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Heroes Community > Other Side of the Monitor > Thread: What is art?
Thread: What is art? This thread is 10 pages long: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 · NEXT»
Corribus
Corribus

Hero of Order
The Abyss Staring Back at You
posted September 04, 2011 04:39 AM
Edited by Corribus at 03:39, 09 Jul 2014.

What is art?

Recently in the VW, Miru made the following comment about modern art:

Quote:
I despise all abstract art with a cold passion, especially geometric abstract art. I think that anyone who considers geometric abstract art (eg a black square with a white dot, or three black lines and a red square) as valid as... well pretty much ANYTHING else is a complete idiot who doesn't deserve the right to an opinion.


This comment, though admittedly rather asinine, serves as the launching point for what I anticipate could be an interesting discussion about the value of art – and would be a nice diversion from the religion/politics talk we usually have in the OSM.

So – let’s start off by asking: what is art?

A simple question – or is it?  

I think perhaps it's nice to frame the discussion by considering some examples of what might and might not be considered art by various people.

For instance.  Is this art?


(Rembrandt: Abduction of Europa)

Or this?


(Dali: Persistence of Memory)

What about this?


(McCracken: Red Panel)

Or this?


(Mondrian: Broadway Boogie-Woogie)

Or even this?


(Corribus: Variations on the Metro - I painted it to hang in my living room. So maybe I'm an artist, too. )

I think many would admit that this is art:



But what about this?



I think many would admit that this is art (Mozart, Symphony 41).  But what about this (Howard Shore, Riders of Rohan)?  Or this? (Uematsu Nobuo, To Zanarkand)?

What about this (Michael Jackson, Beat It)?  Or this (Taio Cruz, Break Your Heart)?

What determines whether something is considered art, or not?  Is it the amount of effort, work, or money that something takes to create?  Or skill?  Does it have to be something that an “average” person cannot do?  Does it have to be unique?  The length of time it takes to make?  The length of time it endures? Can a child’s scribbling be art?   Is the quality of art based on how much pleasure a person gets from interacting with it?  Does it have to be thought-provoking, symbolic of the age or times in which a person lives?  Is the classification of art or not art based on the artist’s intention?  Is it based on a piece’s worldwide recognition?  Is it determined through consensus?

Can something be created for profit and still be art?  Would you consider this art?



But what about this?



Or this?



Versus this?



Many works of art have been commissioned for personal or corporate profit.  For instance this (Beethoven's 9th Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, 1817).  Then again, so was this.  Both works of art?

And just because this is a HoMM board, is this art:



What about this?



Can a video game be art?  When and under what conditions?   What about user-made content, such as HoMM maps?

So, HC members, I ask you: what do you think – are there things which should and should not be considered art?  Can, as Miru puts it, “a black square with a white dot or three black lines and a red square” be art, and can it have some value?  Or should the MOMA in NYC be burned to the ground and all the thousands of people who visit it each year have their right to independent thought revoked?

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baklava
baklava


Honorable
Legendary Hero
Mostly harmless
posted September 04, 2011 05:46 AM

"Modern paintings are like women: You'll never enjoy them, if you try to understand them."
— Freddie Mercury
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blizzardboy
blizzardboy


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Elvin's Lightside
posted September 04, 2011 05:55 AM
Edited by blizzardboy at 05:56, 04 Sep 2011.

Quote:



The two things I thought of - before reading your description - were the sewers and the metro, so congratulations
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Corribus
Corribus

Hero of Order
The Abyss Staring Back at You
posted September 04, 2011 05:59 AM

Lol, thanks.  My father in law actually suggested the name, and I liked it, so in a few years when I sell it to MOMA for millions of dollars, that's what I'm goin' with.
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Azagal
Azagal


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
Smooth Snake
posted September 04, 2011 09:50 AM bonus applied by Corribus on 06 Sep 2011.

Quote:
Quote:
I think that anyone who considers geometric abstract art (eg a black square with a white dot, or three black lines and a red square) as valid as... well pretty much ANYTHING else is a complete idiot who doesn't deserve the right to an opinion.

Why? Because it doesn't appeal to you? Because you can't find anything in the picture?
Miru please you should know better... if you don't like it that's fine I had the same oppinion for quite a while (except for the part where I claim people who do enjoy it are idiots) and I can enjoy whatever art I find enjoyable but why would that entitle me to judge what others may or may not find appealing?

