1. AfterBroadway
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    AfterBroadway Senior Member

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    The Problem with Some Forms of Art

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by AfterBroadway, Aug 8, 2011.

    I went to an arts festival here in Park City, Utah today. Other than the rich snobs I ran into, I found I also had problems with some things people refer to as, "Art." Occasionally you'll run into something you just plain don't like, but still consider it art. Sometimes, you'll run into something you despise and wonder who in the hell calls it art.

    I'll discuss my problems later in the thread after some have contributed, but my question is this...

    Is there some forms of art that you find difficult to actually call it that?
    This includes any form of art, not just visual.
     
  2. Jayyy1014
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    Jayyy1014 Jerrica Contributor

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    Yeah I know where you're getting at and I agree that there are some art I wouldn't call "Art" But I know to one person it is art, so I won't criticize them for their beliefs. So I'm not going to point out specifics in which I don't understand cause I don't want to offend anyone in anyway. Because, in one persons eyes you see art in another you'll see differently.
     
  3. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    Well, the ones with the naked people i don't consider it art. I consider it eroticiness for school education. Everytime i ask why they have nude pictures of people at school (paintings) they call it "art". That's not art, it's disturbing. Well at least to me anyways.
     
  4. J.P.Clyde
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    J.P.Clyde Prince of Melancholy Contributor

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    How about anything like Jason Pollock?

    To me they looked like all they did was spill a can of paint on a canvas. That isn't art. It's a kindergarten project.
     
  5. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I'm not going to be a snob and say that art has to be "good" -- I have nothing against something looking like a three-year-old drew it, if that's the extent of the capabilities of that person's honest efforts. (Besides, who's going to be the Art Police and determine what's deemed esteemed enough?) However, I do get amused and mildly pissed when people do something like......draw a line on a piece of paper and then proclaim it's genius because it's stating that paper is flat. You know?

    Also, there are some things that have been done in the name of "art" that disturb me deeply. For example, some guy in Paris (I think) captured a stray dog and starved it in his apartment, and used it for artistic purposes - another art venture was done that involved blending a real fish in a blender for the artistic reality of changing a life form or something like that. You can't torture/kill living things FOR REAL and then claim that it was worth your artistic purpose, sorry.
     
  6. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    Torturing Animals for Art? That's so wrong. That guy should be arrested for animal cruelty.
     
  7. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    As a curator of contemporary art, I feel obligated to clear up some misconceptions...

    Firstly, people like Picasso, Pollock, etc--the modern artists so often derided as talentless by the uninitiated--did not lack for talent. Picasso could paint perfectly realistically by the time he was 13, Pollock wasn't far behind him. For people like these artists, though, painting "realistically" is pointless. The function of realism in art has been discarded by many artists in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in favour of forms of art that let them explore the human experience in richer and more meaningful ways. For Picasso, that meant reinterpreting traditional representation through Cubism and Expressionism, and for Pollock (at least in his later, more famous works), it meant 'action painting', where his desire was to create a painted record of his passion, his anger, his state of mind when he painted it. So, it really doesn't make sense to judge art on how 'realistic' it is, because those definitely aren't the things that the artists are thinking about. People don't paint abstract art because they can't do anything else, they do it because it's how they want to express themselves.

    As for the dog, it isn't quite as simple as that. It was a Costa Rican artist, who captured a stray dog who was starving to death on the streets, and relocated it to a gallery where it was displayed. The ethics of the situation are pretty tricky...if he was a documentarian, no one would've expected him to help the dog, even though by moving it to the gallery and incorporating it into an art piece he was performing a similar function. I don't know, maybe it was cruel, but I don't think it's really any more cruel than any of the people who walked past it and ignored it on the streets...

    So yeah, in summary, I guess I just feel like a lot of people don't want to put in the effort to understand it, and think it should just be obvious--I guess the same way a lot of people feel about poetry, or about independent film, or about foreign languages. You need to put in the effort to understand art, rather than expecting it to all be obvious and on the surface.
     
