Yet Another Cycling Forum

Off Topic => The Pub => Arts and Entertainment => Topic started by: Bledlow on November 17, 2015, 11:53:01 am

Title: "I don't get art"
Post by: Bledlow on November 17, 2015, 11:53:01 am
Opinions? Is the Hans Christian Andersen reference apt?
http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/im-sick-of-pretending-i-dont-get-art?utm_source=Outbrain&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=otbpaid301 (http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/im-sick-of-pretending-i-dont-get-art?utm_source=Outbrain&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=otbpaid301)
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Ham on November 17, 2015, 12:13:12 pm
I'm not worried about people paying extravagant amounts for what may or may not be art, I'm not even concerned whether or not I "get it", I'm happy for time to winnow out the crap, which it tends to.

For example, I remember the furore when Equivalent VIII was bought. And yes, I do think that's Art, and I enjoy seeing it. I couldn't name you another of Carl Andre's works, mind. Rothko. Duchamp's fountain. They all stand the test of time. The stuff being raved about? I doubt that 1% will, and that which does will likely be appreciated.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: DDCyclist on November 17, 2015, 12:49:02 pm
Tracey Emin. Not art. Never was. Never will be. Unless the purpose of art is to elicit a response. Even if it's "WTF?"

Her 'Sparrow (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/4293245.stm)' was more 'Byrd on a stick' as that was what she - and the idiot BBC exec that commissioned it - were flipping to the licence paying public.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Mr Larrington on November 17, 2015, 12:52:54 pm
Most of what may or may not be "art" falls into the category of "I wish I could afford to buy that so then I wouldn't" as far as I'm concerned.  See also "I wouldn't give that houseroom", frequently uttered at just about everything on "Antiques Roadshow".  Except Fiona Bruce.

I am a philistine.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on November 17, 2015, 12:57:18 pm
For me, art is about communication. So if the art piece doesn't communicate anything, it has failed.

Tracy Emin, by that measure, is an artist. Most of recent stuff communicates that that she has no artistic ability whatsoever.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: DDCyclist on November 17, 2015, 01:04:53 pm
For me, art is about communication. So if the art piece doesn't communicate anything, it has failed.

Tracy Emin, by that measure, is an artist. Most of recent stuff communicates that that she has no artistic ability whatsoever.

Most of recent stuff Everything she has ever produced communicates that that she has no artistic ability whatsoever.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Kim on November 17, 2015, 01:08:09 pm
I don't get art.  I'm not convinced that I need to.  That doesn't make it not worthwhile.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Bledlow on November 17, 2015, 01:10:12 pm
I...Duchamp's fountain. They all stand the test of time. ..
I think it has stood the test of time because it was original.

The n thousandth iteration of an idea is not.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: ian on November 17, 2015, 01:11:24 pm
I dunno. I see things that make me think, either it's cool, interesting, or I-couldn't-do-that. That's art to me. A lot of stuff does seem to exist for the Saatchi's et al. to demonstrate how much money they have, like those ostentatious bad fashion dolls you see tottering through Knightsbridge, they're not dressed to impress, they're dressed to tell you how much money they have.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 17, 2015, 01:20:48 pm
I looked up Equivalent VIII, cos I didn't know, it. Patterns in bricks can be interesting, thought provoking, even beautiful, but that usually happens when the bricks are serving a purpose. The pattern and its qualities might be accidental or a deliberate decorative feature but the brickwork exists to be walked on, hold up a bridge or a house or whatever. Take away the purpose of the bricks and the pattern has to be more beautiful and more interesting than if it was a coincidental part of a wall. For me, Carl Andre's bricks are just a pile of bricks.

As for the original article, I think it's guilty of the sin it levels against the art fanciers. It's simply ostentation. "I don't get it (and so I'm clever enough to not fall for it)."
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: geraldc on November 17, 2015, 01:45:47 pm
The other half drags me to a lot of this stuff.

I like Emin's work, I find it expresses her personality, and is actually very honest. I went to see an exhibition where part of it was a film that she made documenting an abortion she went through. It was very honest and moving.

She got into her Masters problem based on her sketching, which by all accounts is very good, however technical skills can be dismissed with Picasso's quote, "It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child." Assume all artists have good technical skills, the ones that stand out are doing something different better than the others.

Don't be too proud to get the audio guides or look up explanations of things when going to an exhibition.

Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: clarion on November 17, 2015, 02:08:30 pm
Equivalent VIII has a bit of an iconic status in this argument, with both sides very pompous (usually, not necessarily on yacf).  I did 'get' it.  I don't 'get' all art.  But it's always worth approaching with an open mind.

Tracey Emin and Damien Hurst I find annoying self-publicists, but both are capable of brilliant work.  Sarah Lucas, Steve McQueen and Jeremy Deller are less commercial, but all have very creative pieces in their portfolio. 

I love Rothko, Riley, Moore, Hepworth, Frink, Pollock, Duchamp etc, all of whom have been dismissed many times as rubbish.  But it communicates deeply with me.

Just cause I don't 'get' it, or it's something 'anyone could have done' does not mean it isn't art.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: asterix on November 17, 2015, 07:10:35 pm
Maybe the very fact that it provokes discussion means that 'Art' has fulfilled its role?  I don't mind that so long as no-one expects me to buy bricks for more than I have to pay at Jewsons. 
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Ben T on November 17, 2015, 07:36:36 pm
My rule of thumb is it had to take skill to think it up AND to create it.
This therefore rules out most "abstract" art whose claim to being art is solely in the idea of it, rather than the actual skill behind the creation. It also rules out Damien Hirst as he didn't even bother creating it himself but employed somebody else to.
It also rules out Lowry, for the converse reason - it took skill to create but is usually of a fairly moribund scene.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: perpetual dan on November 17, 2015, 09:59:41 pm
Artists have had helpers with the doing for a long time. I'd call that craft. Good artists are often good at the craft too.  Inspiration finds you when you're busy,  and if you spend enough time being busy you stand a chance of getting good.

I'm confused about the moribund scene thing though.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Ian H on November 17, 2015, 10:11:29 pm
These pronouncements one what is or isn't art make me smile and wince at the same time.  Perhaps best to stick to discussing art you like and art you don't.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: jsabine on November 17, 2015, 10:43:26 pm
For me, art is about communication. So if the art piece doesn't communicate anything, it has failed.

Tracy Emin, by that measure, is an artist. Most of recent stuff communicates that that she has no artistic ability whatsoever.

Most of recent stuff Everything she has ever produced communicates that that she has no artistic ability whatsoever.

You've not actually bothered to look properly at any of her work, have you?
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Ruthie on November 17, 2015, 10:47:52 pm
For me, art is about communication. So if the art piece doesn't communicate anything, it has failed.

Tracy Emin, by that measure, is an artist. Most of recent stuff communicates that that she has no artistic ability whatsoever.

Most of recent stuff Everything she has ever produced communicates that that she has no artistic ability whatsoever.


You've not actually bothered to look properly at any of her work, have you?

Tracy Emin is a wonderful artist.  I don't understand why people don't 'get' her.  She communicates about real life, and about how it is to be alive.  She can really draw as well.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on November 17, 2015, 10:57:02 pm
My rule of thumb is it had to take skill to think it up AND to create it.
This therefore rules out most "abstract" art whose claim to being art is solely in the idea of it, rather than the actual skill behind the creation. It also rules out Damien Hirst as he didn't even bother creating it himself but employed somebody else to.
It also rules out Lowry, for the converse reason - it took skill to create but is usually of a fairly moribund scene.
eh? I don't get this. He was an incredibly skilled painter who painted places in a way they had never been painted before. Some of his work has such detailed social commentary, it's amazing, really benefits from close study.

The problem with Lowry is that small sections of his (huge) paintings are often reproduced at a magnified scale.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: jsabine on November 17, 2015, 11:29:39 pm
For me, art is about communication. So if the art piece doesn't communicate anything, it has failed.

Tracy Emin, by that measure, is an artist. Most of recent stuff communicates that that she has no artistic ability whatsoever.

Most of recent stuff Everything she has ever produced communicates that that she has no artistic ability whatsoever.


You've not actually bothered to look properly at any of her work, have you?

Tracy Emin is a wonderful artist.  I don't understand why people don't 'get' her.  She communicates about real life, and about how it is to be alive.  She can really draw as well.

I think part of the problem lies with the media presentation of her and (some of) her work, coupled with the fact that you'll generally only see isolated pieces, without any real context. That makes it really easy to dismiss her.

Certainly I pretty much used to. I'd seen some works, but without any real interpretation or understanding of them they didn't mean much to me, and some of them seemed a bit facile, or provocative purely for the sake of creating controversy.

Then I went to the retrospective at the Hayward (the very same one that the author of that Vice article is so scathing about) because a friend had tickets, and a lot of her stuff suddenly clicked with me - it conveys so much about her and her life. But it took seeing a *lot* of her work together, so you could see the relationships between different pieces and different phases of her work, as well as information that helped set them in context of her life, to make it click.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Ruthie on November 17, 2015, 11:34:55 pm
A retrospective can really do that.  It gives you the chance to form a relationship with an artist's work, and in some ways with the artist, in an accessible way.  They're great but they must be a nightmare to curate and organise.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Wowbagger on November 18, 2015, 12:26:02 am
A little over a year ago Mrs. Wow and I went to the Tate to see the Turner exhibition. It was OK, but our tickets also got us into the Turner Prize shortlisted exhibits. There were 5 of them, the medium used was almost all video (one entrant also had a load of printed stuff). I have to say that I enjoyed the winner's video immensely, far more than I did the Turner exhibition. It was undoubtedly extremely weird, but it was fascinating, almost mesmerising to watch. A good deal of it was of dancers dressed mostly in black, dancing in geometric patterns on a huge white sheet. I loved that. He had a lot of other stuff, including some video footage of NI during the Troubles. I was delighted and not at all surprised he won (we viewed the exhibition about 6 weeks before the winner was announced). I found the other exhibits unmemorable by comparison, with the exception of the guy from Southend who took a lot of very evocative video from Two Tree Island, which is where I took the dog yesterday.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Katie on November 18, 2015, 09:55:17 am
Tracey Emin. Not art. Never was. Never will be. Unless the purpose of art is to elicit a response. Even if it's "WTF?"

Pretty much is, isn't it?

Don't get me wrong, can't stand Tracey Emin. My A Level art coursework was a piece ridiculing Emin - I recreated the bedroom thing in a toilet bowl. But that is the point of art, imo - eliciting a response.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Riggers on November 18, 2015, 10:06:07 am
This is a hornet's-nest of a thread (very much like discussing religion if you ask me) as 'art', and whether one 'gets it', or not, covers so so much, and the inclusion and range of subject matter is vast.

I think whether something should be included as art (or held in so-called high esteem) is proportionate to the discourse on it. If it needs a couple of A4 pages to articulate the merit of a particular piece to the viewer, then it's pants in my opinion.

Art should speak emotion to whoever's looking at it. Again that's just my opinion. It should also show some degree of skill.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 18, 2015, 10:08:34 am
My rule of thumb is it had to take skill to think it up AND to create it.
This therefore rules out most "abstract" art whose claim to being art is solely in the idea of it, rather than the actual skill behind the creation. It also rules out Damien Hirst as he didn't even bother creating it himself but employed somebody else to.
It also rules out Lowry, for the converse reason - it took skill to create but is usually of a fairly moribund scene.
This reminds me of someone who told me "I think it's not art if I could do it." I'm not sure whether this is the result of self-denigration or the elevation of art into something superhuman.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: T42 on November 18, 2015, 10:12:34 am
Couple of maybe-unrelated things:

The Art column in the IHT Culture** section rarely fails to contain a dollar sign.

Someone once observed that the prices paid for art don't reflect the value of the work but how little the purchasers value their money.

** :facepalm:
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Kim on November 18, 2015, 10:14:51 am
This reminds me of someone who told me "I think it's not art if I could do it." I'm not sure whether this is the result of self-denigration or the elevation of art into something superhuman.

I've always thought that to be a pretty good heuristic, actually.  At least once you distinguish art from craft.  I'll be the first to admit to having an assortment of molishment skills, that could be (and on occasion have been) put to use to create a variety of artworks.  But - and here's the important bit - I wouldn't think to do so myself.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: asterix on November 18, 2015, 10:14:55 am
My rule of thumb is it had to take skill to think it up AND to create it.
This therefore rules out most "abstract" art whose claim to being art is solely in the idea of it, rather than the actual skill behind the creation. It also rules out Damien Hirst as he didn't even bother creating it himself but employed somebody else to.
It also rules out Lowry, for the converse reason - it took skill to create but is usually of a fairly moribund scene.
eh? I don't get this. He was an incredibly skilled painter who painted places in a way they had never been painted before. Some of his work has such detailed social commentary, it's amazing, really benefits from close study.

