Jump to content

- - - - -

When is art, not art?

  • Please log in to reply
32 replies to this topic

#18 Turtle



  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 15452 posts

Posted 18 November 2008 - 11:54 AM

As people still don't get what I'm on about -
This is lazy effort, unworthy of regard in my opinion.

And yet, here you are like some kind of thinkpol, regarding it again, and again, and again. :phones: We get it, so get over it. :doh:

#19 Turtle



  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 15452 posts

Posted 18 November 2008 - 04:06 PM

black bats at midnight with no regard
Posted Image

  • Buffy and pamela like this

#20 Buffy


    Resident Slayer

  • Administrators
  • 8946 posts

Posted 18 November 2008 - 07:53 PM

What about this... It is art, but would you hang it in you're house. Would you spend money for it.

Yep. Thomas Kinkade is right up there with the black-light velvet Elvis's and the poker playing dogs...but I'd still call it art! :phones:

Then on came John Sargeant, who plodded around the stage but was voted in by the public over the judges... His personality won over the public not his performance as a dancer. In other words, the art of his dancing was attrocious but his charisma got him votes...

There's definitely no accounting for taste. This sort of thing is what gets Art Critics going in their mindless rants about what "real art" is.

I'm not disagreeing with you here: what I'm saying is that the reaction is too often overreaction that is just as bad as the original artistic offense!

Bottom line is there is no accounting for taste, but it doesn't excuse unjustified snobbery (and no, I'm not calling you a snob!)...

Put this practically it's a question of quality (depth of thought over shallowness)... These pieces of art stink from this perspective because they are no more than the wanderings of a child compared to the adults of the past and occasionally creative individuals of the present. This supposed art is not about art but pretense. This is lazy effort, unworthy of regard in my opinion.

I agree with this: it's better art if the artist actually has some skill and has thought it out well.

Sometimes "skill" and "thought" are not always obvious. Performing arts--especially those that are improvisational--can be mysterious as to why they're so successful or unsuccessful. Some artists that do seemingly simple installations do painstaking preparation: Christo's Running Fence and Umbrellas (the latter of which I actually went to see and have a really cute t-shirt from the Okie Girl Grill in Lebec, CA with the Umbrellas in both California and Japan on the front and back) are preceded by thousands of sketches, diagrams, maps, etc. which actually generate the funds to put up the installations. That's a lot of work and thought.

I've heard people complain that Andy Goldsworthy's stuff is just slight rearrangements of nature, but if you actually *like* it it's amazing!

The bottom line for me is that I too, detest pretension, especially pretension without either skill or forethought. People who fall for pretentiousness get what they deserve (they pull the wool over their own eyes, yes!), but I argue that no charlatan that purveys such stuff ever lasts long without some amount of real talent. Whether they appreciate and fulfill the potential of their skills says a lot about their character too, but I don't count that as an artistic element!

People who keep from getting voted off the island because the masses like to watch train wrecks is another phenomenon--Sanjaya! Gag me with a spoon!--but those are *always* flashes in the pan. Spectacle has it's role in society, but that's not art, its *sport* (even though I do think--just to be incredibly flighty and inconsistent--that some sport raises itself to the level of art!)...

In framing an artist, art hath thus decreed, to make some good, but others to exceed; and you are her labour'd scholar, :doh:

#21 ChunTzu



  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 32 posts

Posted 20 November 2008 - 02:12 AM

I admit to having not fully read each post in this thread but, as somebody who identifies myself as an artist (a term I'm still not comfortable with, mostly because of the culturally defined view of what an "artist" does), I feel like I should at least put in a few thoughts...

First of all, I've never met an artist who will define art. And in conversations where we attempt to identify "distinctions" (as I will call them), there is, inevitably, a 3 hour conversation that hovers somewhere between academically accepted counter examples, counter examples or opinions to the counter examples, and thoughts on the pointlessness of the raging debate. Either way, no conclusions are made. To that I say, good. There should be something in this world that is not seen through tunnel vision and has the ability to adjust itself as necessary or maybe just desired.

