A discussion forum for history enthusiasts everywhere
 
HomeHome  ShortcutsShortcuts  FAQFAQ  RegisterRegister  Log inLog in  

Share | 
 

 What is Art?

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
Go to page : Previous  1 ... 7 ... 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15  Next
AuthorMessage
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima


Posts : 4935
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Wed 15 Apr 2015, 11:48

I have managed somehow - quite unintentionally - to delete my original message. This was the gist of it:

But you have avoided what I am really trying to ask - I'm not talking about money, pigments or pissing people off.





Last edited by Temperance on Fri 17 Apr 2015, 08:33; edited 2 times in total
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5486
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Thu 16 Apr 2015, 07:40

I avoided what you are asking? Sorry.

But ok, I give up. What type of exploitation are you then referring to of which great artists may or may not be capable? Making use of a situation to gain advantage, I would suggest, is not what defines - even partly - a "great" artist or indeed any artist. Just as with the rest of humanity they as people have the capacity to exploit situations to their advantage, some more than others and some hardly at all.

But this after all was the definition you provided yourself. So if I am mistaken please advise me ...
Back to top Go down
http://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 4935
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Fri 17 Apr 2015, 08:16

Oh dear, I seem to have messed up. My response to nordmann's post, which I have just typed, has appeared before his. I think that in quoting myself I have managed to delete my Wednesday's post and made this morning's offering appear to date from April 15th, not today. Was für eine idiot.

Sorry, El Supremo - can you sort it out?  Embarassed
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 4935
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Fri 17 Apr 2015, 08:28

I wrote:


But you have avoided what I am really trying to ask - I'm not talking about money, pigments or pissing people off.


So what am I talking - or, rather, rambling - about? Please note I am not trying to argue or score points here, nordmann: I am simply throwing out some ideas/questions, hopefully relevant to ferval's original topic of "What is art?".

However, my thoughts have obviously lacked clarity, so I'll try again...

When I wondered whether a "great" artist can ever "exploit", I meant in his /her choice of subject and its presentation: this always seems to be a problem when it is a matter of showing human experience of sex, violence and/or religion. Can anything be an "unsuitable" subject for art? I think not - but then what makes something art, rather than simply the expoitative presentation, often done in a disturbing and voyeuristic way, of the dark side of human nature? I need to refer back to the link I posted last week - that Huffington Post article about art censorship from the 16th century onwards:


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/16/art-censorship_n_6465010.html


Let's take the comments about the Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition. Mapplethorpe was an artist/photographer of the highest calibre - some would say genius - yet his 1989 exhibition was cancelled. Here's the Huff Post:


Mapplethorpe's 1989 black-and-white photography exhibition sparked a dialogue on sexually explicit images and the true state of freedom of expression, showcasing a dramatically lit photograph of a man urinating into another man's mouth and another of a fist being inserted into a man's anus. The exhibit, slated to show at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., was cancelled before it even began.

Senator Helms caught wind of this exhibition as well and was not pleased. He bashed the NEA again, criticizing it for subsidizing a show he claimed featured "morally repugnant materials of a sexual nature." A 2013 exhibition titled "Saints and Sinners" commemorated the 25th anniversary of the controversial moment in the fight for freedom of expression.



So what made Mapplethorpe's studies different from any photographs in some gay porn magazine? What made them art, not exploitation? Patti Smith attempts an explanation I go along with. In her book, Just Kids, she says of Mapplethorpe's work:


"Robert took areas of dark human consent and made them into art. He worked without apology, investing the homosexual with grandeur, masculinity, and enviable nobility. Without affectation, he created a presence that was wholly male without sacrificing feminine grace. He was not looking to make a political statement or an announcement of his evolving sexual persuasion. He was presenting something new, something not seen or explored as he saw and explored it. Robert sought to elevate aspects of male experience, to imbue homosexuality with mysticism. As Cocteau said of a Genet poem, 'His obscenity is never obscene.' "

"He made them into art". Yes - but how do you explain that to the likes of Senator Helms?


PS

"I don't believe in dogmas and theologies. I just believe in being a good person." Robert Mapplethorpe

PPS

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/robert-mapplethorpe-11413

From the Tate site:

American artist Robert Mapplethorpe pushed the boundaries of photography in both his subject choice and technique. This has led to him often being remembered exclusively for his controversial and often explicit images.

However, ARTIST ROOMS outstanding collection of his photographs allows these ‘controversial’ works to be considered in the context of his entire oeuvre. Mapplethorpe became famous, not to say, notorious, in the 1970s and 1980s for his photographs of the male nude and sexually explicit gay imagery. With these images he tested the right to individual freedom - they were not meant to be titillating, shocking or obscene, but beautiful in a traditionally classical way. His work therefore holds a significant place in the history of artistic struggle to depict the world as it is with honesty and truth.

In 1988 Mapplethorpe stated: “I don’t like that particular word ‘shocking.’ I’m looking for the unexpected. I’m looking for things I’ve never seen before...I was in a position to take those pictures. I felt an obligation to do them.” Although he is perhaps most associated with these ‘shocking’ works, Mapplethorpe also photographed more traditional subjects such as flowers (in particular Orchids and Calla Lilies), formal portraits and classical nudes. His understanding of form and light, and his meticulous compositions create truly beautiful images that revel in the sensual quality of nature and the human body.


Last edited by Temperance on Fri 17 Apr 2015, 11:38; edited 3 times in total
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 4935
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Fri 17 Apr 2015, 08:35

Have sorted out the error myself.

Apologies.
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 4935
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Fri 17 Apr 2015, 18:50

Here is one of Mapplethorpe's flower images. I think it is absolutely beautiful - so erotic, but a lovely, subtle study of seduction. Mapplethorpe has made the flower the essence of the feminine - she is so shy, yet so receptive, even as she turns away from the "male". And they are one - the stems entwined. I much prefer it to Courbet's Origin of the World.



PS It also reminds me of Quentin Crisp's famous comment: "Male and female created He me."


Last edited by Temperance on Sun 19 Apr 2015, 09:12; edited 4 times in total
Back to top Go down
ferval
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2380
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Fri 17 Apr 2015, 20:52

That Courbet, 'The Origin of the World', has been rattling about my head ever since you posted the Huffington article, Temp, and it's finally clicked, what it was reminding me of - those original sex objects, the paleolothic venus figurines. Headless, or at least faceless, and often missing lower limbs but emphatically sexual, could there be any connection?

