Rachel Rushing

I’ve been thinking a lot about value lately- in the artistic and intrinsic senses.

On the drive to work (and as much as possible while at work) I really like listening to NPR. I finally found a news outlet that’s enjoyable to listen to! Anyhow, I really enjoyed this interview on the Diane Rehm Show with Eduardo Porter about his book “The Price of Everything” (listen here). He talks about different types of value and a little about the psychology of our relationship to what we buy.

I have really fallen for Public School based in Austin, TX. They’re a top 5 in my Google Reader and I love this video they shared of Massimo Vignelli. Beauty doesn’t necessarily equate to value, especially not in relation to people (beauty is subjective anyway). However I would go so far as to say that beauty in design and art does correlate somehow. Finding where the two come together is the real challenge.

Amazon’s Universal Wish List has become a new favorite tool of mine. Right now I have about 40 books in the queue, including The Elements of Photography: Understanding and Creating Sophisticated Images. I love what the review says about ‘visual literacy’.

The idea of visual literacy–photographers needing both technical and conceptual skills, being informed about their subject matter through interdisciplinary research, and using all of the tools available to make work–that is a distinctive driving concern for all of us engaged in this education.
–Dennie Eagleson Associate Professor of Photography, Antioch College.

An artist’s ability to utilize beauty greatly influences, at the very least, the patron’s perceived value of any work. This gets into sticky territory deliberating between decorative art and intellectual/conceptual art, but either way, beauty is a tool every artist should be aware of.