If forced (ugh), I would give a very vague notion along the lines of "art" as a frame through which to see an object or experience in another context that could yield different conclusions, for better or for worse, or you're maybe unchanged. Consider also "art" as Humberto's Maturana's "languaging" about "communicating." An example given in Capra's The Web of Life to understand the difference: A cat meows every morning to wake me up so that I'll follow it to the refrigerator and pour some milk into a bowl. This is "communicating". Suppose one day I didn't have milk. The cat comes into my room, meows, and begins walking to the kitchen. Noticing that I haven't followed, he returns to my room and says/meows "Hey! Where's my milk?" This is "languaging"- kind of like a 2nd level/order of discourse which allows us to analyze the 1st level/order of discourse which can take many different forms through non-traditional media. So, if you see a piece in a gallery that you don't believe to be art, probably one of the questions the artist is asking is "Do you believe this to be art?" Most likely, there are also some other things going on...Damien Hirst, for example, in his pieces where the lambs are literally chopped in half reference sacrificial rituals, etc. I could go on but I think you get the picture (eh? eh?).

This is, of course, not meant to exclude the fact that sometimes art is really just the pursuit of "beauty" (which is another term that leads to a whole other debate) and a landscpape, still life, whatever has something to say that's worthwhile. It's just that the art market, which is really the driving force in mainstream development, isn't interested in landscapes right now. I believe Bill Viola, a video artist, said it best:

"...but I mean in general that artists are basically out of touch with what people are feeling and thinking as participants in a specialized dialogue. There are a lot of different aspects to art, and I think it's arrogant of the art world to believe, or unconsciously promote the assumption, that that it has some kind of monopoly on creativity...The common human trait of creativity is something that's going to link people from all different walks of life to art. I think it's important for people who are involved as professional artists to begin to come out of their little cubbyholes and begin to acknowledge the rest of the society. At the same time we need in art an area of specialization in the same way scientists need to have conferences of physicists where they talk in equations that you and I could not possibly comprehend. That's absolutely necessary. I tend to look at this...as the research arm of the field of art where people are going to be at the edge pushing things, doing something that no on else is doing, putting two ideas together that haven't been put together before.
- Bill Viola

Allan Kaprow in Essays on the Blurring of Art and Life (edited by Jeff Kelley) has an interesting debate on the differences between "art", "un-art", and "anti-art" in the chapter titled "Education of the Un-Artist."

It's also worth it to note that when I feel like I'm creating "art", my work is usually very bad. When I'm just making something meaningful to me, or researching, or whatever, the "art" label is something that's simply applied when I'm done and the work is in a gallery or some site for critique/consideration.

But to answer your question, "When is art not art?" it doesn't matter. What do you gain from the distinction other than the personal satisfaction of saying "This is very bad art. If at all." Well congratulations, I say that all the time, too. But in the end, it doesn't really change much, my friend, because somewhere, somebody disagrees with us which is why the art in question is "art."

P.S. The link to the Kaprow book is to Google Reader so you can actually read the chapter I'm referring to.

edit: Another large factor in determining "art" vs. "non-art" is intention.
  • Turtle likes this

#22 pamela



  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2490 posts

Posted 20 November 2008 - 07:49 AM

yes, Chun Tzu, intention is something not to be overlooked.
I have a friend, who in my opinion, is a very talented artist.
Due to financial reasons, has had to crank out what she terms as "fuzzy animal" pictures. This is what the market in her area is seeking. Although, these are not bad, they certainly do not reflect, the depth and imagination and thought that goes into her masterpieces.
We recently took a stroll through the local art alley, and saw some interesting pieces. She was very excited about one artist in particular and commented much about his work. My initial reaction was these pieces were best served on a comic strip. I decided then to take the time to really look at each one and see beyond my initial reaction.They were infact good.They prompted old childhood emotions and thoughts in me, that had not been experienced in many years. It was indeed, stimulating.Now, these would never be purchased by me, as they are not a reflection of who I am today. I choose art that speaks to my inner most being at a very calm level. But that is me. I am sure that some buy for this very same reason and others who purchase simply to keep up with the Jones'. But whatever the reason, these still remain art.

#23 ChunTzu



  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 32 posts

Posted 20 November 2008 - 12:11 PM

It's also not unusual for collectors to purchase pieces of art in a fashion that resembles investing in the stock market. Buy when the price of the painting, or whatever, is low and sell it years later when the price is high because the artist is now a superstar and all of their work is worth millions. Especially when the stocks are as combustible as they are currently, this practice could be seen as more grounded.

