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01-08-2016, 09:53 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
My personal taste for visual art is more photographic than impressionistic, but I can appreciate the Group of Seven's works or Emily Carr's works, even if I personally would not buy either. If the piece has emotional content, in my mind it is art. If it has none, It is not, and is a con job in the same category as the Emperor's New Clothes.

I might not buy their work, but I try and copy it with my camera all the time.

01-08-2016, 10:01 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
My personal taste for visual art is more photographic than impressionistic, but I can appreciate the Group of Seven's works or Emily Carr's works, even if I personally would not buy either. If the piece has emotional content, in my mind it is art. If it has none, It is not, and is a con job in the same category as the Emperor's New Clothes.
Would you still consider it a con job if someone else felt the piece had emotional content?
01-08-2016, 12:38 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
(you'll never be a professional art critic, Todd - not wordy enough!! ).
QuoteOriginally posted by gaweidert Quote
In college I had an art professor who believed that photography is not an art. He also believed that engineers (This was at Rochester institute of Technology) could never appreciate art.
QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
If it has none, It is not, and is a con job in the same category as the Emperor's New Clothes.
Herein lies my problem with the Art World. Every field has to have jargon - it's necessary for clarity when communicating within the field. However, when jargon becomes a curtain to keep the outsiders out and things can't or won't be explained in layman's terms, that's a failure in the teacher, not the student.

Certainly, there are many true believers in the Emperor's New Clothes, but besides the tailor who was clever enough to have the idea, there are an awful lot of people - agents, dealers, critics, scholars, social climbers - with something to gain in the New Clothes, who make lucrative careers out of praising the New Clothes and describing the New Clothes in esoteric terms and debating what the New Clothes mean about society. If they can't convince an unsophisticated child that the Emperor is NOT naked, and have to exclude the child to maintain their positions and keep the cash coming in, then there is something wrong, something less than honest.

Last edited by THoog; 01-08-2016 at 02:01 PM.
01-08-2016, 08:45 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
I do understand that argument, but I don't personally subscribe to it. Unless the viewer has at their disposal a definitive account of the artists' intentions, inspirations, perceptions, emotions etc. when creating the piece, I really don't think he / she can truly judge the piece objectively - there will always be the viewer's interpretation, assumptions, emotions etc. involved in their judgement. That's just my view, of course
The way I see it, is that whether or not one likes the art work, is not necessarily a reflection on the how well the artist has shown what it is he wishes to show and that is the criterian. The latter can be objectively judged, the former depends very much on one's own values. For example, say one is not religious, it is quite possible for such a person when viewing a religious painting, to say, "this is beautifully executed, and I can objectively judge how well he has presented to me the elevated spirituality he has. Since it is not a spirituality I have, I personally can't relate to it." In the example of "Piss Christ" I can only conclude that the artist's intention is quite the opposite of the uplifting of man's gaze, and instead literally drops it into the sewer. Neither is the quality of that work commendable. One can therefore make an objective judgement on those grounds.

---------- Post added 09-01-16 at 14:01 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
So I would argue that to understand art, you have to understand your response to it almost as an observer. Call it the "meditators and self awareness approach to art" as opposed to the " understanding art by analyzing it" approach to art
Indeed, and self awareness is being aware of the values you hold as they make an automatic response to the art in question. "Why do I find this appealing (or not)?" Is it the execution or is it the subject. Can the execution be objectively judged not only in regard to technique, but to the tangible (art work) expression of feelings and ideas within his soul?
If you like the work, it suggests the artist has stirred in you, the feelings that led him to express the work, but that should not be the basis of judgement. Its not so much what you like, as how well the artist has communicated his ideas.

---------- Post added 09-01-16 at 14:11 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by THoog Quote
Herein lies my problem with the Art World. Every field has to have jargon - it's necessary for clarity when communicating within the field. However, when jargon becomes a curtain to keep the outsiders out and things can't or won't be explained in layman's terms, that's a failure in the teacher, not the student. Certainly, there are many true believers in the Emperor's New Clothes, but besides the tailor who was clever enough to have the idea, there are an awful lot of people - agents, dealers, critics, scholars, social climbers - with something to gain in the New Clothes, who make lucrative careers out of praising the New Clothes and describing the New Clothes in esoteric terms and debating what the New Clothes mean about society. If they can't convince an unsophisticated child that the Emperor is NOT naked, and have to exclude the child to maintain their positions and keep the cash coming in, then there is something wrong, something less than honest.
And nothing assists the syndrome like removing objective judgement from the equation. Art is like a cultural barometer, reflecting the prevailing attitudes and ideas, such as nihilism, relativism or subjectivism.

01-08-2016, 10:23 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by THoog Quote
all art is subjective, and there's no point in arguing what is and isn't "art" or what is "good" or "bad" or "better" art
Marshall McLuhan liked to include an anecdote about some uncivilized tribe that when anthropologists asked about their native art, they replied "we don't have any art, we try to make everything as well as we can." The point being that art only exists when someone decides to create something that serves no useful purpose.
01-08-2016, 11:18 PM   #36
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I always considered myself to be a cultured person. (Some say: NO chance)

