Commemorative photography is considered – and indeed is – a popular means of entertainment and recording of the memory. In contrast to this, artistic photography uses the recording as a cover for a concealed nature which restricts it to a small circle of initiated viewers. One could, of course, formulate the objection that each form of art, especially in its more advanced forms, is the privilege of a restricted sector of persons familiar with the latter. The specific difference, however, in the case of artistic photography, which weighs on the mysterious hidden nature of its character, is that this is at the same time a particularly poor form of artistic medium which does not have the luxury of mediocrity. Photographs are either important or not. They either exist or do not exist. Choices which are based on forbearance only attempt to redeem substantially inexistent photographs. And photographs which survive or stand out do not have multiple levels of approaches, interpretation and admiration. For them to be evaluated, they need to be treated as a complete entity. On the other hand, they do not have the corresponding skill, interpretation, logic, material, melody or narrative of parallel supportive arts such as the theatre, cinema, dance, music or painting where approach and evaluation can refer to parts of the work.

Even further, the fineness of the distinctions and limits which make one photograph more valid than another cannot be perceived by the average viewer who effectively is not in a position to appreciate the quality of the photograph. The differences, for example, between a very important portrait artist and a manifestly indifferent one are not so obvious to the viewer, who usually only sees the faces portrayed. The absence of technical ability and difficulty prevents the same viewer from being able to admire that which he cannot evaluate.

The above are parts of the reasons which have prevented photography from receiving the artistic accolades owed it for many a year now, as only a very few have recognised the substantial importance of the apparently insignificant details of which it is composed through its austere understatement. This explains why still today those professionally involved with the other Arts (theorists, historians, journalists, gallery owners, teachers etc) very frequently submit to commemorative inaccuracies, and express opinions on photography, which they only do with great reluctance when they are occupied with works produced in other forms and categories of art. At the very point at which they believe they have conquered the photograph, it has slipped through their hands. Most ironic, when this occurs with the least important and till yesterday despised artistic medium. And when they again attempt to take it up, understand it and tame it, they resort to intellectual and phrasal hyperbole which does not suit its humble presence.

Finally, the sum total of important photographs which have been taken by the few important and well-known photographers is a very small percentage of the overall production of the universal photographical garrulity which makes up the photographic education of the average viewer. If this viewer were to quickly flick through these important photographs, he would find it difficult to locate important differences between them, with the exception of their theme and form, and even these tend to repeat almost monotonously. And if, in an excess of conscientiousness, he opts for a longer study, he will see that the photographic image has the tendency to defensively withdraw, projecting a forbidding tediousness.

What should eventually be understood and accepted is that apart from the familiarity required by and owed to each medium of Art, the hidden nature of the photograph (and therefore the difficulty in comprehending it) cannot be resolved by raking it up or with weak interpretations of the latter. Photography only requires the innocent dependability of the mature viewer, who can put himself on the same level as photographic poverty in order to capture the poetic content of the photograph and overall work of its creator, respecting its fleeting presence, which is as fleeting as the glance of the photographer at the world.