The problem with Lowry is that small sections of his (huge) paintings are often reproduced at a magnified scale.

Took the letters from my keyboard..

When I was a student living in Edgely,Stockport a long time ago I called on my elderly neighbour for some reason and he invited me in.  it was a street of humble and decaying terraced housing.  Inside his house the walls were a mass of original paintings he had collected, some of them Lowry's and all scenes from nearby.  He gave me a bit of a tour and explained he'd actually met Lowry and was able to buy the pictures straight off his easel.  They were images from just outside the front door giving a strong sense of the area and the northern light.  A byegone age. 
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Ian H on November 18, 2015, 10:20:07 am
My rule of thumb is it had to take skill to think it up AND to create it.
This therefore rules out most "abstract" art whose claim to being art is solely in the idea of it, rather than the actual skill behind the creation. It also rules out Damien Hirst as he didn't even bother creating it himself but employed somebody else to.
It also rules out Lowry, for the converse reason - it took skill to create but is usually of a fairly moribund scene.
This reminds me of someone who told me "I think it's not art if I could do it." I'm not sure whether this is the result of self-denigration or the elevation of art into something superhuman.

The level of skill required is that which communicates the idea effectively. 
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: geraldc on November 18, 2015, 10:44:46 am
https://vimeo.com/79687251

Technically we could all make that,  but whether or not you'd be willing to reveal everything for art is another thing
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: mcshroom on November 18, 2015, 11:25:12 am
My attitude to art tends to be more about whether I like it or not rather than whether it is art or not. I appreciate that people will take different things from different 'works of art'

What I don't get about art is that certain artworks fetch waht are to me incredible prices because they were painted/sculted etc. by a certain artist, rather than the skill/idea communicated by set artwork, and that other pieces that can be equally as good IMHO are worth a fraction because they are made by someone else.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: rafletcher on November 18, 2015, 11:29:57 am
What is "Art" has varied over the centuries. Some was meant as lessons, or political statements, or rebellion or religious teachings. Others were just very good renditions of individuals, painted for money, and not necessarily intended as anything other than that. Some were just observational, documentary. So art is many things, to many different people, and maybe today in most cases it's meant as "entertainment" or personal expression. So art changes, mutates, means different things to different people. 

There is one particular painting that divides my wife (artist, art teacher, art historian) and me (engineer). It was I think by Lucien Freud and we saw it hanging in the Tate many years ago. I can't find an image mow. I recall it was large, mainly green background, and showed a man sitting on a park bench. His head was surrounded by a swirl of black lines. I loved it instantly. She disliked it intensely. She is bipolar, and the emotion it evoked troubled her, whereas I connected with it, still do. What the intention of the artist was I have no idea. I guess that's Art.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Ham on November 18, 2015, 11:33:51 am
Something just occured to me, that seems apposite.

Art makes you think. Great art makes you feel.

Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: geraldc on November 18, 2015, 11:34:10 am
Art nowadays is valued by its monetary worth, the good old "insurance value".

Artists/collectors now employ public relations companies to boost their profile and the value of their paintings.

Don't forget that a lot of the time, when you see art going for high figures, it's the collector who's selling and auctioneer that reap the benefits as the artist sold the work a long time ago.

The good thing about this country is that if you like art, you can just go out and see it.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: woollypigs on November 18, 2015, 11:36:35 am
This explains my take on art

Quote
A couple attending an art exhibition at the National Gallery were staring at a portrait that had them totally confused. The painting depicted three black men totally naked, sitting on a park bench. Two of the men had black penises, but the one seated in the middle, had a pink penis.

The curator of the gallery realized the confused couple were having trouble with interpreting the painting and offered his assessment. He went on and on for nearly half an hour explaining how it depicted the sexual emasculation of African-Americans in a predominantly white, patriarchal society. "In fact", he pointed out, "some serious critics believe that the pink penis reflects the cultural and sociological oppression expressed by gay men in a contemporary society".

After the curator left, a Scotsman man approached the couple and said, "Would you like to know what the painting is really about?"

"Now why would you claim to be more of an expert than the curator of the Gallery?" asked the couple.

"Because I'm the guy who painted it," he replied. "In fact, there is no African-American representation at all. They're just three Scottish coal-miners. The guy in the middle went home for lunch."

Which shows me that it is very much "what ever float your boat". Many of these thought provoking "art" diplays often make me think of something totally different to what the critics/artists say in their articles.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 18, 2015, 12:24:52 pm
This reminds me of someone who told me "I think it's not art if I could do it." I'm not sure whether this is the result of self-denigration or the elevation of art into something superhuman.

I've always thought that to be a pretty good heuristic, actually.  At least once you distinguish art from craft.  I'll be the first to admit to having an assortment of molishment skills, that could be (and on occasion have been) put to use to create a variety of artworks.  But - and here's the important bit - I wouldn't think to do so myself.
It's a crap heuristic because it referred to talent with a brush, chisel or whatever. And that's crap because of your last sentence and what IanH says.

My rule of thumb is it had to take skill to think it up AND to create it.
This therefore rules out most "abstract" art whose claim to being art is solely in the idea of it, rather than the actual skill behind the creation. It also rules out Damien Hirst as he didn't even bother creating it himself but employed somebody else to.
It also rules out Lowry, for the converse reason - it took skill to create but is usually of a fairly moribund scene.
This reminds me of someone who told me "I think it's not art if I could do it." I'm not sure whether this is the result of self-denigration or the elevation of art into something superhuman.

The level of skill required is that which communicates the idea effectively. 
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Vince on November 18, 2015, 12:48:43 pm
This is probably far too simplistic, but surely the point of art is to give a visual or tactile experience. Whether that is then used to make a point is not relevent. Whether it is worth mega bucks or pennies is also not relevent.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: geraldc on November 18, 2015, 12:50:49 pm
There's a lot to be said for living like an artist, being on the fringes of polite society and railing against it.  I admire the work and political stance of Ai Wei Wei. He could easily just shut up and make millions, but he uses his position to high light injustices and things he believes in. Taken individually a lot of his work could be dismissed as tat created by his assistants, but when viewed in the context of his life and experiences, it makes sense.
His early work was mental, eg a lot of photos of him flipping the bird, or destroying antiques.

Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Ian H on November 18, 2015, 12:59:21 pm
This is probably far too simplistic, but surely the point of art is to give a visual or tactile experience. Whether that is then used to make a point is not relevent. Whether it is worth mega bucks or pennies is aso not relevent.

A poster should make a point.  An artwork should ... what?  Make you think? Make you see something in a new way? Offer a revelation?  Send you into a trance-like state of pleasure? 

Answers on a self-addressed postcard.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Ruthie on November 18, 2015, 01:38:16 pm
Art is what we do that isn't what we need.  It's what we create for its own sake. 

This is a great discussion!

Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 18, 2015, 02:01:10 pm
If art is what we do that isn't what we need, that means non-utility cycling is art. For instance.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on November 18, 2015, 02:17:15 pm
Art is what we do that isn't what we need.  It's what we create for its own sake. 
That's quite good and creates a clear distinction between 'craft' and 'art'. Also deals with the difference between a commercial poster and a reproduced piece of art.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Ruthie on November 18, 2015, 02:56:20 pm
Art is what we do that isn't what we need.  It's what we create for its own sake. 
That's quite good and creates a clear distinction between 'craft' and 'art'. Also deals with the difference between a commercial poster and a reproduced piece of art.

 :-[

Erm, I actually nicked that from that Brian Eno.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Kim on November 18, 2015, 02:57:27 pm
Art is what we do that isn't what we need.  It's what we create for its own sake. 
That's quite good and creates a clear distinction between 'craft' and 'art'. Also deals with the difference between a commercial poster and a reproduced piece of art.

 :-[

Erm, I actually nicked that from that Brian Eno.

The art of plagiarism.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Vince on November 18, 2015, 02:58:34 pm
Art is what we do that isn't what we need.  It's what we create for its own sake. 
That's quite good and creates a clear distinction between 'craft' and 'art'. Also deals with the difference between a commercial poster and a reproduced piece of art.

Some commercial posters e.g. railway advertising from the 1930s are considered art these days.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Kim on November 18, 2015, 03:16:15 pm
Some commercial posters e.g. railway advertising from the 1930s are considered art these days.

I'd suggest that the creation of the poster was probably craft.

Hanging an obsolete railway advertising poster on your wall may well qualify as art though.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: geraldc on November 18, 2015, 03:21:09 pm
With regards to what is art, I was looking up Duchamp's fountain, and I'd never realised it had been laid on its back, I just assumed that urinals back then were of a funny design.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 18, 2015, 03:21:58 pm
By creation of the poster do you mean the layout, design etc or the inspiration? Both? I'd say the idea – what to put in the poster, where, what kinds of colours and shapes to use – is art, once it's beyond the point which is dictated by commercial considerations (and maybe even before then?).

Art is what we do that isn't what we need.  It's what we create for its own sake. 
That's quite good and creates a clear distinction between 'craft' and 'art'. Also deals with the difference between a commercial poster and a reproduced piece of art.

 :-[

Erm, I actually nicked that from that Brian Eno.
Perhaps art is what is done by artists. And I'm most definitely including Eno as an artist because music is an art (along with cinema, TV and even some aspects of video games).
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Kim on November 18, 2015, 03:27:03 pm
By creation of the poster do you mean the layout, design etc or the inspiration? Both? I'd say the idea – what to put in the poster, where, what kinds of colours and shapes to use – is art, once it's beyond the point which is dictated by commercial considerations (and maybe even before then?).

Yeah, it's fuzzy.  You'd have to know what was going on in the creator's head at the time.

Plenty of art gets used commercially.  And plenty of people put art into the design commercial products.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 18, 2015, 03:41:13 pm
Fuzzy indeed. "Art is what is done by artists" I wondered above, which is in some ways the opposite of "Artists are people who do art". Similarly, it may be not that "I don't get art" but "Art is what I don't get". Perhaps we've been there already. Well, now we're back, and so on and so forth, on an endless loop. The expression of this endless loop would be, quite likely, art. "Art is the sensory exploration of philosophy" or maybe "Art is the physical expression of mentality".

(Next week I will be discussing "Is Pseuds Corner truly literature?")
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Mr Larrington on November 18, 2015, 04:02:48 pm
Something just occured to me, that seems apposite.

Art makes you think. Great art makes you feel.

Channelling Bruce Lee, eh?

Quote from: Bruce Lee

Don' think, feeeeeeel!

Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: citoyen on November 18, 2015, 04:43:42 pm
These pronouncements one what is or isn't art make me smile and wince at the same time.

Same here. What makes me wince is the inverted snobbery expressed in the form of recycled platitudes - the stock in trade of taxi drivers, pub bores and Jeremy Clarkson. I'm happy to talk about why I like specific pieces but I don't feel the need to justify whether or not they're "art" - that is just sooooo uninteresting.

I'm with Ruthie on Tracey Emin - she touches a nerve with a lot of her stuff. It's so emotionally raw, it's hard to avoid being affected by it. My wife is a much bigger Emin fan than me though, and I don't always share her enthusiasm.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Ben T on November 18, 2015, 06:07:59 pm
My rule of thumb is it had to take skill to think it up AND to create it.
This therefore rules out most "abstract" art whose claim to being art is solely in the idea of it, rather than the actual skill behind the creation. It also rules out Damien Hirst as he didn't even bother creating it himself but employed somebody else to.
It also rules out Lowry, for the converse reason - it took skill to create but is usually of a fairly moribund scene.
eh? I don't get this. He was an incredibly skilled painter who painted places in a way they had never been painted before. Some of his work has such detailed social commentary, it's amazing, really benefits from close study.

The problem with Lowry is that small sections of his (huge) paintings are often reproduced at a magnified scale.

His pictures are of something like the skyline of a load of factories, or a crowd on a grey day in Manchester. That scene wouldn't be that good to look at in the flesh, so why is it in a painting?
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Ian H on November 18, 2015, 06:15:17 pm
This is not a tree.
(http://images.clipartpanda.com/oak-tree-clipart-tree-clip-art_1404139671.jpg)
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: citoyen on November 18, 2015, 07:01:18 pm
That scene wouldn't be that good to look at in the flesh, so why is it in a painting?

A northern Spanish village being indiscriminately bombed by fascists wouldn't be good to look at in the flesh either...
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Exit Stage Left on November 18, 2015, 07:07:21 pm
There's very little that is interesting about a Emin retrospective in terms of the artworks. The combination of the works and those viewing it is a sort of installation in itself.