#24 Turtle



  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 15452 posts

Posted 21 November 2008 - 11:06 AM

Just a note for Paige to say that I haven't singled you out for lampoonage, as I'm an equal opportunity pasquinader and was already primed for this by the Pope's recent tirade on art. To whit: >>

Pope Benedict XVI has condemned a sculpture of a crucified frog on display at a museum in Bolzano, Italy, the Italian news agency ANSA reported. Franz Pahl, an official from the Trentino-Alto Adige region in northern Italy, said the pope had written to him to complain about the frog, which was installed in May at Museion, the modern-art museum in Bolzano. In a letter dated Aug. 7, Pope Benedict said that the sculpture “injured the religious feeling of many people who see in the Cross the symbol of the love of God and of our salvation, which deserves recognition and religious devotion.” ...


My lampoon of the Pope, Muhamed, Jebus, the Frog Artist, Art, Galleries, and anyone else who may take offense: :bow: :friday:


#25 alexander


    Dedicated Smart-ass

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5722 posts

Posted 21 November 2008 - 11:53 AM

Start with a great quote:

I admit to having not fully read each post in this thread but, as somebody who identifies myself as an artist (a term I'm still not comfortable with, mostly because of the culturally defined view of what an "artist" does), I feel like I should at least put in a few thoughts...

Methinks art has not a definition with or without some sort of a monetary value attached to the piece, beautiful art can be expensive, or free, we have many ways of expressing art, and it's not about how it is expressed, it is about how one feels when one makes it. Art is only art when the emotion of making the art go beyond having to make something, art is only art when the artist's emotion is represented in the form that portrays others in tune with the emotion to feel what the artist felt when they expressed the art in whichever way they chose to express it.

Art does not have to be beautiful, art does not need to be PG rated, and most of all, art does not need to be in the box.

#26 Turtle



  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 15452 posts

Posted 21 November 2008 - 03:06 PM

Speaking of sour-grapes art haters, how about that Hitler huh!? Wow! :doh: Plenty of time to drench yourself in the history of all that fun because a new program is airing soon on Hitler's claim to know good from bad art. :turtle:

Here we go then's: >> :ideamaybenot: ..........................
The Rape of Europa | PBS

THE RAPE OF EUROPA tells the epic story of the systematic theft, deliberate destruction and miraculous survival of Europe’s art treasures during the Third Reich and World War II. In a journey through seven countries, the film takes viewers into the violent whirlwind of fanaticism, greed, and warfare that threatened to wipe out the artistic heritage of Europe. For twelve long years, the Nazis looted and destroyed art on a scale unprecedented in history. But heroic young art historians and curators from America and across Europe fought back with an extraordinary campaign to rescue and return the millions of lost, hidden and stolen treasures. Now, more than sixty years later, the legacy of this tragic history continues to play out as families of looted collectors recover major works of art, conservators repair battle damage, and nations fight over the fate of ill-gotten spoils of war. Joan Allen narrates this breathtaking chronicle about the battle over the very survival of centuries of western culture.

#27 djshad



  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts

Posted 18 December 2018 - 02:24 AM

I`m agree with author. Plastic surgery only takes away the natural beauty. Why do it at all? You need to love yourself anyway

#28 cruisin84



  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 13 posts

Posted 04 January 2019 - 07:04 AM

If it stirs your emotions, then it's art. 

#29 hazelm



  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1153 posts

Posted 04 January 2019 - 07:54 AM

Sure, I'll have a go at it. smile.gif

I’ll beginning with the parable of the “Emperor’s New Cloths”.

