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jin choung
04-28-2007, 01:38 AM
howdy fellows,

sorry for the OT but i didn't really have any other resource for askin'... even checked the web and there's not a lot of answers to my question - which is:

WHAT THE [email protected]#$ is MODERN ART?

there was something on charlie rose tonight on a jasper johns exhibit in new york and it reminded me of a trip i took a few months ago to downtown l.a.'s MOCA... forgot who the guy was but there was an exhibit and he had a stuffed goat with a tire hanging around its middle.

anyhoo, i don't have any photos but i must've spent the couple of hours in their with an insufferable smirk on my face!

seriously... WHY IS THIS GOOD?!

the only indication that i can get about HOW TO EVALUATE it is that BIG IS GOOD. as long as the canvas is fing huuuuuge, you can piddle around however you want and it's good.

so jackson pollack, johns, etc... how are you supposed to look at this stuff?

WHAT MAKES IT GOOD?

how can you tell GOOD modern art from BAD modern art?

WHAT IS THE CRITERIA FOR EVALUATION?

i can watch a movie and i can tell you what makes it great or why it sucks. i can articulate my points very clearly.

but how in the world can you do that for modern art?

it seems almost like the PINNACLE OF POSTMODERN CYNICISM actually in that the only thing that makes it art is the BRAND NAME (!) of the artist!

so fellow artists, any insight?

thanks.

jin

jin choung
04-28-2007, 01:39 AM
rauschenberg? that might've been the moca exhibit i went to....

jin

prospector
04-28-2007, 01:56 AM
modern art is done by people who can't stay in the lines, yet put the results up for sale because hoity-toity types have money to burn and must impress thier friends with the ugliest paintings.

If you look at modern art and see nothing, it's not for you.
Like looking for things in cloud formations. Some see it, some don't, and some never look up for fear of bird droppings.


simple :D

cagey5
04-28-2007, 02:10 AM
Art is like beauty and is in the eye of the beholder. A woman face marked with the lines and wrinkles of age and life experience can be as beautiful as the fresh faced beauty of youth. Perhaps because we epathise and find echoes of our own experiences and lifes trials and tribulations.
Art is much the same, some of it will echo our life and thoughts others won't, which is why what I like is unlikely to be the art that you like, because we have different lives, as does the artist.
Is there a lot of overhyped rubbish out there? For sure, but don't label all modern art the same. It works for you or it doesn't and I would rather view something challenging that made me think about what the artist was trying to convey than view another pretty picture that had little more than aestetic value.

StereoMike
04-28-2007, 05:10 AM
Impressive what you can find on the internet...
canned poo (Neverko)
http://www.poopreport.com/Intellectual/Content/Art/art.html
An interesting twist:
http://www.poopreport.com/Intellectual/Content/Cloaca/cloaca.html

kopperdrake
04-28-2007, 05:28 AM
I don't know - I see loads of modern art I just don't click with but for me a good piece of modern art makes me see the world in a slightly different way - it manages to convey something familiar in an unfamiliar way, or something totally new in a familiar way. For example, the poo-making machine I find quite fascinating as it's something we all take for granted as a natural process but I imagine to see it happening before you is quite a disturbing thing - it's bringing out emotions you never thought you could have over something we really don't think about. I quite like that. The poo in a tin just seems like scam - it makes me feel absolutely nothing. Saying all this, I'm really not in to the art for shock value like some of Damian Hirst's work - it just seems gratuitous to me, but then as cagey said, it's all subjective.

Some of my favourite pieces of modern art are by a Scottish artist called Barns-Graham, where she breaks down imagery into its most basic form - suggesting a landscape (Cornwall typically) by just a series of lines. If you know Cornwall then it works - so for me it's good modern art. It's made me look at something I know in a different way and I can relate to it.

Steamthrower
04-28-2007, 05:45 AM
I took art, and what I saw changed my life forever.

That is, I'm scarred for life! ;)

In my opinion modern art is done by those who can't paint a realistic painting with any hope of success.

But, I stood looking at a Picasso in the Bremen Kunsthalle last year. Wondering ''why in the world did this man not paint a nice picture? He definitely had the ability. So why screw it up and stick a mouth in the middle of a nostril?''

That doesn't convey anything about life to me. I have an orderly life. But maybe it speaks to someone whose life is chaotic. I don't know.

Limbus
04-28-2007, 06:26 AM
But, I stood looking at a Picasso in the Bremen Kunsthalle last year. Wondering ''why in the world did this man not paint a nice picture? He definitely had the ability. So why screw it up and stick a mouth in the middle of a nostril?''


Well Art is not about looking nice. That would be decoration and not art. And it also is not about a technical skill. A carpenter or one of the painters that make portraits in minutes might have an extreme technical skill but they dont produce art. Any Art is about the message that the artist wants to get across. To one person the result might look beautilfull and the next one finds it disgusting. If you look at Guernica from Picasso you wont see a nice picture but since its about war and the destruction of the city guernica its not supposed to be nice.

Florian

P.S. what did you do in Bremen?

DiedonD
04-28-2007, 06:33 AM
I took art, and what I saw changed my life forever.

That is, I'm scarred for life! ;)

In my opinion modern art is done by those who can't paint a realistic painting with any hope of success.

But, I stood looking at a Picasso in the Bremen Kunsthalle last year. Wondering ''why in the world did this man not paint a nice picture? He definitely had the ability. So why screw it up and stick a mouth in the middle of a nostril?''

That doesn't convey anything about life to me. I have an orderly life. But maybe it speaks to someone whose life is chaotic. I don't know.

Yeah I found Picaso like that too. To me art is not just what makes you as a viewer of that art, see the world. But also its a gateway to the artist soul. Art, if done honestly (unlike commercially which is hard these days for some I might add) is a devine gateway to the artists inner worries, burdens, joys or whatever there may be there. And knowing the fact that the contect can be anything limited to the artists imagination, why the artist has specifically choosen to produce a certain thing in it, is of great importance and ultiamtely emphasizes the artists interest the least. And if you would analyze it all, you could understand the artist greatly. And you on the other hand may be elevated to his point of view, and some art is even educational. So its a devine communication really. And our art may communicate massively even, adding emphassis on the whole communication ordeal.

I once went to a painter artist gallery show. He was a surealist. But horses where included in one form or another in all paintings. At the time I didnt dive into it deeper as I do now, but even then you can have a solid fact, assuming of course that the art was honest and genuine, that the artist is gratly impressed by horses. After this step, you can build more into it, and follow it through, adding more and more stuff as you notice details on each picture.

In other words, though probably some art isnt intended to communicate to everyone, in general if art isnt communicating to a viewer at all, its basically a piece of crap. Unless its suppose to be just that, to challenge the viewers decoding skills, as the viewer slowly makes his way into the artists world.

Art is wonderful if everyone should do it honestly and genuinely, we would all be in a better place. But thats just me.

theo
04-28-2007, 06:56 AM
Jin, here's my take (good question by the way):

How to judge Modern Art as Modern OR Art has got to be a shell game at some level simply due to the enormous amount of it in the world today.

A LOT of people are producing a LOT of art (modern and otherwise) in a LOT of places.

So, to find and define "cream" in all of this is purely just a game of chance and is probably much more political and commercial and luck-based than any of us would be prepared to accept.

In spite of the last three sentences I do find Modern Art fascinating and disturbing. And, Jin, in my non-professional art critic view, this fascination and disturbance is what makes Modern Art modern, viewable and relevant.

ANYTHING that cracks the mediocrity of the social-scape and manages to chip past the normalcy-shell that seems to haunt most of is worthy of some attention.

And Modern Art does this. It gets Jin Choung, an intelligent and thoughtful fellow in his own right, to stand there in complete bewilderment for an extended period of time wondering and questioning. It doesn't matter, for one second, what the questions are.

Great Modern Art has a unique ability to make people of every single different stripe to fumble around for the impossible answers of deceptively simple questions.

regularfry
04-28-2007, 07:08 AM
In my opinion modern art is done by those who can't paint a realistic painting with any hope of success.

I can think of at least two counter-examples: Salvador Dali (OK, you might question his "modern"-ness, but he's definitely in there as far as I'm concerned) and some of the Stuckists. There's also a remarkably delightful sketch of a little bird drawn by Tracey Emin hung on the wall of the senior common room of Nuffield College in Oxford, which I thought was Chinese when I first saw it. She *can* produce figurative stuff, she just chooses not to...

Steamthrower
04-28-2007, 07:12 AM
P.S. what did you do in Bremen?

Visited the Kunsthalle for one thing ;)

Actually I have distant cousins in Ammerland and my family's originally from Prussia.

I'll have to say that of all Germany, Bremen is the one city I would like to live in the most. It seemed the most friendly and natural.


To one person the result might look beautilfull and the next one finds it disgusting.

I'd have to take issue with that. Of course there are differing opinions about art in this world. But I believe that Art, capital A, is not objective. I believe Art is absolute. (I know that this worldview isn't held by many. I respect their views but beg to differ).

Therefore, when I look at the painting called "Airplane Flying", by some Russian whose name I can't recall, I don't stop and think about it too much. It's really just a couple of colored squares. It may show interesting proportions and all that, but in absolute reality: it's just a couple of colored squares.

Tschüß!

Lightwolf
04-28-2007, 07:23 AM
I believe Art is absolute. (I know that this worldview isn't held by many. I respect their views but beg to differ).

Yup, including me. If Art was absolute then there would be no need to discuss it at all.
But there is so it isn't ;)

Hm, this discussion is vaguely familiar... and I have to side with Limbus/Florian and Theo here.

Cheers,
Mike

bloontz
04-28-2007, 09:06 AM
To truly understand modern art you really need to study it's developement. That's not likely something that you can learn from a discussion on a forum like this. It's a fascinating history and you need to understand the contributions of the generally brilliant minds that devoted their lives to breaking down barriers and changing ideas about the meaning of "art". Without that context it is easy to understand why so many are bewildered by it. You may still not like it even once you understand the context but it will likely be much more meaningful.

theo
04-28-2007, 09:32 AM
That's not likely something that you can learn from a discussion on a forum like this.

This should never stop an inquiring mind from asking. And rudimentary feedback and visceral reactions are part and parcel of the human interaction experience.

cresshead
04-28-2007, 09:43 AM
http://www.cresshead.com/wip/yes.jpg

bloontz
04-28-2007, 10:03 AM
This should never stop an inquiring mind from asking. And rudimentary feedback and visceral reactions are part and parcel of the human interaction experience.
Absolutley true. And I thought your response to Jin's question was excellent. I'm just encouraging him to look deeper.

Steamthrower
04-28-2007, 10:14 AM
This should never stop an inquiring mind from asking. And rudimentary feedback and visceral reactions are part and parcel of the human interaction experience.

Very true. That's what makes humans human.

Still, look at a Rembrandt. Then look at this splatter thing painted with lime green and brown colored toothpaste.Which is "Art"?

Anybody see part of what I am saying?

cagey5
04-28-2007, 12:12 PM
Well Art is not about looking nice. That would be decoration and not art. And it also is not about a technical skill. A carpenter or one of the painters that make portraits in minutes might have an extreme technical skill but they dont produce art. Any Art is about the message that the artist wants to get across. To one person the result might look beautilfull and the next one finds it disgusting. If you look at Guernica from Picasso you wont see a nice picture but since its about war and the destruction of the city guernica its not supposed to be nice.

Florian

Funny you should say that. This is what hangs above my fireplace

Exception
04-28-2007, 12:16 PM
You can't define 'Modern Art' in a generalising definition, except by being incredibly inclusive, at which point meaning gets lost.

