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Elizabeth Cor
Senior Member
since 10-13-2000
Posts 906
Oregon (yeah!)


0 posted 11-11-2000 11:00 PM       View Profile for Elizabeth Cor   Email Elizabeth Cor   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Elizabeth Cor

If this isn’t a concept of philosophy, I’m sure the load of you will bring up enough tangents to at least make the thread as a whole philosophical…   Just curious about ya'lls opinions…

What constitutes art? I mean this in the basic visual sense (paint on canvas, sculpture, etc.)…
Example: I have a friend who was showing another person a few pieces she had created, and when she asked his opinion he said her he didn’t like them. When she asked why, he told her his reasons were simply because he didn’t feel they were very “marketable”. She told me later on the phone (scoffing), “I thought the whole idea of “art” was just an expression of yourself.. I mean, when I get these ideas at 4 am and start painting like mad, I don’t think,  ‘Now, what can I do to make this more… commercial?’… it’s just a purging of inspiration. But I guess I’m wrong…”
Now, while I agree with this, I have to think of my own opinion if I saw her selling the pictures in a booth on the street mall. Would I honestly become pompous and insulting wondering why a talentless fluff was trying to market her material?
Also, where is the line between art, junk, and taste? I mean, I love Dali and his burning giraffes, but he creeps my mom out.   And when the dissected cow showed its face.. er ..viscera, I actually found it interesting.
HOWEVER, there was an exhibit of the works of one woman artist who had on display three filing cabinets full of used tampons (her own, saved over a few years, omg…) piled single file in zip-lock bags (this is only one bizarre scrap of the whole presentation).
Now, if she kept this in her house as an “expression of self” I wouldn’t have a problem with it (unless, I suppose if it were sitting in the living room (drawers open) and I’d been invited over for tea…). But I tend to be more pretentious if an item of art is publicized for sale. Why is this? What do YOU guys thinks about all or any of this?

Jamie
Member Elite
since 06-26-2000
Posts 3219
Blue Heaven


1 posted 11-12-2000 01:32 AM       View Profile for Jamie   Email Jamie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Jamie's Home Page   View IP for Jamie

There are probably as many opininons as there are people. Mine is that the object be significant of something more than itself, to represent or to say more than it is. Art is a creation of the spirit (or most intimate self) of the artist and the means he/she has chosen to express this vision or intuition makes it animate. There has to be a line drawn somewhere though, a division between arts/crafts and between art and trash so to speak, the latter generally being directly parallel to the viewers morality. Remember, there are those to whom even a vestal is not holy.


Jamie

Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito. - Virgil.
"Yield thou not to adversity, but press on the more bravely".

brian madden
Member Elite
since 05-06-2000
Posts 4532
ireland


2 posted 11-12-2000 08:05 AM       View Profile for brian madden   Email brian madden   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for brian madden

well as a semi art student (Ok I study animation, an art form in its own right.) I just had to throw in my thoughts on this... what is art? simple answer... everything is art, life ands everything around us is art but on different levels, we tend to divide everything up label it... high art low art but everything in its own is art from a sun set, to a Picasso to a cereal box. I am reminded of the urinal in the art gallery. Now what is good art is a different debate, which is based more on a matter of taste. The one thing that makes something art is when someone reacts to the piece, then it becomes art, it does not have to be an impressionist painting, trash art and bad art is still art. I could stand in the middle of the street and scream swear words and call it performance art. I think the boundaries of art end with the individual and their preferences.  One could argue that Marilyn Manson is performance art or that Tom Green is as well or that pornography is a valid art form.  I know that not everyone will agree with me. These are just my thoughts. I am not the most learned person, but I have in my course studied a variety of films, some which I hated and found pointless, but they are still works of art. Also I believe that the art has to mean something to the artist it has to have an emotional input.  Also art does not have just be visual, it is a sensory experience whether heard, seen, touched, maybe even tasted and inhaled.



"an afixiation a fix on anything the line of life the limb of a tree
the hands of he and the promise that s/he is blessed among women".
Patti Smith
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


3 posted 11-12-2000 07:51 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

What constitutes art is certainly a philosophical question.

Taste is defined by the upper classes.

Art, in the modern sense (and perhaps always), is defined by what Stanley Fish calls an interpretive community -- those in the know are the one's who can say, "Art is what I say it is."

The market place will determine, tautologically, what popular art is -- these art forms will almost immediately be ridiculed by 'those in the know' until someone 'in the know' will determine a certain type of pop art as real art and then will probably cost more than most people can afford -- unless it's a print.

At this time and place, I find it difficult to believe that anyone can determine what is really marketable and what is not.

That said, my own definition of art is something that moves me or works for me in some way (but this includes all art forms, not just the visual). I would disagree with Prometheus here -- representation is not necessarily a factor for me.

At the same time, I try to understand what other people like and study what others (that interpretive community) consider to be great art in order to see what they see.

Art changes, the market changes, I change.

Just an opinion,
Brad
Daniel J D
Senior Member
since 10-01-2000
Posts 1492
Hillcrest, Queensland, Austral


4 posted 11-13-2000 10:20 PM       View Profile for Daniel J D   Email Daniel J D   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Daniel J D

Elizabeth,
Art is not about Markets, Art is about an artist expressing himself/herself.
Money has not a thing to do with art. If people are paying huge amounts for a masterpiece, they are only getting the colours, the shapes and the woodwork. What they cannot buy and never will be able to do is what constitute Art "the Artist".
It is very regrettable to see the attention seekers at auctions, who know nothing other than the name of the Artist, if they do at all. Art is the Artist.