The piece describes a reaction to that interaction, and the author's disgust at how shallow that is.

The last couple of big exhibitions I went to were at the Imperial War Museum, of WW1, and at the Science Museum, about manufacturing in Britain. I was interested in both the exhibits and the reaction to them.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Mr Larrington on November 18, 2015, 07:09:07 pm
This is not a tree.
(http://images.clipartpanda.com/oak-tree-clipart-tree-clip-art_1404139671.jpg)

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5821/23108170072_be8208d83c_o.png) (https://flic.kr/p/BcZpTo) (https://flic.kr/p/BcZpTo)
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Aunt Maud on November 18, 2015, 07:12:38 pm

                                                                                                                  .
                                                                                                                    A black square     
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on November 18, 2015, 07:26:59 pm
This is not a tree.
(http://images.clipartpanda.com/oak-tree-clipart-tree-clip-art_1404139671.jpg)

Very good, all that practice is starting to not pay off.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Aunt Maud on November 18, 2015, 07:31:29 pm

                                                                                                                  .
                                                                                                                    A black square     


A Cubo-Futurist proto-Suprematist layer.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Ben T on November 18, 2015, 07:50:29 pm
The combination of the works and those viewing it is a sort of installation in itself.


I wonder if those viewing the viewers appreciate it on a different level.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: red marley on November 18, 2015, 08:14:57 pm
(http://arrestedmotion.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/2827_largeview.jpg)
(Craig Damrauer)

Feel free to choose where you think this lies on the profundity – trite aphorism spectrum, but I like it.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Hot Flatus on November 18, 2015, 10:57:59 pm
This is not a tree.
(http://images.clipartpanda.com/oak-tree-clipart-tree-clip-art_1404139671.jpg)

Unoriginal, Ian. It's been done before ;)

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/b9/MagrittePipe.jpg)
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Ian H on November 18, 2015, 11:47:30 pm


Unoriginal, Ian. It's been done before ;)



I didn't do it.  It's a random piece of clip-art.  It's a round-a-bout way of saying the painting isn't (just) about its subject.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: drossall on November 19, 2015, 12:11:19 am
I do struggle with some "art". It's almost as though, in trying to define what art is, we've broken the shared model that we had before we thought we needed to define it and, now that we have some definitions, we don't know what it is any more.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: T42 on November 19, 2015, 07:09:32 am
The word "art" has a bunch of meanings, so trying to pin it down to a single one is futile.  It's like Ray Duncan's preamble on inter-process communication in UNIX: if there are five different methods it usually means that none of them is satisfactory.

As regards someone like Tracy Emin, her main work of art appears to be herself - my feeling about a lot of modern stuff/artists, particularly those of the last 20+ years.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on November 19, 2015, 08:05:07 am
*moves entire thread to First-World Problems thread*
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Aunt Maud on November 19, 2015, 08:23:55 am
Quite often the concept is better than the real thing..........Ladies and Gentlemen, I present.........

                  (http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b557/Bugloss/1671186_orbit4_zpsidkopagr.jpg)




                   (http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b557/Bugloss/The-Orbit_zpsiqdxcp3q.jpg) 

                   ©Someone
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: red marley on November 19, 2015, 08:36:36 am
*moves entire thread to First-World Problems thread*

While "what is art" discussion is well trod, and there will be plenty of others who delve into this much more deeply that we have  (so far), art and our relationship with it is much too important to dismiss as a first world indulgence. A society that ignores the upper bit of Maslow's hierarchy is much diminished. To link this with a P&BI thread, I read today for example, that Lancashire County Council is being forced to cut its entire arts and heritage budget from next year (http://www.lep.co.uk/news/local/revealed-40-libraries-five-museums-and-two-adult-education-centres-among-massive-cuts-announced-by-lancashire-county-council-1-7574160) (resulting in, for example the closure of 5 museums along with 40 libraries).
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: MikeFromLFE on November 19, 2015, 08:38:13 am
Lowry and Emin are, in a way, similar - in that a small subsection of their works have become known to the public, and that part of their catalogue misrepresents the whole.

Tracy Emin's installations - in my view- distract from her sketching, and her technical ability, and the way she connects with her audience.
Lowry on the other hand is known for his (retched) 'matchstick cats& dogs' - but his seascapes nearly move me to tears, his erotic drawings are 'interesting' and then there's the enigmatic multiple paintings of 'Anne' . Lowry was at heart very sensual - apart from the bondage, there's the phallic spires. (Today he may possibly have been considered a pervert or a creep, dunno)

It is - has has been said - worth taking an artist's work in the round, rather than judging them on a selected number of high profile pieces.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Ben T on November 19, 2015, 09:11:44 am

For me there's a massive difference between "this is not a tree" and "this is not JUST a tree".

This is not a tree:

(http://images.clipartpanda.com/oak-tree-clipart-tree-clip-art_1404139671.jpg)

Whereas  this is not just a tree:

(https://img0.etsystatic.com/000/0/5755065/il_fullxfull.131612576.jpg)
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Ian H on November 19, 2015, 10:14:54 am
Perhaps I need to be clearer.  Here's a photo I took a few weeks ago.  It is not a tree.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/N5F4qNGpwzsn1v4U0wzCVR_NUiPvvhFE8KCXqhOLri8=w911-h513)
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on November 19, 2015, 10:31:29 am
It is a picture of a stile?
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Ian H on November 19, 2015, 10:36:30 am
It is a picture of a stile?

It's a picture of a tree.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on November 19, 2015, 10:58:15 am
I knew we'd get there eventually.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Ian H on November 19, 2015, 10:59:28 am
I knew we'd get there eventually.

You may have.  I'm not sure we all have.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: asterix on November 19, 2015, 11:04:38 am
Perhaps I need to be clearer.  Here's a photo I took a few weeks ago.  It is not a tree.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/N5F4qNGpwzsn1v4U0wzCVR_NUiPvvhFE8KCXqhOLri8=w911-h513)

Nor is it a photo! 
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: T42 on November 19, 2015, 01:20:47 pm
Cf. Santayana & Clinton re is.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on November 19, 2015, 01:57:49 pm
My rule of thumb is it had to take skill to think it up AND to create it.
This therefore rules out most "abstract" art whose claim to being art is solely in the idea of it, rather than the actual skill behind the creation. It also rules out Damien Hirst as he didn't even bother creating it himself but employed somebody else to.
It also rules out Lowry, for the converse reason - it took skill to create but is usually of a fairly moribund scene.
eh? I don't get this. He was an incredibly skilled painter who painted places in a way they had never been painted before. Some of his work has such detailed social commentary, it's amazing, really benefits from close study.

The problem with Lowry is that small sections of his (huge) paintings are often reproduced at a magnified scale.

His pictures are of something like the skyline of a load of factories, or a crowd on a grey day in Manchester. That scene wouldn't be that good to look at in the flesh, so why is it in a painting?
So a painting is only worth doing if it is something pretty?

Can I refer you back to my definition of art being to do with communication? Lowry didn't just paint landscapes, he painted people in landscapes. He painted unpleasant, ugly landscapes that (at the time) most of society would rather pretend didn't exist.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Ian H on November 19, 2015, 02:08:11 pm

Can I refer you back to my definition of art being to do with communication? Lowry didn't just paint landscapes, he painted people in landscapes. He painted unpleasant, ugly landscapes that (at the time) most of society would rather pretend didn't exist.

He made paintings which had an element of representation. 
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: pcolbeck on November 19, 2015, 04:00:10 pm
I have a working definition (for me ymmv) that says "if you have to explain it before it can be appreciated at all then it isn't art". Sure knowing some background etc may give you a deeper appreciation but the thing should stand on its own.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Ian H on November 19, 2015, 04:04:26 pm
I have a working definition (for me ymmv) that says "if you have to explain it before it can be appreciated at all then it isn't art". Sure knowing some background etc may give you a deeper appreciation but the thing should stand on its own.

Yes and no.  There is a 'language' to be learnt.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Katie on November 19, 2015, 04:14:40 pm
(http://arrestedmotion.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/2827_largeview.jpg)
(Craig Damrauer)

Mostly for good reason.

Only grade A I got doing my photography degree was for a review of an exhibition, which my tutor reckoned "wouldn't be out of place in Time Out Magazine" because of how scathing it was…
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Ben T on November 19, 2015, 05:48:47 pm
I have a working definition (for me ymmv) that says "if you have to explain it before it can be appreciated at all then it isn't art". Sure knowing some background etc may give you a deeper appreciation but the thing should stand on its own.

I agree.
I can't help seeing "art" whose merit is in concepts it's supposed to make you think about or ideas it's meant to convey, as basically lazy. It's  fine to do that as well, but for me it's got to at least look good to start with.


I'm of the opinion that no single idea can be that good.

The crap two-tone picture of a tree might convey some idea, but if it does, then so does the magnificent oil painting just as well and probably more, and it looks good. And it wasn't ripped off in about two minutes on MSPaint.

I think if I went to an art gallery and saw mainly things like that I would probably be demanding my money back, but if I saw things like the oil painting of a tree I would be fairly satisfied.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Ben T on November 19, 2015, 05:59:30 pm
So a painting is only worth doing if it is something pretty?

Can I refer you back to my definition of art being to do with communication?
You can, but that doesn't necessarily make it the truth, or at least the whole truth. I agree that it's partly about that, but I think it's got to also look good.

Lowry didn't just paint landscapes, he painted people in landscapes. He painted unpleasant, ugly landscapes that (at the time) most of society would rather pretend didn't exist.

Yes, and I wouldn't want to hang a  Lowry on my wall because I don't think it looks particularly nice.
I make the distinction between Lowry and most abstract art in that a Lowry is art, but bad art, because it took skill to think up and create, but just doesn't look good, whereas most abstract art is dubious as to whether I would even class it as art.

You could paint a really intricate detailed picture of the inside of a sewer and it would have probably took skill to create and might even convey an idea but I wouldn't hang it on my wall.

Flowchart:
                                                                           Did it take skill to create AND think up ?
                                                                           /                                        \
                                                                          /                                          \
                                                                       No = not art.                        Yes
                                                                   e.g. Damien Hirst                        |
                                                                                                         Does it look good?
                                                                                                                   /     \
                                                                                                                  /        \
                                                                                                              Yes=       No =
                                                                                                        Good art     Bad Art e.g. Lowry
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on November 19, 2015, 06:08:11 pm
Your comments make me want to:
(http://www.slate.com/content/dam/slate/articles/health_and_science/explainer/2012/05/120503_Exp_Scream-EX.jpg.CROP.rectangle3-large.jpg)
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Jurek on November 19, 2015, 07:55:00 pm
It did cross my mind earlier in this thread, when would that ^ image crop up? (and it has been cropped  ;))
Smell, what about smell as a medium?
And light, what about light.
The work of Dan Flavin, anyone?
Or Olafur Eliasson?
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Mr Larrington on November 19, 2015, 08:04:51 pm
It did cross my mind earlier in this thread, when would that ^ image crop up? (and it has been cropped  ;))

Damn, I was about to note that Robson Green's head had been cut off and Robson Green cut out altogether.
</HMHB>

Smell, what about smell as a medium?

I half-watched that "Imagine" doc about Michael White the other night.  John Waters and his attempted moustache were waxing lyrical about the scratch'n'sniff cards accompanying one of their films.

Smells tend to be ephemeral and given the funny habits of some artists this is probably just as well.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: citoyen on November 19, 2015, 08:08:17 pm
One of my favourite ever art exhibitions I've seen was the Fischli & Weiss show at Tate Modern which included several pieces made out of salami. Absolutely brilliant, although I imagine they might have started to pong a bit after a few weeks.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Kim on November 19, 2015, 08:37:46 pm
It did cross my mind earlier in this thread, when would that ^ image crop up? (and it has been cropped  ;))
Smell, what about smell as a medium?
And light, what about light.
The work of Dan Flavin, anyone?
Or Olafur Eliasson?

Light is totally an artistic medium, and one I've crafted myself on occasion.

(You could reasonably argue that light is the medium of photography, and all that film-sensor-print-project stuff is just a way of reproducing it later.)

Smell?  Perfumes, wines, cookery... plenty of scope for art there.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Katie on November 19, 2015, 08:38:01 pm
And light, what about light.

The subject of my most scathing sentence in aforementioned review - a room where everything was painted white, it contained a single lightbulb which flickered occasionally. No artist name on the wall. No artist statement. Nothing else. Just a white room with a flickering bulb that gave me a headache.

