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Author Topic: The 4 Levels in Art  (Read 75462 times)
rfw
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« Reply #60 on: March 27, 2006, 03:22:38 AM »
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people have been taking everyday mass-produced objects and elevating them to gallery pieces for some decades now. it started with the "pop art" movement back in the 60s.
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Bugzie, you're forgetting your art history!   Marcel Duchamp did it with his readymades almost a hundred years ago. Remember the urinal that he said was ". . . an ordinary article of life, placed . . . so that its useful significance disappeared under a new title and point of view -- [creating] a new thought for the object."

Come to think of it Edward Weston took some rather nice pictures of toilets . . .
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Mike_Kelly
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« Reply #61 on: March 28, 2006, 01:07:43 AM »
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I think you have nailed it on the head for me.  This is exactly what I think is wrong.  You imply that a previous generation was too stiff and regulated to it's aproach to art and that prevented new ideas from being brought forth. But when all the rules are thrown out there is no value. All value in life is arbitrary. We value daimonds because we do. They are just rocks.  But when you tell me that anything can be and indeed is art then there is no distinction. Everything has the same value. The pebble under my feat has the same value as the diamond on my wife's finger.  How can we enjoy art when it has no distiguishing value?

The lay public knows quality when they see it. They might not understand it or be able to identify it but when they see cheetos wrappers elevated to the postion of art they know somebody is full of it.

I was saddened when  locally high school girl came back from a summer art camp in Chicago.  She had a solo show of her work in town and she clearly had some talent in her paintings. But at the art camp they had taught her about installation art. So as she was packing up to go to college she piled all her belongings hap-harzardly in a big pile on the gallery floor and  called it an example of installation art.

What a waste of her talents and her time.
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mikeseb
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« Reply #62 on: March 28, 2006, 06:42:39 AM »
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...I think we must be the only two photographers in the world that think this way:)
Cheers
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You are not, I assure you. I can't really improve on what you've written so I'll just add this affirmation.
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michael sebastian
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #63 on: March 28, 2006, 10:48:21 AM »
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You are not, I assure you. I can't really improve on what you've written so I'll just add this affirmation.
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Me, too!!!

Eric
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

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KSH
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« Reply #64 on: March 28, 2006, 11:20:44 AM »
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I hope this is not too analytical an approach, but is it worth pausing to ponder what we mean when we say that something is or isn't art?

The statement may mean "I do not like this particular work of art". That's fine, but saying it may make your case clearer. It may mean "This particular object does not meet my criteria for qualifying something as a work of art". Again, fine, but again, if you say so, the discussion will focus on your criteria, which will presumably yield a more interesting discussion than "This is art" - "Yes, it is" - "No, it isn't".

Things get more complicated when it's not only about evaluating a particular work of art (or a particular object, if you will), but when you start attaching some social consequence or other to your definition of art. If you say "This painting isn't art, and therefore, I will not visit the musueum where it is displayed", you are of course free to do that, and since the consequences (almost) only relate to you, my only comments are those I made above. But if you say "Since this isn't art, people shouldn't be allowed to see this or the artist should be prohibited from producing further such works", the relevance of your concepts extends beyond yourself and must therefore be weighed more carefully. I am in no way saying that any of the posters of this thread has advocated any such thing. I would only contend that the more far-reaching the consequences are that you attach to your definition, the broader your concept of art has to be. If for no other reason, then to prevent that the concept be turned against you and the art that you are making.

I, me, personally, prefer a definition or concept of art that does not focus on the product, but on the process. To me, art is essentially something you are doing, the process of expressing what you think, see or feel about yourself, your life, the world, whatever. Whether or not your specific ways of expressing yourself, your works of art, are appreciated, understood, cherished, bought by others, is of course interesting and maybe important, but, to my mind, not instrumental for describing something as a work of art. The "problem" with this approach is that to know whether something is a work of art, you would need to sit in the artist's head. Since you can't, you can never be sure that you're not being put on. But I can live with that risk   .

Incidentally, this "procedural" concept of art can be a way of appreciating or respecting works of art that you do not like or understand: by appreciating or respecting the process behind it that will be very similar to the process behind your own works, however much your works differ from that other person's.

Sorry for this long post. Thanks for reading.

