Author Topic: "I don't get art"  (Read 11649 times)

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #25 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:
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #26 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.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #27 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. 
Sic transit and all that..

Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #28 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. 

Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #29 on: November 18, 2015, 10:44:46 am »


Technically we could all make that,  but whether or not you'd be willing to reveal everything for art is another thing

mcshroom

  • Mushroom
Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #30 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.
Climbs like a sprinter, sprints like a climber!

Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #31 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.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #32 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.


Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #33 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.

woollypigs

  • Mr Peli
    • woollypigs
Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #34 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.
Do join a demo near you - https://t.co/Ai5EfHuKUo

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #35 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. 
sideways bounding monkey lounging under fruit tree

Vince

  • Can't climb; won't climb
Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #36 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.
216km from Marsh Gibbon

Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #37 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.


Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #38 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.

Ruthie

  • Her Majester
Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #39 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!

Milk please, no sugar.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #40 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.
sideways bounding monkey lounging under fruit tree

Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #41 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.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Ruthie

  • Her Majester
Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #42 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.
Milk please, no sugar.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #43 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.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Vince

  • Can't climb; won't climb
Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #44 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.
216km from Marsh Gibbon

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #45 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.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #46 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.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #47 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).
sideways bounding monkey lounging under fruit tree

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #48 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.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: "I don't get art"
« Reply #49 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?")
sideways bounding monkey lounging under fruit tree