First, 'modern art' is generally understood to be art made from about 1895 ~1960, the 'modern' period in which the modernists played their game, as well as cubists, surrealists, naturalists, dada-ists, structuralists, constructionists and so on. Art of now is contemporary art. Usually. The terms get mixed up :) Each one of these 'ism's' has their own ideology and own reason for existence, for instance, modernism was convinced that art, design and life should be merged and brought to everyone, rich or poor, that it should start afresh without the burdens of history, to be true to materials, to be abstract rather than narrative, to be universal rather than specific. That is where for instance mondriaan joined as part of a modernist sub-group called 'De Stijl'. At first he made landscapes:

http://www.moma.org/collection/provenance/items/images/243.50.jpg
(ca 1905, clearly influenced by the impressionists such as Monet etc)

and he abstracted them further and further and further until he ended up with this:

http://fixedreference.org/2006-Wikipedia-CD-Selection/images/52/5267.jpg
(1921)

It took him 15 years to go from one to the other. Watching his development unfold over the years is extremely clarifying and exciting. But just looking at the last painting without realising the 15 years of development might give you the impression that it's simplistic and facile.

This just as an example of a single artist. Everything has a story, and everything has a path from development to execution to failure or success, which I agree with can be arbitrary.

Art does not need to be pictorial, symbolic or beautifull. It can be used to express emotion like frustration or anger, sorrow, loss, incapacity... it can be used as a social critique, holding a mirror in front of society, it can be used as a personal manifesto, it can be used to sit on or to live in, it can be used to have fun... much art is used just to progress the idea of art, and determining its boundreis, if there are... get my drift? It can be anything. Determining what art 'is' or 'is not' necessarily sets a domain that it does not have. It is, by very nature, indefineable.

So, if you're puzzled by a piece of art, dumbstruck, stupefied or find it preposterous, it might help reading up about it. If you know the whole story, you might start to realise that it opens up a whole new realm of thought, something you never even remotely fathomed to exist. This is fantastic. Or, you can decided that it actually IS faecitious and dumb sensation seeking. But then at least, you will have an informed opinion. This is, by the way, what I generally feel about Damien Hirst (http://www.artchive.com/artchive/H/hirst.html). :)

Um, did this make sense?

Cheers...

theo
04-28-2007, 12:50 PM
Absolutley true. And I thought your response to Jin's question was excellent. I'm just encouraging him to look deeper.

Gotcha. I understand where you are coming from, and looking deeper is always a worthy entreprise.

theo
04-28-2007, 12:54 PM
You can't define 'Modern Art' in a generalising definition, except by being incredibly inclusive, at which point meaning gets lost.

First, 'modern art' is generally understood to be art made from about 1895 ~1960, the 'modern' period in which the modernists played their game, as well as cubists, surrealists, naturalists, dada-ists, structuralists, constructionists and so on. Art of now is contemporary art. Usually. The terms get mixed up :)

This is correct, except that the Modern Art era runs to about 1970.

I was able to infer from Jin's comment that what he really meant was Contemporary Art and didn't want to cloud the overall question but your expansion on the subject really does complement the overall discussion nicely.

Steamthrower
04-28-2007, 01:01 PM
Exception, I see what you are saying. All the same there are rules. Like the ''golden rectangle'' for instance. It's a proportion that is beautiful now and has been for thousands of years. Same for the color wheel; it's a proven method of determining which colors go together. That is part of why I think art should be aesthetically pleasing.

Not necessarily beautiful, but aesthetic. Think of Arnold Böcklin's painting The Island of the Dead, a landscape that has always impressed me. I don't know that anyone could say it's happy or even ''beautiful'' per se (it's actually quite grim) but it is aesthetical. Not so with Picasso, or the latter painting that you linked to.

In other words, would you really look into the 1921 painting as much as you would study a painting by El Greco or Caspar Friedrichs?

prospector
04-28-2007, 01:06 PM
exception
in your windmill pic, I know that wind veins are made better than those in pic.
Those are totally out of balance and would vibrate and tear themselves apart.

So what is painter doing painting them in that fasion??

Lightwolf
04-28-2007, 01:31 PM
So what is painter doing painting them in that fasion??
:foreheads http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impressionism ;)

Cheers,
Mike

Wonderpup
04-28-2007, 01:54 PM
I was in a contemporary gallery in cornwall some years ago where the electricians were redoing the wireing for the lights- wires all over the place.
A woman was standing there in earnest contemplation of the mess- she thought it was an exhibit!

Exception
04-28-2007, 02:11 PM
This is correct, except that the Modern Art era runs to about 1970.

Officially 1968, when Czech slovakia was invaded, yeah, I always kind of keep the 60's as the bridge period, but as always, the truth is grey, neither black nor white:)



Exception, I see what you are saying. All the same there are rules. Like the ''golden rectangle'' for instance. It's a proportion that is beautiful now and has been for thousands of years. Same for the color wheel; it's a proven method of determining which colors go together. That is part of why I think art should be aesthetically pleasing.

That is a valid opinion. It actually has a name, you are perfeclty in line with the notion of art from the enlightenment period, the renaissance. There's many that share your opinion, but I think it is important to understand that there are others possible, and none is more valid than the other.
I for instance get intrinsically drawn to the painting of Lazlo Moholy Nagy (http://www.zakros.com/mica/wvrF01/notes/Class2/MoholyNagyConstruction.jpg). there's no intended beauty here per se, but more relationships and abstract space... no golden mean or any other classic notion. We can argue over wether or not it is beautiful, but that was never the point, os it doesn't make any sense (even if by accident it would be present). The notion that art must be aesthetic is very limited to just a few art forms, and not many of them are prevalent or active today.


exception
in your windmill pic, I know that wind veins are made better than those in pic.
Those are totally out of balance and would vibrate and tear themselves apart.

So what is painter doing painting them in that fasion??

Although Lightwolf has a point in that impressionissm was not trying to represent reality, that wind mill is actually not far from accurate (http://www.greatriverroad-illinois.org/fultonwindmill.jpg), you might not have seen a Dutch windmill before?
But besides that, the notion that art is supposed to be pictorial is very old, and it went out the window for good when the photocamera was invented. Why paint what exists? Just take a picture, use painting as a means to represent the *other*, that which cannot be captured or seen in real life. that's more or less the gist of the spirit from the beginning of the modern period.

theo
04-28-2007, 02:46 PM
I was in a contemporary gallery in cornwall some years ago where the electricians were redoing the wireing for the lights- wires all over the place.
A woman was standing there in earnest contemplation of the mess- she thought it was an exhibit!

You know what? Wire is inherently a very aesthetic-appearing media, of sorts. There is something ultra-basic yet volatile about anything that encapsulates, even in a convoluted fashion, a given space.

The mind is its own captive AND enemy when it comes to patterns, however, which makes it particularly vulnerable to this type of cognitive fascination, whether the cognitee (yeah, yeah fabricated word) is aware of this or not.

Steamthrower
04-28-2007, 04:14 PM
That is a valid opinion. It actually has a name, you are perfeclty in line with the notion of art from the enlightenment period, the renaissance. There's many that share your opinion, but I think it is important to understand that there are others possible, and none is more valid than the other.

Yes, as a matter of fact I am a very ''old-fashioned'' thinker. But also let me say that I am open to new ideas and appreciate your views.

But....but....but: I also believe truth is very black and white!

*ducks the thousands of retaliating posts*

theo
04-28-2007, 04:51 PM
Yes, as a matter of fact I am a very ''old-fashioned'' thinker. But also let me say that I am open to new ideas and appreciate your views.

But....but....but: I also believe truth is very black and white!

*ducks the thousands of retaliating posts*

You, my friend, are about to become a very engaging piece of contemporary art if you keep dropping bombs like that around here.:D

Steamthrower
04-28-2007, 05:01 PM
You, my friend, are about to become a very engaging piece of contemporary art if you keep dropping bombs like that around here.

If the acronym "LOL" was proper in such an educated thread, I'd use it here. ;)

shrox
04-28-2007, 05:02 PM
howdy fellows,

sorry for the OT but i didn't really have any other resource for askin'... even checked the web and there's not a lot of answers to my question - which is:

WHAT THE [email protected]#$ is MODERN ART?

there was something on charlie rose tonight on a jasper johns exhibit in new york and it reminded me of a trip i took a few months ago to downtown l.a.'s MOCA... forgot who the guy was but there was an exhibit and he had a stuffed goat with a tire hanging around its middle.

anyhoo, i don't have any photos but i must've spent the couple of hours in their with an insufferable smirk on my face!

seriously... WHY IS THIS GOOD?!

the only indication that i can get about HOW TO EVALUATE it is that BIG IS GOOD. as long as the canvas is fing huuuuuge, you can piddle around however you want and it's good.

so jackson pollack, johns, etc... how are you supposed to look at this stuff?

WHAT MAKES IT GOOD?

how can you tell GOOD modern art from BAD modern art?

WHAT IS THE CRITERIA FOR EVALUATION?

i can watch a movie and i can tell you what makes it great or why it sucks. i can articulate my points very clearly.

but how in the world can you do that for modern art?

it seems almost like the PINNACLE OF POSTMODERN CYNICISM actually in that the only thing that makes it art is the BRAND NAME (!) of the artist!

so fellow artists, any insight?

thanks.

jin

It is not good. Last year I was in a thread discussion about art on artscuttlebutt.com (.org?). I just threw together some vertical lines, blurred them in photoshop, and people loved it. Whatever, I think art takes some skill, not just being different, new or shocking...

cagey5
04-28-2007, 05:33 PM
There was a TV program in the UK several years back looking at introducing art into a council estate to the extent that people could choose the art they liked to hang in their living rooms for a month or so. One guy came from a very blinkered, 'art should be pretty' point of view, and was very disparaging of 'modern' art, with views stronger than many of those posted thus far.
By talking to the various artists and actually engaging in the thought process of what lay behind some of the works, he chose one of the most abstract works available, which appeared on the surface to be little more than a large tick mark, writ large in oils, but which he displayed and defended proudly. It's actual value of several thousand pounds meaning far less than its intrinsic value as perceived by him. At the end of the day you should buy what you like rather than what it is 'worth' and worry not about what other people think of it.

Steamthrower
04-28-2007, 09:59 PM
Shrox, you're right!

In 1978, a painting by Matisse was hung upside down by mistake in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. An estimated 100,000 people saw it before anybody saw any difference.

I've often thought that if I could get out my brushes, whip something up in 5 minutes, and grow my hair out, I could be as good a modern artist as there ever was.

Exception
04-28-2007, 10:05 PM
I've often thought that if I could get out my brushes, whip something up in 5 minutes, and grow my hair out, I could be as good a modern artist as there ever was.

This is probably true, and this is also the reason why as an artist you are judged on your oevre, not on a single piece... thus you must have been whipping out hundreds of these over a 10 year period for anyone to put your work in a Gallery... if at all.

Make no mistake, life as a serious artist is no walk in the park. It's an ungrateful, misunderstood, poor and hard working life, and in the end you might question the entire purpose of your existence and work and destroy it all. Or somethin'.

shrox
04-29-2007, 01:26 AM
...Make no mistake, life as a serious artist is no walk in the park. It's an ungrateful, misunderstood, poor and hard working life, and in the end you might question the entire purpose of your existence and work and destroy it all. Or somethin'.

