ART - not just pretty pics

timsk

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Tim,
do you agree with the dictionary definition or art that I posted earlier? Viz: “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power”

If so, then creative skill has something of an objective standard. Imagination can be inferred (albeit not necessarily understood). The appreciation side, though, is primarily subjective, both in respect of beauty and/or emotion and “beauty in the eye of the beholder (ish)” In my opinion good art must satisfy both the creative AND appreciation elements.
Hi Jon,
I didn't reply to your earlier post as, IMO, it's a bit of a red herring and is not germane to the specific point under discussion. Digging into the merits - or otherwise - of the dictionary definition will merely muddy the waters. I'm more than happy to get into all of that if and when subscribers have overcome the current hurdle. First and foremost, in the context of the thread, it's of paramount importance that everyone understands and accepts the very basic point that I'm making. Please re-read my reply to cant' (post #433) and my previous replies to Pat' and, if you're at all unclear on any aspect of what I've said and want further explanation/clarification - feel free to get back to me. Assuming you've understood me correctly, tell me if you agree - or disagree - with the simple premise that I've outlined? It's black 'n white, a simple yes or no, 'ayes to the right noes to the left' type stuff. The bottom line is that you're either for or against what I've said. Which is it?
Tim.
 
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barjon

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Hi Jon,
I didn't reply to your earlier post as, IMO, it's a bit of a red herring and is not germane to the specific point under discussion. Digging into the merits - or otherwise - of the dictionary definition will merely muddy the waters. I'm more than happy to get into all of that if and when subscribers have overcome the current hurdle. First and foremost, in the context of the thread, it's of paramount importance that everyone understands and accepts the very basic point that I'm making. Please re-read my reply to cant' (post #433) and my previous replies to Pat' and, if you're at all unclear on any aspect of what I've said and want further explanation/clarification - feel free to get back to me. Assuming you've understood me correctly, tell me if you agree - or disagree - with the simple premise that I've outlined? It's black 'n white, a simple yes or no, 'ayes to the right noes to the left' type stuff. The bottom line is that you're either for or against what I've said. Which is it?
Tim.

In part, Tim, in part. After all, who is to say whether something is beautiful or stirs the emotions other than individuals? i assume that if an artist is not seeking to gain appreciation of the beauty of their work or seeking to stir ones emotions then that artist is attempting to say something - that the majority of individuals viewing it might fail to pick up the message does not render it invalid.
 
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timsk

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Hi Jon,
In part, Tim, in part. . .
Sorry, not acceptable I'm afraid! You either agree or you don't - there's absolutely no grey areas in between.

. . . After all, who is to say whether something is beautiful or stirs the emotions other than individuals? . . .
This answers the question - so, no, you don't agree.
Unfortunately, you're completely missing the point here Jon. You're focusing on the individual and their response to the work rather than on the work itself. That's where you (and I suspect Pat, cant' & Co) are going wrong. Focus exclusively on the work of art, take people and their responses to it out of the equation altogether. Think of it like an instrument you watch - say the FTSE100. Just like the index, artworks have no emotions of their own, they don't care how you respond to them - they are inanimate objects that exist independently of everything else. But they are not all equal - some are better than others. (Artworks that is, not indices!) You must look beyond this idea of beauty being in the eye of the beholder - although I fully concur that it is - but that has absolutely nothing to do with the integral quality of a piece of art.

. . . i assume that if an artist is not seeking to gain appreciation of the beauty of their work or seeking to stir ones emotions then that artist is attempting to say something - that the majority of individuals viewing it might fail to pick up the message does not render it invalid.
Again, this is a red herring and not germane to the topic at hand. The intentions of the artist - irrespective of whether they're good, bad or ugly have nothing to do with the artwork itself. Again, I'm more than happy to go into all of that once we've resolved the current impasse. On that note, I'm going to keep plugging away at this because it's absolutely fundamental to anyone wishing to gain an understanding and appreciation of art. Once you 'get it', you'll find it so much easier to assess whether or not what you look at is good or bad or, even, whether or not it warrants being considered as a work of art.

I've tried cakes and food and that hasn't worked - so I'll move on to something else: furniture. Take two classic wooden kitchen chairs with four legs. Chair A is in perfect condition and does exactly what it's designed to do. Chair B has one leg that is slightly shorter than the other three. You can still sit on it safely, but it feels wobbly and isn't as comfortable as chair A. Now, as it happens, I really like chair B, I find it qwerky and different, slightly comical and I can have fun with it when guests visit, so I'm going to buy chair B. Does my preference for chair B make it better than chair A? Should everyone opt to buy chairs like chair B from now on instead of ones like chair A? Clearly not. Equally clear is that chair A is the better quality chair and the one that most buyers will opt for. That's absolutely black and white - please don't question this Jon or else I'll think I'm going mad! Assuming (please God, again!) you agree with this - now apply exactly the same principle to art.

