Giving Meaning to Composition

Legendary War photographer, Don McCullin, spoke to Artnet News about his landscape photographs, on view at Hauser & Wirth Somerset. 

“I am a photographer, not an artist . . . I don’t make art. I use composition, but it is not art.”

As an artist, I couldn’t agree more. Composition is important, but it doesn’t determine the meaning of “Art”.  Design is about composition. Historical realism is about composition. Representation is about composition. But, giving composition meaning . . .  that is art.  

Art is about concept and idea, discovery and exploration. Creativity is thinking about a concept “differently”.  That newness changes ideas and concepts, adjusting them to contemporary thought, allowing them to be independent, free, and not locked into anything, including the rules of composition. 

Artists see more than composition. Artists explore, discover, dig for difference, and make that newness a visual reality.