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by Bob Rogers

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About the book

  • 55 Pages
  • Black and White
  • Paperback
  • 15 Photographs SPECIAL COLLECTORS’ EDITON: Additional, 4″x6″, original gravure print tipped in.
  • Limited to 25. Signed by Author.

Introduction from Bob Rogers:

When asked whether his photographs should be considered “art”, Bob Rogers quotes the anthropologist Marvin Harris who states, “No one has succeeded in formulating a definition of art that would permit an anthropologist to segregate art from nonart in all the cultures of the world.” It comes as little surprise, then, that no one else can, either.

An infectious and playful sense of irony informs Rogers’ photographic work as well as the long-repressed essay, “The Value of Art”, which, turns the Hegelian model of traditional art criticism on its head and speaks to the emptiness and essential loneliness of our time, where economics has become the main engine that drives contemporary, gallery-art production and the conversations that surround it. Where once religion and the celebration of nature, and life’s eternal mysteries served as the springboard for creative output, its collectivity and possession, today we stand solitary before astronomically expensive images of others who stare equally solitarily at images of themselves.

About Bob

Bob Rogers is a photographer and writer.  His work has been exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum and Queens Museum as well as various galleries, and is represented in various public and private collections including the Allan Chasanoff Collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. His writings about photography have been published in national and international anthologies and journals, including the Gazette des Beaux Arts, the College Art Association’s Art Journal and Afterimage. He has also written for television, radio and theatre. He is presently Chair of the Department of Art and Design at Queensborough Community College – City University of New York, in New York City.

From the essay, “The Value of Art”

Since the turn of the twentieth century, increasing numbers of artworks of all times, traditions, and cultures have been eagerly commoditized and consumed by a voracious art market even though these works may have been conceived for vastly different purposes and express a variety of aesthetic visions having little or no contemporary currency—their original contexts and meanings sometimes unknown and unknowable. And despite an enormous increase in the total volume of sales at auction over the last decades, the prices of individual objects continue to soar in seeming contradiction to the laws of supply and demand. Though rarity or uniqueness is virtually always a prerequisite for the highest valuation, the art market seems able to generate an ever-increasing supply of rare objects without undermining or diminishing the value of earlier investments. This paradox cannot be explained by traditional notions of collecting or aesthetics alone as the answer lies outside of the structure of the modern art institution. Rather, it is rooted in broader economic necessities that, since the turn of the twentieth century, have dramatically distorted the valuation of almost all commodities including the market price of art.

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