I get the feeling that the main issue with these pictures is a fundamental one: it's your approach. (I know, who am I to say you have fundamental issues with your photography? Take what I say - and what everyone says, really - with a grain of salt. All critiques have value depending on how you look at them, even if that value is simply the realization that X person is full of shit - in that case, you're learning to tell bad critiques apart from good ones and you're getting closer to the truth).
To begin, I want to draw attention to something you said "I took a trip downtown in search of pure art photography." When I started off taking pictures, I took pictures mainly for documentation purposes, like, "I was here, this is what I saw, oh, and look here how cool!" I look back on these pictures every now and then and think, "hey, they're not half bad!" Then there was another phase in my life where I did maybe what you did and tried to take "artsy photos." These were atrocious.
Here's an example of one: IMG_4685
, on Flickr[/img]
wtf was I thinking?
I speak for myself here: When I went about trying to take artsy pictures, I had this vague notion of what artsy pictures looked like
even though I really didn't know what truly
differentiated them from non-artsy pictures, and I tried to replicate in my pictures that fuzzy notion in my head.
Perhaps this applies to you; perhaps it doesn't. If it does, here's what I suggest: read this book http://www.amazon....tion/dp/0192804634
Familiarize yourself with what it truly means to be "artsy".
Since I have nothing better to do, I'll give my short opinion on this. Artistic photography should be contrasted with photography that merely seeks to represent an object in reality. It does so by literally seeing and interacting with the world differently -- i.e. via a lens vs. the human eye. An artistic photographer tries to see the world through the perspective of his lens. A plain old photographer has his lens see the world through the perspective of his eyes. When you begin to see and interact with the world through the perspective of the lens, you become able to capture and play around with this new perspective in your images. And when people see this new perspective in your images, theoretically, they would see something in a totally new way. A chair seen by a lens is not the same as a chair seen by a human. Van Gough for instance, saw the world through his brush and paint, and when he depicted an otherwise ordinary scene (a starry night for instance) through this different perspective, he revealed to us another layer of reality and beauty we never thought existed.
That being said, I like some of your pictures. Some of them show that you truly are starting to see things from a different perspective. What you need now is more control and familiarity and intentionality within this new perspective. Number two, for instance, seems to play around with negative and positive space, lines and angles, and perspectives -- and I like that. There is too much, though, that distracts me from the above-mentioned qualities -- the staircase for instance, which really serves no purpose.
In a lot of these pictures, you seem attracted to lines that move your eyes across the image. That's a totally legitimate pursuit. Work on your framing though. These lines that go across the image interact meaningfully with ALL the space in that image, whether you want it to or not. In 5 for instance, the lines aren't placed in a meaningful location in relation to the rest of the space in that image. The whole top part is just... nothing.
3 and 4, I regret to say, are bad images. I cannot discern what it is you're trying to say with them. There is no element that seems intentionally isolated for us locate and muse over. Is it repetition? Is it lines? And what about lines? Perspective? etc.