Yes, but is this art?

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by The Mad Hatter, Mar 26, 2005.

  1. Marlowe

    Marlowe One of the Regulars

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    I find myself lining up with BellyTank and Lauren here. Grafitti can be "art." So is this stuff of Banksy's. I won't go so far as to describe either of these examples as "good art," though...

    I think the "is it Art?" question is often a difficult one to answer. It's sort of like the question, "Do the means justify the end?" To me it's a question that must be answered on a case-by-case basis. Also, just because I don't particularly like something doesn't mean it's not "Art."

    Hammett and Chandler weren't considered authors of "literature" in their days. Come to find out, they were, however. Often it just takes some time for resistance or prejudices to be overcome.
     
  2. Lauren

    Lauren Distinguished Service Award

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    I think there can be an Art in communication... look at Bronte, Dickens, Shakespeare... but it is an entirely different form than the visual arts, which is where this thread is aimed at.

    As far as the internet smileys, they can be produced by anyone and therefore are about the same as a paint-by-number or a photocopy of an original piece of work. And yet Andy Warhol silkscreened the same image in different colors and they each are considered art.

    Now personally, I don't get the "found object" form of art (like finding a rusty Cambell's soup can and claiming it is a symbol of the degeneration of our bodies based on mass produced food products... see I made that up off of the top of my head). But just because I don't get it doesn't mean that someone else does. For all I know there could be a guy in Japan who collects "found art" living right next door to a man who collects Rembrandt's and the could each value their collection more than the other man's. To each his own... but in our culture, like it or not, any form of original thought can be considered art. And since mankind has been around for quite a long time, I for one am not surprised we're running out of inspiration for "Art."
     
  3. Grafitti can never be art because it is vandalism. Coming from the Vandals of old that ransacked villages and took what ever they wanted and did whatever they pleased. Art that is not wanted and placed in a place where it is not wanted is grafitti. If you go to the ruins of Pompeii, you will find grafitti on the walls of some buildings so this is not a new concept. The difference there is that the people realized it was unwanted and prosecuted those who did it.
    Art really does not have to be something that I like. It has to show forethought and foresight into its construction though. Just as I think some of Picasso's works are hideous and would never own one---but it does show forethought and development. It is art but I just do not like it. Those elephant paintings are another story though. :p
    Actually Hammett and Chandler were considered writers in their time and their works sold well. They would not have been writing if they could not have made a living at it. When Hammett died in 1961 this is what was said of him and his works in the New York Herald Tribune:

    "Dashiell Hammett, who died the other day, was that rare thing -- a shaker of the earth, an authentic. "The Maltese Falcon" was one of the best books of its kind ever written. It struck the publishing world and reading world -- which is something entirely distinct from the literary world -- like a thunderclap. Nothing has been the same since. "

    Now when Banksy or some grafitti artist passes on, do you think they will get such an obituary?
    It is not about shocking the public. It is about entertaining the public. Some people forget that. Any artist can shock but to entertain, mesmerize and leave one's mark on a genre with a painting or story is really art. Think about it. ;)

    Regards to all,

    J
     
  4. That is a good point. I think Mark Twain put it best:
    "It all began with Adam. He was the first man to tell a joke--or a lie. How lucky Adam was. He knew when he said a good thing, nobody had said it before. Adam was not alone in the Garden of Eden, however, and does not deserve all the credit; much is due to Eve, the first woman, and Satan, the first consultant."

