The Modern Art Idiocy

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posted on Oct, 8 2010 @ 03:49 AM
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Originally posted by Spiramirabilis

Originally posted by Astyanax[/url]
Never argue with a critic

They are hands off then? Nobody critiques the critic? Are they some sort of divine authority?

I don't believe in gods, even mortal ones.

But there are three reasons an artist should never argue with a critic. I mentioned the first already. Whatever it is you're trying to say, you've already given it your best shot in the work itself. Any words you use to defend the work afterwards are bound to be less effective than what the work already says. If the work failed to convince the critic, your words certainly will not.

The second reason is that you are an artist, not a social reformer or political commentator. A work of art is expected to be a self-contained statement, not the opening salvo in a debate. It may yet become that; but the wise artist will stay out of the debate, confident that he has already said his piece to the best of his ability. This, to me, is an aspect of the artist's self-respect, as well as a way of showing respect for his own work.

The third reason applies to professional critics only. Words are their business. Arguments are what they excel at. In my experience, artists may be more or less loquacious but only a few have the verbal and writing skills to match a professional critic. So it's a case of pipe down or get cut up.

Artistpoet, it's a long time since I published any art criticism. I stopped years ago, because I found it was losing me friends. I still get requests for pieces of criticism now and agan, but I turn them down.




posted on Oct, 8 2010 @ 03:55 AM
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I must add that my iguanas are true masters when it comes to modern art. I'll soon be selling their works at 3K a piece....

Seriously...modern art as the OP sampled us with is nothing but crap. I don't understand how drawing fuzzy colored rectangular shapes is to be regarded as being better than the real master pieces. Art that makes you think...not art that leaves me staring blankly.....at fuzzy colored rectangular boxes.



posted on Oct, 8 2010 @ 05:19 AM
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Originally posted by Spiramirabilis
I have to ask – why can’t we express (these things we want to say) any other way (than in art)? And what is it exactly that’s so difficult to express? Annoying questions – but I don’t ask to annoy.

Well, really, your guess is as good as mine, as good as anybody's.

This being so, I will choose the answer most likely to annoy both kitsch lovers and art worshippers. It is that a work of art is very like a mathematical equation.


When somebody with the appropriate training looks at an equation, she understands it perfectly, even if she cannot see at once all the implications of the relationship it describes or how the equation was arrived at.

But imagine she now has to explain the meaning of that equation to somebody who doesn't know maths. She'd have to explain what what all the signs mean, what all the letters stand for, and only after that would she be able to start explaining the mathematical relationship the equation describes. If it's a faily complex equation, the explanation would, if she wrote it down, cover several pages. In the Science and Space forums on ATS, people often write long posts explaining what could easily be summed up in a single equation. They have to do that because they know that not many people on ATS are familiar with maths beyond secondary-school level.

An equation is a very refined, condensed kind of scientific shorthand. You don't read an equation so much as unpack it.

Art is just like that, too. Not just modern or postmodern art, but all art. Consider perspective. It's a form of artistic notation--a convention for conveying the idea of relative distance from the viewer. There are other conventions of this kind--foreshortening, shading--all designed to convey specific types of information.

Then, of course, there's symbolism. Put a sheaf of lilies in a young woman's hand and she becomes a virgin. Stick a diving pigeon into the same picture and it becomes an Annunciation.

Other aspects of the work will convey condensed and formalized emotional information. Where is this information coming from? In a painting, it is created by combinations of line, shading, colour, texture and so on. What the heck is going on here? How can globs of paint or ink scratches make you feel things? Again, it happens because of that shared understanding of the notation being used.

Now much of this notation is the result of history and practice, of convention. It can change with place and time. Before perspective was invented, for example, the relative size of figures in a painting reflected their relative social prominence and importance.

But there's another part, which is based on how we interpret perceptual stimuli and respond to them, that is common to all humanity and never changes. Three blobs arranged in an upside-down triangle within a circle or oval (or even a square!) look like a face to any human being on the planet. Often, this kind of understanding isn't even conscious. It's shared between us as part of our biological inheritance.

In such ways, a work of art becomes a means of conveying large amounts of information rapidly and on many levels at once simultaneously, analogous to how the terms in a mathematical equation do. The success of the communication purely depends on an understanding of the conventions shared between the artist and the viewer.

So art is a way of conveying a lot of information, not just factual information but information about feelings, too, very quickly and effectively. It is especially good at conveying the kind of information that isn't well expressed in words. If we used words to say what is said in an effective work of art, we would ramble on for pages (as I seem to be doing here) and might not even convey all the information properly.