Courbet's painting is dated to 1866 and in 1864 the Marquis Paul de Vibraye had discovered the very first paleolithic venus in Laugerie Basse and which he named the Venus Impudique referencing the classical and renaisance Venus pudica statues. The headles, armless and footless figure has a very clearly incised vulval cleft but the breasts are not emphasised and the stomache is flat unlike some of the other more voluptuous, not to say morbidly obese, 'mother godess' examples.
Might Courbet have known of this discovery, surely it could only intrigue and stimulate an artist? It is easy to dismiss his headless. armless and footless anonymous female torso as a male fantasy but there are interesting similarities between the two works.

                                                           

I'm also struck by the title 'The Origin of the World', there are so many possible interpretations of that phrase beyond the obvious. If the painting did in some way reference the little ivory sculpture, perhaps only to the artist and not the patron, the 'World' might be the world of art and of culture and not just that of the sensual and the carnal.
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 4935
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Sat 18 Apr 2015, 08:46

How interesting. Darwin's Origin of the Species was published in 1859 and the Venus figurine was unearthed in 1864. Courbet was perhaps influenced by both events?

A French translation of Origin of the Species had been produced in 1862. What may be of significance is that the translation was the work of a woman, Clémence Royer. Her translation caused quite a stir by all accounts. She was an unusual woman for her time. From Wiki:

Royer went beyond her role as a translator and included a long (60 page) preface and detailed explanatory footnotes. In her preface she challenged the belief in religious revelation and discussed the application of natural selection to the human race and what she saw as the negative consequences of protecting the weak and the infirm. These eugenic ideas were to gain her notoriety. The preface also promoted her concept of progressive evolution which had more in common with the ideas of Lamarck than with those of Darwin. In June 1862, soon after Darwin received a copy of the translation he wrote in a letter to the American botanist, Asa Gray:


I received 2 or 3 days ago a French translation of the Origin by a Madelle. Royer, who must be one of the cleverest & oddest women in Europe: is ardent deist & hates Christianity, & declares that natural selection & the struggle for life will explain all morality, nature of man, politicks &c &c!!!. She makes some very curious & good hits, & says she shall publish a book on these subjects, & a strange production it will be
...



Lucien Freud's various pictures of "Benefits Supervisor", Sue Tilley, remind me of those early earth-mother goddesses. The one shown below ("Benefits Supervisor Sleeping" 1995) sold for £17 million. It's a nightmare of a picture, but why? I hate it, and yet am fascinated by it. Do Freud's images celebrate the female body?  Suspect  What is he doing here? I wish I understood.  

Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2588
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Sat 18 Apr 2015, 11:01

You mean like the Willendorf Venus ... well quite!



PS: Nothing to do with art but thanks for posting those comments of Darwin on reading Royer's translation ... those few words, if I am reading their intent correctly (I take his repeated exclamation marks to denote affronted astonishment) ... convey much about Darwin's thoughts and do much to correct many of the erroneous ideas that are still being put into his mouth by those that want to discredit him.
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 4935
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Sun 19 Apr 2015, 09:05

@Meles meles wrote:
You mean like the Willendorf Venus ... well quite!





Well, no -  not quite!

I'm still trying to figure out what Freud is doing in his pictures.


The painting took months and the initial sitting had her posing, in great discomfort, prostrate on the studio floor – “and he made me look so horrible. I’m shaking now as I think of it”,  Sue said. Once “Benefits Supervisor Sleeping” got underway Freud bought the sofa for her to rest on. “It was lovely and comfy, and I just lay on it, really, for nine months.


Who wouldn't "shake" at being depicted so cruelly? I found a photograph, sympathetically lit, of Sue Tilley, the "Benefits Supervisor" model. Once again she is shown lying naked on the sofa. I can't get this image of her to copy which is a shame because  the real-life photo is much kinder to "Big Sue" (she calls herself that): her skin tones are softer, pinker, smoother, and she is hugely voluptuous rather than simply (or complicatedly) gross which is how Freud has presented her.

But then Freud seems to delight in making everyone gross - this male study is just as unkind to the sitter. People are either fat or scrawny for Freud - even the animals he paints are ugly.





And, of course, his portrait of Her Majesty is infamous. I wonder what Prince Philip said when he saw it?





But this undoubtedly is great art - I am fascinated by his work - although for the life of me I can't explain why.


Last edited by Temperance on Sun 19 Apr 2015, 19:43; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
Priscilla
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1822
Join date : 2012-01-16

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Sun 19 Apr 2015, 16:17

Morbid fascination is reckoned to be healthy.... 'Ever one loves a good rail crash' is the title of a book on it. From what I recall of the last Freud exhibition, there were several paintings of the lady on the sofa. And from a photo of her she was more solid than wobbly. Feud compromised, in my opinion, for the sake of painting technique, extended fascination and probably a desire to shock and thrill. The crowd on my visiting day were quiet, trying to look impressed by great art and not embarrassed. A viewing day with a bunch of young teens might have been more interesting - yet should one allow young children to see the photos mentioned earlier or Freud stuff? From what I recall of childhood days children are often embroiled in the erotic. The artist/photographer/sculptor intends to share something otherwise why bother? Share with whom?
I cannot attempt to define great art but for myself, I imagine it to be something of a conversation between the artist, the viewer and the subject
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 4935
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Sun 19 Apr 2015, 20:06

@Priscilla wrote:
Morbid fascination is reckoned to be healthy.... 'Ever one loves a good rail crash' is the title of a book on it. From what I recall of the last Freud exhibition, there were several paintings of the lady on the sofa. And from a photo of her she was more solid than wobbly. Feud compromised, in my opinion, for the sake of painting technique, extended fascination and probably a desire to shock and thrill. The crowd on my visiting day were quiet, trying to look impressed by great art and not embarrassed. A viewing day with a bunch of young teens might have been more interesting - yet should one allow young children to see the photos mentioned earlier or Freud stuff? From what I recall of childhood days children are often embroiled in the erotic. The artist/photographer/sculptor intends to share something otherwise why bother? Share with whom?
I cannot attempt to define great art but for myself, I imagine it to be something of a conversation between the artist, the viewer and the subject


I'm left a bit baffled by that.

Is it just "morbid fascination" with  Freud? Is that all his art is about? I'm still wrestling with this, and have as yet come up with no answers. And as for kids being "embroiled with the erotic" - well, aren't we all, one way or another?