My father has collected art all his life and has quite diverse collection and while I don't share his passion for art in all it's forms you come to appreciate art with that much exposure and the accompanied discussions.
So while it may sound a bit cheesy I do believe there is no such thing as bad art. Why? Well lets look at the term "art". What is art? Art is basically nothing else than the expression of an oppinion or point of view. So when you say "The art is bad" you're saying one of two things
a) if you understand what the artist was/is trying to say you critize him for the form/way he tried to express his oppinion. This is a very high form criticsm since it implies you understand the painters motifs and the tools by which he tried to convey his message.
b) you either don't like the style of the piece or you don't understand the piece. Which is perfectly acceptable aslong as you realize that the problem lies with you, not with the piece or the artist. Failure of that realsation leds to comments such an Mirus.
So why can't there be bad art? Because in the end your criticsm of the painting will always be subjective no matter whether you're knowledgeable on the subject or not. You can understand the picture, motifs and techniques as much as you want in the end you won't be able to tell the artist you should have done it this or that way because that'll be how you would have conveyed the message/captured the situation.

What I see in this thread are people thinking the art is bad because the skill (how well they can draw) of many of the artist depicted in the gallery is perhaps bellow par. Or some of the things give the impression of being rather pseudo-intellectual like that ball on a string or whatever Salamandre posted.
I can understand the dislike/resentment of such things. When I was in the Centre Pompidou I saw a lot of very abstract art. I saw a crushed car very similar to this one and because I was still a lot younger bac then and without qualm about such things I asked a museum attendant how much it was worth. He politely declined telling me and gave me a very french "ugh quelle buffon..." look but unperturbed I was persistant enough to get him to tell me that the thing was well within the 7 digit range. A crushed car. There was no artistic "improvement" or tinkering done with it atleast none I could tell it was just a crushed car. wtf lol?
Stuff like that will always strike me as strange as will all the people who explain their art with "oh you wouldn't understand".

But the thing is I will never, nor will anyone else, begin to understand a piece if I don't give it a chance. The artist was trying to portray something or tell me something and I will never find that (which is what makes any piece of art interessting beyond the idea of "oh it looks pretty") if I don't look for it. So do yourself a favour Miru and all those like you don't dismiss something because you don't immediatly see the meaning behind it or because you don't agree with the style. If you do you'll never come to understand it. If you don't want to understand it that's cool to. No reasonable person will tell you "BUT YOU HAVE TO LIKE IT IT'S GENIUS" if it's not your cup of tea it's just not your cup of tea but I can't stress enough how that doesn't entitle you or anyone to tell what's good and what isn't. You are no judge of that.

I'm not defending the people who menstruate on a white piece of silk and then claim it's an immortal piece of art that critiques mankind in past, present and future (I'm not making that up lol I met her, she was a big artist in Korea back then) and their like because some things seem rather pseudo and very far fetched but in the end it will appeal to some people... who am I to tell them "uh no it's just blood on a piece of silk. A critique of mankind would be much better symbolized by X....".Nobody. I could be a hybrid of Miro, Picasso, Caspar David Friedrich, Leonardo Da Vinci, etc. etc. etc. and I would still not be in a position to tell them "no that is ****". Because to do so would mean that there are fixed standards or parameters by which you can judge art. And there aren't.
Unless we're talking about execution but that's not what anyone in here was talking about eventhough it's what they should have been talking about.

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his speech but exceeds in his
actions." Confucius

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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
posted September 04, 2011 10:48 AM

Art is everything that TOUCHES any amount of humans in any way, whether it's a picture or photography, something written, a music piece, a sculpture, a building, a garment, origami, garden sculpturing, flower binding; a movie, a game, whatever.

"TOUCHES" means emotionally on one hand; it may evoke certain feelings. It may look beautiful; it may make you sad without any obvious reason; it may make you wonder or even wide-eyed.
But it may mean intellectually, THINKING about it, because it may give you something to think about, and best, if it comes naturally, so that you may FIND YOURSELF thinking about it.

So everything human-made CAPTURING INTEREST may be considered art.

The real question would therefore be: is something that captures interest in a "bad" way art as well?

I mean, think about this: let's say you make some VERY simple abstract geometric picture, with a couple of things SUBTLY out of whack. This will lead to people seeing it thinking, what a rubbish, every 4-year-old could do it, but a lot of people will STILL look at it, trying to figure out what's WRONG with it, because it invokes an odd feeling above that "no-art" stuff.