Once you (and everyone else) accepts this basic principle, we can move on to how one decides the quality of a piece of art and why - in the furniture analogy - the picture in the paint by numbers video that Pat posted is akin chair B, while the Miro picture posted by 0007 is akin to chair A. That is to say, relatively speaking, the Miro picture is of much higher quality than that of the picture in the YouTube vid'.
Tim.
 
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barjon

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Hi Jon,

Sorry, not acceptable I'm afraid! You either agree or you don't - there's absolutely no grey areas in between.


This answers the question - so, no, you don't agree.
Unfortunately, you're completely missing the point here Jon. You're focusing on the individual and their response to the work rather than on the work itself. That's where you (and I suspect Pat, cant' & Co) are going wrong. Focus exclusively on the work of art, take people and their responses to it out of the equation altogether. Think of it like an instrument you watch - say the FTSE100. Just like the index, artworks have no emotions of their own, they don't care how you respond to them - they are inanimate objects that exist independently of everything else. But they are not all equal - some are better than others. (Artworks that is, not indices!) You must look beyond this idea of beauty being in the eye of the beholder - although I fully concur that it is - but that has absolutely nothing to do with the integral quality of a piece of art.


Again, this is a red herring and not germane to the topic at hand. The intentions of the artist - irrespective of whether they're good, bad or ugly have nothing to do with the artwork itself. Again, I'm more than happy to go into all of that once we've resolved the current impasse. On that note, I'm going to keep plugging away at this because it's absolutely fundamental to anyone wishing to gain an understanding and appreciation of art. Once you 'get it', you'll find it so much easier to assess whether or not what you look at is good or bad or, even, whether or not it warrants being considered as a work of art.

I've tried cakes and food and that hasn't worked - so I'll move on to something else: furniture. Take two classic wooden kitchen chairs with four legs. Chair A is in perfect condition and does exactly what it's designed to do. Chair B has one leg that is slightly shorter than the other three. You can still sit on it safely, but it feels wobbly and isn't as comfortable as chair A. Now, as it happens, I really like chair B, I find it qwerky and different, slightly comical and I can have fun with it when guests visit, so I'm going to buy chair B. Does my preference for chair B make it better than chair A? Should everyone opt to buy chairs like chair B from now on instead of ones like chair A? Clearly not. Equally clear is that chair A is the better quality chair and the one that most buyers will opt for. That's absolutely black and white - please don't question this Jon or else I'll think I'm going mad! Assuming (please God, again!) you agree with this - now apply exactly the same principle to art.

Once you (and everyone else) accepts this basic principle, we can move on to how one decides the quality of a piece of art and why - in the furniture analogy - the picture in the paint by numbers video that Pat posted is akin chair B, while the Miro picture posted by 0007 is akin to chair A.
Tim.
Tim,

when you talk about the chairs you are talking about “fit for purpose“ and quite clearly the chair that doesn’t wobble is the ”good“ one as you say. But what is the purpose of the work of art? Albeit that the artist might have other things in mind, it must surely be about the appreciation of the audience ? If so, I don’t see how you can divorce the judgement of the beholder in the determination of good or bad.

Presumably, then, I still don’t get it so I will remain in ignorance and just enjoy art on my terms.
 
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timsk

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Jon,
when you talk about the chairs you are talking about “fit for purpose“ and quite clearly the chair that doesn’t wobble is the ”good“ one as you say. But what is the purpose of the work of art?
Whether or not the chair is fit for purpose is another red herring - as is the purpose of the artwork. Neither are relevant.

Albeit that the artist might have other things in mind, it must surely be about the appreciation of the audience ? If so, I don’t see how you can divorce the judgement of the beholder in the determination of good or bad.
No Jon, not necessarily. Artists produce what they do for a wide gamut of reasons, including a whole genre of them whose prime objective is to produce no emotional response from the viewer whatsoever.

Presumably, then, I still don’t get it so I will remain in ignorance and just enjoy art on my terms.
Shame - but fair enough. I ran all this past Pam (mine, not yours!) just to check that I haven't lost the plot. She was genuinely surprised by yours, Pat's and cant's response and can't understand why you don't accept my point. She went on to say that if she went to a life drawing class (she never has and says she can't draw) and David Hockney walks in and starts drawing then, all other things being equal, he will produce a better quality life drawing than she does. If I was in the class, my effort might be a bit better than hers but nowhere near as good as Hockney's. Or, if you prefer, his would be 'fit for purpose' whereas mine and Pam's less so. You might even prefer one of our drawings for whatever reason(s), (beauty's in the eye . . .) but that wouldn't change that fact that Hockney's work is of (much) higher quality.
Tim.
 
