Sign here

Posted by George on April 28th, 2009 in Opinion

When I first started exhibiting my photographs I thought it odd that the galleries wanted prints signed on the back, but not on  the front . Evidently  this was the custom in exhibiting photographs.

Then I saw  some wonderful  Lartigue prints with his distinctive  graphic signature on the front, and realized that  it anchored the work. Now I do sign mine front and back. (Front in permanent ink; back in pencil) . It’s not a matter of ego; it’s a matter of authorship. You would not see a short story published without the author’s name below the title; you would not see a painting without the artist’s signature somewhere on the canvas.  At one time I thought that the signature would be a distraction from the work; now I think it adds substance, zimbel-signature not visual but historical. The image is always primary.

Today the issue has raised it’s pointed head again. I received a beautiful book which included one of my photographs “ Courtesy of…”   I was very pleased with the reproduction and placement until I realized that the title and my name were nowhere to be  found near the picture…A voice in my head said ” Go to the back of the book” ; another voice  said “Go to the back of the bus”. Sure enough, there were all the credits, I found myself flipping pages back  and forth in order to find out who shot what. A frustrating experience. It shouldn’t happen that way.

To quote my old friend  Jack MacAndrew of Prince Edward Island, “that’s the view from here”…..george


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