    Regards to all,

    J
     
  5. BellyTank

    BellyTank I'll Lock Up

    Grafitti is not necesarily vandalism anymore- it is a recognised art form- it has it's own styles, techniques and materials and some of the artists are very talented- they have chosen to express themselves in this way.
    When we go to 'Art School', we all start off drawing and painting, gathering the skills, vision and proficiency to 'render'.
    That's just the beginning... that's proving in some way that we have the ability, understanding and appreciation. If someone is an 'Artist'- which is traditionally and critically judged by if they went to Art School, then they pretty much have license to create whatever they will. There are myriad ways and techniques to render a concept, an idea, a motive, a form of expression.
    Your preference for what is and is not Art is purely that- your preference and nobody can take that away from you- but it's ultimately the critics, the institutions and the buyers who decide where the boundaries are in the world of Art. I consider myself an Artist, although I don't create a lot of art that could be displayed in a gallery or appreciated by just anybody. I consider 'Artist' as a state of being, a state of mind- how I view and perceive what I see- many people don't have the appreciation that I do for things that I see and experience. If I can capture the joy, the emotion or passion for what I see or experience and present it for others to appreciate or unravel- then I consider that 'Art' no matter how I achieve it.
    That's what I think about 'Art'.
    But it seems there are also artists who exploit the art world and those who just copy others- Damian Hirst, for example plagiarised a Scandinavian artist who had been working with 'dead animals' and used his 'London Art School profile' to exploit through shock and marketing.
    Some people don't like the music of Frank Zappa or the writings of William S. Burroughs but Buroughs is one of the classic writers of the 20thC, as Zappa is one of the great American composers of the 20thC. If you don't like the content, it doesn't mean that the work isn't worthy.

    I think there is a distinction between the art that you would buy and hang in your home and the art which is installed in a gallery. It's all art but it's not all a decor commodity.

    BT.
     
  6. binkmeisterRick

    binkmeisterRick A-List Customer

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    Wow. What a thread! My wife and I are both formally trained and schooled artists. She is a figurative painter with an uncanny nack for it. Me, I'm a commercial artist. With us, you get the best and worst of both worlds. My wife is frustrated with the "art world" because it seems to be compiled mostly of rich people who don't want to pay for good art, especially when they can afford it. Many of them collect certain art because they're "told" to, not because it means anything to them.

    It's near impossible to make a living as an artist. People always want to barter on the price, not to mention the comission the galleries take, which is often 50%. Do you think Van Gogh ever made any money when he was alive? Nope. So what ARE the chances of getting into a museum in our lifetime? Next to nill, if we're lucky. So when the British man started hanging his own work in famous museums, we both laughed at the splendor of the uptight art community being turned on its ear. Yes, it is beautiful satire, and yes, in its own way, it is art.

    Art is art. It can't be easilly defined because there are just as many definitions for the word as there are people who speak the word. Sometimes a work can have all the meaning in the world, sometimes it's "just a painting of a nude," as previously stated. As far as what is and what isn't art, to define it narrows it considerably. Is making a hat art? A visual performance? A sculpture? A painting?

    My wife and I enjoy all kinds of art, figurative and non-figurative. I love the Pre-Raphaelites and the Expressionists. And my taste in art evolves as I get older. I know many folks think abstractionism is trash, and to be honest, I think that many current artists use abstractionism as an excuse to be a painter. But it's not all junk. I had a good friend in art school who was an abstractionist, and as I saw how he thought and worked at a still life, it occured to me that there WAS much thought behind his work. It's different when you see and understand that process. I'm a big Rothko fan. Sure, I used to think "Oooohhhh... big fields of color. THAT had to be hard work." And then one day in an art museum I was visually blindsided by one of his paintings and I suddenly understood. I nearly cried. It's not just color, it's what he DOES with color, and how he uses it to express his soul. THAT is art.

    As for computers destroying the definition of art, well, as a graphic artist, I disagree. When I was in art school, I used to think the same thing. "This isn't really art. They're cheating. They're not drawing this by hand or anything." (Guess what, many of the famous classical and Renaisance artists used the camera obscura, which allowed them to TRACE what they saw! :eek: Cheaters!) But when I started to see what some of these guys were creating with computer art, I discovered that the computer is MERELY A TOOL. What you DO with that tool is what matters. You can stab someone in the eye with a paintbrush just as much as you can create art on a computer. And having DONE illustration on a computer, let me tell you, it's NOT a piece of cake. I've put more time and effort into some computer art than I have in some of my best figurative drawings. And sometimes I have to physically sketch out an idea before I take it to the computer.

    I can't see putting a cap on the definition of art. Heck, if grafitti isn't an art, then why are huge chunks of the fallen Berlin wall in museums? ;)

    bink
     
  7. BellyTank

    BellyTank I'll Lock Up

    Thank you!

    ...very much indeed.

    BT.
     
  8. Lauren

    Lauren Distinguished Service Award

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    Well said, my fine gentlemen.
     
