It's a complicated argument for sure, but in the end it's a simple one. There's the good (the really, really good), the bad and the ugly (yes, the really really ugly) in both forms and so we can never generalise about either medium as superior. No, the answer is self-evident. Artwork in either medium can be compelling and memorable. Great photography can also be life-changing, especially the photo-journalist variety that cuts deep into the psyche with images of war-torn zones of shattered buildings and broken lives. Paintings that attempt the task rarely have such power. Not even Picasso's great Guernica. Many artists who paint in the Realism vein are remarkably photographic in their skill and many photographers are just as adept at being painterly with their photography.
Art can be like incisive, perceptive writing where we experience the world through a whole new prism when the artist shows us fresh ways of seeing and feeling. And they tap into an emotion or wavelength we consider our very own and give it a wonderful new voice. Here is another human capable of articulating or expressing that very same feeling we imagined was intensely ours. And true artists tell the story with great economy. Let's call it distilled genius. They convert complexity into simplicity. Some of our recent work covers landscapes and blurs the boundary between photography and painting. They are unequivocally photographs, and yet images such as 'Monet' (above) have a lyrical, painterly tone. Which is a good place to let the artwork speak for itself and allow the viewer to decide if the brush or lens is the better way to interpret, or imagine, the world.