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trendie

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What if Picasso comes into the class after Hockney? :)

Anyway, I think I know what you're saying.
It would have been better to start the student off on understanding the technical skill of drawing first, of composition, shadows, lines, form?
Then, once those skills are developed, the artist has the core skills to then add individual expression.
Rather than showing how to make a facsimile of something else. (the video)
In the case of the chair, teach the carpenter the skills of making strong joints, choosing the right wood, shaping the legs, etc. Once the carpenter can create a functional chair, he can then play with form, and make one with one short leg; always knowing the artistic creation is underscored by a knowledge of the technical aspect of making good joints, and of structural integrity.

picasso.jpg
 

Pat494

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Would you have that Picasso on the wall of your house for it's artistic merit ?
Not me.
It would be in the next auction, but only escaping the garbage bin because some wealthy people mistakenly think it has great value.
 

trendie

Legendary member
6,537 1,129
Would you have that Picasso on the wall of your house for it's artistic merit ?
Not me.
It would be in the next auction, but only escaping the garbage bin because some wealthy people mistakenly think it has great value.
Actually, I wouldn't. I don't go for images with people or animals in them, generally speaking.
(no psycho-analysis, please.)
But, having read a biography of Picasso, his life and his portfolio of work, I (think I) can appreciate it.
 

barjon

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Jon,

Whether or not the chair is fit for purpose is another red herring - as is the purpose of the artwork. Neither are relevant.


No Jon, not necessarily. Artists produce what they do for a wide gamut of reasons, including a whole genre of them whose prime objective is to produce no emotional response from the viewer whatsoever.


Shame - but fair enough. I ran all this past Pam (mine, not yours!) just to check that I haven't lost the plot. She was genuinely surprised by yours, Pat's and cant's response and can't understand why you don't accept my point. She went on to say that if she went to a life drawing class (she never has and says she can't draw) and David Hockney walks in and starts drawing then, all other things being equal, he will produce a better quality life drawing than she does. If I was in the class, my effort might be a bit better than hers but nowhere near as good as Hockney's. Or, if you prefer, his would be 'fit for purpose' whereas mine and Pam's less so. You might even prefer one of our drawings for whatever reason(s), (beauty's in the eye . . .) but that wouldn't change that fact that Hockney's work is of (much) higher quality.
Tim.

Tim, I guess you are talking “artistic merit” which I appreciate does not rely on whether I like it or not. However, who are the determinants of artistic merit and it sounds as though this is the province of only those who “understand” art. I contend that the customer, intended audience - the beholder if you will - also has a say.

When I last visited the Tate Modern I was greeted by an overflowing toilet bowl with a trail of shit snaking across the gallery floor. Someone must have thought it had artistic merit but shit about summed it up for me ( perhaps that was the artist’s intention! ) so I couldn’t give a tuppeny cuss about what the artistic merit was supposed to be. Nor do I care about any hidden meaning that may have been intended, by my book it was unadulterated rubbish with no artistic merit whatsoever.
 
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timsk

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Tim, I guess you are talking “artistic merit” which I appreciate does not rely on whether I like it or not. However, who are the determinants of artistic merit and it sounds as though this is the province of only those who “understand” art. I contend that the customer, intended audience - the beholder if you will - also has a say.

When I last visited the Tate Modern I was greeted by an overflowing toilet bowl with a trail of shit snaking across the gallery floor. Someone must have thought it had artistic merit but shit about summed it up for me ( perhaps that was the artist’s intention! ) so I couldn’t give a tuppeny cuss about what the artistic merit was supposed to be. Nor do I care about any hidden meaning that may have been intended, by my book it was unadulterated rubbish with no artistic merit whatsoever.
Mornin' Jon,
Your description of the piece that confronted you when you last visited Tate Modern is interesting because it clearly made a huge impression on you. My guess is that subscribers to this thread aren't the first to hear your comments about it. So, if the artist's intention is to leave a lasting impression - albeit an unfavourable one - then s/he has grounds to claim that the work is successful. Whether or not that is a legitimate - let alone worthwhile - artistic pursuit is a topic for another day. As for its quality - I can't comment as I've not seen it and know nothing about it other than what you've outlined here. I accept completely that you don't like it and, from your description, I suspect I wouldn't either. However, my point throughout these exchanges is that your dislike of it (and mine if I saw it) does not determine - or even hint at - whether it is any good or not. Someone else may love it and, by the same token, that doesn't make it good. Just imagine the quagmire of saccharine dross that would engulf us all if every artist only ever produced pretty pics in the hope of extracting the same response of 'oh, that's good - I like that'. If we extend this to contemporary music - we'd all have to be content with the vapid output of One Direction and Justin Bieber et al, as artists that want to challenge the norm, experiment and expand the musical envelope would never get recording contracts.

