiders of the Lost Art" where one of the topics covered was the question is photography art. Renee Robyn goes on to say that there "...literally is a make it awesome button for a lot of photographers." referring to photoshop and other editing software. Her point seemed to be that photography was too easy and that it was possible for anyone to make a decent image. Because of this she didn't feel that most photography was art.
For me art is subjective. I believe if someone is moved by an image or sculpture or performance then that is art. I don't believe you need years of education or to be a master of any particular art form to be an artist. If something you are viewing makes you feel something profound then isn't it art, regardless of who created it? Regardless of the experience level of the person behind the art if you enjoy it and want to experience it again and again then shouldn't that qualify?
I've walked through my fair share of museums including locations in San Francisco, New York, Paris and Florence. Some I enjoyed and some I did not. I've spent half an hour looking at Georgia O'Keeffe's "Black Cross, New Mexico, 1929". I've stood in the Sistine Chapel staring at the ceiling until I had a crick in my neck. I was so inspired by Ansel Adams that I have spent hundreds of days in Yosemite and the surrounding areas making images that I cherish to this day. I have also walked past so much art that just didn't do anything for me, but It is still art. I love what I love but I would never tell someone that something wasn't art.
So what makes an artist? I believe there are two ingredients. First you must have passion for what you do or create and second you must put it out to an audience. I once heard that we all must search for our tribe. by that I mean that there is a group out there for everyone. A group of people that will love what you do and want to interact with you and will give you feedback and be part of your personal eco system. The goal is to find them and to put your art out there so that they are able to find you. That is why I am here. I love photography and have had a life long passion for it. I'm just looking for my tribe.
Is it you?