Respond to my call and let the waves of my heart fill your life with the wonders of love
(Daniel J D)
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


5 posted 11-13-2000 11:16 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Okay, I fell into this trap; I've got to try to get out of it. Art as self-expression is fine but it doesn't give you a real definition, does it? If anybody can say anything is art, then, at the same time, nothing is art. I'll actually concede this point. The question ultimately is not what determines art but what determines good art.

Good art is determined by an interpretive community (the art world) -- an outside individual can agree or disagree but that will have little impact on what we see in museums, what is written about in art magazines, and who gets the NEA money. At the same time, these people will influence your own opinions on art (just as your parents and teachers influenced you at an early age). You don't have to agree with someone to be influenced.

Curious: What is good art to people?

Let's get some concrete examples going here.

Brad

The "art is the artist" argument implies two things:

1. Art is transcendental (the idea of the genius).

2. Only some people can see it (those 'in the know').

If you get rid of the transcendental, mystical aspect, you have my argument.    



jbouder
Member Elite
since 09-18-99
Posts 2641
Whole Sort Of Genl Mish Mash


6 posted 11-14-2000 12:44 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Elizabeth:

You wrote:

quote:
What constitutes art? I mean this in the basic visual sense (paint on canvas, sculpture, etc.)…


I would argue that art cannot be defined in a basic "visual" sense because I believe much of any art incorporates some expression of the artist's philosophical world view.

Although it pains me to do so, I am very much in agreement with Brad (   to the "pain" part) to a degree.  

I think a very basic understanding of any art form can give the practitioner some small ability to recognize evidence of strong (or weak) technique.  "Those in the know", as I understand them to be, are those who have a greater degree of understanding or experience in the art form and would be better able to identify subtleties in the execution of artistic techique that, by their definitions, may either represent genius or ineptitude.  But, in many ways, these "definitions" are arbitrary or, at the very least, distorted by the philosophical make-up of the "Those-in-the-know" crowd.

An example (of a martial art observation ... please excuse my very limited knowledge of the visual arts):

While watching "Bloodsport" with Jean Claude Van Damme, I noted that there was NO way Jean's sloppy jump-spin kick technique could generate the power necessary to knock an experienced fighter unconscious (short of some great fluke).  First, he telegraphs the move with his wind up and then he wastes the additional force capable of being generated by his body weight by allowing his hamstring (rather than his hip) drive the kick.  By all practical counts, Van Damme's  kick was more-or-less a waste of the time and energy necessary to deliver a jumping kick.

BUT as Brad rightly pointed out, good art is determined by the interpretive community.  Visually, Van Damme's kick is much more visually appealing than a jump-wheel kick calculated to deliver a damaging blow.  Van Damme's kick was more dramatic and afforded him the time to sell the drama (in reality, his Hollywood version of the kick is extremely slow -- the foot should strike before the eyes actually become refocused on the target).  

In short, Van Damme's kick, while practically useless, has a visual value that translates into Hollywood $$.  He has a heck of a lot more $$ than I do ... so who am I to say that my way is better than his?  I think this carries over into other forms of art (written art ... prose or poetry, visual arts, and other active arts ... dance, for example).

Good question, Elizabeth.  Definitely one for 101.

Jim
Elizabeth Cor
Senior Member
since 10-13-2000
Posts 906
Oregon (yeah!)


7 posted 11-14-2000 05:44 PM       View Profile for Elizabeth Cor   Email Elizabeth Cor   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Elizabeth Cor

Dreaded Double Post!

sorry...

[This message has been edited by Elizabeth Cor (edited 11-14-2000).]
Elizabeth Cor
Senior Member
since 10-13-2000
Posts 906
Oregon (yeah!)


8 posted 11-14-2000 05:44 PM       View Profile for Elizabeth Cor   Email Elizabeth Cor   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Elizabeth Cor

Okay, every time I think I have an opinion to write, someone else adds their two cents and I have another six paragraphs to write... so I only have one thing to comment on thus far (before my never-ending speech begins):

Jim, when I said "basic visual" I meant pen to paper instead of performance art... as in a specific area of "Visual" arts... not a definition of them as a whole. Not to say that I didn't know that you guys would open the discussion to EVERY idea of art...

And I certainly wouldn't say that money brings value to an opinion. While Jean gets his money selling horrible films, I'm sure you could make a large amount of extra cash being an international terrorist... it's a matter of choice. You are YOU to say that your way is better... though I can't claim to condone anyone saying that their way is better than anyone else's, who else will say it besides the person themselves? I mean, if we weren't entitled to our own little opinions, why is this forum HERE? Indeed, why are WE here... oh, shoot, that's another thread.. sorry ~smacks forehead~

~ Beth

Moon Dust
Deputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 06-11-99
Posts 2250
Skelmersdale, UK


9 posted 11-15-2000 06:40 PM       View Profile for Moon Dust   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Moon Dust

I may have gone a little off the subject here, but I always thought art was about making the effort as well as expressing yourself or anything. I guess to make art markable you have to see what the vast majority of buyers can empathize with and what is more exceptable to their soceity.

Sometimes you have to let go and move on,
But never let go of the memories.

jbouder
Member Elite
since 09-18-99
Posts 2641
Whole Sort Of Genl Mish Mash


10 posted 11-16-2000 12:07 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Elizabeth:

I suppose one advantage you can ascribe to the martial arts is that it is relatively easy to (painfully) demonstrate the superiority of one technique or style over another in specific situations.    I never considered international terrorism (I'm a stay-at-home kinda guy) and the U.S. is the only place in the world with NFL football, cold beer and good pizza.

Seriously, I don't disagree with you.

Jim

P.S.  Why ARE we here?
Christopher
Moderator
Member Rara Avis
since 08-02-99
Posts 9130
Purgatorial Incarceration


11 posted 11-16-2000 12:22 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

Jim: To argue!  

 
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