Nice Paintograph you got there…

Look!  Up on the wall!

It’s a painting!

It’s a photo!

It’s a huge giant mistake masquerading as art!

This is what I am talking about…

Everyone will think it is a Warhol….Honest!


Photos on canvas.  The worst thing to happen to photography since disc film!

Before I rant on, and I will rant about this, I have to thank the people who wrote the following  –

Excellent summation of why photos on canvas are a bad idea.  The fact is, photo canvas is a horrible, horrible thing.  It manages to make whatever is on it sit somewhere between a painting and photo.  And not in a good way, like say, the work of Richie Fahey.

Richie Fahey - Paint on photo

Richie Fahey – Paint on photo


When a photo is printed onto canvas it loses a huge amount of resolution and becomes rather dull.  It is too detailed for a painting, but not good enough for a photo.  It is almost as if it falls into some sort of uncanny valley.  And there is also something weird about buying a 20 megapixel camera and then throwing 90% of that resolution away.

There is also a bizarre amount of fraud that comes with this.

Yes, fraud.  Sometimes outright; sometimes less so.  It is now not unusual for someone to grab some photo off the internet or their camera, throw on a couple of “art filters,” and print it to canvas and sell it off as a painting.  Even if it isn’t labeled as a painting, I have often seen photo canvases simply mounted on the wall with no explanation that what you are seeing is not a painting.  Even painters use photo canvas deceitfully!  There is one vanity-gallery in my town where the “artist,” has taken pictures of his paintings, printed them on canvas, and then sells them.  I’m not sure what he tells people, but he certainly isn’t running editions of these or plainly labeling them as photos.  And his prices are much closer to painting prices than the prices for un-numbered, unlimited editions.

Now, historically photos and paintings have occupied different spheres in the art world.  Paintings have commanded higher prices, overall, due to the work involved and the uniqueness of the work (each one is a one-off usually.) Photos and other mechanically produced methods tend to command lower prices since there is less labor and uniqueness in them (or so they say…I might disagree…) The mixing of the two seems like a very cynical attempt to combine the “mechanical ease” of photo with the cachet and cash of painting.

So can we stop it?  Can we just abandon this horrible, horrible trend?

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