I did that!

jin choung
04-29-2007, 01:45 AM
hey fellows,

thanks much for the insightful responses.

yeah, my first instincts is to dismiss it all as pretentious garbage too. but it does have a great deal of "legitimacy" in society in general, which doesn't necessarily mean anything, but i do intend to understand first what i am inclined to dismiss.

actually, if my studies take me to any more exhibits, i really wanna get a tshirt that says "what the hell am i looking at?" !

oh and you guys are absolutely right, i didn't even know that there was a distinction between modern and contemporary art.

hmmm... i did have an inkling that context, in terms of art history as well as an individual artist's career, factored into the appreciation of the work.

but it does still bother me that that context seems overly important compared to the work itself.

context figures in to other forms of art too, like cinema. knowing the context of film history can add a level of illumination to something like "taxi driver" or even "un chien de andalou" or "the bicycle thief".... BUT:

THE THING, IN AND OF ITSELF, IS OF VALUE.

context illuminates but it is not the sole basis of appreciation.

but the example pic below the windmill... as a piece of art, in and of itself, i mean... what the heck.

and further, if it is conceivable that a work is such that a drunken, senile homeless person can do something that can be mistaken for it, isn't that problematic?

if untrained CHILDREN can do equivalent work... how in the world can you evaluate works on that level to say that one thing is "brilliant" and another is nothing?

and if the aims of this newer art is to question the boundaries of what art is, isn't the logical conclusion to such probes ineluctably that EVERYTHING IS ART?

but that then becomes a useless, pointless and worse, UNILLUMINATING, statement.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

i too believe that there is an OBJECTIVE criteria in the evaluation of art. sure, beauty is in the eye of the beholder but that only goes so far. personal taste only goes so far.

i LIKE LOTS OF CRAP! because of personal taste, i can and do like things that i KNOW is objectively bad.

conversely,

there are lots of works and movies that i can easily admit are masterpieces and fine fine work but i personally don't care for it much (for me, LOTS of scorsese movies fall into this category). but i can still say that objectively they are great.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

finally, my definition of art is this:

"the interpretation of reality, by a human, by means of a medium"

so i would allow a great many things to be considered art. whether that art is good or bad is another issue.

but it's lookin' so far to me that contemporary art is on the trajectory of being considered equivalent to a child's finger painting exercise....

thanks again for the fun discussion guys!

jin

jin choung
04-29-2007, 02:01 AM
oh,

and i am already inclined to believe that in this world, the race goes not to the swift.

PR has a lot to do with everything. perhaps there were movies 10x better than citizen kane but because some important critic didn't champion it or because it did not achieve critical mass or catch the public zeitgeist, it was simply forgotten.

but is contemporary art the EXTREME VERSION OF THAT?

that is, there is no reason that the guy with the exhibit in MOMA deserves to be there any moreso than another fellow who's work is "just as good" - that is, he paints big blocks and circles too (!) - it's just that for whatever reason, he has achieved fame....

jin

parm
04-29-2007, 03:34 AM
If you are seriously interested in understanding more about Modern Art.

I can highly recommend the book: 'But is it Art' By Cynthia Freeland (http://www.uh.edu/~cfreelan/aesth/OUP.html) from Oxford University Press. As a very good place to start.

It's not expensive, it's an enjoyable and easy read. And does provide the reader. With an excellent overview of the various Art theories, that underpin Art criticism.
You're not expected to agree with the authors views. But instead will be given the beginnings of a framework in which to think about and understand Art.

Another book that anyone who is interested in art should read at least once is:
'Ways of Seeing' by John Berger (http://www.amazon.com/Ways-Seeing-Based-BBC-Television/dp/0140135154)

Good Luck and enjoy :)

jin choung
04-29-2007, 04:07 AM
hey! ways of seeing... i had to read that in school! i remember that... takes me back.

thanks for the recommendations.

jin

starbase1
04-29-2007, 05:44 AM
I'm rather undecided about a lot of this stuff... I think you could hardly find a more appropriate field for applying Sturgeons Law.

I am fairly sure that personally I have to see it for real to decide even for myself... As an example, I was utterly unimpressed by Bridget Riley's op art, but when I actually saw one directly , the way the colours juddered and played games in my head - well, it just didn't work on a print. Also, although I liked Dali a lot, when I finally saw "Christ of St John of the Cross" at the national gallery, it was so much more impressive than I expected.

Also the sculpture of Anish Kapoor, now that sometimes works to a degree as an image, but some you have to be inside to appreciate, most you have to view from multiple angles, (and even than you can't get the shape into your head), and in one case I had to talk to it to understand it - the sculpture was shaped to do seriously weird things to sound...

I'm not sure it would help to see a Duchamp's urinal properly though...

Nick

Wonderpup
04-29-2007, 05:56 AM
The most telling thing about modern, especially abstract, art is how dependant it is on textual support- on it's own it it is meaningless- only when it's alleged meanings are written out in words do they become apparant. So viewed as a method of communication most modern art is a dismal failure.

If I wrote a novel in a language that I personally made up, which no else understood, that would be seen as absurd.Yet this is exactly the position of the abstract painter who claims his undecipherable marks are valid because they mean something to him personally.

Lightwolf
04-29-2007, 06:05 AM
So viewed as a method of communication most modern art is a dismal failure.
Hm, I'm quite sure this is true for all kinds of art.
You might see what is depicted in a more classical piece... but you won't understand it any better without the background (example: Remrandts Nightwatch).
Or, more bluntly: What does that painting really tell you? Not much, but it satisfies a certain decorative aspect.

Cheers,
Mike

Edbittner
04-29-2007, 06:11 AM
The most telling thing about modern, especially abstract, art is how dependant it is on textual support- on it's own it it is meaningless- only when it's alleged meanings are written out in words do they become apparant. So viewed as a method of communication most modern art is a dismal failure.

If I wrote a novel in a language that I personally made up, which no else understood, that would be seen as absurd.Yet this is exactly the position of the abstract painter who claims his undecipherable marks are valid because they mean something to him personally.

For agreement. However, what cracks me up is all the fu-fu types who claim to be able to read the language. Also I've sold more artWORK than I care to count .
E.

jasonwestmas
04-29-2007, 06:51 AM
Fine Art, Modern Art, you can throw those terms in the trash as they have no meaning other than for someone to be classified as a overgeneralized, socalled celebrity amongst elitist snobery. These kinds of snobs have no definition and therefore has nothing "fine" about them.

However, there is good art that more abstract and lacks specificity as a personal signature. Those are the the pieces that are well defined through the portal of writing which guides you to a higher sense of perception

Exception
04-29-2007, 07:13 AM
THE THING, IN AND OF ITSELF, IS OF VALUE.

That is called intrinsic value, and is only one way of looking at it :) You also have, for instance, contextalist thinking, which is the opposite.
Understanding art is understanding that everything you think is relative to the possibilities of thinking another way. That is what makes contemporary art so engaging. See, it is not supposed to be easy. Who cares if someone who just walks by doesn't understand? It's about the person who invests his or her time to understand the piece, and gets rewarded with a way of thinking her or she never even imagined possible.

It's really easy to dismiss something you do not understand. This way you have the chance of missing out on all the good things that art has to offer.


but the example pic below the windmill... as a piece of art, in and of itself, i mean... what the heck.

Well, :)...
You know Mondriaan... he was one of, if not the most influential painter of the beginning of the 20th century. His work is absolutely invaluable. His work is maybe even the best example of abstract art that will reward you with an amazing insight and new way of thinking if only you spend the time understanding it. You must first accept the following:

- Mondriaan didn't care what you think about it. He didn't make it for you.
- You can just walk by if you don't find it interesting
- Mondriaan spent 35 years of his life, every single day, perfecting this type of painting
- No one had ever, ever, seen anything like that.
- Every piece of abstract art is indebted to his investigations. Every bad table cloth, wallpaper or T-Shirt with just lines on it is indebted to his work.
- It took him months to paint those. If you look at them carefully you can see the paintings have been done and redone many times, correcting the lines over and over and over. Why would he do that?
- That particular painting is a landscape with a tree (really)
- I am willing to bet that if you spend a month reading up on Mondriaan, and visit the Minucipal Museum in the Hague where most his work is displayed, from realist landscapes to his abstract work, you will fully understand and agree with, that this is the work of a genius, and nothing less.

What I'm trying to say is that, if anything, contemporary art is not easy. If you don't understand then perhaps that is the ideal circumstance to try to understand. Dismissal is the easy way out. The art doesn't care, but it's there to give you an opportinity to think and look in a new way. Like taking the red pill... isn't that exciting?


and further, if it is conceivable that a work is such that a drunken, senile homeless person can do something that can be mistaken for it, isn't that problematic?

if untrained CHILDREN can do equivalent work... how in the world can you evaluate works on that level to say that one thing is "brilliant" and another is nothing?

You judge too fast.
First off, not all contemporary art is abstract painting. Actually, a very very small minority of contemporary art is abstract painting. Saying that all contemporary art is child's painting is simple not true. Actually, I havn't seen abstract painting in a contemporary art museum in years.
Here's some examples of contemporary art that's both interesting and in fashion:

Giant Pink Bunny in Landscape:
http://mocoloco.com/art/gelitin_aerial_dec_06.jpg

Wire and trash circus:
http://www.whitney.org/www/american_voices/540/540_calder_lg.jpg
Listen to narration here:
http://www.whitney.org/www/american_voices/540/index.html

Sophie Calle's Bed:
http://www.josh-greene.com/images/sophiebed.jpg


Of all three of these pieces you can find information on the web.
You CAN just say:
- That's just a stupid joke (bunny)
- That's just trash and a senile old man!
- That's just a bed!

But don't you think that all those mostly intelligent people who have revered over these works have discovered something that you might not have?
Why the bunny? Why does it seem dead? Why in that field?
What's that circus doing, really? It's kinda fun to watch... why is it fun to watch trash move? Why is this so... strange?
What's with the big fuss about a Bed? Who cares about a bed?

If you have answered these really simple questions to yourself, you are already much closer to understanding these works.
By then you will agree that neither a child nor any random person could have made these things.
Contemporary art is NOT objective art. That is purely renaissance art, nothing else, niether mideaval religious art, not etruscan pottery, not video art... all of those are completely dependent on the time they were made in, how, why, with what they were made, in what circumstances, within what art context...


and if the aims of this newer art is to question the boundaries of what art is, isn't the logical conclusion to such probes ineluctably that EVERYTHING IS ART?

Is it?
You know there are 15 million books written on this subject. Perhaps its not interesting to ask 'what is art' but to ask why you would like to know?
What does it matter?
Noone can answer that question... except for themselves. Like you did. That's perfectly valid...
But be open to allow other meanings to seep in. Why is it supposed to be a reflection on reality?


but it's lookin' so far to me that contemporary art is on the trajectory of being considered equivalent to a child's finger painting exercise....


Then I have a little request for you..
Show me an image of a contemporary artist's work, with the name of the piece and the artist, that is internationally of some significance, that you think is like child's work.

Lightwolf
04-29-2007, 07:24 AM
Show me an image of a contemporary artist's work, with the name of the piece and the artist, that is internationally of some significance, that you think is like child's work.

It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.
;)

Cheers,
Mike

sammael
04-29-2007, 07:28 AM
Its all about inventing a meaning for something, you just have to be able to talk sh!t, come across as arrogent and drink red wine like its going out of fashion.

jasonwestmas
04-29-2007, 07:34 AM
Get people drunk enough and they'll believe anything. ;)

Lightwolf
04-29-2007, 07:49 AM
Its all about inventing a meaning for something, you just have to be able to talk sh!t, come across as arrogent and drink red wine like its going out of fashion.
Sounds like the movie biz to me ;)

Edit: Or any other for that matter :p

Cheers,
Mike

parm
04-29-2007, 07:56 AM
The most telling thing about modern, especially abstract, art is how dependant it is on textual support- on it's own it it is meaningless- only when it's alleged meanings are written out in words do they become apparant. So viewed as a method of communication most modern art is a dismal failure.

It's impossible from this to know which particular artworks you're referring to, or which artist/s. But the general feeling here, is that. Somehow it is seen as a weakness or failing in the Art where it needs some additional explanation. As though Art overall, should somehow be a universal language immediately understandable to everyone who looks at it. All Art requires a greater or lesser understanding of the cultural milieu from which it came.

