Edgar Degas and Photography

Tomorrow the Australian National Gallery will open an exibition of the work of Edgar Degas. Almost everyone will have see his paintings of ballet dancers. As a student I was encouraged to put photography aside and learn more about the traditional arts as my teachers said it would make me a better photographer. I hated that but they were correct. A number of artists have influences me personally but I’ve only just realised the influence Degas has had on artists and photographers as a whole.

A lot of Degas’ work appears to be behind the scenes, captured moments. You can draw a direct line to modern photojournalism. In reality they are composite scenes. Perfectly “Photoshopped” paintings put together – often over many years. Go see it.