Jon, I really wish that you, Pat or cant' could explain to me why you're so wedded to the idea that the quality of any given work of art is reflected by how much you (dis)like it and why it's so hard for you to accept that the two things are in fact completely separate and unrelated? I am genuinely as baffled by this as I am dismayed by it.
Tim.
 

barjon

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Mornin' Jon,
.........However, my point throughout these exchanges is that your dislike of it (and mine if I saw it) does not determine - or even hint at - whether it is any good or not........
Tim.

As I said at the start of my last post I understand and accept your point. My point is that the determinant of good or not should include the perception of the common man (beholder) and not just the elite of the art world. Aside from an objective appreciation of the technical process and perhaps form etc it seems to me that experts can only apply a subjective judgement to other elements that go to make up a work of artistic quality. That subjective judgement must inevitably be coloured by the individuals own perceptions (beauty for example). So beholders can make that judgement too.

There is, of course, an indefinable power that emanates from the top dogs. For example, when I spot a picture screaming out at me from across the room in a wall of modern art it inevitably turns out to be a Picasso even though I don’t much care for his stuff. How you judge that I don’t know but it’s certainly there.
 
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Signalcalc

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4,670 1,030
Talking of wall art, has anyone wandered around Glasgow in the last couple of years, every city should be doing more of this (y)

4F4B7A4700000578-6085905-image-a-10_1534927031458.jpg


11756193575_648cf823a9_b.jpg


glasgow-scotland-mural-cat-birds-3.jpg


glasgow-wall-art.jpg


Glasgow2BStreet2BArt_by_Laurence2BNorah-5.jpg
 
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timsk

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Hi Jon,
As I said at the start of my last post I understand and accept your point.
Well, finally - thank heavens for that! Forgive me if I overlooked this given that as recently as your post #433 you were still disputing it. Anyway, here's hoping I've managed to convince Pat and cant' too!

My point is that the determinant of good or not should include the perception of the common man (beholder) and not just the elite of the art world. Aside from an objective appreciation of the technical process and perhaps form etc it seems to me that experts can only apply a subjective judgement to other elements that go to make up a work of artistic quality. That subjective judgement must inevitably be coloured by the individuals own perceptions (beauty for example).
Professionals, be they artists, critics, gallery owners or curators etc. are exactly that: professionals. Handing over their jobs to people who don't have their knowledge, skill and experience would be disastrous, much as it would be in any other discipline. Just as you wouldn't want anyone other than a qualified gas registered plumber to install and service your central heating system, it's right and proper that the professionals of the art world dictate what we look at in places like Tate Modern. After all, you wouldn't want a complete novice that doesn't know his u-bend from his bell-end to install your plumbing, so I see no case for expecting the complete novice that knows diddly squat about art to have any input into what graces the walls of our national galleries and museums. As I think we can now agree: 'I like it' - ergo it's good' simply doesn't cut it.

I accept and agree completely that the the elite as you call them get it wrong on occasion and, when they do, it's perfectly okay for the layman to call them out on it - as you've done with the Tate Modern 'shit' exhibit. But I wouldn't want you to be allowed the veto on that - or any other piece to be displayed - as you're not qualified for the role. (I'm not getting at you Jon - the same applies to me.) For the most part, I believe that the pro's are objective, although some degree of subjectivity is involved. Where they tend to go awry is when they allow things like politics, fashion and, latterly, 'woke' culture to influence their decision making. I suspect Charlotte Prodger who won the Turner Prize last year won't produce work that will stand the test of time and the decision to award her the prize will mark a low point in the award's long and illustrious history. That's just my layman's view, the pro's may - and some presumably do - think otherwise.

There is, of course, an indefinable power that emanates from the top dogs. For example, when I spot a picture screaming out at me from across the room in a wall of modern art it inevitably turns out to be a Picasso even though I don’t much care for his stuff. How you judge that I don’t know but it’s certainly there.
Agreed!
😜
Tim.
 
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barjon

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...........Just as you wouldn't want anyone other than a qualified gas registered plumber to install and service your central heating system........

Absolutely, but I would expect to have a say if he was deciding which equally efficient boiler and system to install on the basis of their visual design.
 

Pat494

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I expect Tim is just itching to show us his work.
So come on ole boy be brave. Who knows we may like it. At least you can expect some good manners if anyone doesn't.
You may hold some of us :D ordinary art critics in contempt but maybe our comments should not be swept into the gutter. We may point you in another and better direction. You never know !
 
 
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