I'm genuinely surprised that you chose Abstract Art. As the kind of Art that requires pages of theory to understand. Because, it is the one form of Art practice. That comes closest to the ideal of a universal visual language.
If you're the kind of person that delights in the rusted patination of scrap metal. Or, can gaze entranced at a crumbling stone wall covered in moss and lichen, out of the pure enjoyment for it's texture and colour. Then abstract art, be it painting, or sculpture. should be immediately understandable by you.

parm
04-29-2007, 08:02 AM
@ Lightwolf. That quote is out of context. Show a piece by Picasso, that looks like a child painted it :)

A better thing to do. Would be to explain what you think Picasso meant, by the comment.

jasonwestmas
04-29-2007, 08:26 AM
Picasso probably meant that there are beautiful or intriguing elements about mark making that get lost as you get older.

Lightwolf
04-29-2007, 08:56 AM
@ Lightwolf. That quote is out of context.
I guess my smiley was as well ;)

Show a piece by Picasso, that looks like a child painted it :)

Heck, knowing my artistic skill I couldn't even copy a Mondrian given a ruler ;)

A better thing to do. Would be to explain what you think Picasso meant, by the comment.
Easy. When we grow up we loose a lot of the naivety(sp?) kids have. Just look at something and take it as it is here and now, face value, without thinking too much about it.
Which essentially is how art should (imho) work - very personal and very directly. I suppose we step on our own toes most of the time though.

Cheers,
Mike

jin choung
04-29-2007, 09:13 AM
howdy again folks, and again, thanks for the interesting feedback!


It's about the person who invests his or her time to understand the piece, and gets rewarded with a way of thinking her or she never even imagined possible.

aha. here again, i will have a problem - because it has precious little to do with the artwork. it has more (if not all) to do with OUR ATTENTION. i can find meaning in anything if i invest effort in TRYING TO SEE SOMETHING.

according to the above argument, if i pay enough attention to the debris in the street outside my door, i can see the face of God... right? if it is my OPENNESS to the work, DESPITE the work, then ANYTHING, even arbitrary acts of nature, is of artistic value. right?


Dismissal is the easy way out. The art doesn't care, but it's there to give you an opportinity to think and look in a new way. Like taking the red pill... isn't that exciting?

if i was a crap artist, that's exactly what i would tell people. :)

with that attitude, how is it POSSIBLE to evaluate BAD art? how is it possible to dismiss ANYTHING?




You judge too fast.
First off, not all contemporary art is abstract painting. Actually, a very very small minority of contemporary art is abstract painting. Saying that all contemporary art is child's painting is simple not true.


sorry, i didn't mean to imply that this was the case. as i said, even in that rauschenberg exhibit i saw, there were lightbulbs, knick knacks and the aforementioned stuffed goat with a tire around it.



But don't you think that all those mostly intelligent people who have revered over these works have discovered something that you might not have?


i am certainly willing to venture that possibility. hence my thread! :) BUT, it is also possible that they are all sophists and as someone mentioned, may be victims of the emperor's new clothes syndrome....



Why the bunny? Why does it seem dead? Why in that field?
What's that circus doing, really? It's kinda fun to watch... why is it fun to watch trash move? Why is this so... strange?
What's with the big fuss about a Bed? Who cares about a bed?

If you have answered these really simple questions to yourself, you are already much closer to understanding these works.
By then you will agree that neither a child nor any random person could have made these things.


actually, i disagree. i would ask you, what would happen to a child's finger painting or his particular arrangement of legos in his playroom if you invested them with those kinds of questions?

this is actually a cognitive trick (and similar to the cinematic kuleshov effect [blank face - cut to soup - cut to blank face - ah... subtle hunger/ blank face - cut to a gun pointed at him - cut to blank face - ah... subtle fear!) - people tend to see what they're looking for. kind of like if you get a white car, all of a sudden, you notice white cars everywhere, though you've never noticed them before. if you LOOK FOR MEANING, undoubtedly, you will find it. this phenomena can explain all kinds of things from miracles and bad luck, to self fulfilling prophecies btw....



Contemporary art is NOT objective art. That is purely renaissance art, nothing else, niether mideaval religious art, not etruscan pottery, not video art... all of those are completely dependent on the time they were made in, how, why, with what they were made, in what circumstances, within what art context...


i don't agree here. again, i feel that context can be illuminating and ADD to your appreciation. but works like medieval religious art or pottery have intrinsic value. they show expertise and skill in the creation that is apparent.

this is the thing that abstract art seems to lack in my eyes. any evidence of any kind of talent (!!!).




Why is it supposed to be a reflection on reality?

actually, this is as fundamental to answer as it is easy - because NOTHING comes ex-nihilo for a human being. whether it is through the workings of a person's mind and imagination (which itself is seeded from birth with the stuff of our reality), everything we create is a reflection of and/or commentary on reality. there is no other possibility.

----------------------------------------------------------

finally, i am certainly not dismissing it yet. as i've said, i am open to the possibility that there is indeed something to this. that is why i inquire. but i am truly open minded in that i may decide it is crap after all.

question then: how can you tell good contempo art from bad? what makes the works of one artist world renowned and acclaimed while MOST are completely unknown?

thanks for the stimulating conversation!

jin

p.s. will indeed look for childish and/or inebriated and addled works of contempo art as examples. :)

jin choung
04-29-2007, 09:21 AM
@ Lightwolf. That quote is out of context. Show a piece by Picasso, that looks like a child painted it :)

A better thing to do. Would be to explain what you think Picasso meant, by the comment.

actually, it doesn't sound out of context to me. the meaning seems self contained.

on the one hand, he is talking about painting like a child (the full meaning of that is debatable for now) but on the other, he uses raphael as his example.

so it seems to be talking about technical skill vs. (for a lack of a less trite sentiment) "wide eyed wonder of a child"... right?

for what it is, it is not un-apt.

jin

jin choung
04-29-2007, 09:30 AM
actually,

have you guys read UNDERSTANDING COMICS?

there's an interesting part in there that talks about the evolution of PROSE and PAINTING and how they seem to be heading toward each other. (this is discussed since comics are the embodiment of both i guess)

on one extreme is PROSE and it is the pure manifestation of ABSTRACT SYMBOLS. and the earliest examples of prose revels in doing what only it can do... by being extremely verbose and florid and detailed in expression.

but later writers like hemingway end up trying to strip language down, almost trying to paint pictures with words.

on the other extreme is PAINTING that starts out basically as depicting how things look. REPRESENTATIONAL.

but later works tend to go further away from representing things and approaching abstract symbols.

kinda funny that things trend that way....

jin

Exception
04-29-2007, 09:43 AM
I'll answer your other questions in a second...



have you guys read UNDERSTANDING COMICS?


Yes. Its a nice introduction to understanding certain types of squential art.



on the other extreme is PAINTING that starts out basically as depicting how things look. REPRESENTATIONAL.
but later works tend to go further away from representing things and approaching abstract symbols.
kinda funny that things trend that way....

No, it's not strange at all. Like I said before, painting has taken a wholly different turn after the invention of the mechanically reproduced image. There was no need for representational painting any more because you could just take a photograph.
Whole theoretical treatises were written at the time, most notably, 'Art in the age of mechanical reproduction' by Walter Benjamin. If you want to know why most painting is no longer representational, you could read that book. Or, you could just keep asking yourself why, and think it doesn't make sense. But it does :). It makes perfect sense... painting is no longer about representation, that's no longer its purpose.

I find it just a little offensive that some people are continuing to say that understanding art is just for rich posh people that invent meaning at a cocktail party, while I'm trying to engage in a reasoned debate about this... That is NOT what art is about. And I am not a vapid person inventing meaning at a cocktail party. That is something that inevitably happens to every part of society. Politics, economy and culture alike. just because some no-brain arrogant rich guys are saying something stupid about a piece of art doesn't mean it doesn't have meaning at all. It might mean that what they think is vapid. Sometimes they're even right, you know.
Most art is made by people with no interest in money or succes. They wouldn't be artists if they were. They have no responsibility to you or anyone else to explain or substantiate their work. If you don't like it, then go look at something else, or, invest the time necessary to understand what you are looking at. Saying bad things about them or the work only reflects back on yourself...

Judging art by it's 'cover', without understanding it, is like saying Lightwave is stupid if you have never used it. :)

Exception
04-29-2007, 10:09 AM
aha. here again, i will have a problem - because it has precious little to do with the artwork. it has more (if not all) to do with OUR ATTENTION. i can find meaning in anything if i invest effort in TRYING TO SEE SOMETHING.

At some point you have to ask yourself what questions are useful to ask, and which ones arn't. Of course all questions are useful, but you shouldn't get stuck on any, or else you will eventually get stuck on 'why are we all here?'. Good question :)
Since art is made by human beings, for human beings, it will always be in some way or another about human beings. There's no escaping this kind of anthropocentrism. Art is always about something else. If it's a picture of a person, it is a representation of them, and our eyes and brain decode the flat image to something that has meaning. But what if you find that the person you are trying to paint is so much more than just their face and body? What if it is their sould you're after? How do you paint that? Good question! So, many have tried, and who knows who have succeeded or failed... it's often the act of trying that will help you understand.
Unless you have actually tried to do something like that yourself, you cannot possibly know what it is like. It's all very well to criticise certain things from your lazy chair, but if you're unwilling to change your perspective to understand, then you might never really understand...



according to the above argument, if i pay enough attention to the debris in the street outside my door, i can see the face of God... right? if it is my OPENNESS to the work, DESPITE the work, then ANYTHING, even arbitrary acts of nature, is of artistic value. right?

If that's what you see, then good for you. It's whatever you want it to be. Nobody is telling you not to see the face of god in the debris. I'm going to suggest that you're not going to, but if you take a few pills, you actually might. That doesn't have anything to do with art, it has something to do with the nature of perception. And the nature of perception is something that much art plays with in return. Just like the fact that art plays with everything else... it plays with our jobs, our relationships, politics, poverty, crime, leasure, entertainment, philosophy, religion, sex, commercialisation, globalisation.... etc etc etc. :)



with that attitude, how is it POSSIBLE to evaluate BAD art? how is it possible to dismiss ANYTHING?


You don't have to. That's what people go to school for for 15 years and then learn for another 20 and then if they're REALLY good they get to be a curator of a museum.
For me to be able to explain to you what good and bad art is would be very ignorant. You need to stop worrying what good and bad mean in terms of art. I think it's important to concentrate on what YOU find important and derive enjoyment or inspiration or emotion or whatever from. If you feel you think you might be missing out on something, perhaps a little bit of self-study will help. Much art is only really understandable if you know a bit about art in general, as most art people are artists themselves, thus it becomes like a conversation between lightwave-people... if my mom could hear me talk to someone about subdivision surfaces and the new dielectric nodes, she would have no idea and think it was nonsense... and it would take her years to fully understand what I actually meant... that doesn't mean that what I said is stupid or without meaning.



i am certainly willing to venture that possibility. hence my thread! :) BUT, it is also possible that they are all sophists and as someone mentioned, may be victims of the emperor's new clothes syndrome....

Well... I've learnt to understand that nothing is ever just one thing or the other. Art is such a large word, it has so many faces, it will have every bad and good thing associated with it that our society knows. With that comes a lot of media-nonsense and vapid wannabe rich people.



actually, i disagree. i would ask you, what would happen to a child's finger painting or his particular arrangement of legos in his playroom if you invested them with those kinds of questions?

What's so difficult about asking why that particular bed is so important?
You know, perhaps a search on google will give you an answer... I didn't suggest locking yourself in a padded room and think just bed-thoughts until you have the epiphany. I specifically mentioned those three pieces of art because they are VERY easy to find on the internet. I spent some time looking for them, perhaps it would be useful for you to try to answer the questions a little...

Tell me about Sophie Calle's bed. Why is that an important piece of art according to the art world?
(yes I'm making a puzzle for you :))


if you LOOK FOR MEANING, undoubtedly, you will find it. this phenomena can explain all kinds of things from miracles and bad luck, to self fulfilling prophecies btw....