I remember a very intelligent young man, many, many years ago, telling me that anger and sex were the "two great human impulses". I thought it was sex and death, but apparently not. This person ended up teaching at Boston University Medical School, becoming an expert in psychosomatic research, so I presume he did know what he was talking about. Anger and sex - both figure so much in art. I think Freud does both rather well.

But I'm probably talking rubbish. I am, however, fascinated by Freud's work and I do think it's great art. I hope that doesn't mean I am morbid. I don't actually like his pictures very much though. Very uncomfortable stuff they are.
Back to top Go down
Priscilla
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1822
Join date : 2012-01-16

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Mon 20 Apr 2015, 00:21

The techniques he used over the years are a joy to behold. Have just read a google on him - I had not realised that he was buddies with Francis Bacon - but I should have because of the similarities in their work. They painted at a time when abstract art was  in vogue so their earthy approach  is an interesting counterbalance. Freud's portraiture is is outstanding...... oh, I suppose i should add, in my opinion.
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5486
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Mon 20 Apr 2015, 08:17

Freud, like Bacon, is a very self-conscious style. All very "clever", but knowingly so and each painting is almost an invitation to the viewer to share in the artist's own opinion of his work which, apparently, is very high. I would agree that it definitely falls within a general "art" definition. However it all seems very cynical and pointless, at least to me, and nowhere near as complex, layered and interesting an approach to imagery as - say - our friend Caravaggio. In fact if any Freud was produced by a member of the local amateur art club (and it could be) we would hardly be calling it "great art" at all, I imagine.
Back to top Go down
http://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 4935
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Mon 20 Apr 2015, 09:24

@nordmann wrote:
Freud, like Bacon, is a very self-conscious style. All very "clever", but knowingly so and each painting is almost an invitation to the viewer to share in the artist's own opinion of his work which, apparently, is very high. I would agree that it definitely falls within a general "art" definition. However it all seems very cynical and pointless, at least to me, and nowhere near as complex, layered and interesting an approach to imagery as - say - our friend Caravaggio. In fact if any Freud was produced by a member of the local amateur art club (and it could be) we would hardly be calling it "great art" at all, I imagine.


Well, that's that, then.

I do feel silly now. When I went to the 2012 Exhibition of Lucian Freud Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery it said he "was one of the world's great artists". Gullible soul that I am, I believed them. I even bought a postcard.

So was that £17.2 million someone splashed out on the Fat Lady on the Settee picture a bit of a con by Christies?

http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/paintings/lucian-freud-benefits-supervisor-sleeping-5074074-details.aspx
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5486
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Mon 20 Apr 2015, 09:33

Well, if the Fat Lady had been produced by Mrs Vera Shuttleworth of the East Binge WI Amateur Art Club would Christies be looking for 17 million quid for it?

Whereas if Vera had managed to produce this (another poor girl who had to pose awkwardly for weeks on end), and I had 17 million quid handy ...

Back to top Go down
http://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 4935
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Mon 20 Apr 2015, 13:39

Priscilla and Nord, this article may be of interest to you both:

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/apr/14/francis-bacon-and-the-masters-review

Francis Bacon was the divine devil of modern British art, a demon of dark ecstasy. His pummelling of human flesh has a monstrous sensuality, a massive power. Usually, seeing a Bacon, I drink in its perverse colours like blood or wine. At least, I used to. After this exhibition, I don’t know if I can ever take Francis Bacon seriously again...

...Will I ever admire Bacon again? Probably, the next time I see his work among boring postwar art and relish its flamboyant originality. But here that originality is part of the problem. He just tries too hard to be different. The masters are so relaxed, so honest. They show the facts, while Bacon desperarately tries to be shocking, to “unlock the gates of feeling” as he put it, as if he has no feelings to begin with.


Here are details of the exhibition: it's on at the University of East Anglia from 18th April to 26th July. A grand day out, I'm sure.

I wonder how much the Sainsbury family have invested in Bacon's pictures?

http://scva.ac.uk/art-and-artists/exhibitions/francis-bacon-and-the-masters
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5486
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Mon 20 Apr 2015, 14:58

I can sympathise with Jonathan Jones and would actually extend this sentiment to many so-called "great" artists, especially of the modern era. Once one is in on the con then the whole attraction fades rather rapidly. Some artists demand that you be amazed or astounded at their skill/style/shock value etc, and for a while one has to give them credit for going about this demand with some artistry. But after a while the amazement by definition has to grow less and unless there's something rather substantial there to compensate for this then it is easy just to grow disenchanted (quite literally) with artists one actually had liked very much before. With Bacon and Freud I'd suggest this dissipation was even quicker, at least for me, and alas there was no compensation in their case.
Back to top Go down
http://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Priscilla
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1822
Join date : 2012-01-16

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Mon 20 Apr 2015, 23:14

Of course it was  deliberate to shock with all that weary  flesh when all else was trying to shock the mind - and creduality. Freud's impasto is very good - have you ever tried? But not as spontaneous as, say, Van Gogh's application - however Freud was also capable of very fine brush work too. I imagine there was a great deal of Freud grandad in the reasons why he painted so many pictures of his mum. And was Baconaffected by name taunting in is youth to have led him to all that carcass stuff? I've not looked him up because I  never likes what I knew of his work.

Conceit and conning - mm - I once told a good aritist at a posh luncheon that all artists were part charlatan. I was still trying to explain that when the coffee was being served. Whilst he understood, and in part agreed, his wife clearly wanted my head served on a plate much as depicted above. The hostess was none too pleased either because she had just given him a commission.

Does a really good artist know that they are?
 I have a friend abroad who makes a very good living writing the most audacious rubbish as an art critic and even worse, relating what the artists say of their stuff and their soulful aims.  I had the good sense to buy several -watercolours - by a talented chap who did not give interviews, go to parties or have exhibitions and few seemed to have met. I gave them as wedding presents and as it turned out  gifts that have gained considerably more value  than a carving set might have.


Last edited by Priscilla on Mon 20 Apr 2015, 23:17; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Sloppy typing.)
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 4935
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Tue 21 Apr 2015, 07:47

@Priscilla wrote:
 Freud's impasto is very good - have you ever tried?



I think that's the technique I unwittingly used when painting my summerhouse* recently. Like Freud, I slapped the paint on with a big, thick brush, applying one of Cuprinol's "Garden Shades" to the rough wood rather too thickly. It looks awful. I was trying to cover the walls in two coats, but I think I'll have to do it again, more carefully, in a different colour. Cuprinol do a spray thing for easy application of their product - I may try that.

