I rarely can take a studio photograph of a painting, and have it appear similar to the painting when posted here. I don't have the studio space, nor equipment (lots of polarizers needed for the glazings) nor the experience to achieve this. And add into the mix that once uploaded the photograph is then compressed and uncompressed onto whatever monitor or projector you happen to be viewing this post on (colour calibrated whom knows how), and so it moves even farther from its origin .
That's fine, and in fact rather comforting that the painting retains something integral that can't be experienced in print or digital viewing. In some ways it is much like the painting comes no where near its subject. Which is great, as it isn't its subject. Artists don't capture the subjects soul, they imbue their work with a similar soul like quality as their subject.
But admittedly this distancing from the original piece is frustrating at times. A hall of mirrors where every image is more often then not, a derivative of something else.
What's fascinating is that the deliberate derivative, some how moves immediately into its own. It isn't a copy of something else, but something that has its roots in another image. The derivative then gets measured on it's own merits, not against something else.
So where as the jpgs of the paintings never measure up to the original painting, their deliberate digital derivatives measure up to themselves.
This lost in translation of media is also the found in translation of media. It's why a painter paints. They discover a new poetry in that media. Otherwise they would be content with the beauty of nature.
Trying to grasp the same poetry in different media might be possible, but it begs the questions, why bother? Media are like people, yes, there are doppelgangers, twins and birds of a feather. Yet each case has their own poetry that is best celebrated for its own particularities. Measuring it against the other than itself leads to that deception that it isn't what its supposed to be. Which is false. It is what it is.
What we measure against, is the source of our deception, and not the image. A bit like bewailing the black and white photograph lacks the colour of reality, instead of rejoicing in the tones brought to the fore in the B&W photograph
© GAMcCullough 2012