  9. MK

    MK Founder Staff Member Bartender

    .

    Not that we have concluded that a guy can take a dump on the floor and it can be "art"........ :p


    .......hey Marlowe! Good to see you.....literally. Love the avatar. Which brand of trench coat is that?
     
  10. binkmeisterRick

    binkmeisterRick A-List Customer

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    Thank you, BT and LH. I'll share a drink with you two, on me. :beer:

    Sometimes I just can't help but express myself. I think I need to spray paint something. :p

    bink
     
  11. SHARPETOYS

    SHARPETOYS Call Me a Cab

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    Hat shirt

    I would love to see you and your wife design {Art} A fedora summer shirt. Have it made and you and her could make a few thousand on the Bink hat shirt. :cool:

    http://www.hartfordyork.com/images/uploads/63.gif Bink could even do one better. ;)
     
  12. Ok, let me see if I can go through this. There were several good points a few not so.
    Graffiti is vandalism as long as it is where it is not wanted. If someone wants to use those techniques on a canvas then fine but do not deface a building, car, home or private property and call it art. It is just vandalism. Here let’s look at what the dictionary defines as a vand
    "A person who, out of malice or ignorance, destroys or spoils any public or private property."
    Better yet, let’s also define graffiti so we can connect the dots:

    Graffiti: any writings or drawings on a surface in a public place, placed there without authorization of the owner of the object on which it is written. Such graffiti are usually unwelcome, and are considered as form of vandalism.
    Now you can argue with Webster's dictionary. :p
    Now on to other ideas. Going to art school does not make one an artist any more than going to business school would have made Al Capone a legitimate businessman. It is what you create that is art not the brainwashing and study of dogma that is prevalent in many art schools. Let’s face it "the critics, the institutions and the buyers who decide where the boundaries are in the world of Art" are all influenced in some way. Buyers listen to critics who, as Bink mentioned, tell buyers what is art. Institutions listen to them as well. It is my contention that art is not defined by critics but by technique and accomplishment. This is built upon by practice and the skill increases with time. It is a systematic application of accumulated knowledge and skill in the culmination of a desired result---not something random. This can be applied to all the arts---literature, painting, sculpture, science, au couture, many occupations and yes millinery work. They all start with a basic framework that is adhered to. You cannot make clothing without stitches nor sculpture without tools. You have to know what stitches to use and what tools to use to achieve a desired result. This desired result is art. It should get better and develop with experience and skill. No critic can take that away from an artist.
    Van Gogh is a perfect example. The man never sold a single painting in his entire life. The critics hated it, the public shunned it and he never made a dime. He still is the most prolific painter man has ever known. It wasn't about who defined art to him. It was about his passion. Modern artists, who are shunned because they "dare" to be a realist, can take note of this.
    Lastly, the Berlin wall. People wanted those chunks because it was a symbol of the triumph of freedom over tyranny. You could hold in your hand or touch a piece of the barrier that oppressed generations of people under the boot of communism. It is not art. It is a symbol a reminder of history and never to repeat it. I am sure the communist government who erected the wall never thought of it as art as it was erected. :p It was just a "retainer" as it were. The vandals that graffitied the wall may have risked their life doing it but it was still not art just graffiti and vandalism meant to show disrespect to a system of government that actually deserved the disrespect.

    Regards to all,

    J

    P.S. Keep on throwing 'em and I'll keep on hitting 'em. OH, and BT, I have sent ten graffiti artists over to your house to make some "art" for you. :p :p
     