I wonder what all this says about the state of my soul and my darkest impulses?

* I call it that in an effort to be posh: my friends refer to it as "your charming little shed". Suspect
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5486
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Tue 21 Apr 2015, 09:14

Queen Of The Desert wrote:
Of course it was  deliberate to shock with all that weary  flesh when all else was trying to shock the mind - and creduality.

My creduality has long since atrophied to a cresingularity and is therefore not really shockable anymore.
Back to top Go down
http://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Priscilla
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1822
Join date : 2012-01-16

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Tue 21 Apr 2015, 09:23

Temps, I have never painted a picture of my summer house - but should I try impasto again I'd use a palette knife. I doubt one could paint over a really thick impasto so a white spray job over a bodge  might make for an  interesting result. I have kept two paintings of my own. One has a serious error that I ought do something about because both are now on historic value (only) because the industrial subjects no longer exist.... though in the artist compromise of tweaking, addition and omission, not strictly accurate.
I fear for the state of your soul and those dark impulses reflected in choosing ready made Garden Shades..... and rough wood, too. Hmmm.  You just need  some blue and yellow and anything else you can scrape up on the palette. You'll never make Master Artist at this rate, Temps. You might also consider a change of friends.


Last edited by Priscilla on Tue 21 Apr 2015, 10:21; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Had to add 'Temps' at start because nord got in the way - again.)
Back to top Go down
Priscilla
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1822
Join date : 2012-01-16

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Tue 21 Apr 2015, 09:41

Snap, nordmann; neither of us knows what the other is on about. Don't want to ruin your day and spread the atrophies but have just been invited to stay in Oslo along with all my family  and then to cruise some fjords. Watch out then for clouds of confusion, woolly thinking, unintelligible speak and a scruff of little boys with footballs and tennis racquets possibly heading your way. And when I helm, shipping mayhem.
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5486
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Tue 21 Apr 2015, 09:47

Desert regent wrote:
Watch out then for clouds of confusion, woolly thinking, unintelligible speak and a scruff of little boys with footballs and tennis racquets possibly heading your way.

Oslo is in dire need of all these things. You will be most welcome. Let me know when your arrival is imminent and I will steer you to affordable pubs.
Back to top Go down
http://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 4935
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Tue 21 Apr 2015, 18:42

@Priscilla wrote:

I fear for the state of your soul and those dark impulses reflected in choosing ready made Garden Shades..... and rough wood, too. Hmmm.  You just need  some blue and yellow and anything else you can scrape up on the palette. You'll never make Master Artist at this rate, Temps. You might also consider a change of friends.


Rough wood and scraping anything up on the palette just about sums up my life, Priscilla.

I never made it to Master of Arts either. I am a complete failure, academic and artistic.

I know Cuprinol is what the plebs buy from Homebase. I wanted Farrow and Ball in Lichen, but a tin of their stuff cost £52. Real lichen would have perhaps been a better - and cheaper - bet. Can you get lichen to grow on wood thickly plastered with cheapo paint?

My friends are all right. They understand me - well, a couple of them do. Smile
Back to top Go down
Priscilla
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1822
Join date : 2012-01-16

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Tue 21 Apr 2015, 22:50

Farrow and Ball? Rubbish  the right stuff is Sadolin -the really best of theirs has a great colour range and very difficult to get their top stuff. Costs a fortune but well worth it because it lasts for years. All my neighbours have tried to copy my colour - in one case with a quick repaint over posh beach  hut muted yellow. No one has actually asked what I use but the summer house carpenters had said I must only use that stuff. We are moving away from what is art - though paint related - cans if not tubes.
If palette scraping sums up your life then you have not such a bad deal. It is one of life's joys to mix colours that way. Lichen will grow when the cuprinol fades and the clumps peel off. Do a quick wash with stale yoghurt to get it going.  
Tricks of the artists trade are interesting. I wish had known about masking tape long ago. I had no idea how many devices are used as I laboured with brush and knife. Even using a ruler seemed like cheating to me.... but that was when I was young and oh so innocent. Gradual enlightenmeny began my opinion about compromise and charlatans. The story of my life, probably. Nah - its a comedy of errors.
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 4935
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Mon 27 Apr 2015, 09:08

Can you sand Cuprinol off a shed? Or can this, my latest disaster, be viewed as a kind of art?

This should probably go on the Rant thread, but I am genuinely horrified to discover that I have made it to the "Going Up" column of the Sunday Times Style magazine. I read this yesterday in the said publication (it's on page 11):

She Sheds - the female version of the man cave: garden sheds where women go to do yoga and drink wine.

There is a picture of a shed ( a posh one, not one daubed with Cuprinol) which appears to have three balloons attached to it. I would never dream of doing yoga in my shed or of having balloons. The very thought absolutely appals me.

I am tempted now to demolish the bloody thing.

PS I have had it confirmed that I should have used Sadolin.
Back to top Go down
Priscilla
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1822
Join date : 2012-01-16

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Mon 27 Apr 2015, 16:03

I used to go to confirmation classes but the vicar never mentioned Sadolin - sad oh alan- was thrown out because he did not take it seriously. Of all of us, he turned out to be the kindest, most chsritable and generous. So, if you know a Sad o lin, reckon she is ok. I'd leave it on - the culprit-nol - and get a bloke in next year who will scrape off the remains, moan at your expense and then get a good finish. Open a hut box - anyone who makes any remark whatsoever about your shed pays a £1 fine. Then go get a can of Happy o lin. Next problem please. Let's have a go at Chagal - or Monet, said to be the best of all; he only did those misty waterlilies because he was losing his sight.... either will do  - mainly because they are French. Am in that sort of mood.
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 4935
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Tue 28 Apr 2015, 17:28

@Priscilla wrote:
Then go get a can of Happy o lin.


Shouldn't that be a bottle of Happy O' Lin?

OK, enough of the Culprit-nol nonsense - discussion about this transferred to anyone sitting having a fag on the bench outside the Tumbleweed. Here's a proper post about yer proper art.

I know more about Monet's garden than I do about his painting, Priscilla, and even less about Marc Chagall. But on Wiki I read this:

According to art historian Michael J. Lewis, Chagall was considered to be "the last survivor of the first generation of European modernists".

The mention of "modernists" made me want to ask a question about "fragmentation" in modernist art (and the distinction that can be made between modernism and postmodernism). I know a little bit about these terms when applied to Eng. Lit., but am not sure about them when discussing art.

