Art or Life? Pick One!

Roadside market, Hanoi to Tho Ha village

The image above was made with the idea that the camera never lies.  The one below with the idea that the camera is capable of going beyond reducing the multidimensional world to a mere two.  In the one above the goal is to show what things looked like.  The one below works more with emotional impressions which don’t fit well into words.  Which, for you, is the more engaging?

Roadside market, Hanoi to Tho Ha village

Click on “leave a comment” below to let me know your preference.


Published in: on March 30, 2013 at 5:40 pm  Comments (11)  

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11 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The bottom one is more engaging to me. In real life, I would not have time to study the details of a picture like this; all these people would have already zipped by. The bottom removes these impossible details. For example, if a guy was coming at me on a motorbike, I would notice the person and the bike, I would not even look at the face. So ironically the bottom image is more like real life to me than the top!


  2. Dear Richard,
    I love the 2nd one.


  3. Can you add even more color and blur the outlines? Judith


  4. Having seen the realistic picture first, I could only see the abstract as a variation on the 1st. I knew what the missing face looked like. If I gave it a few days to settle, I’d probably be able to see both pictures.


  5. I find the top one more interesting. real life.


  6. I prefer “interpretive art” in general – just not necessarily this particular one.


  7. The first picture has all the emotional resonance of the second, plus even more because it involves actual human beings. This is not a general comment on abstraction, just a particular response to these particular pictures.



  8. To me, the pictures are a study in color, not emotion. The “real” picture contains beautiful blocks of solid color that are rarely seen in a busy cityscape. The two main characters (the one on the bike, and the one to the left) are both dressed in vivid yet somewhat monochromatic outfits that one never sees in New York — except in ever-present black, of course. The first picture is therefore a treat and does not need enhancement.


  9. I prefer the first. I didn’t think the 2nd was particularly abstract: details are retained on everything except the the motorcyclist’s face.


  10. is written some where,one picture is worth a thousand words


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