That is why it is said that a picture is worth a thousand words.

But of course, art is imprecise, while mathematics is the opposite. Yet sometimes this imprecision is necessary to help the viewer relate to the artwork and enter into the act of communication. The fuzzy bits help accommodate the artwork within his individual conceptual and perceptual framework--helps him relate and empathize.

This is an important difference and it is where the art/mathematics comparison breaks down. But it holds good for the most part, I think.

*


Now when we come to modern art, we arrive at a place where the information being conveyed is highly dense, complex and informed by thousands of years of evolution and development in art. The result is often confusing to those who haven't the education or cultural background needed to interact with the work properly. It is hardly surprising that so many people are baffled and made indignant by modern art, and turn away from it muttering things like 'my five-year-old can do that.' They just haven't learnt the language of it, the language that will enable them to grasp what is going on. They would feel just the same way looking at a complex mathematical equation if they didn't understand maths yet somehow expected to be able to 'get' the equation.

*



you chose to bypass the entire subject of dreams – it’s a big fuzzy, slippery-slidey grey area of iffiness that probably annoys most of you scientific materialist types into a conniption

but it doesn’t have to – we all dream

I’m just curious about what dreaming actually is – and how our (nonexistent) minds work – that’s all. And then I wonder if art isn’t just a physical manifestation of the same thing that happens every single night inside all of our heads

The relationship between the mental world of artistic creativity and that of dreams is well established. But to say that art is the irruption of the dream world into mundane reality may be to use a metaphor rather than state a fact. And in the end it explains nothing. Carl Jung explored this subject widely and deeply, and though some of his insights can be deeply satisfying and energizing on a personal level, in explanatory terms they are just piling metaphor on metaphor. There are any number of theories of art and the unconscious, art and dreams, all that stuff. Individual artists often embrace one theory or another because they find in it a 'personal truth' that is creatively useful to them, but I fear there is no final, empirical understanding to be gained down that road.


You say addiction – I say compulsion – am I splitting hairs?

No, you aren't. I mean addiction. I don't think anyone was born to wield a paintbrush--or a Bechstein concert grand, either. It just looks like that after the fact.


back to your point: the development may be rational, the well we draw from – maybe not so much

I think we're merely using the word 'rational' in different ways. You're using it to mean the process of ratiocination, of thinking in logical steps from initial proposition to conclusion. I'm using it as an an adjective to describe behaviour that could legitimately be the outcome of such a process, even if the process didn't explicitly occur. Rational behaviour is a meaningful response of some sort to the situation and condition in which one finds oneself. It does not matter whether the response was arrived at stepwise through logic, by a flash of intuitive inspiration, or in a dream you had last night. If it makes sense, it's rational. In this reading, the opposite of rational is not 'intuitive' or 'emotional', but 'irrational', meaning random, meaningless. Get it now?


some men make excellent women – but they never take that as a compliment :-)

I would, if anybody ever meant it as a compliment. They don't though, do they?
edit on 8/10/10 by Astyanax because: it wasn't long enough to start with



posted on Oct, 9 2010 @ 07:52 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


I gave you a star yesterday - for making me see something I didn't see before - you changed my thinking some

first of all - you made me see that critics are human after all (OK now - that was humor)

and then you made me see - that critics are human after all

in a previous post I asked whether or not an opinion or a review could be considered art - I asked because it's an interesting question - but apparently only interesting to me :-)

I think it can. Listening in on the thinking of anyone who is knowledgeable and fully immersed in something they love is an amazing thing. If the reviewer/critic is any good at letting us in on their thinking that is. Let's face it - it's like all creative talent - some got it - some don't

whether or not someone has a good opinion is also matter of opinion - but so it goes

your first two points - they should never explain or defend their work - I agree. Even if it were something that was done - the artist is in an impossible position

but then, there's this:


The third reason applies to professional critics only. Words are their business. Arguments are what they excel at. In my experience, artists may be more or less loquacious but only a few have the verbal and writing skills to match a professional critic. So it's a case of pipe down or get cut up.


some are malicious bullies

a good artist will survive a bad review regardless - cream always rises to the top

survival of the fittest and all that - critics are natures way of weeding out the weak

but not all critics are honorable Astyanax :-)



I stopped years ago, because I found it was losing me friends. I still get requests for pieces of criticism now and agan, but I turn them down.


it's a rough sport - I'm surprised anyone would ever play at all



posted on Oct, 9 2010 @ 02:25 PM
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Originally posted by Astyanax

Now when we come to modern art, we arrive at a place where the information being conveyed is highly dense, complex and informed by thousands of years of evolution and development in art. The result is often confusing to those who haven't the education or cultural background needed to interact with the work properly. It is hardly surprising that so many people are baffled and made indignant by modern art, and turn away from it muttering things like 'my five-year-old can do that.' They just haven't learnt the language of it, the language that will enable them to grasp what is going on. They would feel just the same way looking at a complex mathematical equation if they didn't understand maths yet somehow expected to be able to 'get' the equation.