In Jeremy Hawthorn's Concise Glossary of Contemporary Literary Theory (1992) we read that both movements - modernism and postmodernism - give great prominence to fragmentation as a feature of twentieth-century art and culture, but that they do so in very different moods. Modernist writers explore the breaking-up of things in such a way as to register a deep nostalgia for an earlier age when "faith was full and authority intact". Ezra Pound, for instance, calls his major work, The Cantos, a "rag-bag", implying that this is all that is possible in the modern age, but also implying regret about that fact. In his poem Hugh Selwyn Mauberley, Pound speaks of "a tawdry cheapness/Shall outlast our days and "We live to see toh kalon (beauty)/Decreed in the market place".

Eliot's The Waste Land is also a collection of juxtaposed, incomplete "stories", or fragments of stories: "These fragments I have shored against my ruins," he writes.

In the modernist writers there was an all-pervasive tone of lament, despair, pessimism and confusion about the world and the future. Was this true of other art forms? Were the great painters of the early twentieth-century - like Chagall, whom you mention - also concerned with "fragmentation", their work reflecting the confusion and fear of a generation that had survived WW1 and were now living in its aftermath?

And is the following comment, about literature, true also of art generally?

"For the postmodernist, by contrast, fragmentation is an exhilarating, liberating phenomenon, symptomatic of our escape from the claustrophobic embrace of fixed systems of belief. In a word, the modernist laments fragmentation while the postmodernist celebrates it."

But I confess that I find precious little "exhilaration" in Freud or Bacon or Hirst or Emin. But perhaps I don't know what to look for.



The controversial painter, sculptor and installation artist Damien Hirst is one of the world's most commercially successful contemporary artists. A leading member of the UK postmodernist art group known as Young British Artists, he first came to prominence in the 1990s for his series of dead animals preserved and floating in formaldehyde. Influenced by Francis Bacon, his most famous works of avant-garde art include A Thousand Years (1989), a glasscase with maggots and flies feeding off a rotting cow's head; The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1991), a tiger shark in a glass tank of formaldehyde and For The Love of God, a platinum cast of an 18th century human skull covered in £15,000,000 worth of diamonds.

Mmm. I think Pound understood very well where we were heading. May I quote a bit more from Hugh Selwyn Mauberley?


The age demanded an image
Of its accelerated grimace,
Something for the modern stage,
Not, at any rate, an Attic grace;

Not, not certainly, the obscure reveries
Of the inward gaze;
Better mendacities
Than the classics in paraphrase!

The "age demanded" chiefly a mould in plaster,
Made with no loss of time,
A prose kinema, not, not assuredly, alabaster
Or the "sculpture" of rhyme.
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 4935
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Wed 29 Apr 2015, 06:57

I found this mention of Chagall and fragmentation on the Tate site.

Several of his paintings of this period are informed stylistically by the tenets of cubism – tenets which he rendered ambiguous through his use of a fauvist-inspired colour sensibility. As Chagall had no ties to the ideology behind cubism, he felt free to assemble a mix of its constituent parts, to take its concept of fragmentation and apply it to his own deeply imagined realms.

Is this an example? It's his Half-Past Three (The Poet), painted in 1911.



Cubism predates WW1, doesn't it  (movement began around 1907?)- so "fragmentation" here predates that found in poetry etc. written during and after the Great War. So were the writers in England influenced by the artists in France who were experimenting with fragmentation in those years just before the outbreak of the Great War?

In Cubist artwork, objects are analyzed, broken up and reassembled in an abstracted form—instead of depicting objects from one viewpoint, the artist depicts the subject from a multitude of viewpoints to represent the subject in a greater context.

It is almost impossible to exaggerate the importance of Cubism. It was a revolution in the visual arts as great as that which took place in the early Renaissance. Its effects on later art, on film, and on architecture are already so numerous that we hardly notice them. (John Berger) And on literature?

That reference to "in a greater context" in the first quotation also interests me - it immediately made me think of structuralism and post-structuralism in Eng. Lit. Most people associate this movement (which began in France during the 1950s and which was imported into the UK during the 1970/80s) with the work of anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss and the literary critic Roland Barthes, but it actually had its roots in the thinking of Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913). A very crude definition of structuralism is that things cannot be understood in isolation - they have to be seen in the context of the larger structures of which they are part. Saussure was concerned with words as signs and how the meanings we give to words are purely arbitrary and how "meaning" is maintained by convention only.

I am probably way, way off the mark here, but was Cubism all part of this early consideration of signs - symbols - meaning?

"The extraordinary contribution of collage is that it is the first instance within the pictorial arts of anything like a systematic exploration of the conditions of representability entailed by the sign." - Rosaline Krauss "In the Name of Picasso".
Back to top Go down
Priscilla
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1822
Join date : 2012-01-16

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Wed 29 Apr 2015, 10:33

A break in my packing - so here goes. Braque led the way in collage symbolism  - I suggest. His bits of posters, treble clefs, violins and assorted junk arrangements that I recall finding spell binding as a teenager and immediately understood. Picasso latched onto Braque's notion and then Chagall, I think. Can't stop to look it all  up. I was less enchanted by Chagall's later huge works of floaty things in blue skies - possibly all in search of lost plot. When Cezanne began the cubist, structed view of landscape, symbols played no part, I think. Later the symbols - a kind of artistic shorthand fitted in well with still life arrangements. Literature probably developed in the same way - and music too. MM might have learned words to add here.
Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2588
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Wed 29 Apr 2015, 11:23

MM is completely out of his depth but ... In music could one not consider the fugue as a precurser to musical cubism? The musical form of the fugue has been around for a long time, certainly back to baroque music (Bach was of course a great writer of fugues and of similar 'variations on a theme' type music), if not indeed back to late renaissance music such as that written by Praetorius. In form the fugue establishes a theme, a building block if you like, and then carries this on, with variation, in different keys and by different voices, often to all be reunited in a whole at the end.

Or what about counterpoint in polyphonic music? Here each voice has a independent theme and harmony, though still based on an underlying master theme, so that the whole blends as one ... I'm thinking maybe of Thomas Tallis' polyphonic choral music. 