Karsten
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Mike_Kelly
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« Reply #65 on: March 28, 2006, 05:28:03 PM »
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Karsten,

I particularly avoided getting into the what is art question because it is a harder topic to tackle. I understand your concerns but I would propose that much of the Fine Art Photography administrative community (those that run gallery's and museums) actually practice a reverse form of censorship. In their blind adherence to the peer pressure of the intelegencia and the desire to be open to all  things art they choose to limit what is art by their process of elimination. Landscapes are passe, color is not "in" B&W is "in".  By constantly choosing the nouvo over the old they themselves define what is art because of their "post-modern" prejudice.  They practice a severe form of censorship by what they accept into their galleries.  If the view was wide from this perch I would be more inclined to be supportive but it does not appear that way to me. When I search the net I see from the New York camera club to Photo Center NW a fairly singular filter being appplied. If I was a new comer and did not know what photography entailed I think I would be getting a fairly narrow interpretation.
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gryffyn
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« Reply #66 on: March 28, 2006, 07:25:49 PM »
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I, me, personally, prefer a definition or concept of art that does not focus on the product, but on the process.

An interesting perspective, that has much merit, IMO.

What I find fascinating about your comments is the implication that the process is intrinsic to the value of the art.  Which to me, (I, me, personally    ), means that a trivial "process" means trivial "art", if you can even call it art at that stage.

That rules out me crumpling a cheetos wrapper and calling it "art", with the implication that it's "valuable".  Ever notice how people that label aftefacts as "art" are trying to impicitly raise the perceived value of said artefact in many (I would even say most) situations?

This also ties in nicely with my personal value system that equates "art" with some concept of craftsmanship, mastery, expertise and achievement through perserverence.

But that is just I, me, personally of course. YMMV.  
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.....Andrzej
Mike_Kelly
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« Reply #67 on: March 28, 2006, 11:12:58 PM »
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I would have to agree with gryffyn. Even though I can't define art. I would say that some of it's characteristics (IMHO)are possibly:
1. Care
2. Passion
3. Skill/Craftsmanship
4. Vision
5. and a bit of time.....
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KSH
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« Reply #68 on: March 29, 2006, 06:23:51 AM »
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An interesting perspective, that has much merit, IMO.

What I find fascinating about your comments is the implication that the process is intrinsic to the value of the art.  Which to me, (I, me, personally    ), means that a trivial "process" means trivial "art", if you can even call it art at that stage.

That rules out me crumpling a cheetos wrapper and calling it "art", with the implication that it's "valuable".  Ever notice how people that label aftefacts as "art" are trying to impicitly raise the perceived value of said artefact in many (I would even say most) situations?

This also ties in nicely with my personal value system that equates "art" with some concept of craftsmanship, mastery, expertise and achievement through perserverence.

But that is just I, me, personally of course. YMMV. 
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Andrzej,

I'm not so sure about the value. What I meant was that the concept may enable you to, well, relate to another artist's work even if you don't like it, don't find it important or otherwise "valuable".

How difficult or complex it was to produce it is one aspect that I may appreciate in a work of art, but it doesn't end there. I also appreciate if it makes me think harder or feel deeper or if I BELIEVE I understand the idea behind it. On that basis, I MAY also appreciate the crumpled cheetos wrapper, not because somebody has said "This is art", but because I perceive an honest idea behind it that makes me respond.

Karsten
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bugzie
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« Reply #69 on: March 31, 2006, 07:44:47 PM »
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rfw, thank you for reminding me of Duchamp's pissoir. but i'm not really bound up in who did what first.

as to question of value in paintings, some artists have reacted to the sad realities of the "art market". that is, investors will make lots of money out of you once you are nicely dead and if your works are deemed valuable. so some artists like to subvert this whole process by making their art ephemeral. or by not making their art a single unique object.

the subject of diamonds is interesting. diamonds are valuable because they are rare. they're rare because de beers, the south african diamond company, has manipulated the market to restrict the number of diamonds offered and to push the idea that diamonds are desirable. look up de beers and diamonds in google, if you're curious, to learn about the history of the diamond.    

the pebble under your foot is just as interesting and beautiful if you care to look at it. :-)
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gryffyn
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« Reply #70 on: April 01, 2006, 09:14:06 AM »
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the pebble under your foot is just as interesting and beautiful if you care to look at it. :-)

That is true, but if you place the pebble on a pedestal, does that make it art?
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bugzie
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« Reply #71 on: April 01, 2006, 10:41:13 PM »
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That is true, but if you place the pebble on a pedestal, does that make it art?
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yes. ...and you don't even need that pedestal. ;-)
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med007
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« Reply #72 on: April 02, 2006, 01:16:48 AM »
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There is no absolute requirement for a particular skill, save one sufficient to complete the intended piece of work.

Contemplating structure ot the "rules", can, IMHO, be rather silly,  as implied above. One does not need to know about physics and the mass of one's body to walk, dance or wink at a lady!

Yes, to reproduce a kind of art for which certain esthetic expectation have been defined, one has to obey those rules, whether it is "the rules of thirds" or traditional patterns of a Persian rug, or Japanese ink paintings. To be in the genre and respected by its affectionados, one should follow the appropriate expectations.

