less and stupid: why photographs don’t work in art galleries

PHOTOGRAPHS can be powerful, beautiful, and capture the immediacy of a moment like nothing else. But they make poor art when hung on a wall like paintings

Photography is a miracle of the modern world. It gives us instant visual information from all over the planet and far beyond. It is a unique documentary record of our own lives, a simple source of creative pleasure and fun. I just wish people wouldn’t put it in art galleries.

Let me be clear: photographs on the page or screen are fascinating. Who can fail to be entranced by the first-ever pictures from the surface of a comet that were taken this week? The power of photography to show and to tell has never been greater, as modern technology takes it simultaneously to the far reaches of the solar system and ever deeper into the heart of daily life.

But that does not make it sing on a gallery wall.