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The Modern Art Idiocy

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posted on Feb, 14 2010 @ 03:20 PM
I don't think much of Rothko. But looking at his work on a computer screen tells you nothing. They're huge pieces that in fact work when you see them on a wall face to face.

I'm an abstract painter and in fact had my own gallery for a few years.
Modern Art has it's merits but works in a totally different way from conventional representational works.

You can only understand it when you see the works in a proper setting like a serious gallery.

A lot of mathematics and colour sense is involved.

Having said that there's a lot of crap out there that's insanely overpriced. Jackson Pollock comes to mind. Trick is if you pay $100 million for an original of his, there's a likelihood you'll be able to sell it for $125-150 million sometime in the near future. No one can argue with that kind of logic.

Art and art values follow laws that defy common sense. Most is hype.

But the value of a fairly common shiny gold metal also defies rationality.

+1 more 
posted on Feb, 14 2010 @ 03:23 PM
I'm an artist myself, musician, painter, poet, sculptor.

These are just hyped pieces of crap for rich people to boast their egos while reflecting their shallowness.

In a sense the artist is a genious.

He created a mirror for a shallow mind to connect with. Something so shallow and pointless that it would take a just as shallow and pointless mind to consider it more valuable than a turd.

Most talented artist are hardly meeting recognition so you'll have to search for these, and it's like that with most art.

Consider the paintings in the OP the Britney Spears of painting.

[edit on 14-2-2010 by JustAThought]


posted on Feb, 14 2010 @ 03:24 PM

Originally posted by SLAYER69

Then we came to the main hall there She and I saw this large 8 foot by 10 foot painting prominently displayed.

It was RED. Nothing else just Red.

Some of the crowd while looking at this [RED] painting acted like it was manna from heaven or the second coming.

It was the same when i took my kids to the National Gallery in London, there were loads of people admiring Van Gogh's "Sunflowers" painting. My little one who as 7 at the time, peeped around the group and said, "Is that it?...I could do that!!!"

Ok she'd have struggled, but it wouldn't have been far off.


posted on Feb, 14 2010 @ 03:25 PM
Great and hilarious thread. I remember a few years back where some idiot paid an absurd amount of money for a small pile of chewed bubble gum. Or another one that was a vacuum cleaner in a plexiglass box.
Or the stupidest one of all that i saw was a BLANK canvas with the artists name in the corner. Some dumbass bought it for a buttload of money because, "he had captured the very essence and basics or art"

LOl, there was also some dumbass german dude who was protesting against wasting leaving his water running in the sink for like a year.

posted on Feb, 14 2010 @ 03:26 PM

Originally posted by Skyfloating

Im really glad I posted though because I can see Im not the only one who doesn't "get it".

Help us out then - what are we "not getting"?

That art is a product; and operates on perceived value, determined by who? God only knows.

How is art any different than paying $100 for a polo shirt with a logo and the same shirt from Sears for $7.50.

Is a box of cereal with the box worth more than the contents fairly priced at almost $5.00?

It's simple really, if you see art that you don't like; don't buy it. Or anything else for that matter.

[edit on 14-2-2010 by whaaa]

posted on Feb, 14 2010 @ 03:29 PM
reply to post by Skyfloating

I'm taken the risc of being called a "artist apologist"
, by saying i think they're touching something, and i can't stop looking at them. He's art is pretty much "alive" to me.

What you tell about his issues with drugs ect. and finally his tragically death, what else to expect from a troubled artist ? Tulips and fresh spring colours ?

If these paintings reflects his soul, so it must have been his way to express himself.
I think they're great. To great to be sold to people who's hanging his art on their wall, for prestige only. Even worse... to ensure some profit makers in suits, a big amount of money.

posted on Feb, 14 2010 @ 03:29 PM
Some apt quotations about modern art, many with which I wholeheartedly agree with:

My favorite:

"Abstract Art: A product of the untalented, sold by the unprincipled to the utterly bewildered." - Albert Camus *

posted on Feb, 14 2010 @ 03:31 PM
reply to post by SLAYER69

Yes. Says nothing -- but looks so 'meaningful'

We held open-house not long ago. People were traipsing through. Most of them said, with that speshull 'we are one' smile, ' Wow. Just love your art '

(it's the modern/abstract stuff we bought on ebay for a few dollars apiece, one of them being very 'Rothko-esque' )

They 'loved' our 'art' ? Blank rectangles of black and dark-red 'spoke' to them ? Rough squiggles overlaid with bits of bark and seaweed 'moved them' ? Most of it's computer-generated these days. Mass-produced by the anonymous in rented warehouses and shipped per job-lot to small framing warehouses, then sold by strip-mall 'art galleries' to mums and dads and 'my first real apartment' types for half a week's wages ---- all so visitors can be 'impressed' by what are, basically, blown-up commercial paint-swatches in frames

+10 more 
posted on Feb, 14 2010 @ 03:32 PM
I don't CARE what people think of my art.
I don't CARE if it never gains me a penny.
I don't CARE if it ever hangs in a museum.
I don't CARE to be judged... period.

