Author Topic: "I don't get art"  (Read 11905 times)

"I don't get art"
« on: November 17, 2015, 11:53:01 am »
"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 #1 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.

Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #2 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' 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.
We have two ears and one mouth for a reason. We should do twice as much listening as talking.

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Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #3 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.
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Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #4 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.
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Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #5 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.
We have two ears and one mouth for a reason. We should do twice as much listening as talking.

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Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #6 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.
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Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #7 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.
"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

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Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #8 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.
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Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #9 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)."
A cup of tea is the perfect bridge between real life and cake.

Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #10 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.


clarion

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Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #11 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.
Getting there...

Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #12 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. 
Sic transit and all that..

Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #13 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.
It is what it is. It's not what it's not, so it must be what it is.

Re: &quot;I don't get art&quot;
« Reply #14 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.

Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #15 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.

Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #16 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?

Ruthie

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Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #17 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.
Milk please, no sugar.

Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #18 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.
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Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #19 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.

Ruthie

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Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #20 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.
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Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #21 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.
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Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #22 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.

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Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #23 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.
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Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #24 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.
A cup of tea is the perfect bridge between real life and cake.