More contemporaneous with cubism in visual arts ... what about the music of Stravinsky? In particular his common use of a strong persistant phrase, repeated over and over in the same voice, (in musical theory it's called ostinato), which forms a simple clear framework around which the piece develops, eg in Stravinsky's 'Rite of Spring' (and also as exemplified by Ravel's 'Bolero'). Stravinsky also used so-called motivic development ... the use of musical figures that are repeated in different guises throughout a composition, essentially forming a series of tableaux which look at the main motif from different viewpoints throughout the whole.

Or am I talking complete rubbish?


Last edited by Meles meles on Wed 29 Apr 2015, 17:47; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : spelling)
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 4935
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Wed 29 Apr 2015, 11:35

No.

Stravinsky and Chagall and the ballet The Firebird:


In 1910, following the first successful season of the Ballets Russes in Paris, Serge Diaghilev commissioned a full-length ballet score from a young composer, Igor Stravinsky. The result — Firebird — was Stravinsky's first ballet score, and a major critical and popular success for Diaghilev, Stravinsky and its choreographer Michel Fokine. New York City Ballet first presented Firebird in 1949 at City Center, with choreography by George Balanchine, scenery and costumes by the painter Marc Chagall, and Maria Tallchief in the leading role. Because Balanchine chose to use the orchestral suite, rather than the complete three-act score, he simplified the story and emphasized the mythical elements of the Firebird’s character. In 1970, a new production was mounted to adapt to the larger proportions of the New York State Theater (now the David H. Koch Theater). The costumes, of extraordinary complexity and fantasy, were created by Madame Karinska from Chagall’s original designs. Chagall expressed great pleasure at the devotion and inventiveness with which Madame Karinska interpreted his watercolor sketches in textiles, plastics, paint, and mineral materials. The choreography represents a collaboration between Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, the latter being responsible for the episode with Kastchei the Wizard and his subjects. Balanchine entirely redesigned his dances in light of the designs, conceiving the ballet as Chagall accompanied by music and dance.

Got to go out now, but will look for some pictures later.


Last edited by Temperance on Thu 30 Apr 2015, 07:50; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
Priscilla
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1822
Join date : 2012-01-16

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Wed 29 Apr 2015, 14:42

Yes, Stravinsky was what I had in mind - and the Chagall link. But there others less visual where the fragmented style is more obvious - and hard for a lesser mind like mine to follow with total absorption. Janocek - can't think how to spell his name - his quartets come to mind though later in the time line perhaps. Does music drag its feet when fresh trends open up in other art forms? I had better finish packing my other rubbish............
Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2588
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Wed 29 Apr 2015, 18:10

@Temperance wrote:
In Cubist artwork, objects are analyzed, broken up and reassembled in an abstracted form—instead of depicting objects from one viewpoint, the artist depicts the subject from a multitude of viewpoints to represent the subject in a greater context.

I really don’t know much about cubism but that quote rather struck a chord in relation to a painting that I’ve got hanging on the wall here (apologies for the reflections from the camera flash - my photo, taken this morning, really doesn't do it justice):



It was bought by my late father-in-law from the artist in about 2001, from his studio in Collioure (which is of course the town where the Fauvists congregated). My father-in-law spoke only French and the artist, Ian Scott, spoke French with a strong Scottish accent (and his English was only a little more comprehensible), but I can still recall the discussion. Ian Scott said his style was greatly influenced by cubism, but instead of trying to depict a subject from different physical perspectives to represent the whole, he tried - as in this painting - to depict the subject from differing perspectives in time - to tell a story as it were. In simple terms: to the left (as viewed) the sea is calm – to the right the sea is rough and the boat throws up a bow wave. To the left the sail is full and reflected on the calm sea – to the right there is a scramble by the crew to haul in the same sail, as the wind veers .....

The painting is untitled but the subject is a traditional, lateen-rigged fishing boat, a Catalan barque, ... and as such has been a favourite subject of artists for at least the past century.

For example this simple sketch by Matisse, ‘Barques à Collioure’ (1905):



Or this (a detail) from a fully developed painting in the newly-emerging fauvist style by André Derain, ‘Bateaux à Collioure’ (1905):

Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 4935
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Wed 29 Apr 2015, 21:00

I very much like your picture, MM. I find it oddly calming, despite the "scramble" when the wind veers.

Here is a poster by Chagall that I also like. It was designed to advertise a production of "The Magic Flute", but there seems to be reference to the Garden of Eden - why I haven't a clue.

But there is a serpent in The Magic Flute, I think?


Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2588
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Wed 29 Apr 2015, 23:05

@Temperance wrote:

Here is a poster by Chagall that I also like. It was designed to advertise a production of "The Magic Flute", but there seems to be reference to the Garden of Eden - why I haven't a clue.


Are you being deliberately devious?  ... 'The Magic Flute', as originally written, was clearly and deliberately, stuffed full of repeated symbolism from the Old Testament, Genesis, the Garden of Eden etc  (but being essentially a Vaudeville piece, it glosses over New Testament themes with only the lightest of touches). Yet it still manages to parody/praise some of the enlightenment ideas of Pythagoras and Aristotle, about the perfection of geometry, form, structure .. and so further about the soul and society ... and even (gosh!) ideas about free will, democracy and indeed slavery!

It was written as just an Opera Comique ... and yet it is/was so much more. 

But whatever ... it has some sublime music!
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 4935
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Thu 30 Apr 2015, 07:17

@Meles meles wrote:
@Temperance wrote:

Here is a poster by Chagall that I also like. It was designed to advertise a production of "The Magic Flute", but there seems to be reference to the Garden of Eden - why I haven't a clue.


Are you being deliberately devious?  ... 'The Magic Flute', as originally written, was clearly and deliberately, stuffed full of repeated symbolism from the Old Testament, Genesis, the Garden of Eden etc  (but being essentially a Vaudeville piece, it glosses over New Testament themes with only the lightest of touches). Yet it still manages to parody/praise some of the enlightenment ideas of Pythagoras and Aristotle, about the perfection of geometry, form, structure .. and so further about the soul and society ... and even (gosh!) ideas about free will, democracy and indeed slavery!

It was written as just an Opera Comique ... and yet it is/was so much more. 

But whatever ... it has some sublime music!



Not being devious at all - just ignorant.

Like you, I think Mozart's music is sublime, but I rarely know what they are singing about in his operas. I can't understand German or Italian.

I thought The Magic Flute was about the search for Reason - Enlightenment and all that. I just liked the snake in the poster. I shall try to find out more.