  13. BellyTank

    BellyTank I'll Lock Up

    JP, I don't really think you're hitting 'em- not too far anyway. I'm pretty certain that the Grafitti we(not you) are talking about isn't the 'vandal' kind- well it's not what I'm talking about anyway- I'm talking about the genre in art. It doesn't matter what the dictionary says- that's not what I'm talking about. Maybe in a couple of years the definition will have changed. It has evolved into an art form- like rap evolved into a recognised musical genre- it's not my favourite music but it is music and I can't deny that. I have a couple of friends here in DK who are Grafitti artists and they're talented artists and cartoonists and graphic designers, who choose to do Grafitti art. It is a globally recognised art-form, like it or not. I think 'artists' think differently about art than non-artists. Some artists and those who love art enjoy art of all kinds, all genres- it seems that you don't have an appreciation or can't acknowledge any 'art' that doesn't personally appeal to you- which is fine.
    I feel that I'm quite open to all forms of visual art and enjoy being challenged and shocked by different forms of art and open to understanding something that I didn't before it was explained to me.
    The point about 'Art School' and critics was something I mentioned because that's the way it seems to me. You can be taken more seriously if you went to art school and have skill and talent. But many people who are talented, skilled artists choose to express themselves in different ways, in ways that don't appeal to you. As I said, just because you don't or can't or won't appreciate something doesn't degrade its worth as art.
    And I'm not sure what you mean about random... most art is planned and toward a goal, an accomplishment. And if it was random, it can still be art- why not, if there is some meaning to it. Art is about communication- as someone said before, a 'nude' can be just a nude but it is still the artist communicating his impression of the model, his angle, the rendering could be in any of many different styles, traditional or not. A nude by Picasso is no less a nude than a Boticelli. The rendered art is the message, the expression of the artist. I'm not making definitions from a dictionary, I'm talking from my own experience and joy as a creator, a lover of art and a critical person.

    And yes,unfortunately the art-world is market driven, so many 'good' artists are overlooked or marginalised. A small but real-world example- I have a few friends who are working painters and when they try to sell their wares in local galleries, the gallery owner will often ask them for something smaller, more blue, less yellow, etc- because the folks buying the stuff don't want art by an artist, they want a decor piece for their appartment- they should go to IKEA-

    Oh, and I think there's a difference between Milliners and Hatters-

    BT.
     
  14. binkmeisterRick

    binkmeisterRick A-List Customer

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    Dammit! So I wasted all that money on art school for no reason?! :p I agree that going to art school doesn't make you an artsit, but attending law school DOES get you one foot closer to Satan. (Just kidding, Jersey!)

    I would still argue, JP, that art is not all about technique. I've seen plenty of great "technique" that I would not consider art, and plenty of "innocent expression" I'd consider brilliant. Again, it all comes down to one's personal definition of what art really is. Screw Webster. [bad] ;)

    I would agree that grafitti is generally illegal and mainly vandalism, but I still consider it a raw form of folk art. Oh, and keep in mind many oppresive forms of government hated and persecuted artists because they had the power to tell it like it is. So maybe some grafitti/vandalism has its place as a powerful media to be reckoned with.

    bink
     
  15. SHARPETOYS

    SHARPETOYS Call Me a Cab

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    So Sad

    Thanks Bink I guess my idea was STUPID
     
  16. BellyTank

    BellyTank I'll Lock Up

    I liked your shirt idea- a custom hat artwork, limited edition screen-print on silk would be a nice item.

    Why the change of tone? ...or was that a clever piece of mirth?

    BT.
     
  17. binkmeisterRick

    binkmeisterRick A-List Customer

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    WHAT?! Who said it was a stupid idea? I just realized that I didn't respond to your last post, my friend. Well, I did, originally, but I find when it takes me more than 30 seconds to write a post, I get logged out of the Lounge and have to try to retype everything. (Does this happen to anyone else?)

    If I had the know-how to make fabric, I'd love to try to design a fedora shirt! That would be much fun. AND I would consider it art! If I ever can get there, I'll send you a shirt, Sharpey, but don't hold your breath that I'll be able to get to it soon! ;)

    bink
     
  18. SHARPETOYS

    SHARPETOYS Call Me a Cab

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    You do the design!! Panamabob will have it made in Ecudor. We all make Millions and Retire. :beer: Root Beer
     
  19. BellyTank

    BellyTank I'll Lock Up

    You just need to make the artwork so that it can wrap and match on a shirt pattern and find a top-notch silk-screen printer, one who works with fine fabrics for the garment industry.

    Best get cracking- Mr. Sharpetoys is surely waiting, wallet in hand...
    ;) BT.
     
  20. SHARPETOYS

    SHARPETOYS Call Me a Cab

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    MK or Zohar

    Quote.

    I get logged out of the Lounge and have to try to retype everything. (Does this happen to anyone else?)

    No never tell Zohar or MK If they can't fix it MK will buy you a new computer!! :)
     

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