When I told one of the gallery attendants, well-meaning, that the bulb was flickering, they stared at me and said "Yes? It's meant to."
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Kim on November 19, 2015, 08:44:10 pm
It's surprisingly hard work to get a lightbulb to flicker convincingly randomly.  At least in the days of analogue, when you finally got round to taking the IPA to that dodgy submaster the week before...   :facepalm:


(Solving this particular engineering problem by feeding Radio 4 to a light organ circuit probably counts as art.)
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Mr Larrington on November 19, 2015, 09:00:25 pm
One of my favourite ever art exhibitions I've seen was the Fischli & Weiss show at Tate Modern which included several pieces made out of salami. Absolutely brilliant, although I imagine they might have started to pong a bit after a few weeks.

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/590/22733105557_31723a2ab3_o.png) (https://flic.kr/p/ACR7gP)
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Bledlow on November 19, 2015, 09:10:57 pm
Art should speak emotion to whoever's looking at it. Again that's just my opinion. It should also show some degree of skill.
It's also my opinion. Dumping shit on someone's doorstep elicits emotion, but doesn't require skill. Skill can be in thinking of something novel, not only in execution (e.g. Rachael Whiteread's House, which I liked, & I don't care that she had to get others to make it for her), but I think it should be present.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Ian H on November 19, 2015, 10:24:37 pm
One of my favourite ever art exhibitions I've seen was the Fischli & Weiss show at Tate Modern which included several pieces made out of salami. Absolutely brilliant, although I imagine they might have started to pong a bit after a few weeks.

Probably nicked the idea from Dieter Roth, one of my favourite artists.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: citoyen on November 20, 2015, 01:04:20 am
Probably nicked the idea from Dieter Roth, one of my favourite artists.

Maybe, but a very different style. F&W's sausagework is more humorous.

One of the things that made the F&W exhibition such a joy was the curation, which adds another interesting dimension to the art appreciation experience, beyond the intentions of the artist(s). One room in the show blended two series of their works - one being a collection of scenes from airports, the other close-up portraits of flowers.

A powerful juxtaposition of the quotidian and the sublime. <strokes chin>
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Legs on November 20, 2015, 08:03:36 am
One of the things that made the F&W exhibition such a joy was the curation...
;D  Yes, I'm a big fan of all curated meat.

...the quotidian and the sublime.
Serious contender for mot du jour.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Aunt Maud on November 20, 2015, 08:45:47 am

A powerful juxtaposition of the quotidian and the sublime. <strokes chin>

It's the obscure language of art that deliberately makes it challenging to understand and many artists try to hide their poorly constructed attempts to make art behind a veil of meaningless art speak.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Ruthie on November 20, 2015, 08:47:08 am

A powerful juxtaposition of the quotidian and the sublime. <strokes chin>

 the obscure language of art that deliberately makes it challenging to understand

That would be, er, English then?
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: red marley on November 20, 2015, 09:07:21 am
I heartily recommend John Berger's 1972 classic Ways of Seeing that includes an informed and accessible discussion of obfuscation and insight in art appreciation. It's handily available in paper and video media.

https://youtu.be/0pDE4VX_9Kk

Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Aunt Maud on November 20, 2015, 09:33:01 am

A powerful juxtaposition of the quotidian and the sublime. <strokes chin>

 the obscure language of art that deliberately makes it challenging to understand

That would be, er, English then?

Of course that's written in English, but it's not the form of English which the majority use.......If that makes sense.

There are very few who would use a word like "quotidian" to describe anything.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: asterix on November 20, 2015, 09:35:12 am
No, it's not in quotidian use on this forum that's for sure.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Aunt Maud on November 20, 2015, 09:55:57 am
No, it's not in quotidian use on this forum that's for sure.

The quotidian man in the street wouldn't use quotidian at all, and it's a great example of a word which would be found in an art essay that would be challenging for most people to understand.

This is why most people don't "get" art, as they approach it in a visual way and rate it on it's technical merits when they first see it. If it's poorly made, no amount of clever, verbal gymnastics will make them change the way they view it, because they don't understand what's being said.
Title: Re: &quot;I don't get art&quot;
Post by: citoyen on November 20, 2015, 10:23:39 am

I heartily recommend John Berger's 1972 classic Ways of Seeing

That is superb. I've heard of it but never seen it before. Thanks for the link.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Aunt Maud on November 20, 2015, 10:29:59 am
I made a reference earlier to Malevich's Black Square. For most of us, and possibly Malevich too, it's just a black square......it might mean something, or it might not.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Ruthie on November 20, 2015, 10:30:07 am

A powerful juxtaposition of the quotidian and the sublime. <strokes chin>

 the obscure language of art that deliberately makes it challenging to understand

That would be, er, English then?

Of course that's written in English, but it's not the form of English which the majority use.......If that makes sense.

There are very few who would use a word like "quotidian" to describe anything.

I disagree.  It's a word I'm very familiar with, and I am most ordinary.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Aunt Maud on November 20, 2015, 10:33:12 am

A powerful juxtaposition of the quotidian and the sublime. <strokes chin>

 the obscure language of art that deliberately makes it challenging to understand

That would be, er, English then?

Of course that's written in English, but it's not the form of English which the majority use.......If that makes sense.

There are very few who would use a word like "quotidian" to describe anything.

I disagree.  It's a word I'm very familiar with, and I am most ordinary.

Lets have a poll, I'd be interested in how many use quotidian regularly.

Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: red marley on November 20, 2015, 10:36:06 am
Good idea. We could then have rule that said no-one should ever use a word someone has not heard of. That way, within  a generation we can cease to use language completely.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Ian H on November 20, 2015, 10:43:45 am
Good idea. We could then have rule that said no-one should ever use a word someone has not heard of. That way, within  a generation we can cease to use language completely.

"..........................."
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 20, 2015, 10:45:31 am
I heartily recommend John Berger's 1972 classic Ways of Seeing that includes an informed and accessible discussion of obfuscation and insight in art appreciation. It's handily available in paper and video media.

https://youtu.be/0pDE4VX_9Kk
Bearing in mind what he says in the last 90 seconds, it would be funny to see that remade as some sort of blog.

Also: paintings silent? After he's told us many were altarpieces and shown us the icons at what looked like Easter?

Also: subtitles full of mistakes!
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Aunt Maud on November 20, 2015, 11:33:14 am
Good idea. We could then have rule that said no-one should ever use a word someone has not heard of. That way, within  a generation we can cease to use language completely.

Or a sign.

......."In an attempt to make sense of this work and the artists incoherent ramblings, each viewer is issued with a hardback thesaurus at the gallery entrance."
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: citoyen on November 20, 2015, 11:56:15 am
The quotidian man in the street wouldn't use quotidian at all, and it's a great example of a word which would be found in an art essay that would be challenging for most people to understand.

The word was carefully chosen. The intent was parody. I could easily have conveyed the same meaning by phrasing the comment in more accessible terms.

Quote
This is why most people don't "get" art, as they approach it in a visual way and rate it on it's technical merits when they first see it. If it's poorly made, no amount of clever, verbal gymnastics will make them change the way they view it, because they don't understand what's being said.

Berger's take on this is most entertaining. If you haven't watched the vid linked to upthread, you should - you'd enjoy it, especially the bit where he gets a bunch of schoolkids to interpret Caravaggio. He's brilliantly scathing about the National Gallery's guidebook.

There's a balancing act involved in talking about art. The challenge is to find something more interesting to say than the vacuously banal ("it's nice", "I like it") without resorting to art critic wankery.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: clarion on November 20, 2015, 12:13:13 pm
I heartily recommend John Berger's 1972 classic Ways of Seeing that includes an informed and accessible discussion of obfuscation and insight in art appreciation. It's handily available in paper and video media.

https://youtu.be/0pDE4VX_9Kk



Useful mention.  This is my favourite book on art.  And my favourite book on photography, though it is not about photography.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: clarion on November 20, 2015, 12:14:33 pm
Art should speak emotion to whoever's looking at it. Again that's just my opinion. It should also show some degree of skill.
It's also my opinion. Dumping shit on someone's doorstep elicits emotion, but doesn't require skill. Skill can be in thinking of something novel, not only in execution (e.g. Rachael Whiteread's House, which I liked, & I don't care that she had to get others to make it for her), but I think it should be present.

Of course, cans of artist's poo* were in themselves an artwork

* perhaps.  This may be Schrodinger's cack.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: clarion on November 20, 2015, 12:19:37 pm
It did cross my mind earlier in this thread, when would that ^ image crop up? (and it has been cropped  ;))
Smell, what about smell as a medium?
And light, what about light.
The work of Dan Flavin, anyone?
Or Olafur Eliasson?

Light is totally an artistic medium, and one I've crafted myself on occasion.

(You could reasonably argue that light is the medium of photography, and all that film-sensor-print-project stuff is just a way of reproducing it later.)

Smell?  Perfumes, wines, cookery... plenty of scope for art there.

I have used light as a creative medium on many occasions.

As for smell, I did so unintentionally.  I had a sculpture displayed entitled 'Violets'n'Herring In The Cistern'.  The herring were real (as were the violets, and the cistern, but that's not important right now).  They were all the more real on hte Monday morning after the Opening Night party, when I had forgotten to remove and dispose of said fish. :-[

For what it is worth, I love Fischli & Weiss.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: asterix on November 20, 2015, 12:28:44 pm
So a painting is only worth doing if it is something pretty?

Can I refer you back to my definition of art being to do with communication?
You can, but that doesn't necessarily make it the truth, or at least the whole truth. I agree that it's partly about that, but I think it's got to also look good.

Lowry didn't just paint landscapes, he painted people in landscapes. He painted unpleasant, ugly landscapes that (at the time) most of society would rather pretend didn't exist.

Yes, and I wouldn't want to hang a  Lowry on my wall because I don't think it looks particularly nice.
I make the distinction between Lowry and most abstract art in that a Lowry is art, but bad art, because it took skill to think up and create, but just doesn't look good, whereas most abstract art is dubious as to whether I would even class it as art.

You could paint a really intricate detailed picture of the inside of a sewer and it would have probably took skill to create and might even convey an idea but I wouldn't hang it on my wall.

Flowchart:
                                                                           Did it take skill to create AND think up ?
                                                                           /                                        \
                                                                          /                                          \
                                                                       No = not art.                        Yes
                                                                   e.g. Damien Hirst                        |
                                                                                                         Does it look good?
                                                                                                                   /     \
                                                                                                                  /        \
                                                                                                              Yes=       No =
                                                                                                        Good art     Bad Art e.g. Lowry

You are to 'Art' as Steve Jobs was to 'Fatherhood'?
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Aunt Maud on November 20, 2015, 12:35:43 pm
The quotidian man in the street wouldn't use quotidian at all, and it's a great example of a word which would be found in an art essay that would be challenging for most people to understand.

The word was carefully chosen. The intent was parody. I could easily have conveyed the same meaning by phrasing the comment in more accessible terms.

Quote
This is why most people don't "get" art, as they approach it in a visual way and rate it on it's technical merits when they first see it. If it's poorly made, no amount of clever, verbal gymnastics will make them change the way they view it, because they don't understand what's being said.

Berger's take on this is most entertaining. If you haven't watched the vid linked to upthread, you should - you'd enjoy it, especially the bit where he gets a bunch of schoolkids to interpret Caravaggio. He's brilliantly scathing about the National Gallery's guidebook.

There's a balancing act involved in talking about art. The challenge is to find something more interesting to say than the vacuously banal ("it's nice", "I like it") without resorting to art critic wankery.

I've read it about 25 years ago, but I can't remember any of it.

When I studied at The LCP I didn't go to any lectures, as I thought it was a complete load of bollox. Luckily I could bunk off and gatecrash the Professional Photographic Practice course which was running parallel to the BA Hons. I got into big trouble though, as the BA lecturers couldn't handle that I wasn't towing the "party line" even though I regurgitated the necessary art speak for essays.

I still like art though, although if it has to display a high level of craft for me to really appreciate it.

Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on November 20, 2015, 12:58:19 pm
Good idea. We could then have rule that said no-one should ever use a word someone has not heard of. That way, within  a generation we can cease to use language completely.
And only communicate by emoticon?
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: asterix on November 20, 2015, 01:10:22 pm
Good idea. We could then have rule that said no-one should ever use a word someone has not heard of. That way, within  a generation we can cease to use language completely.
And only communicate by emoticon?

 :facepalm:
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 20, 2015, 01:24:33 pm
Only if those emoticons are affectless.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: LEE on November 20, 2015, 01:30:44 pm
Art is identical to music in that you either "get it" or you don't.