Excuse me, ...off to view some cardboard boxes at my supermarket now

Last edited by Schraubstock; 01-09-2016 at 01:45 AM.
01-09-2016, 02:06 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by arnold Quote
The way I see it, is that whether or not one likes the art work, is not necessarily a reflection on the how well the artist has shown what it is he wishes to show and that is the criterian. The latter can be objectively judged, the former depends very much on one's own values. For example, say one is not religious, it is quite possible for such a person when viewing a religious painting, to say, "this is beautifully executed, and I can objectively judge how well he has presented to me the elevated spirituality he has. Since it is not a spirituality I have, I personally can't relate to it." In the example of "Piss Christ" I can only conclude that the artist's intention is quite the opposite of the uplifting of man's gaze, and instead literally drops it into the sewer. Neither is the quality of that work commendable. One can therefore make an objective judgement on those grounds.
You say you are judging objectively, but you assume that the artist is in earnest, trying to say anything - or that you would objectively be able to tell if they were not. They may simply be using controversy to gain credibility in art circles (and thus eventual financial gain). With the financial rewards so great, it's inevitable that the field will attract the con men, the PT Barnums who believe a sucker is born every minute, who may be very skilled in executing their cons. Even if found out, there will be those that claim the con itself was brilliant art, because if they admit the Emperor is naked, the whole thing falls apart.
01-09-2016, 02:51 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by THoog Quote
You say you are judging objectively, but you assume that the artist is in earnest, trying to say anything - or that you would objectively be able to tell if they were not. They may simply be using controversy to gain credibility in art circles (and thus eventual financial gain). With the financial rewards so great, it's inevitable that the field will attract the con men, the PT Barnums who believe a sucker is born every minute, who may be very skilled in executing their cons. Even if found out, there will be those that claim the con itself was brilliant art, because if they admit the Emperor is naked, the whole thing falls apart.
Fair enough comment, so let me give another example that may clarify things. I often admire beautiful churches and soaring cathedrals as works of art. They are magnificent tributes to what a religious person considers the highest ideal, namely God. Since I am not religious, how do I react to the intention of the creators objectively? I look at the creation as the example of the magnificence that man can achieve, and see it not as a tribute to God, but as the achievement of man. So while it may never have been the explicit reason of the creators I admire, it is the intent, and that he wants to create something worthy of God. I can admire that as an objective achievement.

01-09-2016, 07:23 AM   #39
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I also think we can over-analyse a work of art - get caught up too much in what the artist was trying to say. Often, it's enough that the piece simply exists, and we can make what we wish of it; or simply enjoy the aesthetic. It's not essential for everything we appreciate to have depth. A lot of Warhol's work is enjoyable on a purely visual basis.

---------- Post added 01-09-2016 at 02:31 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by THoog Quote
They may simply be using controversy // to gain credibility in art circles // (and thus eventual financial gain).
Those three elements can be taken cumulatively, as you've presented them, or individually. An artist may simply wish to be controversial without caring about credibility or financial gain. I may be naive in my thinking that a majority of artists care more about their art than critical acclaim and/or financial reward...

Last edited by BigMackCam; 01-09-2016 at 07:33 AM.
01-09-2016, 08:01 AM - 1 Like   #40
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Art is very subjective. I have visited many art galleries, viewed the "masterpieces" on display, shrugged and walked on. My idea of a great sculpture is a chainsaw carved bear, which I have proudly displayed on my front walk. Every ones taste is different and there's a reason why every mall craft fair has a vendor selling velvet Elvis portraits. Rather than being snobbish or critical of what some consider great art, I will think for a moment of a world with no art, and that would be a sad place.
01-09-2016, 08:39 AM - 2 Likes   #41
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Maria Montessori (IIRC the first woman granted an MD in Italy, around 1900, and then educator - there's a story to read) described four Domains of language: Scientific; Legal; Ethical; and Artisitic.

Scientific and Legal are precise. They are intentionally emotionless. Each word has a specific definition - a meaning - and those who know the meanings can communicate efficiently and act as expected thereby. They are the language of the head, or Reason. While they are orderly languages, they are however dry and pedantic.

Ethical and Artistic language are evocative and empathetic. They are the language of the heart, or Emotion. We use Ethical language in general society in our daily lives, manage our social activities and bind or define our social relationships with ethical language, not only with raw words but with tone and expression. Ethical language is rich, volatile and emotional but imprecise.

Artistic language is representational. Art as a language intends to evoke a response. The artist begs the empathy of the viewer. It's imprecision is it's strength, in that the response is unique to the individual responding. Artistic language need not be visual. It can ask for any sensual response, as in music or cuisine.

A photograph MAY be art just as a paragraph or document MAY be art - or either may be scientific or legal. Which it is depends on the intent of the photographer or writer - on the artist.

Interestingly, Scientific and Legal language are rewarded with money. Their users invested significant money in training to learn the language(s) and how to use them. Think of doctors and of course attorneys. Ethical and Artistic language are rewarded with emotional satisfaction. Think of teachers and painters - or photographers.

That we spend so much energy focusing on sharpness and noise in our images suggests to me that we are moving toward a technocratic documentary style and calling it art rather than expressing what we observe in our subjects and evoking a response in our viewers.

Which is why I prefer old lenses' rendering to the cold modernity of our digital age.



Edited for amplification.

FWIW, by profession I am an institutional investment strategist, degreed and certified in a specific science based on statistical probability. The process of the science is intentionally designed to advise Fiduciaries who invest money on behalf of retirement plans and non-Profits (and wealthy private investors) such that they invest with care, skill and prudence, as legally defined.

My interest in photography, I have concluded, must be my mind's attempt to counter the daily rational, emotionless process of earning my living.

Last edited by monochrome; 01-09-2016 at 04:32 PM.
01-09-2016, 08:48 AM   #42
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LOL Dewman, it's not them...it's you.
01-09-2016, 08:54 AM   #43
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I think that's excellent, @monochrome .
01-09-2016, 09:02 AM   #44
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You know, I forgot all about my famous drawings.....in my old age I forget a lot of things.....

One of my most famous drawings that has received rave reviews her on PForums over the years...before you ask, it is not for sale..and if it was you couldn't afford it!



Beats a can of soup, according to Otis!

Regard!
01-09-2016, 09:02 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by severalsnakes Quote
I think that's excellent, @monochrome .
TYVM. I' m not surprised it was you . . .
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