  8. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    ^ First of all I have to point out that I like Picasso. To me there are few who are so striking and interesting.

    But with the starving dog. Because a lot of people will not understand that and be disturbed, and force themselves away from it; could that not hurt the form? A lot of people have only heard about that piece from hear-say, and to me an art form is only as good as the culture around it.
     
  9. J.P.Clyde
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    J.P.Clyde Prince of Melancholy Contributor

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    Did I say it was unrealistic no? I just said it looked like someone spilled a can of paint on the canvas.

    I'm old fashion. I like Renaissance paintings. Actual pictures of the world.

    I like Picasso. At least he still had some shape to him.

    Rather than Pollock who spills paint on canvases and calls it art.
     
  10. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    The whole point of the dog stunt was to shock--the artist would always have been aware of the controversy it would create. As to the questionable ethics of it, I daresay it wouldn't have been allowed to happen in a major Western centre. There have been plenty of examples of artists doing questionable things to themselves, but there's generally a pretty firm code of ethics for artists working in the West, at least nowadays.
     
  11. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Well...Pollack's works are unrealistic...would you really call them realistic, in the context of people like Michelangelo?

    I think it's interesting that you mention Renaissance art as being this ideal form of art, or of realism in art. The Renaissance period lasted around 150 years, and more or less every 50 years or so, a new group of artists came along and derided the work of the generation before them. Just like you hate works by Pollock, many 'Rennaisance' artists hated the work of the people who came before them. This conversation about what is and isn't art is not new and certainly not limited to Modern art. One school of realism is often very different stylistically and ideologically from another.
     
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  12. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    Haha I know. A single line, rows of circles the same size, a square in the middle... seriously, that isn't art. I mean, it is in some ways I guess but anyone could do it. And I think art has to somehow have a meaning, show that it's personal to the artist.
     
  13. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    (Sorry to dominate this thread, I just like talking about art haha)

    It's kind of ironic that those kinds of works are seen as being emotionless, because the first person to paint them (a Russian painter called Malevich, at the beginning of the 20th century) developed that style as a way of painting spiritual, emotional and psychological elements (the style was called Suprematism, as in the supremacy of feeling or emotion). It isn't necessarily about talent or ability, but intention; Malevich, like Picasso, was a well-trained painter. He chose to abandon that kind of art in favour of painting in a way that he felt better expressed his inner life, his spirituality, his psyche.

    It's easy to look at a painting and say "Oh, I could do that". But could you? I mean, you could copy it, of course, but could you develop a painting style that really represented how you feel or think? How do you paint doubt, or fear, or love? You can paint pictures that make you feel those things, but that isn't the same as a painted representation of the feeling itself. And that's where these abstract styles come in.
     
  14. J.P.Clyde
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    J.P.Clyde Prince of Melancholy Contributor

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    I didn't say it was more realistic.

    Only that the Renaissance paintings tickle my muse. It has nothing to do with realism. It only has to do with what resonates with me.
     
  15. Jessica_312
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    Jessica_312 Contributing Member

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    Well, there was this one artist that would literally smere feces on a canvas and call it art. Is it art? Well, IMO, art is supposed to take SOME level of talent, and I mean literally, a monkey could smear feces on a canvas. Just sayin ;) There was this other "artist" that chained up a starving dog in a gallery and called that art. Not only was that completely disgusting, but IMO, that DEFINITELY wasn't art.

    Everyone's definition of art is different, each person has his or her own opinion on the matter. But at the same time, there has to be a line somewhere, you know?
     
  16. NikkiNoodle
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    NikkiNoodle Active Member

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    A flattened cardboard box with a few pieces of garbage stuck to it and hung on a wall in the Portland Art museum. That one kind of irritated me. It may have been a social or cultural commentary but...come on...