That IS art - but here originality is a factor: once such a "trick" has been done, it will become repetitive fast, because the art is in the "trick" to capture the interest.

That is, where the borderline between art and advertisement runs, because advertisement wants to do exactly that.

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Tsar-Ivor
Tsar-Ivor


Legendary Hero
♀ DEUS VULT!!! ♀
posted September 04, 2011 11:22 AM
Edited by Tsar-Ivor at 11:24, 04 Sep 2011.

Quote:
Because to do so would mean that there are fixed standards or parameters by which you can judge art. And there aren't.



I agree, but someone has to price them, ergo judge them...

I suspect they follow similar lines as to you, which I dare-say is why they make said works of 'art' so over-priced expensive
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Azagal
Azagal


Honorable
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Smooth Snake
posted September 04, 2011 12:12 PM

I don't get your point. Why would my point of view make anything more expensive than another?

Also do you know how the art trade works? It's a very risky business exactly because there are no parameters. You buy stuff hoping that the artist will have a big impact on the scene and then you sell it for more than you bought it for. That can backfire very easily. And well many people in that milieu most listen to the oppinions of experts and well those "experts" basically dictate standards and give meassure of what is "good" and what isn't eventhough they too are in no position to tell you what is good and what is bad.
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his speech but exceeds in his
actions." Confucius

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Elvin
Elvin


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
Tastes like chicken
posted September 04, 2011 12:26 PM

Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items (often with symbolic significance) in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect. It encompasses a diverse range of human activities, creations, and modes of expression, including music, literature, film, photography, sculpture, and paintings. The meaning of art is explored in a branch of philosophy known as aesthetics, and even disciplines such as history and psychology analyze its relationship with humans and generations.
Traditionally, the term art was used to refer to any skill or mastery. This conception changed during the Romantic period, when art came to be seen as "a special faculty of the human mind to be classified with religion and science". Generally, art is made with the intention of stimulating thoughts and emotions.


I just prefer that it does not stimulate thoughts of how much it sucks. If there is something that I appreciate it is mastery, whether that refers to the drawing skill, inspiration, presentation, ability to evoke feelings or capture the imagination.
I do not include simply capturing your attention, anyone can do that by drawing a penis over the Mona Lisa. It's what nightterror did, a cry for attention. That does not imply mastery of any kind, just preying on people's susceptibility(or even love) for drama.
I do not necessarily include beauty either, not in the traditional way that is. There is art that can creep you out and maybe even give you nightmares but the style is by no means ugly, what it chooses to portray is. Some will actually love it - whether that is healthy or not that is another tale But the author has succeeded in engaging them on way or another and beauty can be found even in the darkest imagery.
Another thing I do not appreciate is bs that is portrayed as some deep meaning. Give me a break guys, a black painting is a black painting, not four black boxers fighting it out in a dark room at night. That's not art, that is selling bs to people. Which could actually be considered an art, just not relevant to this discussion

All in all art is personal and as such I can understand if you consider making a pentagram out of poop a piece of art. That does not mean anyone else will agree with you. Because that won't have any value or meaning for them, it has no vision or a goal, it does not in any way make our world a better place. As such it is rather.. irrelevant. Noone cares either way so discussing it is meaningless unless you are into playing the devil's advocate.
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JoonasTo
JoonasTo


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
What if Elvin was female?
posted September 04, 2011 01:06 PM

I have to go with what Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wrote in his novel, Le Petite Prince. I think that is the perfect defition for art. I am sure most of you are familiar with the book if you aren't go, read it.
In the very beginning of the book he writes about the boa that had eaten an elephant and later in the book there is the scene about the sheep in a box. That captures the heart of art perfectly.
It isn't dependant on majority rules or the maker's whims, it's in the eye of the beholder.
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Fauch
Fauch


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted September 04, 2011 06:32 PM

Quote:
Can a video game be art?

of course :



Quote:
Can something be created for profit and still be art?

maybe that's where I would draw the 1st line indeed. though nowadays that's quite a blurry one, even if something wasn't meant to make money in the beginning, it is still likely to be used to make money in a way or another. but we can make a distinction based on the intention of the author. did he have a personnal interest other than the love of his work and the will to put his best into it, such as a desire for money or fame? and if yes, how strong was that desire? was it the main motivation? because I think those desires can clash with the actual quality of the work.
someone talked about some standards. that's what we see everywhere "artists" copying each other and showing zero originality (common in cinema and video games it seems) because it is too much of a risk.
I fear when your goal is money for exemple, it leads to mediocrity, because once you found a "formula" that works, you stick to it and stop being creative. that becomes a mechanical work, but you still call it art. though, I think in the past, art designated the products of work in general as well. that's interesting because the distinction between a work which has for main goal to make money, and what we call art now, seem to become thinner and thinner?? we could even say that museum look a bit like supermarkets actually and you actually appreciate art through guided tours now, which kinda put it on the same level than products you may find in supermarkets.

