Author Topic: "I don't get art"  (Read 11855 times)

Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #75 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.

Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #76 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.



Nor is it a photo! 
Sic transit and all that..

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #77 on: November 19, 2015, 01:20:47 pm »
Cf. Santayana & Clinton re is.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #78 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.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #79 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. 

Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #80 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.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #81 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.

Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #82 on: November 19, 2015, 04:14:40 pm »

(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…

Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #83 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.
It is what it is. It's not what it's not, so it must be what it is.

Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #84 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
It is what it is. It's not what it's not, so it must be what it is.

Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #85 on: November 19, 2015, 06:08:11 pm »
Your comments make me want to:
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #86 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?

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
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Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #87 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.
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #88 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.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #89 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.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #90 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."

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #91 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.)
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
  • Custard Wallah
    • Mr Larrington's Automatic Diary
Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #92 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.

External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #93 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.
"A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Type-Writer Girl, 1897

Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #94 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.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #95 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>

Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #96 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.

Aunt Maud

  • Le Flâneur.
Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #97 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.

Ruthie

  • Her Majester
Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #98 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?
Milk please, no sugar.

red marley

Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #99 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