I don't "get" the huge slabs of Rothko colour.  OK, I may hang one in a room if it sort of matched the colour scheme but I can't see why it's so valuable.

However I love "Warm Leatherette" by The Normal and I expect many people would say "WTF?" if they heard its monotone tune and emotionless delivery.

"Modern" Jazz basically "does my f***ing head in" and yet millions love it, so the problem is mine it seems.  Apparently lots of it is, musically, technically brilliant where "Warm Leatherette" most certainly isn't, but I really "get it".

Art as an investment is not at all related to talent, craft or "getting it" though. 
That's a different topic altogether. If I could afford a Rothko I'd probably buy it, knowing I could sell it in 5 years and buy a 4 Bed detached house in Clapham with the profit. 
That's nothing to do with "getting" art, that's about "getting" good business.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: red marley on November 20, 2015, 01:56:48 pm
And only communicate by emoticon?

(http://www.artandantiquesmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/201211_forgery_01-300x242.jpg)

Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Peter on November 20, 2015, 02:18:24 pm
I used to get art a lot more than I do now.  I think it's because I have a better diet now.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Aunt Maud on November 20, 2015, 02:21:49 pm
You don't need to "get anything" to appreciate art.

If you like it because of the colour or shape, that's fine. If you pretend you like it because someone who appears a bit more "art savvy" likes it and you just want to fit in with the crowd, that's a bit worrying.

Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Mr Larrington on November 20, 2015, 02:24:09 pm
You are in a maze of twisty little galleries, all alike, except for the ones that aren't.  In your pocket is a guidebook.  You have skipped lunch to avoid the crowds of gawking hipsters, Norwegian students with huge rucksacks and art critics.

Ahead of you is a plinth.  The plinth is tastefully lit in a manner that suggests little expense has been spared to give the impression that no expense has been spared.

On the plinth is a salami.

>TAKE SALAMI

A hollow voice says "PLUGH"

>TURN AROUND

On the wall hangs a framed picture.  It looks like something your dog has sicked up.

>CONSULT GUIDE

The Guide tells you that the picture is a powerful juxtaposition of the quotidian and the sublime.

>EAT SALAMI

Alarm bells start ringing.  The noise is like being trapped in a lift with three separate music systems each playing a different Laibach album.

>RUN THE FUCK AWAY

You are now at a T-junction, and hopelessly lost.  To your left is a long corridor lined with display cases.  Each case appears to contain a shrunken head.

To your right is a long corridor.  It is poorly lit but there appears to be a door at the end.  Of it.

>TURN RIGHT

>WALK FORWARD

All the lights go out.  There is a scuffling noise.  You are eaten by Waldemar Januszczak.

GAME OVER
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Peter on November 20, 2015, 02:28:36 pm
Spot on.   It's also why many people say they support Manchester United.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: benborp on November 20, 2015, 02:43:57 pm
My opinion is that what could be considered art is ubiquitous. The medium of expression is unlimited: graphic, plastic, literary, musical, physical, even the way some people lead their entire lives.
Its means of creation incredibly varied - inspiration, design, accident, discovery, collaborative or procedural process are just some of the ways someone can set out to produce art.
The appreciation of art is not confined to aesthetic beauty. A piece of art can speak to any aspect of emotion, intellect or sensual perception. Some art is stronger because of its ability to exclude, some to be universal. Art can be cruel, unspeakable and unjustifiable.
A work can also transition between and exist in various states. It could be considered art, craft, functional object or commodity, according to its purpose, perception, the means by which it came in to someone's possesion or the reputation of its maker. All of which can change over time. For much of an object's existence it is not neccesary to 'get' its artistic qualities. A ceramic's success is often measured in its ability to hold tea, for the handle's consistent attachment, its comfort and ease of use and maybe not being so fugly that it stays at the back of the cupboard.  All elements that will have involved a qualitative judgement at some point in the mug's development. It's only when it is placed on display and judged on its artistic qualities that someone's not 'getting it' means it becomes a failure. By exhibiting their work artists demand that such assessments are made. Risking artistic failure is essential to avoid art becoming solely a craft, or worse, product than can be endlessly replicated, if that happens, we lose the human component that has driven and informs the continued development of so many aspects of our lives. Artists frequently rely on craft and prioritise creating a product rather than dedicate themselves solely to 'art'. They have to.

I've reached such opinions mainly by working in a couple of collaborative art forms, theatre and film. There are advantages in how audiences tend to judge them both that increase artistic freedom. The experience of either is seen as an event in itself regardless of the artistic merits of the actual work. A film or play can successfully entertain, inform or distract members of its audience without relying on its artistic qualities throughout or even at all.
Every single element, down to which nail or screw is used, which eyelash is focussed on, what thought informs a breath, is to some extent an artistic choice. When every aspect of life is examined on its artistic merits the art in all the mundane objects we use and how we use them becomes apparent.
Tens to thousands of people will be used to bring the project to fruition usually with tight budgets and serious time constraints. The mix of chaos and structure, collaboration and need for attention to detail requires lots of qualitative judgement. There are artists that in other environments would be considered a tradesperson but their knowledge, skills and ability to affect the audience's perception through media diverse as water, light or hair are unarguable when witnessed. World class, gifted artists can be seen day in, day out relying on hard work, trade craft and collaboration to deliver a product. Huge effort, skill and art goes into work that if successful the audience will be oblivious of yet deeply moved by. The recreation of the viscerally unpleasant can be an art. The same goes for the absolutely mundane. There is a huge opportunity in providing contrast for human emotions that requires finding ways of making the conventionally ugly breathtakingly beautiful. It's a strange world but pretty much anything can be elevated to an artform or circumstances may demand that the same people deliver a facsimile of that work now and a hundred times over.

Nothing is a guarantee of artistic success. Frequently it comes out of nowhere, smacks you round the head and runs off.

A piece of work can be considered art in Vienna and Warwick, yet in Northampton and Kingston-upon-Thames it is utterly worthless.

Talking about the arts usually ends up as spouting pure wank. To use a theatre specific technical term.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 20, 2015, 04:02:53 pm
Part 2 of the Berger thing turned out to be rather interesting, having looked initially like it was going to be deep seventies cheese. But going back to Part 1, he says perspective is a technique unique to European art. Is this really true?
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Riggers on November 20, 2015, 04:47:14 pm
My opinion is that what could be considered art is ubiquitous. The medium of expression is unlimited: graphic, plastic, literary, musical, physical, even the way some people lead their entire lives.
Its means of creation incredibly varied - inspiration, design, accident, discovery, collaborative or procedural process are just some of the ways someone can set out to produce art.
The appreciation of art is not confined to aesthetic beauty. A piece of art can speak to any aspect of emotion, intellect or sensual perception. Some art is stronger because of its ability to exclude, some to be universal. Art can be cruel, unspeakable and unjustifiable.
A work can also transition between and exist in various states. It could be considered art, craft, functional object or commodity, according to its purpose, perception, the means by which it came in to someone's possesion or the reputation of its maker. All of which can change over time. For much of an object's existence it is not neccesary to 'get' its artistic qualities. A ceramic's success is often measured in its ability to hold tea, for the handle's consistent attachment, its comfort and ease of use and maybe not being so fugly that it stays at the back of the cupboard.  All elements that will have involved a qualitative judgement at some point in the mug's development. It's only when it is placed on display and judged on its artistic qualities that someone's not 'getting it' means it becomes a failure. By exhibiting their work artists demand that such assessments are made. Risking artistic failure is essential to avoid art becoming solely a craft, or worse, product than can be endlessly replicated, if that happens, we lose the human component that has driven and informs the continued development of so many aspects of our lives. Artists frequently rely on craft and prioritise creating a product rather than dedicate themselves solely to 'art'. They have to.

I've reached such opinions mainly by working in a couple of collaborative art forms, theatre and film. There are advantages in how audiences tend to judge them both that increase artistic freedom. The experience of either is seen as an event in itself regardless of the artistic merits of the actual work. A film or play can successfully entertain, inform or distract members of its audience without relying on its artistic qualities throughout or even at all.
Every single element, down to which nail or screw is used, which eyelash is focussed on, what thought informs a breath, is to some extent an artistic choice. When every aspect of life is examined on its artistic merits the art in all the mundane objects we use and how we use them becomes apparent.
Tens to thousands of people will be used to bring the project to fruition usually with tight budgets and serious time constraints. The mix of chaos and structure, collaboration and need for attention to detail requires lots of qualitative judgement. There are artists that in other environments would be considered a tradesperson but their knowledge, skills and ability to affect the audience's perception through media diverse as water, light or hair are unarguable when witnessed. World class, gifted artists can be seen day in, day out relying on hard work, trade craft and collaboration to deliver a product. Huge effort, skill and art goes into work that if successful the audience will be oblivious of yet deeply moved by. The recreation of the viscerally unpleasant can be an art. The same goes for the absolutely mundane. There is a huge opportunity in providing contrast for human emotions that requires finding ways of making the conventionally ugly breathtakingly beautiful. It's a strange world but pretty much anything can be elevated to an artform or circumstances may demand that the same people deliver a facsimile of that work now and a hundred times over.

Nothing is a guarantee of artistic success. Frequently it comes out of nowhere, smacks you round the head and runs off.

A piece of work can be considered art in Vienna and Warwick, yet in Northampton and Kingston-upon-Thames it is utterly worthless.

Talking about the arts usually ends up as spouting pure wank. To use a theatre specific technical term.



Benners? Could you précis the above into a Haiku please. I haven't got the time to read it!
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: pcolbeck on November 20, 2015, 05:00:31 pm
I don't mind some modern art but a lot of it just seems vapid and lazy. Take the fur coats on chairs installation by Nocole Wermers which was a Turner Prize entry for example, this is supposed to be one of the best new works of art in the country. Here is description of it:

The first room hosts an installation by Nicole Wermers titled Infrastruktur; chairsa collection of chairs with fur coats placed over them. The artist’s continued focus of consumer lifestyle and power dynamics is visible in this work. The chairs have the appearance of office furniture, but such functionality contrasts with the opulence of the fur coats draped over them. Social hierarchy is alluded to in the merging of the coats with the chairs beneath them, which also, of course, affirms the stability and status of the chairs as objects. On the walls around the chairs are painted pieces that, on first glance, look more like plastic or silicone than ceramic pieces; these appear in bright white, which endows them with a kind of permanence through their subtlety and congruence with the surrounding walls.

Really ? Does some fur coats on office chairs make you think of consumerism or socially hierarchy unless someone specifically tells you that's what it means ? As for "affirming the stability and status of the chairs as objects" what the hell is that supposed to mean ? A chair is an object it's never not an object and certainly doesn't need that affirming. Does seeing a chair with a fur coat on it make you think that chairs status as an object is greater than a chair without a fir coat on it ?
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: spesh on November 20, 2015, 05:19:10 pm
You don't need to "get anything" to appreciate art.

If you like it because of the colour or shape, that's fine. If you pretend you like it because someone who appears a bit more "art savvy" likes it and you just want to fit in with the crowd, that's a bit worrying.

Thus most pieces of modern art are actually cunningly-disguised pseud detectors.  :demon:
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: benborp on November 20, 2015, 05:39:18 pm
Art? Northampton, no.
Though Festwochen mug handles
Crack. In essence - wank.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Mr Larrington on November 20, 2015, 05:45:00 pm
The first room hosts an installation by Nicole Wermers titled Infrastruktur; chairsa collection of chairs with fur coats placed over them. The artist’s continued focus of consumer lifestyle and power dynamics is visible in this work. The chairs have the appearance of office furniture, but such functionality contrasts with the opulence of the fur coats draped over them. Social hierarchy is alluded to in the merging of the coats with the chairs beneath them, which also, of course, affirms the stability and status of the chairs as objects. On the walls around the chairs are painted pieces that, on first glance, look more like plastic or silicone than ceramic pieces; these appear in bright white, which endows them with a kind of permanence through their subtlety and congruence with the surrounding walls.

I want the original author of that ^^^^ caught and shot RIGHT NOW.