Wasn't trying to have unholy thoughts again - honest! Smile
Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2588
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Thu 30 Apr 2015, 18:17

Temp - Sorry, I was rather arrogantly scoffing about your comment about the Garden of Eden in Mozart's 'Magic Flute' ... and perhaps I was also rather over-optimistic in some of my claims too, about some of 'Die Zauberflute's hidden meanings etc. (and I'll admit I got some ideas mixed up with those from Mozart's 'Marriage of Figaro'). But, for just a silly vaudeville piece, there are still a lot of hidden ideas in 'Magic Flute'. And why not? It had to appeal to the common, 'common', audience, and so like Shakespeare (or like Pantomime) it repeatedly tapped into well-known imagery from the Bible, history, local traditions, and contemporary politics, .... sprinkled with a few clever classical references for the more erudite in the audience.

The notes that accompany my CD also mention ideas and symbolism from Freemasory etc. Was Mozart a Freemason? ... I sort of feel that he was, but I'm not certain. Who I wonder might have been his sponsor ... Salieri?

But sorry, I'm diverting the thread away from discussing the visual arts, again.
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 4935
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Fri 01 May 2015, 12:43

@Meles meles wrote:


But sorry, I'm diverting the thread away from discussing the visual arts, again.



I don't think we are restricted to the visual arts, are we? I thought your musical references above were wholly appropriate to the thread. Actually, I think we could be discussing what shampoo we use for all anyone cares anymore!

We are all up to our eyes and ears in politics here in the UK what with the Election and all - got me thinking about political posters as a form of art. I remember at the Tate Modern last year seeing a whole section of the place dedicated to Russian political posters. Alas I cannot remember any of the artists. Embarassed

Article here from the Guardian about British political posters:

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/apr/03/the-10-best-british-political-posters

Very clever some of them, but are they art? Here's a bon mot from Maurice Saatchi, brother of the infamous Charles - he who has made a fortune flogging art:




I suppose the most famous political image of all time is the Alberto Korda photograph of Che Guevara, the Guerrillero Heroico - an image as instantly recognisable in the late 20th century as that of Christ:

Emphasizing the image's ubiquitous nature and wide appeal, the Maryland Institute College of Art called the picture a symbol of the 20th century and the world's most famous photo. Versions of it have been painted, printed, digitized, embroidered, tattooed, silk-screened, sculpted or sketched on nearly every surface imaginable, leading the Victoria and Albert Museum to say that the photo has been reproduced more than any other image in photography. Jonathan Green, director of the UCR/California Museum of Photography, has speculated that "Korda's image has worked its way into languages around the world. It has become an alpha-numeric symbol, a hieroglyph, an instant symbol. It mysteriously reappears whenever there's a conflict. There isn’t anything else in history that serves in this way".


I can't get a poster to copy, but here is the original photo image:


Back to top Go down
Meles meles
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2588
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Fri 01 May 2015, 13:49

Was this the image that you were thinking of (though maybe without the Cuban flag)?



I have to admit that I've got one just like that (with flag) hanging on the wall here - although soon to be replaced when I can find something else. My ex bought it on a whim when he saw that Eddy had one on her wall in the BBC's 'Ab Fab' (how shallow is that?!?!). I've never liked it but it's suitably big to hide all the fuse boxes on the first floor landing. Well that's my excuse.
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 4935
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Fri 01 May 2015, 17:33

@Meles meles wrote:
Was this the image that you were thinking of (though maybe without the Cuban flag)?



I have to admit that I've got one just like that (with flag) hanging on the wall here - although soon to be replaced when I can find something else. My ex bought it on a whim when he saw that Eddy had one on her wall in the BBC's 'Ab Fab' (how shallow is that?!?!). I've never liked it but it's suitably big to hide all the fuse boxes on the first floor landing. Well that's my excuse.



Very Happy



When I was a student I worked in an arty shop: posters of the handsome Marxist revolutionary sold like hot cakes. I remember the proprietor of the shop - a successful capitalist who was making a small fortune flogging trendy images - shouting to me: " Go down the stock-room and fetch up another dozen Che's, will you?"

I wonder how much profit has been made from that photo?

PS I am not sure at all if there should be an apostrophe on Che's -  but the plural Ches looks funny, so I've put one.
Back to top Go down
ferval
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2380
Join date : 2011-12-27

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Sun 03 May 2015, 15:15

Tonight we have on BBC 4 at 20.00, the 3 hour documentary 'The National Gallery', a blessed oasis of sanity and pleasure amongst all the noise and bluster http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05tc5ss

It is also available on dvd I believe.

                                                                           
Back to top Go down
Priscilla
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1822
Join date : 2012-01-16

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Sun 03 May 2015, 15:25

War time posters were an art form. The German ones still send  a shudder.
Back to top Go down
Caro
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1067
Join date : 2012-01-09

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Mon 04 May 2015, 00:37

People often put apostrophes onto words that end with a vowel, presumably for the reason you mentioned, Temp.  Pizzas, potatoes, kiwis (and lots of other Maori words, which all end in vowels), folios, martinis.  And of course especially if it tends to change the pronunciation like your Ches does.  I have a difficulty with my own son's name, Louis, when it is in the possessive.  I want to add an 's' to show it is sounded.  Louis's.  But everyone else, including him, just writes Louis' without the added 's'.

Anyway this is totally off-thread.  I didn't in the least know there were all these hidden themes in The Magic Flute (but then I don't know much about classical music at all, not sure why that part of my education got lost, since I did learn the piano for a long time.  But that was learning technically and the theory, sadly the actual music you got from the notes was only a passing mention, or a suggestion to go to some concert or other by my music teacher, without her explaining what was to be listened for, or what was so good about it, or what it meant.
Back to top Go down
nordmann
Nobiles Barbariæ
avatar

Posts : 5486
Join date : 2011-12-25

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Mon 04 May 2015, 10:20

@Priscilla wrote:
War time posters were an art form. The German ones still send  a shudder.

Which gets us back to the original question.

War time German posters most definitely exhibited some rather uniform artistic styles, and quite stylised styles at that. War time German posters imparted a reaction, often intended, on their viewers. If an artistic style by definition infers "art" and this "art" has an undeniable effect on its viewer, what is it then that can ever distinguish it from what is more commonly referred to as art per se?

