Aesthetics for Birds

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone

DAVID ESTLUND ON “GIRL AT WINDOW WITH BIRDCAGE”

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This is entry #27 in our 100 Philosophers, 100 Artworks, 100 Words Series.

Philosopher: David Estlund (Brown)

Artwork: Bruce Davidson, Girl at Window with Birdcage (1966-68), greyscale photograph from the book East 100th Street

Words: It’s a new age for photography, with a serious camera in every pocket. And processing and special-effects are as easy as a few clicks. I think it will breed artists. But there is no app for making a powerful photograph. This image (a small digital copy of a richer,  8×10 silver print from a large 4×5 inch negative) sets the bar very high, combining a masterful use of formal elements (composition, patterns, and repetition) along with profound, layered meaning that can only come from the artist’s heart.

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