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Heroes Community > Other Side of the Monitor > Thread: What is art?
Thread: What is art? This thread is 11 pages long: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 · «PREV / NEXT»
Corribus
Corribus

Hero of Order
The Abyss Staring Back at You
posted September 06, 2011 04:11 AM

Having provided us with his definition of art, I wonder if JJ would care to tell us what separates "good" art from "bad".  Or can quality assignments be made for artwork?  And why, do you suppose, some people find some types of artwork more pleasing than others.  I for one, can't stand Stravinsky, but some people consider him to be the epitome of musical genius.

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mvassilev
mvassilev


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posted September 06, 2011 04:31 AM

I'll agree with Azagal in that art is the expression of an idea or opinion, but there has to be more to it than that because saying "I like apples" is an expression of an idea but certainly isn't art. Clearly, skill and effort are also factors, but even they're not enough, because while a college textbook both expresses ideas and took a lot of effort and some skill to produce, it still isn't art. What is this missing factor? I don't know, but the first thing that comes to mind is obliqueness (for lack of a better word). A work of art shows - it doesn't just tell. That's the difference between Alfred Marshall's "Principles of Economics" and Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" - some of the same ideas are expressed in both, but the way in which they're expressed make the latter a work of art.

So there we have the three components of art: idea, production (skill/effort), and obliqueness.
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Salamandre
Salamandre


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posted September 06, 2011 08:10 AM

Azagal, you are right. But if you don't use the extreme and undebatable concept when trying to define something (ie good and bad MUST NOT and CANNOT coexist) then you open the way to millions of possible mixtures and the starting concept is weakened at source. That's why generalize is often wrong, but necessary. Of course good and bad can coexist, and art can be tasted by a simpleton as well. But then, we are back to JJ definition, which is "it touches".

And I believe is more than that, it asks for the viewer participation, as much as he can.
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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


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posted September 06, 2011 09:18 AM
Edited by JollyJoker at 11:02, 06 Sep 2011.

Sure, Corribus. But first
Quote:
Quote:
Typical internet discussion. Laymen discuss things they don't understand.

Must be hard to converse with such mundane enteties as ourselves when you know so much about art yourself Jolly. Of course no better way of letting everyone know how brilliant you are by telling everyone how stupid they are. What class.

If you think what I said is nothing but empty talk why not take me up one the point?

Instead of getting a fit of rage, you should maybe consider that the quoted sentence was my second post in the thread, so you might conclude that what motivated me to post this has probably occurred between those two posts, otherwise I'd come up with it earlier.

So. Good and bad art. I don't think, there is. For me, bad art is not existing in the sense that if it's bad it's no art at all. Which means, that we would need a working definition of art.

To make this easy, just the following:

Take
a) a cheap novelette, those that come without a hard cover, like comic books.
b) a music piece out of some hit factory, composed with computer help
c) a painted post card

and ask yourself: is that bad art? Is it art at all?

The question is: are people who buy that kind of garbage from the "art factories" are really touched by what they read or hear or see?
I don't think so. It's too shallow and is just manipulating something directly under the surface, a bit like with hypnosis. It's like those advertisement that has been made illegal - slipping single pictures into a movie that come with a very basic message. It has nothing to do with art, it's just stimulating reflexes.

Art will always be original or better: authentic, because it will contain a sliver of soul of the artist. Let's take a very easy example, a painting by van Gogh.
Van Gogh

If you look at those - they shine. Colours seem to jump straight into your face, while objects are clearly defined without any vagueness in their silhouettes, as if everything was illuminated by bright light. Has this guy maybe seen the world this way? This BRIGHT?
Or Modigliani
Modigliani

- look at how he painted people and bodies: couldn't he paint a body in correct proportions? Why did he paint people that way? Stretched, like someone pulled them taut? Did he see people that way?

What about Magritte and his impossible paaintings?

Magritte

The performance arts are maybe making it clearer - why is an actor or a musician called a great artist? I would answer this: because they fill a given "piece" of music or a "role" with life - make all that COME alive, in fact, creating something very immersive.

So art touches people - by showing them a glimpse of the depth of human "being" (as in the combined mind and soul), and through that a glimpse of their own.
Art either does this - or not.

Now imagine this painting:
A flaming inferno. A block of older houses, burning like hell, in the background. A half burning person jumps out of a window. Through another window you can see someone burning in one of the lofts.
To one side you see firemen trying to  get their gear going. Behind them you see a group of spectators building.
More to the foreground, running, wailing people, panic and horror obvious in their faces, some with singed hair or blackened clothes, some rolling on the ground to put out flames, some with their arms in the air, desperation obvious, maybe looking for some loved ones.
To the other side, in the mouth of a dark alley, visible only when you look hard, someone watching the inferno with something else than horror - it might be fascination, for all you can see.