Oh, lighten up. Just read up about it, will you :)
there's no mumbo jumbo going on here with double meanings and all that kind of stuff.



i don't agree here. again, i feel that context can be illuminating and ADD to your appreciation. but works like medieval religious art or pottery have intrinsic value. they show expertise and skill in the creation that is apparent.

Arguably they only have as much value as the next random vase in the kitch shop. It's their age, context and sometimes infused meaning that count. Heck, I can make a vase with some dancing people on it... what's the big deal about that? The big deal is that it was someone 6000 years ago that did it and it teaches us something about their culture that we didn't know before. It means a gazillion times more to us than to the person that made it. Context.


this is the thing that abstract art seems to lack in my eyes. any evidence of any kind of talent (!!!).

Hold your horses, now you have to be specific, and be a bit more sensitive. :) Mondriaan could paint away your face in an instant... but he realised it made no sense painting flowers or windmills any more and he set on a journey to investigate the new. Who cares about being able to paint the perfect apples on a dish, if you can explore new kinds of thinking and perception? Wether or not he succeeded according to you, is another story, but at least he tried.


question then: how can you tell good contempo art from bad? what makes the works of one artist world renowned and acclaimed while MOST are completely unknown?

Who cares? Why do you care? It's not something that matters when you talk about art. The reasons for success have very little to do with the wuality of the art work, the same way that the reasons for becoming a US president have very little to do with the intelligence, experience and skill of the human being in question.

manholoz
04-29-2007, 10:29 AM
There's more to modern art than canned manure. Art is in the masterful achievement of all of men's (and women's) endeavours, when it transcends the functions it was created for. Sure, you can find art anywhere there is creative talent sculpture, painting, but also in music, architecture, dancing, but also in industrial design, accounting, entertainment, C++ coding, etc etc.
Have we not stumbled upon a something-thingy at least once, and just marvelled at how that something-thingy is a work of art?

There is art that caters to the senses, there is art that caters to the mind. There is art that caters to the soul.

jasonwestmas
04-29-2007, 10:30 AM
"question then: how can you tell good contempo art from bad?"
Easy, one is constructive, the other destructive.

jasonwestmas
04-29-2007, 10:32 AM
". . .what makes the works of one artist world renowned and acclaimed while MOST are completely unknown?"

This is Community or Social support based on "taste" which is not concrete in any way shape or form. "Hype" is another element that is where someone gets excited because some object happened to get a lot of attention and so admiring it for that social quality instead of for what it is can become a trend.

Exception
04-29-2007, 10:35 AM
"question then: how can you tell good contempo art from bad?"
Easy, one is constructive, the other destructive.

Is that literal or in an ideological sense?

What would you make of Gordon Matta Clark?

the destroyer of buildings...

http://www.davidzwirner.com/resources/21911/GMCofficebaroque.jpg

prospector
04-29-2007, 10:37 AM
Exception...I can see you now.....

Standing in a museum in front of a painting.
Standing there in your sunday-go-ta-meetin' clothes, legs and arms crossed, foot long ciggy holder, monicle in 1 eye, staring at pic on wall, contimplating the meaning of the pic.

then Joe-6-pack comes and stands next to you, squints his eyes, leans his head, rubs hand on his chin, looks around in bewilderment then back at pic.

Looks over at you, and takes the same stance as you and again looks at pic.

Leans closer to you and asks, "what do you see?"

while staring at pic you answer, " I see the painters view of the failures of mankind to get along and co-exist with all other creatures on the planet."

He looks back at pic, leans head left to right, leans back to you ands says, " I need to get my kid pics from kindergarden and sell them, I could make a fortune, I just see scribbly lines"

:D

Exception
04-29-2007, 10:45 AM
He looks back at pic, leans head left to right, leans back to you ands says, " I need to get my kid pics from kindergarden and sell them, I could make a fortune, I just see scribbly lines"

:D

Yeah, and then we'd have a beer... or he would have a beer and I would have a grand marnier, right ? :)

Sweet... a monocle!
I'm probably the scruffiest looking of you lot :)
Hey I don't like most art either, nor do I always feel like investing the time to understand. Some art just doesn't appeal to me, some of it disgusts me. Damien Hirst, go fish.

jasonwestmas
04-29-2007, 10:52 AM
I don't know this person that you speak of but I'll look into it:)

I'm speaking ideologically. Literal destruction can make way for literal creation but that doesn't mean that either destruction or creation is good if the end is only going to be more destruction. Only an ideal method of preserving those things that construct themselves continually can prevent destruction forever. Thus according to our own experience of life everything is temporarily constructed and will pass in due time and therefore is not ideal and not ideally good. Whether this kind of ideal is possible or not, well I haven't experienced it yet.

So in conclusion to that I would have to say that "good" does not exist in it's purest form yet within art or anything made from material. Whether or not anything is going into that general direction, well. . .I have seen some pretty good ideas as far as achitecture is concerned and maybe closer to ideal. Personal TASTE I think is another layer over space and structure and function. They are both necessary and can move toward idealism.

Don't worry this is all speculation on my part ;)

Exception
04-29-2007, 10:58 AM
Don't worry this is all speculation on my part ;)

Sweet. Nice speculation nonetheless :)

Yeah look into Matta Clark... he's awesome. Certainly a prime example of not so much destruction but deconstruction in the literarl sense (not the Derrida philosophical sense).

jasonwestmas
04-29-2007, 10:59 AM
I don't know this person that you speak of but I'll look into it:)

I'm speaking ideologically. Literal destruction can make way for literal creation but that doesn't mean that either destruction or creation is good if the end is only going to be more destruction. Only an ideal method of preserving those things that construct themselves continually can prevent destruction forever. Thus according to our own experience of life everything is temporarily constructed and will pass in due time and therefore is not ideal and not ideally good. Whether this kind of ideal is possible or not, well I haven't experienced it yet.

So in conclusion to that I would have to say that "good" does not exist in it's purest form yet within art or anything made from material. Whether or not anything is going into that general direction, well. . .I have seen some pretty good ideas as far as achitecture is concerned and maybe closer to ideal. Personal TASTE I think is another layer over space and structure and function. They are both necessary and can move toward idealism.

Don't worry this is all speculation on my part ;)

I'll arrogantly quote myself:

This can be supported with the house of cards or house of glass analogy. Why forge something a second time that will be blown about or a single stone will mangle?

Exception
04-29-2007, 12:21 PM
I'll arrogantly quote myself:

This can be supported with the house of cards or house of glass analogy. Why forge something a second time that will be blown about or a single stone will mangle?

Well, because it can be argued that something called 'good' is subject to interpretation... also, sometimes the value of an enterprise lies in the action of performing it rather than the end result. Since such an action, like dance for instance, is necessarily fleeting, there is no material result, no constructive outcome... it's about a state of mind and the perception of that.

A house of glass would work very well in a gallery, I'd say.. as it's a nice example of a paradox in material form, where both the notion of transparency and the fragility of our material society would be laid bare... you know, something like that :)

No matter which way you turn, art will find a way to creep out of your stangle hold and surprise you from behind...
One of its more entertaining qualities, I find :)

jin choung
04-29-2007, 02:04 PM
howdy exception,

once again, thanks for the convo. it is informative and interesting to me.

okay, will, take a closer look at the works you "quoted" and will get back to you.

jin

Steamthrower
04-29-2007, 09:40 PM
This is an incredibly good discussion that almost deserves to be a Member of the Fraternal Stickyhood. It's one reason why I like the Lightwave forums; everyone here is bound to be at least fairly intelligent.


Easy, one is constructive, the other destructive.

I think that this is a logical and well-rounded way of putting it. I would venture to guess a sculpture which depresses people so much that they start committing suicide would be destructive, no?

And as far as that Gordon Matta Clark exhibit...I did some wonderfully lovely stuff with a Sawzall and a sledgehammer recently...

Exception
04-29-2007, 09:47 PM
I think that this is a logical and well-rounded way of putting it. I would venture to guess a sculpture which depresses people so much that they start committing suicide would be destructive, no?

I think though, after some further thought, that Jason might be hitting home more on the meaning of the words 'good' and 'bad' than that of the word 'art'. Doesn't this definition kind of lend itself to most other things?

The official very unsatisfactory definition of art, is that art is whatever an artist calls art.

Which in my opinion just relegates the problem to what an 'artist' is, which is then, apparently, someone who's had an official art education (or equivalent experience) and is full time employed as an artist, generating life income from this activity.

Not my definition, but the official one. We have Marcel Duchamp to thank for that mostly. Those of you visiting the Tate Modern can see the urinal that started it all. That's one fantastic piece of contextual art. If you don't read up on it, it's just a urinal lying down with an autograph on it. If you read the story you'll stumble into one of the most funny and influential events of modern art to date... :)
I like that :D

jasonwestmas
04-29-2007, 10:01 PM
I still think art and everything else goes in a direction of good or bad, creative or destructive in the context of ideal values. That was my angle. I'm glad you guys think for yourselves however.

parm
04-30-2007, 01:43 AM
The official very unsatisfactory definition of art, is that art is whatever an artist calls art.

It's not really the official definition. Since there is plenty of opposition to it from many in the Art establishment, (read the critiques of Joseph Beuys for confirmation).
Why do you think it's unsatisfactory as a definition? Why not?


Which in my opinion just relegates the problem to what an 'artist' is, which is then, apparently, someone who's had an official art education (or equivalent experience) and is full time employed as an artist, generating life income from this activity.

Not necessarily. The vast majority of Artists, make hardly any income from their Art. They have to take other jobs, should they then be defined by their jobs?

Not everyone who goes to Art School turns out to be an Artist in the end. Not every Artist goes to Art School in the beginning.

The question of what an Artist is, and what the characteristics of Artistic thinking are. Are very important questions, not mere relegation.

Why should we trust the sanction of Art institutions, or the vested financial interests of the dealers and Art advisor's. Above the simple declaration from an Artist.

Limbus
04-30-2007, 04:43 AM
Florian

Funny you should say that. This is what hangs above my fireplace

With nice I meant that alot of people will not find it decorative but that says nothing about it beeing Art. If you see it as Art you might start to see the beauty.

Florian

Limbus
04-30-2007, 04:46 AM
I woul encourage everyone who goes to a museum to look at Art (no matter what art) to get at least an audio guide or better a personal guide who can answer questions. It will make your visit so much more pleasing.

Florian

Edbittner
04-30-2007, 04:59 AM
I woul encourage everyone who goes to a museum to look at Art (no matter what art) to get at least an audio guide or better a personal guide who can answer questions. It will make your visit so much more pleasing.

Florian

I most heartily agree. However I'd be interested to know how many of us have done 2D art before getting into CG. Just curious....
E.

Exception
04-30-2007, 06:54 AM
Why should we trust the sanction of Art institutions, or the vested financial interests of the dealers and Art advisor's. Above the simple declaration from an Artist.

Like I said, it's not my definition, and I don't think it's a good one, but it's the only official universal one out there that I am aware of, that has been building up since 1917. I put it down for the sake of conversation. The history behind that definition is very interesting though.

My opinion is that trying to define art is a useless exercise. I like the analogy with porn much better. You know it when you see it.

jasonwestmas
04-30-2007, 07:56 AM
I most heartily agree. However I'd be interested to know how many of us have done 2D art before getting into CG. Just curious....
E.
I have a backgound in traditional mediums doing illustration. I don't like to categorize my own personal taste as being commercial or fine art, scifi or fantasy however. Like spiritual beliefs there are too many predefined categories for what someone practices and preaches. Work is work though and I enjoy some types of work more than others even if I have to subject myself to something I don't enjoy. Even then I have my limitations. . .

mrpapabeis
04-30-2007, 08:23 AM
As an Hellene I was taught that art " Transcends time and space." Just a thought....


GP

starbase1
04-30-2007, 11:35 AM
Art poll just submitted in this conference, are you an artist?