(Strokes white Persian cat)
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: asterix on November 20, 2015, 06:19:24 pm
My opinion is that what could be considered art is ubiquitous. The medium of expression is unlimited: graphic, plastic, literary, musical, physical, even the way some people lead their entire lives.
Its means of creation incredibly varied - inspiration, design, accident, discovery, collaborative or procedural process are just some of the ways someone can set out to produce art.
The appreciation of art is not confined to aesthetic beauty. A piece of art can speak to any aspect of emotion, intellect or sensual perception. Some art is stronger because of its ability to exclude, some to be universal. Art can be cruel, unspeakable and unjustifiable.
A work can also transition between and exist in various states. It could be considered art, craft, functional object or commodity, according to its purpose, perception, the means by which it came in to someone's possesion or the reputation of its maker. All of which can change over time. For much of an object's existence it is not neccesary to 'get' its artistic qualities. A ceramic's success is often measured in its ability to hold tea, for the handle's consistent attachment, its comfort and ease of use and maybe not being so fugly that it stays at the back of the cupboard.  All elements that will have involved a qualitative judgement at some point in the mug's development. It's only when it is placed on display and judged on its artistic qualities that someone's not 'getting it' means it becomes a failure. By exhibiting their work artists demand that such assessments are made. Risking artistic failure is essential to avoid art becoming solely a craft, or worse, product than can be endlessly replicated, if that happens, we lose the human component that has driven and informs the continued development of so many aspects of our lives. Artists frequently rely on craft and prioritise creating a product rather than dedicate themselves solely to 'art'. They have to.

I've reached such opinions mainly by working in a couple of collaborative art forms, theatre and film. There are advantages in how audiences tend to judge them both that increase artistic freedom. The experience of either is seen as an event in itself regardless of the artistic merits of the actual work. A film or play can successfully entertain, inform or distract members of its audience without relying on its artistic qualities throughout or even at all.
Every single element, down to which nail or screw is used, which eyelash is focussed on, what thought informs a breath, is to some extent an artistic choice. When every aspect of life is examined on its artistic merits the art in all the mundane objects we use and how we use them becomes apparent.
Tens to thousands of people will be used to bring the project to fruition usually with tight budgets and serious time constraints. The mix of chaos and structure, collaboration and need for attention to detail requires lots of qualitative judgement. There are artists that in other environments would be considered a tradesperson but their knowledge, skills and ability to affect the audience's perception through media diverse as water, light or hair are unarguable when witnessed. World class, gifted artists can be seen day in, day out relying on hard work, trade craft and collaboration to deliver a product. Huge effort, skill and art goes into work that if successful the audience will be oblivious of yet deeply moved by. The recreation of the viscerally unpleasant can be an art. The same goes for the absolutely mundane. There is a huge opportunity in providing contrast for human emotions that requires finding ways of making the conventionally ugly breathtakingly beautiful. It's a strange world but pretty much anything can be elevated to an artform or circumstances may demand that the same people deliver a facsimile of that work now and a hundred times over.

Nothing is a guarantee of artistic success. Frequently it comes out of nowhere, smacks you round the head and runs off.

A piece of work can be considered art in Vienna and Warwick, yet in Northampton and Kingston-upon-Thames it is utterly worthless.

Talking about the arts usually ends up as spouting pure wank. To use a theatre specific technical term.



Benners? Could you précis the above into a Haiku please. I haven't got the time to read it!

It means that 'Art' can be anything at all, probably by accident, except in Northampton and Kingston-upon-Thames where they are all philistines. 

(I don't have time to Haiku)
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Ian H on November 20, 2015, 06:33:54 pm
The first room hosts an installation by Nicole Wermers titled Infrastruktur; chairsa collection of chairs with fur coats placed over them. The artist’s continued focus of consumer lifestyle and power dynamics is visible in this work. The chairs have the appearance of office furniture, but such functionality contrasts with the opulence of the fur coats draped over them. Social hierarchy is alluded to in the merging of the coats with the chairs beneath them, which also, of course, affirms the stability and status of the chairs as objects. On the walls around the chairs are painted pieces that, on first glance, look more like plastic or silicone than ceramic pieces; these appear in bright white, which endows them with a kind of permanence through their subtlety and congruence with the surrounding walls.

That quote is, of course, a superbly satirical piece of conceptual art in itself. 

I want the original author of that ^^^^ caught and shot RIGHT NOW.

(Strokes white Persian cat)
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Aunt Maud on November 20, 2015, 06:58:29 pm
You don't need to "get anything" to appreciate art.

If you like it because of the colour or shape, that's fine. If you pretend you like it because someone who appears a bit more "art savvy" likes it and you just want to fit in with the crowd, that's a bit worrying.

Thus most pieces of modern art are actually cunningly-disguised pseud detectors.  :demon:

Which brings us nicely to the work of Pierre Brassau.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: benborp on November 20, 2015, 07:06:05 pm

It means that 'Art' can be anything at all, probably by accident, except in Northampton and Kingston-upon-Thames where they are all philistines. 

(I don't have time to Haiku)

Actually, it was more a case of the residents of Northampton having a good deal more self-respect than to put up with the antics of a European director and designer that were going out of their way to be as hostile and unpleasant to their audience as they could. The response in Kingston was just 'Why?' To which there was no logical answer.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: spesh on November 20, 2015, 07:10:49 pm
You don't need to "get anything" to appreciate art.

If you like it because of the colour or shape, that's fine. If you pretend you like it because someone who appears a bit more "art savvy" likes it and you just want to fit in with the crowd, that's a bit worrying.

Thus most pieces of modern art are actually cunningly-disguised pseud detectors.  :demon:

Which brings us nicely to the work of Pierre Brassau.

<Googles>

Outstanding (http://hoaxes.org/archive/permalink/pierre_brassau_monkey_artist/).  ;D
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Aunt Maud on November 20, 2015, 07:21:02 pm
Ooo...Oooo...Oooo!
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 21, 2015, 04:34:30 pm
"Before they are anything else, they are objects which can be bought and sold." That's where we came in, I think.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Tigerrr on November 22, 2015, 01:46:08 pm
Art has always been about power and wealth, and its purpose is to legitimise the powerful and wealthy. Only the powerful and wealthy are imbued with the ability to fully appreciate art, and it was always thus. The collection and ownership of art makes wealth noble.
There is a class of attendant hangers on as well, those who would seek to relate to the powerful and wealthy, who also lay claim to understanding of art, but are unlikely to own it. These servants, acolytes and priests of art have an important role in supporting the wealthy and powerful in their quest to self justify their position through artistic appreciation.
The content of art, or its work,  is not the point - other than it being important that lesser people should not be able to fully appreciate it. If lesser people appreciate it fully then it ceases to be art.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Aunt Maud on November 22, 2015, 02:20:42 pm
Unless it's not for the rich, except they've gone and stolen some of it for profit.................................


                                                                                                                       This is not a website

                                                                                                |  http://www.banksy.co.uk/out.asp  |
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Mr Larrington on November 22, 2015, 02:33:15 pm
Cave Paintings: A Metaphor For Capitalism, Tigerrr (pub. grabber & grabber, £149.99)
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Ruthie on November 22, 2015, 04:17:08 pm
Art has always been about power and wealth, and its purpose is to legitimise the powerful and wealthy. Only the powerful and wealthy are imbued with the ability to fully appreciate art, and it was always thus. The collection and ownership of art makes wealth noble.
There is a class of attendant hangers on as well, those who would seek to relate to the powerful and wealthy, who also lay claim to understanding of art, but are unlikely to own it. These servants, acolytes and priests of art have an important role in supporting the wealthy and powerful in their quest to self justify their position through artistic appreciation.
The content of art, or its work,  is not the point - other than it being important that lesser people should not be able to fully appreciate it. If lesser people appreciate it fully then it ceases to be art.

Except the artists I've known have all been prepared to live on no money at all, for ever, and die unnoticed, if that's what it takes to make art.  That's not about power or wealth.  That's about being driven to create.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Tigerrr on November 23, 2015, 07:22:53 am
Art has always been about power and wealth, and its purpose is to legitimise the powerful and wealthy. Only the powerful and wealthy are imbued with the ability to fully appreciate art, and it was always thus. The collection and ownership of art makes wealth noble.
There is a class of attendant hangers on as well, those who would seek to relate to the powerful and wealthy, who also lay claim to understanding of art, but are unlikely to own it. These servants, acolytes and priests of art have an important role in supporting the wealthy and powerful in their quest to self justify their position through artistic appreciation.
The content of art, or its work,  is not the point - other than it being important that lesser people should not be able to fully appreciate it. If lesser people appreciate it fully then it ceases to be art.
MM.
Except the artists I've known have all been prepared to live on no money at all, for ever, and die unnoticed, if that's what it takes to make art.  That's not about power or wealth.  That's about being driven to create.
I think you will find that they are not actually artists. They are people who would like to be artists, or like to do what they think is art, like myself in fact. But just because I call myself an artist, and my mates go along with my self delusion, does not make me so. I may spend my whole life doing 'art' but unless my work is recognised by the arbiters of art then my work is no more than a hobby.
The delusion of being an artist is quite common, as is the desire to create stuff. But very few of those doing the activity are making art, most are involved in extended craft therapy. With varying degrees of quality of output. Occasionally, usually once dead, someone's life obsession is discovered to be art, but that is rare.
Cave art, was of course locked into the power structure, and had magical and religious purpose, being interpreted by priests and Chiefs. Not much has changed.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Ruthie on November 23, 2015, 07:33:09 am
Oh I understand now!  You're trying to be funny!

 :thumbsup:

Crack on.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: LEE on November 23, 2015, 12:08:11 pm
I assume that what differentiates the 2 "installations" below is some arty pseudo babble.

So, if it takes arty pseudo babble to differentiate, can it be art? (or is someone talentless chancer taking the piss?).

Jeff Koons's "Vaccuum Cleaners".

(http://whitney.org/image_columns/0029/7112/2l_convertibles4_dd-cmyk-1_622.jpg)

(http://afmuseet.no/images/dzi/20130815_2d_3convertables_hi.jpg)

John Lewis's "Vacuum Cleaners"

(https://i.guim.co.uk/img/static/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2009/10/21/1256117880108/Vacuum-Cleaners-006.jpg?w=700&q=85&auto=format&sharp=10&s=c6ab2b667afec18a8927743eac60390f)


Try to place a value on this ...

(http://according2g.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Medicine-Cabinets-by-Damien-Hirst.jpg)

Now me increase the value by a few hundred grand by allowing Damien Hirst to comment on the medicine cabinet..

The works explore the distinction between life and death, myth and medicine. Hirst notes: “You take a medicine cabinet and you present it to people and it’s just totally believable. I mean a lot of the stuff is about belief, I think, and the ‘Medicine Cabinets’ are just totally believable.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Tigerrr on November 23, 2015, 12:19:07 pm
Oh I understand now!  You're trying to be funny!

 :thumbsup:

Crack on.

No - quite serious. It is all about the difference between Art, and decorative arts. Art is a tool by which the powerful self justify on the basis of finer sensibility, intelligence and understanding.
Decorative arts on the other hand is what pretty much everyone else has and calls art. And those who create it like to think they are Artists. And those who devote their lives to it in poverty and die unknown and unregarded are failed Artists - plenty of them about too.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: LEE on November 23, 2015, 12:28:51 pm
No - quite serious. It is all about the difference between Art, and decorative arts. Art is a tool by which the powerful self justify on the basis of finer sensibility, intelligence and understanding.

Probably quicker just to Google Charles Saatchi.  I hear he's just bought the King's New Clothes and already sold them at a huge profit to a Hedge-Fund Manager in Chelsea.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: benborp on November 23, 2015, 01:27:59 pm
Some pretty repugnant concepts there Tigerrr.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Legs on November 23, 2015, 02:11:15 pm
Why repugnant?  I think Tigerrr is pretty much on the money.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: red marley on November 23, 2015, 02:31:40 pm
Of course Tigerrrr is right about art. If you choose to define 'art' in that way, a statement of your definition, is, by definition, correct.

Where that gets us I'm not sure. I agree there is a significant strand of activity associated with the commodification of artistic output and the maintenance of an artistic elite that bears little relation to what we might otherwise judge as artistic merit.

However I don't agree that everything else is usefully labelled as 'decorative arts'. As well as being (deliberately) dismissive, it seems rather too close to some of the (in my view simplistic) definitions of art upthread that value only aesthetic appeal or the skill of a craftsperson.

There is still a role for the kind of art that challenges, that benefits from deep thinking, that relies on context and setting and that is neither commodified or elitist.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Tigerrr on November 23, 2015, 02:37:04 pm
Some pretty repugnant concepts there Tigerrr.
Sorry if you find the ideas repugnant - but I don't think the discomfort is at odds with the underlying truth.
I expect the idea that one might not actually be an Artist is not going to be popular if one has devoted a lot of time and effort to the romantic notion and cause of Being an Artist and one's 'art'.
In essence, Art was and is the keystone of what we now call the 'luxury' market, and has always served a similar purpose in society. The romantic notion, which is important to that role, that Art is for arts sake, and pure, tormented,  etc - the oppositions and transgressive challenge are very important to the intellectual underpin of its role for the rich and powerful.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: benborp on November 23, 2015, 02:41:51 pm
"Only the powerful and wealthy are imbued with the ability to fully appreciate art."