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Salamandre
Salamandre


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Wog refugee
posted September 04, 2011 06:47 PM

Quote:
Can something be created for profit and still be art?


If not, then Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Mozart, Raphael are what? They basically worked on command and for shinny coins. Doesn't mean they botched it.

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Fauch
Fauch


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posted September 04, 2011 06:55 PM
Edited by Fauch at 18:57, 04 Sep 2011.

everyone or almost does that, that's why it's hard to draw a line. but was that money more important than the quality of the work? I guess not, or why are they famous then?

is google doing art?

isn't it sad when people have some vision but refuse to materialise it, unless they get paid for it?

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Salamandre
Salamandre


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posted September 04, 2011 07:02 PM
Edited by Salamandre at 19:06, 04 Sep 2011.

I mean, money concept has not its place when considering art. Artists are not a kind of superhumans, which survive only from creative satisfaction, no food/water required. Google has certainly a big impact on us, but art is more about creating feelings, not technical dependencies.

If some E.T tried to know about us, he would learn more when browsing our artistic heritage than google scripts, which surely would be for him pancake. Art tries to define what we are and why we exist. Google is only about fast information, mostly superficial because fast.

Quote:
isn't it sad when people have some vision but refuse to materialise it, unless they get paid for it?


No, it is their choice. When you feel you have a great vision and CAN materialize it, certainly will not give it away for free. It is more a ego problem than a simple materialistic one. And self respect.
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Elvin
Elvin


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Tastes like chicken
posted September 04, 2011 07:03 PM

I disagree about art being exclusively not for profit. Let's face it, an artist has to make a living. Besides would you refute a beautiful work of art just because it was profitable? Would you tell the artist, no, what you have created is not worth anything in my eyes because you were paid? Even if it was arguably better than any other art you have seen? That's just silly.
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Salamandre
Salamandre


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Wog refugee
posted September 04, 2011 07:08 PM

I would change "profit" into "independence". An artist needs to be independent and not tied to routine or BS daily tasks. Inspiration does not automatically come at 4 PM. Need special condition.
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Fauch
Fauch


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Undefeatable Hero
posted September 04, 2011 07:17 PM
Edited by Fauch at 19:25, 04 Sep 2011.

of course the artist has to eat. what I was wondering is more along the line of : is it still art is the main goal of the artist was to satisfy his own ego?

Quote:
I would change "profit" into "independence". An artist needs to be independent and not tied to routine or BS daily tasks. Inspiration does not automatically come at 4 PM. Need special condition.


yeah, seems like I can agree with that. then a salaried artist isn't really an artist. like the guy working in video games or advertising for exemple? or well, top modelling? it's just their work, for most of them there isn't any passion. or there was at the start, and it vanished because they were pressured like a lemon, instead of just waiting for the inspiration to come.

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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


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posted September 04, 2011 07:29 PM

Typical internet discussion. Laymen discuss things they don't understand.

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Salamandre
Salamandre


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Wog refugee
posted September 04, 2011 07:30 PM

I don't see what salary has to do with talent. It is not because you get payed that instantly the talent is vanishing. Also "a great vision which is materialized" is not a 5 minutes thing, great artworks took years each one. Would you not care about being rewarded when you worked years on something? When you have no other revenue than this potential sale?
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Fauch
Fauch


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
posted September 04, 2011 07:34 PM
Edited by Fauch at 19:42, 04 Sep 2011.

isn't salary something you usually receive monthly for performing
Quote:
routine or BS daily tasks
?


I have a hard time believing that if it takes 5 years to an artist to make something, someone is going to pay every month until it happens.

Quote:
When you have no other revenue than this potential sale?

then how have you managed to survive until now???
and why would you sacrify yourself hoping that a gamble will finally end that situation of sacrifice? that makes as much sense as making war to reach the peace. if you want to eat, you won't focus on an activity that you know is likely to make you starve unless you get super-lucky.

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