I cannot think of an objective answer to this. And if one allows subjectivity in the definition then the answer to what constitutes art based even solely on imparting an effect on its viewer must therefore include all those graphic representations that impinged themselves so thoroughly on our consciousnesses when we were very small, be they Ladybird book images or Renaissance masters. Images we carry around within us must surely have had some artistic merit in the sense of their effect on us?
Back to top Go down
http://reshistorica.historyboard.net
Meles meles
Censura
avatar

Posts : 2588
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Mon 04 May 2015, 15:05

I’ve been thinking about that photo of Che Guevara. In short is it really art or is it just reportage? (Although I’m not at all sure myself what I actually mean by the term 'reportage'). The Che photo was shot as one of a number by Alberto Korda on 5 March 1960 at the memorial service in Havana for victims of the 'La Coubre' explosion. Korda said he picked that particular one out because at the moment he shot the picture, he was drawn to Guevara's facial expression, which showed "absolute implacability" as well as "anger and pain". It was a lucky shot, Guevara had come into view for just a few seconds and Korda had been able to take just two frames of him from a distance of about 25–30 ft before he disappeared from sight. Korda later said that he immediately realised his photograph had the attributes of a portrait.

Here's the contact print of the entire film reel ... as you can see Korda only managed to get two snaps of the man alone, taken just seconds apart (middle, bottom row):

 

In his darkroom Korda cropped out the other bloke and the superfluous palm leaf, cleaned up the background, enhanced the contrast a bit and rotated a little. But the image was rejected by the newspaper he worked for (Revolución) who chose another of his images - one that also included Castro. Nevertheless it is this image of Korda's, now known as 'Guerrillero Heroico', that has since become an iconic image for the latter part of the 20th century, and has itself become the subject of much "art":



But just because it is a well known image, does that almost by definition, also mean it is art?

What about say the Pullitzer prize-winning photo taken in 1972 by Nick Ut of 9-year old Kim Phuc, naked and burned, fleeing a US napalm attack on her village? Again it was "just" an opportunistic photo taken by a journalist who happened to be there at the right time. As reproduced since it is often cropped down a bit, but the image is usually largely un-editted and as taken.



Again it’s an iconic image, but is it art?

Or what about another well-known Pullizer photograph: the raising of the stars-and-stripes over Iwo Jima. It wasn’t staged but this was actually the second raising of the flag - the summit had been captured and the flag first hoisted about 2 hours earlier and the event had even been caught on camera. But once the position had been slightly better secured a second larger flag was raised and a far better "composed" image was taken:



.... Although it was again really just a chance image. Joe Rosenthal the photographer who took the photo wrote:
"Out of the corner of my eye, I had seen the men start the flag up. I swung my camera and shot the scene. That is how the picture was taken, and when you take a picture like that, you don't come away saying you got a great shot. You don't know."

However compare that to another iconic image, ‘Raising a flag over the Reichstag’. The photographer, Yevgeny Khaldei, had to have the event completely re-enacted the day after it sort-of-didn't-actually-occur, using a flag he’d specifically brought with him and enlisting a couple of hand-picked soldiers to act the parts. The original photo was also doctored to add more dramatic smoke (and had to be further altered to remove a looted German watch from the soldier's wrist).

Ironically then, rather than being just a lucky opportunistic snapshop this image, since it was completely posed, composed and recomposed to the point of being almost completely faked  ... this one might actually be considered the most 'artistic ':



But just to continue my rather martial selection of images - and to pick up on P’s comments about wartime propaganda - a lot of the war-art produced in Britain during WW2 was in the 'ultra-realistic' style, indeed almost photographic in its clarity … and probably was actually painted from preliminary photos (so were the actual photos not considered art or were they only regarded as one would preliminary sketchs?).

For example, Laura Knight's 'A Balloon Site, Coventry, 1943':



Is it considered more "arty" for having been painted, compared to if it had been taken as an (albeit possibly modified) photo?
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 4935
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Tue 05 May 2015, 09:00

I read - and looked at - with great interest all that you sent yesterday, MM. Excellent post.

I think it was Leonardo da Vinci who said that a good picture captures "the intention of a man's soul". Korda's image certainly does that, but was it indeed more by luck than judgement?

Sign of the times! We - the reader, or here, the viewer - create meaning, not the artist?
Back to top Go down
Priscilla
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1822
Join date : 2012-01-16

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Tue 05 May 2015, 10:55

But there it is, temps, luck. It happens in artforms all the time, exploring, having a go, liking a mistake, accidental stuff.....hence my 'part charlatan' stand re all artists. And yes, MM's post was very good. Thank you for that, MM.
Back to top Go down
Caro
Censura
avatar

Posts : 1067
Join date : 2012-01-09

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Tue 26 May 2015, 23:51

I don't know if there is a difference between reportage and giving information, but I wondered if one aspect of art is to inpart information.  People often say that medieval art was full of symbolism because many people were illiterate and it allowed them to 'read' a story through pictures. 

But I was thinking about this when we saw an art exhibition while on holiday last week.  It was called "No Seconds" by Harry Hargreaves, who is called a NZ-based artist, though I think he is American by nationality.  His paintings were in a restaurant which had a small art gallery within it.  The paintings were of the last food requests of people on Death Row.  They had a very American look to them, partly because of the food, partly because they seem to be what we see as the stereotypical plate of food served in the cheap food places there. 

The choices were fascinating - not generally exotic or even interesting as food (a couple did have lobsters).  Often they were just a large fry-up, but one asked for a single olive with the pip in.  Was that some sort of protest?  The other thing this sort of art makes you wonder about is what you would ask for in that situation.  Would I want a beautifully cooked steak? or oysters? or just some lovely ciabatti bread and dips? A fruit salad of strawberries and peaches?  Not something I have to worry about thankfully, living in NZ (or in most countries of the world)."No Seconds" art

But is it art or information or propaganda or what?  Mostly I think if people call something art then it is art.

We were at a refuse centre selling recycled things while away and I said something about anything being art, but perhaps not these mops in a box.  On further thought I decided you could take these colourful mops in their tea chest, put it in your exhibition and give it a pretentious title and it would make some perfectly suitable conceptual art!
Back to top Go down
Temperance
Virgo Vestalis Maxima
avatar

Posts : 4935
Join date : 2011-12-30

PostSubject: Re: What is Art?   Thu 28 May 2015, 16:29

Found a Huffington Post article about the No Seconds exhibition, Caro - with pictures!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/30/no-seconds-henry-hargreaves-photos_n_4689224.html

Here's the Single Olive - With Pip:

Back to top Go down
 

What is Art?

View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 11 of 15Go to page : Previous  1 ... 7 ... 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15  Next

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Res Historica History Forum :: The history of expression ... :: The Arts-