Richard Learoyd, ‘Man with octopus tattoo II’, 2011. A unique Ilfochrome photograph.
Photography was not considered art, it’s reproductive capabilities and the use of a machine to make it were enough for it to be considered a mere craft, derivative to painting, that it lacked the artistic inspiration and creativity required to be a piece of art.
This image by Peter Learoyd questions these bias by firstly offering a completely unique, one-off image. The process from positioning and lighting of the model continued through the print process gives an example of creation and creativity possible within photography.
The tattoo could be described as a painting with skin as the canvas while the pose is a sculpture chiselled to make the most of light and shadow to give shape and depth. By offering the photograph as a single, unique image it’s status as a one-off piece of art is further amplified, like that of a painting or sculpture, to be looked at and considered.