Uh oh. Deep breath. I’m sticking my neck out and putting my head on the proverbial block as I’m going to attempt the impossible and try and define street photography. So strap yourselves in, this is sure to be a bumpy ride.
I’m going to start with the mother of all kop outs though – art is subjective. It is totally and utterly subjective. One artist’s creation will be viewed as a work of unparalleled genius by some, while others will see it as mediocre, average, or just plain boring. Or maybe it won’t even stir any emotion at all in them. I remember giving a presentation at high school where I had to pick my favourite work of art and my least favourite. I chose a Ralph Goings photorealistic painting as my favourite, and an Anselm Kiefer creation as my least favourite. My art teacher and many of my classmates were appalled – I’d committed heresy! Equally Edward Hopper’s paintings used to bore me – now I look at Nighthawks and I almost want to weep because it exudes such a power over me. What I’m trying to say is that art is so fluid and dynamic that applying definitive, absolute labels to it, or pigeonholing it into ‘genres’ is not really feasible, and in a few years our opinions about it might change anyway. But I shall give it a go.