Can this be art? Sure. Depending on how this is captured, it can - but it might just be "cheap" sensationalism.

A more obvious example is porn. Again, authenticity is the key. If the artist captures something "authentic", a line may be crossed from what I described above as being aimed ob "reflexes" to art in the way that something "real" is shown - a very intimate expression, for example.

So the bottom line is - it's art or it isn't, which means, there is no "bad" art.
Abstract geometric art probably started with someone painting two points or small circles in a row, a short vertical line slightly below and between and a horizontal line below that, calling it a face. Minimalistic reduction to the absolute necessary to discern something. Is that art? No.
But what about breaking a picture (or a melody) into parts and reassemle them in some "meaningful" way? What about mixing colours and lines to some abstract collage and giving it a fanciful name? What about splashing paint onto a canvas - or what about a computer graphic of a fractal?

If you see something in it, if it speaks to you, if it shows something to you, if you feel the artist opened a new vista for you or touched some deep sensation in your core - it's art.

That leads to my last question: back to the painting I described, the one about the flaming inferno. Now, let's say it's a capturing painting, 9.999 out of 10.000 people seeing it are horrified by what is shown, impressed by the mix of real horror and sensationalism, disgusted even, by the lone lurker who may relish proceedings - and may even be responsible for it all -, trying to imagine the horror of it and recoiling, but one may be delighted, identifying with the lurker, feeling a thrill about it?
Does it matter, what the prospective piece of art in question is telling a person when it "speaks"? Whether it shows (and speaks to) something "good" or something "evil"?
Or is the real question with art indeed, whether it's TRUE (authentic)?

That's what my opinion is. And that's what I think is connected. Authenticity and the ability to "touch", to show or capture something, to strike a chord in people.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Let me add something. Have a look of some pictures of one of my favorite painters:

Otto Dix

1st World War and the time after is what motivated him - these are no pretty subjects.
But look at the portraits:
This

Or This

Or This

All of them are existing people - the last of which for example Heinrich George, a very famous actor, father of the well-known Götz George.

What kind of a perspective are those pictures showing? To what conclusions will they lead the viewer about how the painter sees the portayed (and his other subjects)? Those pictures are telling us a lot, and the talent of the painter is that he is actually able to put his view on things on a canvas for all to see the features he perceives as dominant.

That's art. Not surprisingly, in Nazi Germany a lot of it was considered "degenerate art".

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friendofgunnar
friendofgunnar


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posted September 06, 2011 11:00 AM

How to tell the difference between art and porn? It's simple. "Porn" is defined as "any picture or video you suddenly lose interest in after masturbating."

-David Wong, of Cracked.com

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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


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posted September 06, 2011 11:06 AM

Sounds reasonable.

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friendofgunnar
friendofgunnar


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posted September 06, 2011 11:08 AM
Edited by Corribus at 18:02, 07 Sep 2011.

I have a question for Corribus.  On your first post you showed a football picture.  Typically when the word "art" is used in the context of sports it's talking about some one who shows a superlative level of skill or technique.  So I'm wondering if you see art in football and if so, in who?

MOD EDIT: Sorry, accidental edit.  I think I fixed it.

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Azagal
Azagal


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posted September 06, 2011 12:10 PM
Edited by Azagal at 12:14, 06 Sep 2011.

Whether the statement was directed at me makes no difference JJ it still the same message and in equally poor taste. Admittedly it might not have been the most charming way of telling you but I just got pretty annoyed since that sort of argument seems to be your modus operandi in every sencond osm discussion.
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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


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posted September 06, 2011 12:42 PM

Quote:
Whether the statement was directed at me makes no difference JJ it still the same message and in equally poor taste. Admittedly it might not have been the most charming way of telling you but I just got pretty annoyed since that sort of argument seems to be your modus operandi in every sencond osm discussion.


However as a statement it's TRUE - just because people can type on a keyboard doesn't mean they are suddenly experts for everything.
Which includes myself, mind you.
Which isn't stopping anyone to offer their opinion - which is one of the really bad things about the internet. We have the doubtful pleasure to get to know everyone and their dog's opinion on everything, no matter how qualified or unqualified.
Which again includes myself - although I like to think that I do NOT post something to each and every issue: there are those I don't know anything about and don't feel qualified to add something to, but I'm not equally knowledgable in every issue I offer an opinion, that's true as well.

I will admit, that I was annoyed as well, about how PAID WORK and ART would suddenly be mutually exclusive, as if the idea of making a profit out of something would taint the purity of some idolized concept of ART...

In the end, everyone steps into the shoes they think they will fit.

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Azagal
Azagal


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posted September 06, 2011 12:49 PM

Quote:
However as a statement it's TRUE - just because people can type on a keyboard doesn't mean they are suddenly experts for everything.
Which includes myself, mind you.