"Servants, acolytes and priests of art... supporting the wealthy and powerful."

"lesser people should not be able to fully appreciate it."

"Art is a tool by which the powerful self justify on the basis of finer sensibility, intelligence and understanding."

If that is what art is, it's founded on some pretty repugnant tenets and the emperors are happily waving their bits in our faces. If Tigerrr believes that is how the powerful see the rest of the world then there are some pretty repugnant people in power. Some might find being defined as dupes of the system they constantly present an alternative to repugnant. Let alone having their entire lives dismissed as a failure dependent upon the value of their work to the status quo.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Tigerrr on November 23, 2015, 03:04:46 pm
Well, it is of course much more nuanced and fuzzy at the edges than a couple of posts permit.
But - the challenge for the rich man (or woman) is a real one. Having achieved wealth, and typically a degree of power, one needs to demonstrate that one is more than merely rich. It is not enough to command respect. One needs to believe that ones position is due to innate distinction and qualities not held by others. Not by luck, or advantage taken over others, etc.
That is the reason chiefs and kings and aristocrats have all claimed divine ordinance in the past. That is the reason one starts to appreciate foods and drinks the common man cannot access - literally nectars of the gods. An appreciation of and understanding of art is likewise evidence of finer sensibility - conveniently also being a high ticket status symbol. Such appreciation is immediately recognisable to others in similar position and helps reinvent e.g. admen, city spivs, and mafiosi as patrons of Art. The Borgias were at the same game.
One can achieve similar effects with e.g. Opera and Ballet.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 23, 2015, 03:11:10 pm
Why repugnant?  I think Tigerrr is pretty much on the money.
Boom, tish!
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 23, 2015, 03:14:40 pm
I was in Waterstones earlier today and I saw a book, Why Your Five Year Old Could Not Have Done That. Its basic idea seems to be that since the invention of photography rendered realistic reproduction of portraits, landscapes and objects at the press of a button, the focus of art has shifted from technical skill to concept.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Aunt Maud on November 23, 2015, 03:16:35 pm
Which is correct.

Although it's much harder to pass yourself off as a craftsman, than as an artist.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Mr Larrington on November 23, 2015, 03:17:54 pm
Although the Borgias
Were rather gorgeous
They preferred the absurder
Kind of murder

We live in an infinite universe (floppy-haired cleverness dispenser Professor B Cox said so, ergo ect ect).  The purpose of Art is to hold a mirror, possibly one of those fairground ones, up to Nature.  Therefore Art cannot exist, as there isn't a mirror big enough.

With apologies to DNA.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Exit Stage Left on November 23, 2015, 08:09:15 pm
I picked up some trophies at the National Hedgelaying competition last month. One can make a bit of a claim as a work of art. It was commissioned by the Prince of Wales from a noted wood-carver, and has hallmarked silver bands made by Aspreys.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfa1/v/t1.0-9/12065858_920426057995005_692997740627433283_n.jpg?oh=0ecd08042d6b83517960adabc1e0447e&oe=56F44EA5&__gda__=1458689525_b870ba01ca5a1602d8066bd800479341)

A second one was donated by Tarmac, and is a big chunk of magnesian limestone on a wooden plinth, indicative of a different sensibility.

(https://scontent-lhr3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfa1/v/t1.0-9/12196063_920426041328340_1880929235332630273_n.jpg?oh=cc6333d0ec3b84ef8af022ffc84cb1b3&oe=56ADE715)

I'm not particularly keen on the idea of hedge laying as 'craft', as it limits the potential market, so I'd tend to the Tarmac approach. The wooden tankard is a nice piece of work, but a bit 'twee' to reward an activity that largely consists of throwing a chainsaw about.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: SteveC on November 23, 2015, 08:44:11 pm
Grayson Perry did a series of Reith Lectures on this very question a couple of years ago.
Don't think he came to any definitive conclusions but it was worth listening to.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03969vt (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03969vt)
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: hellymedic on November 23, 2015, 08:45:22 pm
I have not read this whole thread.
I note the Turnip Prize is current news.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/howaboutthat/12010395/The-2015-Turnip-Prize-spoof-art-award-in-pictures.html?frame=3506988 (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/howaboutthat/12010395/The-2015-Turnip-Prize-spoof-art-award-in-pictures.html?frame=3506988)

These visual puns are groanworthy but they do make me laugh cos I'm a simple fool.
Methinks Banksy is very, very clever.

Is his work art?

Who cares? He's a skilful satirical communicator.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Wowbagger on November 24, 2015, 11:30:43 am
Quote
The temperament to which Art appeals … is the temperament of receptivity. That is all.

If a man approaches a work of art with any desire to exercise authority over it and the artist, he approaches it in such a spirit that he cannot receive any artistic impression from it at all. The work of art is to dominate the spectator: the spectator is not to dominate the work of art. The spectator is to be receptive. He is to be the violin on which the master is to play. And the more completely he can suppress his own silly views, his own foolish prejudices, his own absurd ideas of what Art should be, or should not be, the more likely he is to understand and appreciate the work of art in question.

I wish I'd said that.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Aunt Maud on November 24, 2015, 11:47:58 am

Is his work art?


Who knows, but there are a few who have spent a lot of money, that certainly hope it is.

Maybe they are the works of art "in progress" themselves, and it's all a big con. Robert Banks may not be so far from the truth after all.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Bledlow on November 24, 2015, 12:49:32 pm
Can there be art without art? What happens when people who have not mastered any art call themselves artists? Should we have a new word for, for example, a box of dirty knickers, which has no art in its making, only an idea?
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: crowriver on November 24, 2015, 06:55:07 pm
Sorry if you find the ideas repugnant - but I don't think the discomfort is at odds with the underlying truth.
I expect the idea that one might not actually be an Artist is not going to be popular if one has devoted a lot of time and effort to the romantic notion and cause of Being an Artist and one's 'art'.
In essence, Art was and is the keystone of what we now call the 'luxury' market, and has always served a similar purpose in society. The romantic notion, which is important to that role, that Art is for arts sake, and pure, tormented,  etc - the oppositions and transgressive challenge are very important to the intellectual underpin of its role for the rich and powerful.

I agree that not everyone who wants to be an artist is actually an artist. However it is not very interesting to talk about what is or is not art: potentially many different things can be called art. It is the value placed on art: that is what we are really discussing here.

This point about art being a luxury commodity is only true if you view the whole of art history through the lens of late Capitalism and our current neo-liberal political mindset.

Art has served many different purposes throughout history. Arguably it still does, despite the prevailing orthodoxy that only art validated by the market has any worth. Artists and craftsmen have only been validated in this way since around the 17th century. Even now the market is not the sole determinant of value. Other institutions in society, particularly the various organs of the state, confer status and value on art too. So do academics, critics and art historians, who may or may not agree with what the market values.

I would prefer to discuss visual art as part of a wider field of cultural production which includes craft, the performing arts, design, music, publishing, media and entertainment. Different values are placed upon the various products of culture according to their function in society, perceived status, etc.

I can recommend reading Pierre Bourdieu and Walter Benjamin as starting points to demystify what is really going on in the arts and culture (in the West at least). More accessible is John Berger's "Ways Of Seeing", a BBC series from the 1970s and an accompanying book which distils some of Benjamin's ideas (and those of others, eg. Marshall McLuhan) in a "popular" format.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pDE4VX_9Kk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pDE4VX_9Kk)
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: mattc on November 24, 2015, 07:11:00 pm
At the risk of being labelled an idiot*, I have a question for those with a more educated/arty background than me:
Is there an official/agreed term for the sort of "meaning rich" art that we are arguing about? As opposed to "art that is nice to look at".

*N.B.* I appreciate this will be a spectrum (and some works can be at both ends!), but I think many works are clearly at pretty much one end or the other.
i.e. at one end, works that are superficially quite dull [hoovers??] but have meaning waaaay beyond what they actually physically represent (typically philosophical, or sociological, or commenting on nature of art itself).
At the other, images that are recognisably of Real Things, and are simply visually attractive (in the same way most clothing or wallpaper is).

Someone used "decorative art" upthread, which certainly fits somewhere in this; at least to this dunce!


*hopefully much less inevitable than when one asks such Qs in POBI ...
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Ruthie on November 24, 2015, 07:20:55 pm
I don't know that there is, Matt.  So much of it is down to personal taste.  Art has been commodified but outside the circles of those who GAF about such nonsense, does it really matter?

I have Klimt prints, pencil drawings and my Grandad's oil paintings hanging in my house, as well as some sculpture, and paintings by various painters.  They have meaning for me.  They communicate something to me.

Others would probly sneer or look askance.  Fair enough.

Good enough.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Aunt Maud on November 24, 2015, 07:42:58 pm
For some, the meaning behind a Hoover is to vacuum up the dust.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Efrogwr on November 24, 2015, 08:04:46 pm
For some, the meaning behind a Hoover is to vacuum up the dust.


For Jeff Koons it's a ticket for the gravy train, as defined by Tigerrr.
Title: Re: &quot;I don't get art&quot;
Post by: citoyen on November 24, 2015, 08:43:06 pm

Is there an official/agreed term for the sort of "meaning rich" art that we are arguing about? As opposed to "art that is nice to look at".

Yes, the term you're looking for is "art". HTH.

;)

Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Wowbagger on November 24, 2015, 10:57:20 pm
Art isn't meant to be "nice to look at". Some is deliberately hideous.

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/74/PicassoGuernica.jpg)

compare (much more recent, but just as strong in my view)

(https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/209b2a3b3726bd192a7ae4e877067a5fd57c8650/0_0_1541_1031/master/1541.jpg?w=940&q=85&auto=format&sharp=10&s=6df12366536994c3e0eaeb589adf1275)
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Bledlow on November 24, 2015, 11:04:25 pm
I don't know that there is, Matt.  So much of it is down to personal taste.  Art has been commodified ...
As always. Think of 17th century Dutch workshops mass-producing genre paintings. Decorative prints have been commonplace for centuries, both in Europe & E. Asia.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Mr Larrington on November 25, 2015, 02:46:55 am
I have Klimt prints, pencil drawings and my Grandad's oil paintings hanging in my house, as well as some sculpture, and paintings by various painters.  They have meaning for me.  They communicate something to me.

Some might argue that prints are of art, not art itself.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Exit Stage Left on November 25, 2015, 08:03:52 am
I don't know that there is, Matt.  So much of it is down to personal taste.  Art has been commodified but outside the circles of those who GAF about such nonsense, does it really matter?



Commoditisation is a valid subject for art, especially across social media, where how information is presented becomes the story. I've got a few favourite strands to follow.
One reduces action to a series of graphs, reminiscent of how the prices of commodities are displayed.

Quote
Computer terminals report some gains in the values of copper and tin
While American businessmen snap up Van Goghs
For the price of a hospital wing
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: drossall on November 25, 2015, 08:05:09 am
Some might argue that prints are of art, not art itself.
By that argument, there are no books on my shelf. There are originals, and there are reproductions. The art, I think, is what produced the original, rather than the original itself.

Very sad for those who are concerned with owning art, but there we are. You can't buy skill. The prints are of works of art.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: pcolbeck on November 25, 2015, 08:25:04 am
I have Klimt prints, pencil drawings and my Grandad's oil paintings hanging in my house, as well as some sculpture, and paintings by various painters.  They have meaning for me.  They communicate something to me.

Some might argue that prints are of art, not art itself.

What about when the art specifically is a print such as etchings. The end product is a print and was always designed to be a print.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: drossall on November 25, 2015, 08:38:28 am
Although the etchings remain works of art. The art is what produced them.

We talk about arts and crafts. Ornate furniture is not a craft. Furniture-making is the craft. Arts work the same way, surely?
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: red marley on November 25, 2015, 08:56:30 am
The relation between 'original' and 'reproduced' art is exactly the theme of Part 1 of Berger's Ways of Seeing I mentioned in Post #100 (https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=94315.msg1948051#msg1948051) (and mentioned again in Post #166 (https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=94315.msg1949715#msg1949715)). Worth a watch, even just for the first 10 minutes.

It is also the theme explored in much of the 1960s American Pop Art movement, for example the hand painted halftone Ben Day dots of Roy Lichtenstein (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Lichtenstein).
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Jurek on November 25, 2015, 09:10:40 am
Much in agreement with PCOlbeck - there is definitely an art to producing a silk screen which is only ever intended to yield a (finite) number of prints - regardless of what the subject / content of those prints is.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 25, 2015, 09:25:13 am
I second jo's recommendation of the Berger series. All four parts of it are interesting. Each part starts off in similar fashion, as if it's going to be an overly deep for the sake of it, obfuscational, darkly seventies, narcissistic piece (in fact they do discuss narcissism in part two), but in fact it's quite the opposite, more as its title suggests; there are ways of seeing any one thing.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Aunt Maud on November 25, 2015, 09:33:11 am
For some, the meaning behind a Hoover is to vacuum up the dust.


