Thursday, March 19, 2009
by Jonathan Jones @ The Guardian
In the early 20th century, the photograph still seemed new. The German intellectual Walter Benjamin tried to understand how photography changed art: it replaced the "aura" of the masterpiece with a new, democratic way of making pictures. Going on for a century later, we're living in the midst of a technological revolution that has left photography itself behind. Here's the latest: artist Jorge Colombo makes pictures of New York street life using the Brushes application (bought for $4.99 - "a great leveller") on his iPhone. The results are impressively delicate and lively.
Lots of people take photos on a phone - the casual record of what you see is fun to share. Colombo's pictures are a creative extension of that: he sketches what he sees in New York, and these fast, fragmentary glimpses of a car park entrance, a pizza joint, a view between buildings have an impressionistic immediacy. He can "draw in the dark", working on the illuminated screen to depict the city by night. They are not pretentious, they do not claim to be more than a sort of visual diary. But they show that a sensitive eye can use any medium to respond to the beauty of the world - whether it's a brush or Brushes.
Posted by David Emerick at 3:41 PM