The object in question here is nothing, so fairly clearly can’t be defined as art per se. However, the act of convincing an emperor and all his subjects that nothing is actually something to the extent described in the story, is, I think, art, and the fictional protagonists (the two “tailors”) artists. There is actually a recognized term for this kind of artist: con artist. My first exposure to it, as I’m not into the English art scene, was just now, via its wikipedia article. (actually titled “My Bed”)

I like it, having on more than one occasion though my messy bed was rather a work of art, and recognizing that it tells a story to which lots of viewers can relate. It’s clearly in the genre of found art, which some are reluctant to “officially” accept as “art”. As I’m more-or-less in agreement with Goethe on the definition of art (that which “entertains, edifies, and exalts the human spirit”), I think found art is art. In its extreme, its art because it provokes an outraged “this is not art” from its viewer. This doesn’t preclude me disparaging the person who purchased the installation for £150,000, even if he subsequently resells it realizing a greater financial profit than I’ve ever dreamed of.

Again, seeing it for the first time just now via this image (actually titled “Away from the Flock”).

I’m not crazy about Hirst’s studio’s (Hurst actually has never done much if any of the actual work on pieces ascribed to him, believing that the person who sets in motion the creation of piece, not the person who fabricates it, is the artist) work, However, I saw a similar work (perhaps one of Hirst’s, perhaps not – I can’t recall it’s placarding or find reference to it), a single preserved cow cut into about a dozen many lateral slices, sandwiched in glass, and spaced so you could walk between them, that moved me profoundly. I’d term this kind of art “nontraditional taxidermy”, but can’t deny its success as art in the senses Goethe described.

It also, I think, influenced a scene I liked very much in the IMO underrated 2000 movie “The Cell”.

It’s interesting, I think, that both of the pieces Paige mentions have provoked acts of vandalism that were themselves at least minorley artistic: a couple of performance artists having a pillow fight in Emin’s installation, titled “Two Naked Men Jump Into Tracey's Bed”; and someone pouring ink into the tank of “Away from the Flock”, retitling it “Black Sheep” (and getting in pretty serious legal trouble). Such wit, the British!

I discovered in my recent skim of the subject that as of 1999, there’s an art movement, Stuckism (AKA remodernism) manifesting something close to Paige’s sentiments. For example, from their manifesto(s):

"Artists who don't paint aren't artists."

This reminds me of a less famous statement by a teacher of mine during my couple of semesters as a Fine Arts undergraduate:

"Someone who paints as badly as you shouldn’t be an art major!"

In my defense (and tooting my own horn) I could sculpt wax (for metal casting) better than anyone in the department, and as well as all but a handful of professionals I’ve known. smile.gif I did take his and others' advice, though and change my major.

A final recommendation, this one apropos Jackson Pollock, an early modern artist who people commonly accused of not being a “real artist”: before coming to this conclusion, try actually making your own Pollock – it’s less easy than many think. icon_naughty.gif


Jackson Pollock - Autumn Rhythm!  :good:


When art is not art?  Try a very interesting book in which Friedrich Schiller (and friends) suggest using art to raise the standards of the less educated people to those of the more educated - to level the field,  settle the French Revolution and give everyone more freedom from governmental control.  Art suddenly became politics.  Beauty in any form, Schiller thought, would make people respect themselves more and improve their moral behavior. 


P. S. Sorry, I forgot to place the title:  On The Aesthetic Education of Man

Edited by hazelm, 04 January 2019 - 08:06 AM.

#30 TiffanyMiles



  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts

Posted 16 January 2019 - 02:17 PM

I think that everything that have been created by human - it is an art, to some extent

my works are on https://speedypaper.app/

Edited by TiffanyMiles, 22 January 2019 - 04:31 AM.

#31 TimN



  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts

Posted 05 March 2019 - 07:53 AM

You are right!
You’re afraid of delegating your paper to some scam services as well? Check essayedge reviews.

#32 montgomery



  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 234 posts

Posted 15 March 2019 - 10:32 AM

It's a measure of liberalism but it's also a measure of conservatism too.


For example, the liberal would be more likely to accept more offbeat forms of art.

While the conservative would be more likely to exclude more offbeat forms of art.

#33 SaxonViolence



  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 315 posts

Posted 24 May 2019 - 11:54 AM



"ART" like "LOVE" has become a meaningless concept simply because it means so many different things to so many different people.


Each person needs to define art for himself. That doesn't mean that any stupid definition is equally valid.


On the other hand, just because you have "AN ANSWER" doesn't mean that you have "THE ANSWER."




Sometimes the Emperor just doesn't have on any clothes!!!



…..Saxon Violence