For Jeff Koons it's a ticket for the gravy train, as defined by Tigerrr.


For Argos, it's to sell reproductions to make a profit.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Jaded on November 25, 2015, 09:39:10 am
For some, the meaning behind a Hoover is to vacuum up the dust.


For Jeff Koons it's a ticket for the gravy train, as defined by Tigerrr.


For Argos, it's to sell reproductions to make a profit.

and to help bring Thomas Kincade to the masses.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Ian H on November 25, 2015, 09:45:44 am
For some, the meaning behind a Hoover is to vacuum up the dust.


For Jeff Koons it's a ticket for the gravy train, as defined by Tigerrr.


For Argos, it's to sell reproductions to make a profit.

and to help bring Thomas Kincade to the masses.

There's something weirdly Warholian about Kincade.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Aunt Maud on November 25, 2015, 09:46:58 am
For some, the meaning behind a Hoover is to vacuum up the dust.


For Jeff Koons it's a ticket for the gravy train, as defined by Tigerrr.


For Argos, it's to sell reproductions to make a profit.

and to help bring Thomas Kincade to the masses.

A status symbol for Mrs Jones.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Mr Larrington on November 25, 2015, 10:20:12 am
(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_2wt17eMwYQU/S9mMKBEHrAI/AAAAAAAAAII/G4rr1qobmSk/s1600/cb3.jpg)

Now the forum will catch fire :demon:

For the avoidance of doubt the business about prints is not a viewpoint with which I agree.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Bledlow on November 25, 2015, 10:32:16 am
Although the etchings remain works of art. The art is what produced them.

We talk about arts and crafts. Ornate furniture is not a craft. Furniture-making is the craft. Arts work the same way, surely?
Right. Art originally meant the skill that went into making the thing, not the thing itself, & that meaning remains. Art as a product is a derived meaning. IMO it would be wrong for its origin to be lost, & the derived meaning to become the only one.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Bledlow on November 25, 2015, 10:37:33 am
I have Klimt prints, pencil drawings and my Grandad's oil paintings hanging in my house, as well as some sculpture, and paintings by various painters.  They have meaning for me.  They communicate something to me.

Some might argue that prints are of art, not art itself.
Wot Drossall said, & see my posts no 165, & above.

Artisan. 'The art of (a skill)'. Etc. It's in the language you speak.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: mattc on November 25, 2015, 10:40:17 am
Art isn't meant to be "nice to look at". Some is deliberately hideous.

... and some is meant to be nice to look at.

[gosh, it seems I *can* play this game!  :thumbsup: ]
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Ian H on November 25, 2015, 10:44:04 am
Although the etchings remain works of art. The art is what produced them.

We talk about arts and crafts. Ornate furniture is not a craft. Furniture-making is the craft. Arts work the same way, surely?
Right. Art originally meant the skill that went into making the thing, not the thing itself, & that meaning remains. Art as a product is a derived meaning. IMO it would be wrong for its origin to be lost, & the derived meaning to become the only one.

The work is the expression of the idea.  If the work disappears, so does the idea.  A reproduction may or may not accurately convey the intent of the original. 
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: crowriver on November 25, 2015, 11:29:58 am
I have Klimt prints, pencil drawings and my Grandad's oil paintings hanging in my house, as well as some sculpture, and paintings by various painters.  They have meaning for me.  They communicate something to me.

Some might argue that prints are of art, not art itself.

Or that reproducing the artwork in this form changes the nature of it. See Benjamin and Berger above...
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Aunt Maud on November 25, 2015, 02:02:23 pm
For some, the meaning behind a Hoover is to vacuum up the dust.


For Jeff Koons it's a ticket for the gravy train, as defined by Tigerrr.


For Argos, it's to sell reproductions to make a profit.

and to help bring Thomas Kincade to the masses.

But I don't think Kincade did upright vacuum cleaners.

Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Aunt Maud on November 25, 2015, 03:02:46 pm
Gilbert and George at The White Cube........It gets 5 stars - Discuss.

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/nov/25/gilbert-and-george-banners-review-art-undeniable-punch-in-the-face#comment-63945752

" a moral vision that is at once libertarian, atheistic, monarchist and existential. All are proactive."
 
(http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b557/Bugloss/3543_zpsrdrzilcq.jpg)

(Gilbert is East London for bogey, mind)
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: citoyen on November 25, 2015, 05:05:34 pm
Gilbert and George at The White Cube........It gets 5 stars - Discuss.

I suspect that review originally ended with the second paragraph - "…lots of quite interesting canvases, but a bit bland overall." - but was sent back to Jonathan Jones with a note from the editor saying "needs another 300 words..."
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: crowriver on November 25, 2015, 07:28:14 pm
Not having seen the exhibition, I can't really comment. I have followed their work for some decades, and sometimes enjoy it. Sometimes not. Usually thought provoking.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Exit Stage Left on November 25, 2015, 07:45:24 pm
At some point the metropolitan passes over into the parochial.

Quote
Then I take another look at the Gilbert and George show. It has suddenly become powerfully claustrophobic, electrically nasty. Is this the unconscious of the artists spilling out, or the collective madness of the city they channel, the scabrous soul of London expressing itself in taunts and insults? It feels like both. Somehow these men have made themselves into vessels of British (they’d surely say English) society.

They haven't made themselves into the vessels of English society.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Mr Larrington on November 25, 2015, 08:43:07 pm
At some point the metropolitan passes over into the parochial.

Quote
Then I take another look at the Gilbert and George show. It has suddenly become powerfully claustrophobic, electrically nasty. Is this the unconscious of the artists spilling out, or the collective madness of the city they channel, the scabrous soul of London expressing itself in taunts and insults? It feels like both. Somehow these men have made themselves into vessels of British (they’d surely say English) society.

They haven't made themselves into the vessels of English society.

Surely that's the Royal Navy?
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: drossall on November 25, 2015, 09:05:45 pm
The work is the expression of the idea.  If the work disappears, so does the idea.  A reproduction may or may not accurately convey the intent of the original.
Not entirely. Certainly, if the work disappears, there is a danger of loss of the idea. However, there are also derivatives, which may preserve some of the idea.

Indeed, I assume (as a non-expert) that it is recognised that the latest ideas in art have developed from and been influenced by earlier ones. That continuous chain must necessarily go back through countless thousands of works that are now lost, but the ideas behind these continue to have influence. So the loss of the work is not the same thing as the loss of the idea.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: crowriver on November 26, 2015, 12:10:48 am
The work is the expression of the idea.  If the work disappears, so does the idea.  A reproduction may or may not accurately convey the intent of the original.
Not entirely. Certainly, if the work disappears, there is a danger of loss of the idea. However, there are also derivatives, which may preserve some of the idea.

Indeed, I assume (as a non-expert) that it is recognised that the latest ideas in art have developed from and been influenced by earlier ones. That continuous chain must necessarily go back through countless thousands of works that are now lost, but the ideas behind these continue to have influence. So the loss of the work is not the same thing as the loss of the idea.

Hence tradition, schools, genres, etc.

The artist Sol Lewitt sent instructions to galleries and museums describing formulae governing the execution of his geometric drawings, which were (and still are) executed by assistants on, say, a gallery wall. So which is the work: the finished drawing, or the set of instructions?

(http://baeditions.com/sol-lewitt-artwork/sol-lewitt-wall-drawing-481-2.jpg)
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Tigerrr on November 26, 2015, 07:20:41 am
Quote
The temperament to which Art appeals … is the temperament of receptivity. That is all.

If a man approaches a work of art with any desire to exercise authority over it and the artist, he approaches it in such a spirit that he cannot receive any artistic impression from it at all. The work of art is to dominate the spectator: the spectator is not to dominate the work of art. The spectator is to be receptive. He is to be the violin on which the master is to play. And the more completely he can suppress his own silly views, his own foolish prejudices, his own absurd ideas of what Art should be, or should not be, the more likely he is to understand and appreciate the work of art in question.

I wish I'd said that.
You will, old chap. You will.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Fab Foodie on November 26, 2015, 08:00:03 am
Gilbert and George at The White Cube........It gets 5 stars - Discuss.

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/nov/25/gilbert-and-george-banners-review-art-undeniable-punch-in-the-face#comment-63945752

" a moral vision that is at once libertarian, atheistic, monarchist and existential. All are proactive."
 
(http://i1291.photobucket.com/albums/b557/Bugloss/3543_zpsrdrzilcq.jpg)

(Gilbert is East London for bogey, mind)
I read the review and found it meaningless Psychobabble.  But then I think the 'work' of G&G a load of bollocks.  This does nothing to alter that view.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: clarion on November 26, 2015, 09:57:32 am
Sometimes it's bollocks, occasionally shit.  I disagree with G&G's worldview, but I cannot deny it a status as art.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Ian H on November 26, 2015, 10:40:30 am
Sometimes it's bollocks, occasionally shit.  I disagree with G&G's worldview, but I cannot deny it a status as art.

Their work is often scatalogical.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: citoyen on November 26, 2015, 10:50:42 am
Sometimes it's bollocks, occasionally shit.

See what you did there.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: crowriver on November 26, 2015, 04:22:23 pm
Sometimes it's bollocks, occasionally shit. 

Often literally. (Or rather, the representations are literal).

(http://images.tate.org.uk/sites/default/files/styles/grid-normal-8-cols/public/images/gilbert__george_spunk_blood_piss_shit_spit_1996.jpg?itok=FY9amMXF)
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: sg37409 on November 26, 2015, 04:31:07 pm
That's pants.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: crowriver on November 26, 2015, 05:10:04 pm
I think it's actually spunk, blood, piss, shit, spit. There are other photos in the same series of the two of them in their pants, and without any pants: I've spared the inter web those.  :D

That image doesn't really give an impression of the scale of these photo-collages. They're big format black and white photos, arranged in grids, often tens of feet across.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on December 16, 2015, 10:19:53 am
Quote
Very few artists give their works names. When a painter has just put the last touch to a masterpiece, she does not stand back and wonder what to call it. Titles are almost always given later by the public, writers, art historians or museums. They don’t necessarily have any connection with the artist’s intentions.
That's from an article about the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum changing names of paintings to avoid words now seen as racist. (http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/jonathanjonesblog/2015/dec/15/artworks-racist-titles-rijksmuseum-amsterdam) I hadn't thought about paintings – because it is paintings they're talking about – not being named by their painters, but if they're not, that implies the artists aren't thinking in terms of 'titles' when they paint, or even after they've finished a painting. That seems to be a difference to the types of art that this thread has mostly been discussing. Probably.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Wowbagger on December 16, 2015, 10:34:41 am
Same with composers. I don't think Bach called them the Brandenburg concerti. That came later from music historians because he composed them for the Duke of Brandenburg hoping for a job offer (I think without looking it up). IIRC Beethoven's "Moonlight"* sonata was so named some years after his death by some bloke who said the first movement reminded him of moonlight shining on water. Something tells me that Mozart didn't use the name "Elvira Madigan" for his 21st concerto either.

*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano_Sonata_No._14_(Beethoven)#Names refers.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on December 16, 2015, 03:25:24 pm
Again, there are exceptions. Such as Nimrod.  :)
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on December 19, 2015, 04:47:41 pm
Today I saw some art of a sort I might have expected to not get, but I most definitely got it. It was a video called Board, which is descriptive. Two blokes lifting, carrying, rearranging a white board on a white background. And playing with it. For instance, one would hold it at a slope while the other slid down it. My take on it was that it was turning a sysyphean labour (there was no end or beginning to it, just a cycle) into a good laugh. I did literally laugh out loud. They call it "a carefully choreographed performance where the duo manipulate their own bodies in a kind of Minimalist ballet around a flexible piece of board." Or perhaps they didn't say that but the gallery did, I don't know. The board didn't look flexible to me. Great fun to watch and, I'm sure, to do.
http://harrisonandwood.com/b/board/
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: citoyen on December 21, 2015, 12:07:23 pm
I most definitely got it.

If you think you got it, you can't have.

<strokes chin>
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on December 21, 2015, 12:33:56 pm
Ok. It got me. And tickled.
Title: Re: "I don't get art"
Post by: vorsprung on December 21, 2015, 02:09:37 pm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lu4ArH1vIiI