This is perfectly perfect.

I still do find it surprising they are baffled and indignant. Do people feel they are in some way being excluded from some secret? That because other people see value in the work they must be missing something so they resort to comparing the artist to a 5 year old? Is this where the term "elitism" gets it's negative connotation?

Art history is a million open books, it's not too hard to unbaffle yourself if you so choose.



posted on Oct, 10 2010 @ 10:36 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 



Well, really, your guess is as good as mine, as good as anybody's.


:-)


This being so, I will choose the answer most likely to annoy both kitsch lovers and art worshippers. It is that a work of art is very like a mathematical equation.


you know - that doesn't annoy me at all. I wanted to take some time to think about this one before I replied - read it a couple times - I like this explanation very much

there are things I would add - but nothing I would take away. And the things I would add I wouldn't be able to explain right anyhow - so - just going to leave it alone. Good for me :-)



Now when we come to modern art, we arrive at a place where the information being conveyed is highly dense, complex and informed by thousands of years of evolution and development in art. The result is often confusing to those who haven't the education or cultural background needed to interact with the work properly. It is hardly surprising that so many people are baffled and made indignant by modern art, and turn away from it muttering things like 'my five-year-old can do that.' They just haven't learnt the language of it, the language that will enable them to grasp what is going on. They would feel just the same way looking at a complex mathematical equation if they didn't understand maths yet somehow expected to be able to 'get' the equation.


just repeating this - I thought it was especially nice - and useful



The relationship between the mental world of artistic creativity and that of dreams is well established. But to say that art is the irruption of the dream world into mundane reality may be to use a metaphor rather than state a fact. And in the end it explains nothing.


so...not an original idea then? :-)

I know - but I do see it as more than metaphor if not exactly fact - and I think it explains everything. But - that's just me



I think we're merely using the word 'rational' in different ways.

actually, Astyanax - we're using it exactly the same way. Interesting - isn't it - that two people can look at the same thing so differently? I think that might be the whole thing right there - much of this is unexplainable. But we all try in our own way to explain it - using explanations that already make sense to us

I still see the behavior as irrational - and I'm not sure I'll ever be able to get it down right. But I do believe that all good art requires a certain amount of abandon - and that's the word that's been missing in all this - abandon

is abandon rational?

:-)

no need to answer - just thinking out loud


some men make excellent women – but they never take that as a compliment :-)
I would, if anybody ever meant it as a compliment. They don't though, do they?


there's a whole thread right there - sometimes they do...



posted on Oct, 11 2010 @ 04:31 AM
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reply to post by Spiramirabilis
 


I do believe that all good art requires a certain amount of abandon - and that's the word that's been missing in all this - abandon.

I don't agree that all good art requires abandon. If it did, we would have to exclude people like Leonardo, Bach and Rembrandt, who don't seem to have been very big on abandon either in their lives or in their works. I do agree it is a vital element in some kinds of art. But the real basis of the relationship likes in art's origins: it is the child of shamanism and libidinous indulgence*, and abandon is an indispensable element of both.


is abandon rational?

Under the right circumstances, of course it is.
 

* When an archaeologist says 'fertility image', what he really means is ancient porn.

edit on 11/10/10 by Astyanax because: of undue buttery



posted on Oct, 14 2010 @ 05:45 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 




I don't agree that all good art requires abandon. If it did, we would have to exclude people like Leonardo, Bach and Rembrandt, who don't seem to have been very big on abandon either in their lives or in their works.


abandon Astyanax - is only about letting go

for me it means choosing blue when yellow seems like the reasonable choice - the only sensible choice

actually - it's not about choosing at all - you just use the blue

with art - and maybe even with science - trusting our intuition sometimes gets us where we need to go faster than logic - reason. This applies to Bach and Leonardo as much as it does to Gauguin and Georgia O'Keefe and Isadora Duncan

let's throw in Keith Richards while we're at it :-)

It's not about lifestyle - it's about those brief little moments slipped into our thinking that let us see and experience things differently than we would have otherwise seen or experienced them

it happens to everyone - but I'm not telling you anything you don't know

I also can't argue with you about how none of it would ever work without rational thought - of course it wouldn't

chicken and egg?

one tells us that making art will get us nice things - the part that paints a giant orange square could give a fig about those same nice things

also: Bach - not big on abandon you say?