Art however, transcends any such rules although it can exist and flourish with them too.

On the other hand, for us, as human sentient beings to appreciate art, magic has to occur in our senses, at basic and at cultural levels. This requires that humans have functioning senses, awake early evolutional prewired neural circuits that cause erruptive emotions and cultural and personal overlays, against, through and because of which the piece of work has or hasn't evoked relevence and profound interest.

The "artist" may be pretty unskilled, uncouth, know no rules and produce art which is profound and compelling simply because it "works". Art has to work. That's it. It is so simple.

All the skills, rules and intentions don't mean anything if the piece doesnt work. However, for succeeding in selling work in a particular genre, the product not only has to work but also must meet the standards by which that kind or class of art are judged and valued in the market place.

So a bunch of wool with dye thown over it would be rejected by a fine rug dealer but may fetch a million dollars as modern art. It just has to work emotionally and be in a class that people are prepared to entertain as "art" to be Art.

That is just my humble view and the guide for my own work.

Asher
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bugzie
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« Reply #73 on: April 04, 2006, 04:09:02 AM »
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So a bunch of wool with dye thown over it would be rejected by a fine rug dealer but may fetch a million dollars as modern art. It just has to work emotionally and be in a class that people are prepared to entertain as "art" to be Art.

Asher
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a million dollars? i think this is where peeps tend to get their knickers in a twist. if i put my pebble on a pedestal, i'll get big fat zip for it. and even if i'm a famous and "saleable" artist, and it sells for a million dollars -- which is pretty unlikely before i'm dead -- i'm not going to see that million dollars. nothing like it.

i think some of you are confusing art and Art. there's just art. and it can be anything you please.

and then there's the art market. investors, collectors... grossly inflated values. you see those grossly inflated values and think artists are making a mint out of pebbles arranged in a semi-circle on the floor. well, they just aint. you can make a much better living out of nice landscapes for putting on walls.

i think some of you are confusing art and value. and art and worth.
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1IRISHBOY
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« Reply #74 on: April 20, 2006, 10:21:50 PM »
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From a junior art student at N.Dallas (my son) comes the word that "art" is any contrived medium that intriges, entertains, or holds interest and is appreciated by more than one person. His intent is in selling his work   otherwise the last requirement can be dropped.

Artist create while photographers capture but both are concerned with light, color (black and white is color) space and balance. This is of course as in the context we are speaking, graphic arts - not music, dance ect.
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gryffyn
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« Reply #75 on: April 21, 2006, 05:09:33 AM »
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Artist create while photographers capture

I beg to differ.  Photographers do much more than capture:  they interpret, crop, adjust, process and print, to mention but a few.  And with digital photography, the photographer is enabled to do even more.

If all photography consisted of was simple "capture", then there would be a much smaller difference between the good (or great) photographers and the unwashed masses of snapshooters.

 
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« Reply #76 on: April 24, 2006, 09:50:23 AM »
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"both are concerned with light, color (black and white is color) space and balance"

What part of "concerned with" did you not understand? Snapshot shooters are little concerned with more than is most of it in focus. When I said photographers capture and artist create it was an essential statement of fact. It could be said that artist capture and photographers create, but I wouldn't want to confuse you.
 

To make the point, there is a style of painted art that at first glance appears to be a photograph and photographs that appear to be painted. Both are captured, both are created. Both are "art".
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gryffyn
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« Reply #77 on: April 24, 2006, 10:10:45 AM »
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When I said photograhers capture and artist create it was an essential statement of fact.

It is only your opinion, and one with which I disagree.

Your "high and mighty" attitude is unbecoming of this board and of this thread, which has remained quite civil until your most recent comment.

'nuff said. Last word is yours, should you feel the need to have it.  
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« Reply #78 on: April 24, 2006, 01:19:17 PM »
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It is only your opinion, and one with which I disagree.

Your "high and mighty" attitude is unbecoming of this board and of this thread, which has remained quite civil until your most recent comment.

'nuff said. Last word is yours, should you feel the need to have it. 
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I'm sorry, I thought lashing out with your "self rightous indignation" followed with your frowny face in response to what I thought was a reasonable comment was what interuppted the civil tone of this tread. It sounded like to me, you missed your nappy time. Of course, that's just my opinion.
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gryffyn
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« Reply #79 on: May 13, 2006, 08:30:53 AM »
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I like Mike Johnson's definition of art:

   "Art is not an object; it is an encounter with an object."

His photography blog (rss feed) can be found here:

http://theonlinephotographer.blogspot.com/atom.xml
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.....Andrzej
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