Monday, December 12, 2016

Black or White: You Decide

Opinions are like belly buttons; everybody has one. I never knock a man for his opinion.   

-Shaquille O'Neal

It is interesting that I can have the same conversation with different people over the course of a few days. This time it concerned white backgrounds. "Art needs to be on white backgrounds." "Everything looks better on white backgrounds." I was struck by the passion that went into these statements. "Museum walls are white, so that proves my point." Except I know this is not true. The National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago has brightly colored walls and it works. "Black backgrounds on websites suck." I don't particularly like black backgrounds on websites, but one would be hard pressed to say that Apple did not do an outstanding job with their Mac Pro website. I will say that black background sites, do get my attention in part because they are now rare. I remember when they were the rage. My problem with black background websites is that it takes my eyes time to adjust to reading the white text. ClaySpace Ceramic Arts Center has a photography booth with a gradation background- it goes from black to grey to white. Sometimes I like the look and other times it just doesn't work for my artwork, but I know that it is a preference for many of the artists there. They simply do not like a solid colored background.

A friend asked me to photograph some snake skin (Yep, I own snake skin. I found it in my yard more than 20 years ago.) for an art project (sketching) that she had in mind. After seeing the snake skin on black, she asked for it with white so I decided to use these photographs for this blog post.  While I like the composition of the white backgrounded photograph, I prefer the snake skin on the black background.  There is a right or wrong answer. So which one do you like? Do you always use a white background when photographing your work?  What is your favorite background?

1 comment:

  1. I much prefer the black background for the snakeskin. In general, I think black backgrounds make other colors pop


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