Edbittner
04-30-2007, 01:58 PM
starbase1,
Me?
I'd have to say yes. Crayons, fingerpaint, pencil, chalk, ink, oils, acrilics, 2D animation, stop motion animation, sculpture, 3 dimensional make-up, ( foam latex), airbrush, Wacom, video editing, and finally CG. Sold a lot of oils, portraits,etc. I must add though, I'm an older guy. Most likely twice the age of at least half of the people here. ( Except Chuck ). Lol. If you didn't mean me, please disregard.

Stooch
04-30-2007, 08:28 PM
haha you guys are thinking too much.

for me the process is simple. I look at a piece and immediatelly know if I like it or not. Using all of my artistic experience and or design instincts in the process I make that decision withink seconds. I dont need to read a book that explains to me why a piece of art was made. Only the all important, would i hang it up, or would i trash it?

so using this simple technique, i have found that FOR ME the vast majority of abstract modern work belongs in the trash. I really dont care how why or when it was created, other then the fact that it looks like crap in my eyes. But im just one set of eyes amongst billions, so im sure somene will come along and like it for whatever reason, i could question his or hers decision, but frankly i dont care. I am just happy that someone will take the crap and hide it in their dwelling, so that i will never have to look at it again ;)

parm
04-30-2007, 10:49 PM
haha you guys are thinking too much.

It seems that. Some people just don't think hard enough

starbase1
05-01-2007, 12:09 AM
Click here for the 'Are you an artist" poll:

http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?p=536756#post536756

Edbittner
05-01-2007, 05:29 AM
starbase1,
Sorry about that. I gotta start reading more of these threads.
E.

Exception
05-01-2007, 06:03 AM
It seems that. Some people just don't think hard enough.


Quoted for agreement.
Somehow it hasn't quite seeped through yet to some that art has very little to do with aesthetics in the last 100 years.

jasonwestmas
05-01-2007, 08:09 AM
I suppose it is possible that some artists are not worried about communicating anything, but how would one know unless they made an effort to understand. This is not always something that comes automatically or intrinsically, it does take some work.

My personal taste is constantly developing for better or for
worse. :) That taste for life, or whatever, changes depending on
my perspective of a composition. If I can experience that
perspective to it's fullest then chances are my personal taste
changes because I have made an effort to experience something
unique compositionally within my senses. This sense is brought
about through my ideas that accumulate through study and the
ideas of others. I just don't see how that is a simple thing all the time.

toby
05-01-2007, 07:27 PM
I understand art this way - if someone creates something, and the intention was to create art or express themselves, it's art. Whether it's good art is another subject. Whether I like it or not is yet another subject. You can't deny it's art just because you don't enjoy it.

Some artists don't even want their work to be enjoyed, I think some of them just hate everybody, just like some people we all know who aren't even artists, and their work is unappealling, disturbing or offensive to a majority of viewers. Doesn't mean it's not art, or even bad art.

Stooch
05-01-2007, 08:19 PM
It seems that. Some people just don't think hard enough

yes. some people find thinking hard. sucks to be them.
did you get the point i was making btw? or were you too busy thinking?

Exception
05-01-2007, 08:46 PM
yes. some people find thinking hard. sucks to be them.
did you get the point i was making btw? or were you too busy thinking?

I guess the point is that nowhere is it said that art is supposed to be 'liked' by anyone.
There's plenty of art which I consider excellent that is not particularly likeable, nor would I want it in my house. Art is not decoration. Decoration is decoration. Design can be decoration, but doesn't have to be. Art can be decorative, but that's a side-effect.

You can disagree and find that most abstract art belongs in the trash, but that's no respectful to someone elses opinion. If they derive pleasure from art which you do not want to invest the time in to understand, why should it belong in the trash?

I don't like fried bananas, but should they all go into the trash?

voriax
05-01-2007, 09:24 PM
haha you guys are thinking too much.

for me the process is simple. I look at a piece and immediatelly know if I like it or not. Using all of my artistic experience and or design instincts in the process I make that decision withink seconds. I dont need to read a book that explains to me why a piece of art was made. Only the all important, would i hang it up, or would i trash it?

I gotta agree with Stooch here. You can tell instantly whether art is worthwhile or not. It will have some kind of emotional or intellectual impact on you. Whereas if a piece of "art" does nothing for you until someone goes and explains it to you, then there's a problem.

If I see a box of broken light bulbs or, again, the aforementioned goat with a tire, I would just think "what the heck?", as it has no meaning without explanation. And I don't care what they want to convince you that it means. Relying on an explanation can mean that anything is art. I could dump some pencil sharpenings onto a table and say "This represents the waste of the rainforest by artists", but in the end, it's just pencil sharpenings on a table.
So, to me, same goes for anything I can't find meaning in instantly.

It doesn't bother me if an artist creates something with the intention to create a particular feeling and I feel the opposite. The fact that it elicits some kind of emotion is really the point. But when I look at something and feel only confusion, then the "artist" has failed.

I went to an event a couple of weeks ago that had "art" placed here and there. Every single piece was just a canvas with paint splashed across it, with circles left by a paint can sitting on the canvas and paint sloshed about in it.
They all had almost identical features, and yet, each one was supposed to represent something completely different things. I looked at each one with disgust. I was even more disgusted by the price tags on them.

toby
05-02-2007, 12:14 AM
I gotta agree with Stooch here. You can tell instantly whether art is worthwhile or not. It will have some kind of emotional or intellectual impact on you. Whereas if a piece of "art" does nothing for you until someone goes and explains it to you, then there's a problem.
Well it's not looking good for the Mona Lisa, 'cuz it doesn't do a damn thing for me. Guess it's not art.

You guys really think that it has to work for YOU in order to be valid art?

Stooch
05-02-2007, 12:52 AM
I guess the point is that nowhere is it said that art is supposed to be 'liked' by anyone.
There's plenty of art which I consider excellent that is not particularly likeable, nor would I want it in my house. Art is not decoration. Decoration is decoration. Design can be decoration, but doesn't have to be. Art can be decorative, but that's a side-effect.

You can disagree and find that most abstract art belongs in the trash, but that's no respectful to someone elses opinion. If they derive pleasure from art which you do not want to invest the time in to understand, why should it belong in the trash?

I don't like fried bananas, but should they all go into the trash?

because im entitled to my opinion regardless of others. I will also respect their oppinion and will not think any less of them because of it. Thats really the point im making here. You think that art is not decoration and you know what, thats cool with me. Even though I make no such distinction. I think that art could be decorative. Bottom line is, why bother defining or explaining something to others when it only matters WHAT YOU get out of a piece of art. One mans trash is anothers treasure, so dont get upset if your treasure gets trashed. And notice how i carefully stated that MOST modern art belongs in the trash IN MY OPINION. The key here is that I dont consider all modern abstract art as trash, ive seen enough cool stuff that makes me want to rock it. Im just not into stuff that needs to explain itself, to me, that is equivalent to making excuses. And yes, im also a proponent of the traditional sense of art where obvious skill must be evident on behalf of the artist. Some of my favorite works are by japanese painters who could put down a few strokes with such skill and precision that it makes me want to cry.

meshpig
05-02-2007, 02:43 AM
Jin Choung. Wow! What a meaty question.

What the **** is Modern Art?


Firslty, you have to see "Art" as a peculiarity of Western Civilisation with a long and well documented History.

The idea/concept of "Art" didn't arise until sometime in the 19th C. and is probably better left there because it pertians to a rather dated notion that "creativity" is sectioned such that the domain of Art is the only legitimate thing it's good for.

We all know that's nonsense, creativity is everywhere possible. Hence, "Art" is a questionable concept if not an entirely false one.

That doesn't however, rule out the fact that people come up with amazing articulations of human existence... which we, for want of a better name, call Art.

-Another way of putting it is to say - Art is the question rather than the answer and theirin lies the essence or problem of "Modern" Art. It's a problem rather than a solution and you are already under it's sway by asking or posing the same question:" Why is this good".

You have to appreciate also that Rauschneburg was a long time ago (not that Contemporary stuff is superior) and also that he was taking in Paul Cezanne... so it helps to have some comprehension of Cezanne's way of perceiving images in relation to a world in motion.

See, you probably take it for granted that 3D animation exists? The fact is that Cezanne observed the Landscape from the window of a moving train and attempted to incorporate that into the way the Landscape was done from a stationary position.

It's up to you whether you think it's successful or not and the question is always in "Art", why does this happen rather than nothing. I mean why does anyone get up on their horse over this thing Art?

M:eek:

parm
05-02-2007, 03:52 AM
Bottom line is, why bother defining or explaining something to others


Because a question was asked


when it only matters WHAT YOU get out of a piece of art.

That is simply not true Stooch.

Any genuine advance in perception or thinking. Will sooner or later make itself felt in the wider cultural environment. If history teaches us anything, it is. That nearly every leap in human understanding. Was built on the back of an avalanche of mistakes, dead ends and serendipity.

You only have to look around, to see how our environment has been informed and shaped. By aesthetics of Art movements, not widely liked in their time.

As Exception has already pointed out very clearly. The value of certain kinds of Art. Is not dependent upon popular appeal.


for me the process is simple. I look at a piece and immediatelly know if I like it or not. Using all of my artistic experience and or design instincts in the process I make that decision withink seconds. I dont need to read a book that explains to me why a piece of art was made. Only the all important, would i hang it up, or would i trash it?

While the sentiment, ("I know what I like and everything else is crap"), is very common. It hardly constitutes a satisfactory basis for an opinion. It really is just an attitude, isn't it. And attitudes, once formed, require very little thinking to maintain them.

Wonderpup
05-02-2007, 04:29 AM
One strange aspect of the whole 'art' thing is the almost total absence of computer generated images in any fine art or even decorative art environment. If you walk into any commercial gallery or print shop here in the uk you will see no CG created imagery - it's all oils. pastels, ect.

Not sure why this is. Maybe it's because things created on computers have an intrinsic 'mechanical' quality that people don't like? A basic lack of organic imperfection?

Still, given the proliferation of compter based art tools it is odd that they have had no visable impact on the market for decorative (as opposed to funtional) art.

Exception
05-02-2007, 05:58 AM
Still, given the proliferation of compter based art tools it is odd that they have had no visable impact on the market for decorative (as opposed to funtional) art.

I hear your sentiment, but I can tell you, it's out there, mostly associated with the new wave of urban art like that of zedz and delta, which are both awesome by the way, and the realy open minded museums (Tent, mama in Rotterdam, Pica in Perth, Whitney in NY, etc). You usually won't find it in galleries, as those are commercial enterprises, and in my opinion usually exhibit a certain kind of kitch art that is as far removed from contemporary art as the 'aesthetic' arts promoted by some people here.

I guess most museums are still afraid of putting a battery of screens into their spaces, and granted, I'd rather be looking at something else than a computer screen when I crawl from behind my computer, but that's a different story :)

And there's the Big Games, of course, like urban Pac Man, and so on, which are hybrid cg and real life. Great stuff.

starbase1
05-02-2007, 11:03 AM
I hear your sentiment, but I can tell you, it's out there, mostly associated with the new wave of urban art like that of zedz and delta, which are both awesome by the way, and the realy open minded museums (Tent, mama in Rotterdam, Pica in Perth, Whitney in NY, etc). You usually won't find it in galleries, as those are commercial enterprises, and in my opinion usually exhibit a certain kind of kitch art that is as far removed from contemporary art as the 'aesthetic' arts promoted by some people here.


Well, I am proud to be an artist member of the IAAA (International Association of Astronomical Artists, http://www.iaaa.org/ )

There is a good mix of digital vs traditional media, and exchange of ideas, techniques, and criticisms between the two, and digital is well represented at the exhibitions and sales events.

Indeed I am extremely proud that I was recruited by David Hardy who found my web pages and liked what he saw - I have some of his books, and consider him the greatest living British space artist.

Perhaps this is partly because of the scientific nature of the subject matter.