:-)



posted on Oct, 14 2010 @ 05:48 PM
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Abandoning objectivity for the surprising accomplishment of subjectivity.

It's not all paint-by-numbers.



posted on Oct, 15 2010 @ 11:23 PM
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And floating through the heavens one day, he was appalled to see...


edit on 15/10/10 by Astyanax because: I suppose I should credit the New Yorker, even though it's pretty obvious where the cartoon came from.



posted on May, 26 2011 @ 08:37 AM
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This thread is about how a 4 year old as become revered and famous by art lovers for splashing around colors:
4 year old becomes famous "artist" by splashing around colors

...which kind of proves the point of the OP.

edit on 26-5-2011 by Skyfloating because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 26 2011 @ 08:54 AM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


Your OP is still 4 paints splatters shy of current realities, imho, and that's all I'm going to say on it.

I'll leave you with a sample of art... this piece was expressly painted with certain restrictve opinions in mind.

Enjoy and good luck in exhuming your old thread.





posted on May, 26 2011 @ 09:07 AM
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reply to post by masqua
 


I read your response in the other thread that said "This is exactly how art should be, without restrictions" or something to that extent.

But isnt it that, if it is without restrictions, then art is anything. And if its anything, its nothing? Whats to stop me from proclaiming the bread crumbs I squash on my desk "art"? Im asking you as the artist that you are.



posted on May, 26 2011 @ 10:16 AM
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Originally posted by Skyfloating
But isnt it that, if it is without restrictions, then art is anything. And if its anything, its nothing?
It's not that it IS nothing, but it certainly COULD BE nothing. This thread's quite old, so I don't recall if I brought it up here before, but there was a piece of "art" that was simply a pedestal with a curse placed on it. Nothing to see. A pedestal would be delivered to the gallery, a voodoo priestess would come in, cast a curse on the pedestal, and leave. At the end of the exhibition, she'd come back and remove the curse.


Whats to stop me from proclaiming the bread crumbs I squash on my desk "art"?
You, being the squasher, make the determination of whether your action is art or not.



posted on May, 26 2011 @ 12:05 PM
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I have been a professional designer/craftsman/artist/filmmaker for 30 years, with gallery representation all over the world, besides owning/partnership in our own gallery, showing at art fairs and trade shows all over the US.

I'm perfectly happy letting the patrons decide what is art, what is junk, what to buy and what to pass by.

Academics can discuss the aesthetics of art all they want; It means nothing to me when I'm in my studio or on set actually making art. My freedom comes from doing/making and being true to myself; I have absolutely no control of what others think of my art and frankly I don't give a damn, because their are plenty of people that enjoy what I have done and are willing to pay handsomely for my creations, be they sculpture, prints, adornments, paintings or films.

I always enjoy this lively discussion. Even though it very apparent that it's nothing more than a denigration of
art, artist, and the creative spirit by many that participate in this thread including the OP; And that's fine....you know what they say about opinions? And even though I don't consider myself a "modern" artist; I think calling modern artist "idiots" says more about the caller than the artists.

edit on 26-5-2011 by whaaa because: pt pt pt



posted on May, 26 2011 @ 12:10 PM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


Doesn't matter who could do it it matter's who DID do it.
Art is a good investment. The first painting you listed I hate. The second and third I love. Also they look simple but replicating them might not be as easy as it looks.



posted on May, 26 2011 @ 12:25 PM
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Art is anything created with the intent to stir emotions or inspire ideas. Your disgust for those pieces only serves to validate their status as true art.



posted on May, 26 2011 @ 12:43 PM
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Originally posted by JoshNorton
You, being the squasher, make the determination of whether your action is art or not.


According to you art is whatever I say it is.

If I were an art teacher and I would talk about kittens and then about physics and then about the looks of the desk and chairs for several months, you you think my school would fire me? I could always tell them: "Its art. Art is what I say it is. Talking about the classroom chairs for 5 weeks is art. We`ll smear feces on the walls next week. Its art.".

Is art really whatever anyone says it is?



posted on May, 26 2011 @ 01:33 PM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 

Beware, Skyfloating, Scamandrius watches.



posted on May, 26 2011 @ 02:11 PM
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Originally posted by Astyanax

Beware, Skyfloating, Scamandrius watches.


Good to see the old gang of this thread is still around...





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