    For me, Art is creative. I don't mean you have to be creative (as in different or imaginative) I mean the actual act of creation. To take something that didn't exist and bring it to life, or (as a painter and a photographer) to create an image that connects emotionally with the viewer and allows him to see the subject and possibly himself in a new way.
    I think the reason we resonate so strongly with forms of art and creating it is that it is the closest to god-hood we are capable of coming. I believe Tolkien called his works "sub-creations" and I have to say I agree.
     
  17. J.P.Clyde
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    J.P.Clyde Prince of Melancholy Contributor

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    I agree with this sentiment.

    "I put paint splotches on this canvas because I wanted to express my anger today," is not creation. It's only expression. And expression without creation isn't artistic, imo.

    An artist is a creator, not just I am angry today rawr paint paint.

    There exist only three beings worthy of respect: the priest, the soldier, the poet. To know, to kill, to create. -Charles Baudelaire
     
  18. AurorSeeker
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    AurorSeeker Member

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    I ask the same question with you to my lecturer a year ago, when I first came to an institute where I study art and design now, and he taught me many this year. What I learn is, I shouldn't see the art just by it's shape, just like people shouldn't judge other people from his/her appearance:D, an art have something behind it. It maybe show the creator's feeling, his/her expression, or maybe a story about a woman dancing, or maybe anything. An art is different with a design, which is made so everybody can understand it and the message it carried, an art is selfish (this is just my opinion lol), it doesnt care if anybody understand it or not, but some people who understand can enjoy the story it carry, is it a sad expression or glad expression, is it moved or stay still,etc.
     
  19. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm afraid I'm not an art expert. :p

    I do get what you're saying. And when I really think about it, a single line on a canvas could represent loneliness or something. I don't know, I guess some art can be just a tad too abstract.

    Art is subjective though. Some will see a painting as art, others won't. Define 'art'.
     
  20. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    How is painting not creating? The painter begins with a blank canvas and creates an image on it. Just because they're not painting something beautiful or something realistic, or because they're applying the paint in a more expressive way, doesn't mean it's not creation.

    And really, most definitions of art for the past hundred and fifty years have focused almost exclusively on the idea of intention, rather than creation. If an artist deliberately creates or does something, then the product is art. It's the only possible distinction between any given work of art and any other object or action. It's very difficult, perhaps impossible, to define art in any other terms.
     
  21. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    That is one of the most interesting things I've read on this site. I've tried to give you rep. Didn't work.
     
  22. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    What one likes in art is entirely subjective. I suppose I'm hesitant to say something can't be called "art," whether I like it or not. I don't like Pollack at all, and every painting I've ever seen by Matisse looked like complete crap to me. I do like Picasso, and I like many impressionist and expressionist artists. of the Renaissance period I like Durer. I like a lot of the pre-Raphaelite work as well.

    Sometimes I'll see something that is considered art and may even win an award and just think people have lost their minds. A photograph of a crucifix submerged in urine for example. I'm not religious so it doesn't offend me, I just find it moronic. I am of the view that something like that wins an award not because of any artistic merit, but because it plays nicely to the repressed hostilities of the judges, who get some weird pleasure out of insulting "the establishment," whatever the hell that is.
     
  23. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Art always seemed to me like something esoteric. I'm not saying I like things simple, but I like things to be accessible, and I don't think art generally is.

    Whenever I go to an art exhibit as well (my girlfriend is an art student, I have to) I always feel stupid for saying I don't like or understand something. And the curators don't help in this with their often stand-offish, condescending manor.
     
  24. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    People like this relish being "above" the unwashed masses. Most of the experiences I've had have been pleasant, with the people at the museum being willing to explain things to anyone with questions. But you do get a few such as you've described, in the visual arts and also among critics of literature and the like. I also feel like their interpretations are often forced, as though the more esoteric the explanation for the art, the better these particular people feel about themselves and their understanding of it :)
     
  25. Jessica_312
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    Jessica_312 Contributing Member

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    This is very true, seems to happen quite a bit.
     

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