That said, it would be nice if the middle two of above DID happen.

The reason I, or anyone else, create works of art is because we enjoy the exercise and process of creation. Anyone doing it for the money is either woefully misguided or directed in their work by the demands of their customers (in other words, having had to sell themselves out).

Rothko seems to be the one trotted out here as an example to deride when it should be those rascals selling and re-selling his works for outrageous prices. As is the usual case, my guess would be that he benefited lightly from anything he'd done and that once he'd been popularized by the public and endeared by the collectors, he would have also been restrained to diversify his portfolio into new experiments.

Rothko reminds me of the work of Piet Mondrian, whom I much admire. The careful placement of hue and intensity has the potential to evoke mood... something my own paintings lack. For that, I admire both Rothko and Mondrian.

The disdain by which the work of Van Gogh was received by his contemporary artists and collectors is an echo of the perceived intent of this thread. Over time, regardless of the protestations of the art world, his genius came to be recognized by almost everyone. It could very well be the same with Rothko's work.

Picasso, while a wonderful painter in his early work, became a slave to his style and eventually enraptured with the money his factory-like production line afforded him.

Dali, a painter of immense talent, became a buffoon throwing paint-filled balloons on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Artists only want to be immersed in the joys of creating the images and artifacts which reflect their understanding the world around them. They are not replaced by camera and film, they use those mediums in the same manner as the materialistic objects we are so universally familiar with. This is why comic Superman images and Campbell's Soup labels wind up on canvasses. They are a statement about the human condition. If I was to paint something along that theme, it would likely be solar panels, windmills and hydro electric transmission towers over a barren treeless landcape.

Symbols. You can boil it all down to that one word. Symbols convey a meaning which is greater than the object displayed. They are sourced from both the subjective and the objective, from our dreams and visions and the daily grind. Nightmares and traffic jams, sex and war, daydreams and comic books, love and ideology, chickens and comets and billions of other reflections/thoughts derived from their contemplation are what drive sculptors, musicians, poets, writers and painters.

Certainly not Sotheby's, iTunes or great publishing houses. They are the rewards bestowed by and upon an ungrateful audience and rarely upon the artists themselves. So, don't knock Rothko for his work, knock the elitist flock murmuring in the crowds at Sotheby's for his fame and the price of his paintings.

posted on Feb, 14 2010 @ 03:39 PM
Rothko's work as photographs in books or on monitor is nothing like what it is in reality. In reality, and I've seen his retrospective, those paintings are alive and real masterpieces. I wasn't aware of this until I experienced it. So, you may criticize the arts market (which in many cases is just money laundering) but real work of art cannot be expressed by money.

posted on Feb, 14 2010 @ 03:43 PM

Originally posted by TheLaughingGod
seems they just randomly choose schmucks to hail as geniuses.

I don't really believe in "experts" when it comes to art, when they themselves know how to paint for real, then I'll take their opinion seriously.

The problem with "art critics" is that many dont paint themselves.

posted on Feb, 14 2010 @ 03:46 PM

Originally posted by mmiichael
You can only understand it when you see the works in a proper setting like a serious gallery.

A lot of mathematics and colour sense is involved.

I understand that. Its the same with any photo vs. reality. But there are still 1 Million+ things I would rather see than, say, Jackson Pollock.

posted on Feb, 14 2010 @ 03:47 PM
Here's one some of you will appreciate:

Several years ago, my brother owned a business near the beach in an up-market tourist destination in Australia

While passing through, we paid him a visit. During the visit, he was engaged in conversation with a man of indeterminate origin. My brother, out of politeness, introduced him briefly as the manager of an 'art gallery'

We expressed polite interest only, but the guy was a talker. A few minutes in, he asked us if we were 'interested in art'.

My brother gave a bit of a laugh and the other guy, obviously bored with his day and anxious to prolong the respite, went on to explain that he was paid direct by 'a group that gets funding from a government department'

His task was to oversee 'artists' paid a few dollars per canvas to produce 'authentic Australian Aboriginal artworks'

We were genuinely interested, because the region in question was not one frequented by many (if any) Aussie Aborigine artists

' Oh no ' he corrected us, ' they're not Aboriginal. We can't get them to stay. We pay them a few bob and they go straight to the pub and they're useless after that ... '

If not Aussie Aborigines producing 'authentic' Australian Aboriginal art ... then who ?

He explained further. Backpackers

Backpackers ?

' Yeah, backpackers, you know '

' Like who ... Australian Aboriginal back-packers' we laughed

He laughed back. And told us, 'No. Regular backpackers. Kiwis (New Zealanders) mainly. Some Pommies (meaning from the UK). But most of the people we have producing the paintings are unemployed up from Sydney and Melbourne '

Unemployed WHITE people ?