Well you're obviously right and again I might not have been the most gentle soul in voiceing my distain but dude... look at your statement it doesn't really seem to include you, no matter how correct you are. Guess it's just me being overly sensitive to people putting others down. The thing is you do seem to be rather knowledgeable ergo I'd find it better if you'd simply tell people where they can improve their thinking rather than go "lol you're all so stupid basically" but yeah nevermind I'll give it a rest.
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Salamandre
Salamandre


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posted September 06, 2011 01:02 PM
Edited by Salamandre at 13:03, 06 Sep 2011.

But your post seems to include all posters before, while only one sustained  art and money are exclusive. With time, I learned to ignore such arrogant posts as yours, arguing does not lead anywhere when no subject is proposed.

Unless you have a great experience in artistic domains, all your statements are like anyone else, opinions only.
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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


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posted September 06, 2011 01:32 PM

That doesn't change anything about the fact that it's a discussion of laymen, comparable to a pub table discussion about sports: anyone has their opinion, anyone thinks they know their stuff.

Ah, but we don't like to be reminded about that, do we?

But, ok, I admit, it's a somewhat useless statement - except that it may help to get things into the right perspective, especially in this specific thread. The great thing is the art and creating it. Talk, however, is cheap.

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Fauch
Fauch


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posted September 06, 2011 02:24 PM

and so? because we aren't expert we shouldn't talk? and when it comes to art, even experts are only specialized in one or a few domains of arts, so maybe they shouldn't talk about art in general?

by the way, I guess you were talking about me. what I wanted to point is the difference between 2 people who claim to be artists (and may or may not get money for it) one of them putting the best of himself in his work, and the other one, for example, just copying other artists because he knows that it sells well.
though, from an outside point of view, it's true that both those works could be considered art, but from the point of view of their author, I think it's a bit hypocritical to call yourself an artist while you had no other goal than making some easy money.

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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


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posted September 06, 2011 02:41 PM

Talking isn't the problem. JUDGING is.

If you see (or hear or read or watch or otherwise perceive) a piece of art - can you conclude from the object whether it was made for free, for money, with the intention to make money or with the intention to create something artistic or a mix of any of those? If not - why would that be in any way important?

If a forger forges a painting, copying it and selling it, fooling an expert - is the forgery as a PIECE OF ART "less art" than the original? Does it make a difference to the viewer?

If a forger forges a painting, making a NEW one, the lost masterpiece of painter XY, supposedly found on some loft in Flanders, fooling the experts - is the forgery "less art" than one of the original paintings of the painter in question?

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Fauch
Fauch


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posted September 06, 2011 02:55 PM
Edited by Fauch at 14:57, 06 Sep 2011.

it depends what you call art I suppose. the work might be of excellent quality, it's maybe not enough to be called art?
well of course, considering it fools everyone, it's hard to say. depends if you consider the item itself (well actually no, if they are identical, actually the point of view of the author could be better), or the item from the point of view of mister X or Y maybe.

so is an artwork supposed to be actually original?

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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


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posted September 07, 2011 10:41 AM
Edited by Corribus at 17:30, 07 Sep 2011.

Compare

He is so fine

[EDIT: Don't know what's with the link. Look for He's so fine by The Chiffons.]

by the Chiffons, No. 1 Hit in 1963 with

My Sweet Lord

by George Harrison, a worldwide No. 1 Hit in 1971, that got him a copyright infringement suit which was settled in that he had unintentionally copied part of the song and had to pay (not that it would have been an important thing for Harrison).

In 2000, for the 30-years reissue of All Things Must Pass, a different version was added to the release:

My Sweet Lord in 2000

So. Is My Sweet Lord a piece of art or not? *I* will gladly say, YES, and with a vengeance.

EDIT: Fixed your link for you, JJ. Apostrophe was screwing it up.

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markkur
markkur


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Once upon a time
posted September 07, 2011 10:52 AM

@Corribus
Quote:
... why, do you suppose, some people find some types of artwork more pleasing than others.


Well if beauty is; "in the eye of the beholder", then "art" must be  in the "mind's-eye of the beholder"

Good to see this thread. I have been making my own version of art. Having spent many hours making my latest H5 map, I've taken many screen-shots with an eye for game-effects, my created land. Also writing a short story etc. Then on to mixing in the fundamentals of photography, and from there, to editing in PS and MS Paint to modify, all the while thinking of a snippets of tunes that could play while going through a slide show We really have a lot of tools to use today.
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Fauch
Fauch


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posted September 07, 2011 03:26 PM

all 3 sound good. but if there is a category such as art, not everything can fit into it, otherwise why would you need that category? if I'm not mistaken, it used to designate everything that was crafted by men?

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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


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posted September 07, 2011 03:32 PM

Then why are musicians called artists?

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Fauch
Fauch


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posted September 07, 2011 04:44 PM

crafted is a wrong word? then, created?

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