Nick

parm
05-02-2007, 01:22 PM
One strange aspect of the whole 'art' thing is the almost total absence of computer generated images in any fine art or even decorative art environment. If you walk into any commercial gallery or print shop here in the uk you will see no CG created imagery - it's all oils. pastels, ect.

With commercial galleries it's not really that surprising. Since they are basically exclusive shops, that cater to the requirements of their clientèle. Still, I have on occasion seen the work of Julian Opie (http://www.julianopie.com/) exhibited and on sale in Cork st, at the Waddington gallery, I think.


Not sure why this is. Maybe it's because things created on computers have an intrinsic 'mechanical' quality that people don't like? A basic lack of organic imperfection?


Well. The output devices for digital artworks, are currently severely limited. That goes for the printing technology as well as the monitors. Besides. What's the difference between viewing an artwork on a monitor at home, or in a gallery?

To experience paintings on the other hand. The average person has no other option than go to a gallery?

Possibly the traditional gallery environment is not well suited to digital.

The internet, is changing everything. Online communities, and burgeoning institutions like CG Society. Provide gallery space, discussion, education. They hand out awards for excellence. In fact the whole rating system has been democratized. Such that the viewers are able to directly give their own assessment of the quality of works on show. It boasts a membership and viewing figures, that if not already, will soon enough outstrip any traditional Art gallery.

If you mean. That Digital Art hasn't received much in the way of critical attention, or exposure in serious Art Galleries. I think you are right. But you mustn't forget that digital Art is in its infancy. The technology used to produce it. Itself is not mature.

This will all inevitably change.

But the fact is. At the moment. The most prevalent kind of cg art produced and shown on the various cg art forums. However imaginative and technically accomplished, much of it undoubtedly is. It just, is not, all that interesting. Why? because it can, (I'm talking about still images), be easily made using other already existing means.

CG Art becomes interesting where the medium defines itself. Where it makes things possible that can't be done any other way.

Exception
05-02-2007, 02:00 PM
There was a great exhibit in the Whitney a few years back with all kinds of digital art.
One was 3D scans of skulls, then had a simple 3D operation performed on them, like shear or vortex, and then printed to negative 3D casts and cast with a substance that is 99.9% idential to actual bone. Watchin these deformed skulls made your whole perception and experience of the objects into a world apart, its difficult to describe but you could find people in trance looking at one object, others were walking into walls or falling over, other people couldn;t look at them at all... that was a nice one.... There were also simple looping animations on special black boxes with just 36x36 LED's in them. From normal distances they looked just like flickering lights but from way across the hall you could see they were animations of people running over sand dunes and all this detail...

It was purely perceptional art, but interesting stuff, and I think they set a nice tone for a new kind of CG related field that ties back into our material world.

Stooch
05-02-2007, 03:09 PM
Because a question was asked

As Exception has already pointed out very clearly. The value of certain kinds of Art. Is not dependent upon popular appeal.


its funny how I said EXACTLY THAT. that its not about popular appeal its about YOUR PREFERENCES. You can explain to me the deeper meaning behind some lines, squares and or splatters and even though im fully aware of the reasoning behind it (i did go to art school and have formal education on this topic) - I still would throw it into the trash. Why? because i dont like it. Simple as that, end of story.

I get it, you consider yourself more educated or a better thinker because you like modern abstract art and my simple and bare aesthetic is crude and has no place in your evolution of art. But I still prefer what I prefer. upsetting people in the process is not a concern of mine. The only concern I have is when other people try to push their ideology down my throat...


While the sentiment, ("I know what I like and everything else is crap"), is very common. It hardly constitutes a satisfactory basis for an opinion. It really is just an attitude, isn't it. And attitudes, once formed, require very little thinking to maintain them.

what do you know of my thought patterns? Do you undrestand how snotty and elitist that sounds? Ok, so my point of view is crude and unintelligent to you. fine. But automatically considering my thinking as somehow inferior to yours just because i dont share your pov is downright uncivilized. There goes the whole pushing your ideals down my throat again. That kind of attitude is one of the big turnoffs to the whole genre for me. A genre full of intellectual elitism and little worthwhile substance.

Exception
05-02-2007, 04:34 PM
Saying that something belongs in the trash is not respectful to someone elses opinion, no matter how you look at it. I don't think anyone here has an issue with you not appreciating certain types of art, and I think again that most of us feel like that about some type of art... but saying it belongs in the trash is just not going to make for a constructive argument :)

Because you know, Abstract Kitten's strolling around the block, chilling with abstract music on his headphones, and will pass your house and there's a Mondriaan sticking out your garbage can with noodles all dried up on it and stuff. Now assuming that doesn't make a better painting (which it possibly does), He'l be all sad, and be crying on your doorstep, while you sit inside all happy looking at your Rembrandt collection.

So you just made someone cry. Is that what you want? Making kittens cry?

No seriously...
just repeating your opinion does not answer the question wether or not you understand modern art, which is the question at hand. Your answer is that you do, but it's not your things. So, what's left to say?

parm
05-02-2007, 05:08 PM
There was a great exhibit in the Whitney a few years back with all kinds of digital art.
One was 3D scans of skulls, then had a simple 3D operation performed on them, like shear or vortex, and then printed to negative 3D casts and cast with a substance that is 99.9% idential to actual bone. Watchin these deformed skulls made your whole perception and experience of the objects into a world apart, its difficult to describe but you could find people in trance looking at one object, others were walking into walls or falling over, other people couldn;t look at them at all... that was a nice one.... There were also simple looping animations on special black boxes with just 36x36 LED's in them. From normal distances they looked just like flickering lights but from way across the hall you could see they were animations of people running over sand dunes and all this detail...

It was purely perceptional art, but interesting stuff, and I think they set a nice tone for a new kind of CG related field that ties back into our material world.

You might find this site very interesting. It's the Digital Art Museum
(http://www.dam.org/intro.htm) It's got lots of info on the development and history of digital Art. Particularly good are the essays by some of artists and theorists involved in digital art.

Well worth a look and definitely worth the reading.

anthony mazzeri
05-02-2007, 05:40 PM
It's mostly down to the tasteless, "high-class" buyers who'll by a tin can with manure as long as some "artist" has labeled it art.

It's business and it's got nothing to do with art.

I personally don't believe anyone actually buys that extreme stuff. Like the haute couture fashion on runways, it's simply for exhibit and to draw attention to the label and get the name well known as 'at the forefront'. The actual stuff for sale in clothing stores is less extreme than what is shown on the runways.

So yes, I agree it's a business. As others have mentioned, Picasso could draw and paint quite realistically, but the money was in the cubism. An example from modern Australia is Ken Done who does colourful broad stroke childish paintings which made him wealthy. The realistic pencilled bowls of fruit he did in his early years just didn't sell.

Modern art was simply a reaction in my opinion to the advent of the new technology of photography which could capture realistic images, so painters were forced to re-invent what they do. I think though that the 're-invention' has become the re-invention itself. Contemporary art is all over the shop today with no definite definition to encompass any or all of it as every artist seeks to re-invent art anew every day in their own way.

DiedonD
05-03-2007, 04:04 AM
Saying that something belongs in the trash is not respectful to someone elses opinion...

Nah Im with Stooch here. Its pretty individualistic. Besides he doesnt say that some art belongs to the trash, he says he himself would through it into the trash, cause he doesnt likes it. Pretty simple and alot of meaning.

Imagine a gallery made up of tons of artwork with that goat there also. Theres Jin wondering about the goat, heres me looking at all these variations of painted abstract and realistic horses and analyzing what in tarnation could it mean to the artist. And here Stooch comes in and takes a look at one artists work, and may say some nasty stuff about it. But may stop and really like the one right next to it. Now the one right next to the second one is so bad to him, that he wants to hold it and throw it into the trash. Still theres a comunication here, weather its the wanted effect from artist to viewer is a completely different matter, and a matter that probably nobody, artist included, doesnt has total control of even.

Furthermore I too wouldnt like someone telling me, and pointing out stuff that I may or may not notice at a certain time looking at the pictures.
You'll notice certain things in your prerfered book every 10 years that you didnt knew they were always there. So If I dont necessarily see what the artist wanted to show, its because of me. And his explanation to me, like in Stooches case, would only undo his goals. The artists work may have the attributes and some facets that I may in future be in need to see sometime, but not now. All I know for now, is that If I were to see a bad art, that would make me throw it away to the trash, the most natural response would be to do so. Why? Thats what envoked in me at this time. Period.
And having an artwork that I dont like, lying over there somewhere is ok, I guess, but couldnt care less about it. For now at least, and with no guarantees weather I'll like anytime in the future.

What Im all saying here that you dont have to poses any kind of intelectual level in order to evaluate is one art good or not. Cause anyone is capable to evaluate for themselves mostly anyway. And theres no grounds here. Whose to say whose evaluation beats another ones. And nobody shouldnt evaluate for you. So its plenty of diferent people with different personalities coming to light by looking at the physically same thing over and over at the gallery, where one picture is on the trash. Now, send in the infantry lawyers, judges, and all the financial bills due to the picture on the trash, but hey... Its art...

Lightwolf
05-03-2007, 04:13 AM
I personally don't believe anyone actually buys that extreme stuff.
Hm, I know people that do. And not necessarily the people that have loads of cash to fling around either. And you know what? They enjoy doing so as well (and enjoy wearing the stuff).
The same can be said for a lot of stuff, be it alcoholic drinks (i.e. wine, whiskey), food, whatever.

Cheers,
Mike

parm
05-03-2007, 04:55 AM
I personally don't believe anyone actually buys that extreme stuff. Like the haute couture fashion on runways, it's simply for exhibit and to draw attention to the label and get the name well known as 'at the forefront'. The actual stuff for sale in clothing stores is less extreme than what is shown on the runways.

I think that is a fair assumption, and the analogy is also very reasonable.

Most of that stuff, is certainly not made with any commercial intention. Likely the Artist has been thinking about something, gives a shape to the idea. and basically puts it out there, to sink or swim.

Another analogy is with Science. Theories are put out for peer review. It's expected that most of them are shot down in flames.


So yes, I agree it's a business. As others have mentioned, Picasso could draw and paint quite realistically, but the money was in the cubism. An example from modern Australia is Ken Done who does colourful broad stroke childish paintings which made him wealthy. The realistic pencilled bowls of fruit he did in his early years just didn't sell.


The artist you mention, Ken Done (http://www.debbiekruger.com/writer/freelance/kendone.html). I hadn't heard of him. So out of curiosity looked him up.
Turns out, that he makes a pretty interesting example. It seems, from what I've read. That he comes in for quite a bit of ridicule from the critics, and the commercial gallery's have been, more or less indifferent to him. His success is entirely down to public acceptance. No brainwashing from critics, or "throat ramming" from media hype. Just plain old; people like his work and they buy it.


Modern art was simply a reaction in my opinion to the advent of the new technology of photography which could capture realistic images, so painters were forced to re-invent what they do. I think though that the 're-invention' has become the re-invention itself. Contemporary art is all over the shop today with no definite definition to encompass any or all of it as every artist seeks to re-invent art anew every day in their own way.


Yes. The camera is an important milestone in Art history. Although other factors were also involved in driving the development of Modern Art. The response of artists to photography was varied. And some artists did feel threatened by the new technology. Others did not. It was, however, the final nail in the coffin, of one of the primary theories underpinning artistic development since the Renaissance. Imitation Theory, the idea, that we can achieve an understanding of nature through ever more vivid and naturalistic representation.
Advances in 19th century science, such as; atomic theory, and the discovery of sub atomic particles. Was also a factor, in influencing the shift in Art thinking. With all this new knowledge. Representational Art becomes an intellectual cul de sac. Artists realized that the only thing we can learn about reality, through imitation, (in Art at least), is what things look like on the surface. And now there was even a tool, that can easily do that. With more accuracy and detail, than any artist had ever achieved.