Yes. They were producing the 'Authentic Aboriginal Works of Art'

But isn't that misrepresentation ? we asked, sure it was

He shrugged, ' No one knows. The stuff gets snapped up like mad. We can't churn out enough. Do you fancy doing a bit, you and your daughter. I'd pay you. It's easy. It's just dots of paint, basically ?

We explained we were just passing through and didn't have the time, although dabbing dots of paint on big canvasses sounded like fun

He was a funny character. He looked Australian Aborigine, but wasn't. He was 'part Aborigine', he said, with the 'biggest part' of his origins being Lebanese

Ever seen the price of those Authentic Aboriginal Abstract Art Works ?

[edit on 14-2-2010 by Dock9]

posted on Feb, 14 2010 @ 03:48 PM

Originally posted by JustAThought

Most talented artist are hardly meeting recognition so you'll have to search for these, and it's like that with most art.

Consider the paintings in the OP the Britney Spears of painting.

Makes sense. In music too, the best stuff is often not found on Hit-Radio.

posted on Feb, 14 2010 @ 03:49 PM
reply to post by masqua

Well said my brother!

I too am an artisan and my motto is "To thine own self, be true"

And if people don't like my work, tough ****!!! I'm not making it for them anyway. It's process, not product even though everything can be turned into a product....just ask the girls down on Central ave or the pretty boy trophy husband sitting out by the pool.

[edit on 14-2-2010 by whaaa]

posted on Feb, 14 2010 @ 03:51 PM
reply to post by DangerDeath

Half an hour or so ago, I came across an article which claimed Rothko used cheap/inferior paints

It's to be wondered how restorers in the future (near future?) will be able to restore them

posted on Feb, 14 2010 @ 03:52 PM

Originally posted by flymetothemoon
reply to post by Skyfloating

I'm taken the risc of being called a "artist apologist"
, by saying i think they're touching something, and i can't stop looking at them. He's art is pretty much "alive" to me.

Sure, its kind of nice to look at. But 72 Million? That would appear to be a distortion of worth and value.

posted on Feb, 14 2010 @ 03:52 PM
reply to post by Skyfloating

I didn't expect to see Modern Art crop up here! However, since it has, I found it interesting that the American Abstract Expressionist Mark Rothko was chosen as an example, for a couple of reasons.

1). During the Fifties/Sixties, there was indeed a somewhat covert government program to 'manage' the emergence of the USA into it's dominant place as the art capital of the (western) world, a position previously occupied by Paris. I believe it attracted 'special' agency interest/funding/resources.

2). UK artist Patrick Heron was in fact far more influential on Rothko and his USA peers than he was ever really given recognition for in [by] the USA artists and critics (e.g. Clement Greenberg) record of events. I know they visited Heron's English home personally amidst the development of 'their' movement.

There are probably earlier discussions about this activity on ATS?

Anyway, that aside, I think there are different things to deal with when evaluating a value for an art work (be it contemporary, classical, ancient, etc...). There is the academic/historical significance, and then there are other issues of provenance such as the ownership history, exhibition history, exposure to publicity and reproduction, past earnings as a copyrighted image (e.g. on post-cards, in books, magazines etc.. not to be underestimated I believe) and so on. In addition, as with anything there are the standard market variables of supply and demand (is it fashionable amongst wealthy collectors or a collector? Is it one of several copies like a print or casting or a one off unit? etc...

Getting back to your expression of distrust based around a purely technical or skills based critique of the works, I would say that as far as I am aware, Rothko was a serious artist who intended his works to last. I am afraid I do not have any info on the technical history of his paintings in terms of maintenance and repair, but I suspect that he knew something about the science or skill of preparing and controlling his materials, better than many abstract expressionists, to provide a decent chance of survival in the long term.

Painting oil on canvas is easy(ish). Making it last is less so, and there is a lot to take account of if you are serious it. 'The Artists Handbook of Materials and Techniques' is a good window into what artists seeking such longevity might be dealing with in the creation of such works.

These items are relics, with aesthetic appeal (to some), perhaps a kind of spiritual or meditative quality (to some), an ensured place in (western) art history, a broader cultural significance as a part of the development of the USA as a world power, and some significant earnings potential as owner of the copyright for posters and post-cards, hiring out to exhibitions, etc...

Then there's the 'I've got it on my wall' desirability, competitiveness between collectors/museums, and it goes on.

Hope that helps?

[edit on 14-2-2010 by curioustype]

posted on Feb, 14 2010 @ 03:55 PM
[edit on 14-2-2010 by Skyfloating]

posted on Feb, 14 2010 @ 03:55 PM
reply to post by Dock9

Interesting point and a great way to underline the old maxim:

There is a sucker born every minute

Basically, those back packers aren't artists; they're scammers and a line from my previous post applies to them:

Anyone doing it for the money is either woefully misguided or directed in their work by the demands of their customers (in other words, having had to sell themselves out).

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