It's also interesting to note. That the direction Art took, from the Renaissance on. Was also largely driven by scientific and technological advances.
The invention of oil paint, as well as the new theories of perspective. Gave artists the means to achieve very convincing copies of nature.

DiedonD
05-03-2007, 06:57 AM
I think that is a fair assumption, and the analogy is also very reasonable.

Most of that stuff, is certainly not made with any commercial intention. Likely the Artist has been thinking about something, gives a shape to the idea. and basically puts it out there, to sink or swim.

Another analogy is with Science. Theories are put out for peer review. It's expected that most of them are shot down in flames.

The artist you mention, Ken Done (http://www.debbiekruger.com/writer/freelance/kendone.html). I hadn't heard of him. So out of curiosity looked him up.
Turns out, that he makes a pretty interesting example. It seems, from what I've read. That he comes in for quite a bit of ridicule from the critics, and the commercial gallery's have been, more or less indifferent to him. His success is entirely down to public acceptance. No brainwashing from critics, or "throat ramming" from media hype. Just plain old; people like his work and they buy it.

Yes. The camera is an important milestone in Art history. Although other factors were also involved in driving the development of Modern Art. The response of artists to photography was varied. And some artists did feel threatened by the new technology. Others did not. It was, however, the final nail in the coffin, of one of the primary theories underpinning artistic development since the Renaissance. Imitation Theory, the idea, that we can achieve an understanding of nature through ever more vivid and naturalistic representation.
Advances in 19th century science, such as; atomic theory, and the discovery of sub atomic particles. Was also a factor, in influencing the shift in Art thinking. With all this new knowledge. Representational Art becomes an intellectual cul de sac. Artists realized that the only thing we can learn about reality, through imitation, (in Art at least), is what things look like on the surface. And now there was even a tool, that can easily do that. With more accuracy and detail, than any artist had ever achieved.

It's also interesting to note. That the direction Art took, from the Renaissance on. Was also largely driven by scientific and technological advances.
The invention of oil paint, as well as the new theories of perspective. Gave artists the means to achieve very convincing copies of nature.

Yea ok but why the goat with a tire on his waist? I mean what! What could this be? So the goat is nature, and has a bit of a sense of beeing dooped, or goated away, fool like a goat, and theres a tire which means to me technology, and something that was suppose to make our life easier but since its on the goats waist its imprisoning us. So we have that we are beeing fooled like a goat and imprissoned by the technology thats around us, rather than live a simple and natural life.

Then we have technology belittling and entrapping nature to our convenience, the animals suffer from our wastes. Its a bit greener here. And lastly what Ive come up so far, is green house effect, polooting the air all around us, and surrounding us like that tire on the goats belly.

Heres me. After reading parms signature I thought perhaps we can all tell what that image makes us think, and what is art will be noticed by us doing that. What can this imaginary picture of a goat with a tire on his belly mean to you guys here?

parm
05-03-2007, 08:54 AM
Yea ok but why the goat with a tire on his waist? I mean what! What could this be?......

An artist creates an object, as surprising and unusual as that. And you expect it to have a meaning as well?

Hey, I'm just here to offer pointers and some background where I can. Not tell you what to think.

Seeing as you ask, though. My guess is, that it means. If you want to make sculpture out of a stuffed Goat and a tyre. Then you can.

jasonwestmas
05-03-2007, 09:35 AM
I'm sorry, but I don't appreciate a work of art nearly as much if I don't have a clear direction for where that art came from. That takes a considerable amount of work sometimes.

Stooch
05-03-2007, 05:37 PM
quoted...

Thank you! you deserve a cookie or 10 - heh. beauty is in the eye of the beholder. you can write me a novel about why you did something but in the end, im not here to read your novel, im here to look at what you did. and i if i dont like it, your credentials, your reasoning and/or excuses mean nothing. at the end of the day, what i interpret may be crappy art. and if i did have the choice of what to do with that piece of art - IF i was to place it in my dormicile, it would go directly into the trash. So this brings me back to my original point, you guys are thinking about it too much IMO. Art is about emotional response, not mental diahrea. Everyone will interpret it in their own special way, and that is the beauty of individualism. and that is exactly what art is about - SELF EXPRESSION.

aesthetics are relative so dont be afraid to say it like it is when you dislike something. *** kissers are artists worst enemies, i think that there are too many instances where people are just too nice. they sit there and make up excuses or buy into some BS just to avoid being the "bad guy". odd isnt it?

what does hurting others feelings have to do with appreciating art?

jasonwestmas
05-03-2007, 05:49 PM
Who's talking about diahrea and kissin tail here? Truth is truth and it doesn't always mean people are being nice all the time just so they can make themselves and others feel better. You can choose how far to look into something it's almost an endless process but like you said you can just stop and look and move on if you wish, no one is condeming you for that. Who's to say just what "thinking too much "is any way :P

Stooch
05-03-2007, 06:00 PM
Who's to say just what "thinking too much "is any way :P

you left out something very important.

you guys are thinking about it too much IMO.

= in my opinion.

Not a law, just what i think about the intepretation of modern art and how i approach it. If you disagree then i will not accuse you of not being intellectual enough... as long as you dont automatically dismiss my pov as someone who cant think. (ala parm)

theo
05-03-2007, 06:51 PM
Thank you... appreciating art?

Stooch, Stooch, you are calling all of this fine discourse, jettisoned, mental fecal matter?

Such a naughty, naughty opinion... I feel sorry for your thing being eaten. It seems...somehow... contemporary...

jasonwestmas
05-03-2007, 07:20 PM
Oh yeah! welll. . . welll. . .you can have your silly opinion StOOch! :D

Exception
05-03-2007, 08:21 PM
you can write me a novel about why you did something but in the end, im not here to read your novel, im here to look at what you did.

Novels can be art too.
Art is not necessarily a visual thing.
It is, actually, since we're talking about contemporary art, a mental thing. It's supposed to make you think/feel, as you say yourself. Different people react to different things, so let each have their own.

As I see it this thread is not about St00ch's opinion alone, which we've heard now a number of times, but about understanding contemporary art. :)

I did my best to explain as much as I understand of it, and perhaps there's some more constructive things to be said on this topic?

parm
05-04-2007, 01:54 AM
as long as you dont automatically dismiss my pov as someone who cant think. (ala parm)

Obviously, you struggle to comprehend what you read as well.

I didn't say that you can't think, or don't think. But your thinking, on this subject
at least, does not go far enough for the discussion.

There is a lot more to Contemporary or Modern Art, than your opinion encompasses. That's not my opinion, there just is.

I stand by what I have said. Which is that your opinion. Comes across more, as just a stance or an attitude. Because you can't or won't justify your position.

If, in your opinion something is rubbish, but you cannot say why it's rubbish. Other than, that you think it's rubbish. How is that a credible opinion? what exactly does that bring to the table? is there something others can learn from it?

I'm sorry to say that your advice, 'to think less'. is piss poor.

Think about it!

Dirk
05-04-2007, 03:56 AM
One must not forget that a lot of "modern art" is bought with taxpayers money. And the "Emporers new clothes"-feeling might be intentional.

parm
05-04-2007, 04:26 AM
I'm sorry, but I don't appreciate a work of art nearly as much if I don't have a clear direction for where that art came from. That takes a considerable amount of work sometimes.

Sometimes, but not in this case really.

The piece of Art that diedond is referring to. Isn't in fact all that problematic. Even for the time it was created, mid to late 1950's, it wasn't making any radical challenge to artistic thinking. Nor was it, it's intention to do so.

Rather. Artists like Robert Rauschenberg, who created the said piece. Were in the process of consolidation. They had settled down and were seeing what could be done with the new ways of art process made possible by preceding Art movements. And the influence of Surrealism can be clearly felt through Rauschenbergs work. Particularly from the work of Max Ernst and Marcel Duchamp. The fact that he calls these pieces; 'Combines' is a considerable nod in the direction of Duchamp.

So. What did the Surrealists do for us anyway?

Well, they taught us to value the seeming irrationality of the subconscious. And to recognize the creative potential of dreamlike juxtapositions.

Max Ernst was a Surrealist artist who used the technique of collage. He gives this definition of collage:


The systematic exploitation of an accidental or deliberate meeting of two unrelated realities on a plane that is related to neither-and the spark of poetry that is kindled by the coming together of these realities

Marcel Duchamp invented the 'Readymade'. The concept. Is that Art can be made using found objects already in existence. The assertion being that the act of choosing and arranging, is in itself a creative act.

In this context the 'Readymade' and the 'Combine' can be viewed as three dimensional collage

Here's what Rauschenberg has to say about 'Monogram' 1955-59 (aka Goat with a Tyre):


an artist manufactures his material out of his own existence—his own ignorance, familiarity or confidence. I come to terms with my materials. They know and I know that we’re going to try to do something.
Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t but I would substitute anything for preconceptions or deliberateness. If that moment can’t be as fresh, strange and unpredictable as what’s going on around you, then it’s false. The nature of some of my materials gave me an additional problem because I had to figure out how they could be physically supported on a wall when they obviously had no business being anywhere near a wall. That was the
beginnings of the Combines.

—In Barbara Rose, An Interview with Robert Rauschenberg (1987)


a stuffed goat is special in the way that a stuffed goat is special. I wanted to see if I could integrate an object as exotic as that.

—In Mary Lynn Kotz, Rauschenberg/Art and
Life (1990)

jasonwestmas
05-04-2007, 09:02 AM
Indeed Parm, there are those artists who relish the thought of objects introduced to a never before seen environment or context. As superficial, irrational, random or visually appealing as that may be it doesn't interest me as a person if the human intelect isn't at play, you see. I need both sides of the spectrum, it brings forth a contrast that is necessary for someone like myself to appreciate a work of art. Actually I think people like Duchamp prefered to mock people who posess that superficial sense of taste with his own work no less, at least that was my impression. Or maybe his whimsy was just interpreted as humorous.

It is true that the nature of the material within your medium determines the factor in which whimsy and lack of control becomes a part of your piece. If we could predict just how our painting or animation would turn out, it really wouldn't be very astonishing and actually I would loose all interest personally. So a work of art does indeed come from a certain percentage of randomness but equally or less so, the work does come from a certain percentage of control. I am in fact interested in both the randomness found in the nature of the medium and the cerebral techniques that allow contol

parm
05-04-2007, 10:03 AM
Indeed Parm, there are those artists who relish the thought of objects introduced to a never before seen environment or context. As superficial, irrational, random or visually appealing as that may be it doesn't interest me as a person if the human intelect isn't at play, you see. I need both sides of the spectrum, it brings forth a contrast that is necessary for someone like myself to appreciate a work of art.

Remember there are two sides to a work of art; The artist and the viewer. I didn't say earlier, but should have. That I really enjoyed reading diedonds train of thought on the work:


Yea ok but why the goat with a tire on his waist? I mean what! What could this be? So the goat is nature, and has a bit of a sense of beeing dooped, or goated away, fool like a goat, and theres a tire which means to me technology, and something that was suppose to make our life easier but since its on the goats waist its imprisoning us. So we have that we are beeing fooled like a goat and imprissoned by the technology thats around us, rather than live a simple and natural life.

Then we have technology belittling and entrapping nature to our convenience, the animals suffer from our wastes. Its a bit greener here. And lastly what Ive come up so far, is green house effect, polooting the air all around us, and surrounding us like that tire on the goats belly.


It is a testament to the works success. That from a mere description of the piece, it can spark such a creative flow of thought in another.

I do agree with you though. I'm not a big fan, and it doesn't do that sort of thing for me. Worst luck.

I myself do prefer the work of Duchamp. Probably because of it's strong and highly original conceptual base. And you are right in thinking that Duchamp considered taste to the enemy of Art. But did acknowledge the inherent contradiction in trying not to impose his taste, while at the same time using himself to make the selections.