Debate and Discussion

What makes one an artist?
ayesinback at 5:05PM, Jan. 27, 2011
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I like wondering about this question, as I don't have an answer myself, and with all the talent on this site, I figured there might be some interesting thoughts about: What makes one an artist?

Personally, I think everybody appears on all spectrums at varying points. I mean, today you're below the 50th, and tomorrow you might be above. I suspect almost everyone has created art in some medium (drawing, writing, music, culinary, gardening, etc., etc.), even if by accident. But can they do it on purpose?

Is an artist one who intentionally sets out to create art and achieves that goal? Does an artist need confirmation by at least one other person that they created art to be considered an artist? Is an artist someone more talented time and time again than, oh, 50% of the population?

What is the difference between an artist and a master crafts-person? Or is there a difference?

Do you think YOU are an artist? Why or why not?

I suspect that I could be an artist, as I believe I have here and there created works I consider art. But not great, awesome, innovative art — and for me, true art has to be original. So I can't claim that I've created “true art”, and so I don't consider myself an artist.
under new management
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:14AM
ozoneocean at 7:27PM, Jan. 27, 2011
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This is one of those ones that people are going to answer by shooting from the hip ^_^

I've had to go over this one numerous times through all my years in art school and university -avoiding the “real” world. There are a lot of definitions and arguments for various positions…

One of the simple ones:
If you primarily make your living from your art (i.e. it's your main income source), then you are an artist.
But of course that's silly since the vast majority of fine artists couldn't hope to do that.

Personally I'd say it comes down to self identification: You decide whether you're an artist (no matter what that art entails). If the rest of the world agrees with you, then that's just a bonus.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
isukun at 7:49PM, Jan. 27, 2011
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I consider myself an entertainer, not an artist. Honestly, I think the same of anyone in my profession or who works with comics. I don't see anything wrong with being an entertainer and I don't think being classified as an artist would make my work any more relevant. I think those people who insist they are artists when they work in the entertainment industry are really still under the impression that art is somehow of a higher standard than entertainment, but that simply isn't the case. We don't need to “elevate” entertainment to art or try to justify it by comparing it to art. In actuality, entertainment justifies itself and is already more relevant in the modern world than art.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
bravo1102 at 1:34AM, Jan. 28, 2011
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Anyone who works in the arts is an artist. Too much importance is attached to the label of “artist” as if you have to be Michelangelo or Leonardo to qualify. Bob Hope was an artist. A master craftsman can be an artist and often is. Shep Paine and Mig come to mind from the model-building world. Even I got labeled with that once or twice.

Everyone has their creative style whether primitive, realistic or abstract and they are all artists.

You work, you try and you strive, you put in that perserverence to create and you're an artist. Trying to attach some sort of magical level for the definition of “artist” over craftsman is all pretension.

To the people claiming “ART” and “ARTIST” I say “No you're just pretentious and self-absorbed.”

Worst words I ever heard at a show, “We need you to judge the show…” When you have to do that you get a different perspective. You're more than just an observer walking through a gallery and have to actively evaluate the work. When you do that the definition of “art” and “artist” shifts to include a lot more than normal because of the volume of work you're evaluating you can come to see art in everything.

In the end it's our species. We love to communicate and for some reason of evolution (sexual selection?) communication is an art. And everything we create is a form of communication.

And I'm just throwing a bunch of ideas out there with no rhyme or reason. That's my art. :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:34AM
mlai at 1:52AM, Jan. 28, 2011
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Personally I hate broad definitions of artist. To me, an artist is someone who works in the traditional mediums of paint, pencils, ink, and marble/bronze/etc. Or in a medium which evolved from the traditional mediums, such as paint programs. That's it.

A musician is NOT an artist. He's a musician.
An actor is NOT an artist. He's an actor.
Etc.

What's wrong with being a musician or an actor or a dancer? Nothing. So stop calling yourselves artists and mucking up the definition.

And when ppl call themselves artistes (with an “e”), don't you just wanna throttle them?

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:07PM
DAJB at 1:53AM, Jan. 28, 2011
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ozoneocean
One of the simple ones:
If you primarily make your living from your art (i.e. it's your main income source), then you are an artist.
But of course that's silly since the vast majority of fine artists couldn't hope to do that.
Yeah, I think you're right - that's an easy definition to shoot down. History is full of examples of great artists who died penniless. Was Van Gogh not an artist because he couldn't make enough to support himself and had to rely on the charity of friends? In addition, there are plenty of examples of people who do make a living from writing, drawing or painting and yet whose work would never be considered “art”.

ozoneocean
Personally I'd say it comes down to self identification: You decide whether you're an artist (no matter what that art entails).
I think that's closer. It's not watertight because there are also examples of painters who would never have considered themselves to be artists during their lifetime (painters of early movie posters, book illustrators or advertising billboards, for example), but whose work is now highly regarded.

The simple answer for me is that an artist is “someone who creates art”. Unfortunately, even that is only a half-answer because it begs the even bigger question "what is art"? And that's so subjective, it'll never have a definitive answer.

Among the art establishment, the likes of Tracy Emin and Damien Hirst are currently highly regarded artists. Among much of the general public, however, their work is considered laughable trash. So who's right? It's tempting to say that the academics are better qualified to judge, but they don't have a great track record. So-called knowledgeable art critics and well-respected academies have been among the first to dismiss the works of artists like Constable, the Impressionists and the Pre-Raphaelites - all now regarded as being among the greatest artists of the last two hundred years.

Everyone has their own idea of what constitutes art and, by extension, what constitutes an artist. So, do I consider myself an artist? Sure, by my definition, why not? (Of course I may not be a very good artist but that's another very subjective question!) I like isukun's description of himself as an entertainer. I'd certainly put myself in that category too, but I don't see these two ideas as mutually exclusive. Is a Mozart opera art or entertainment? Is a Dickens novel literature or entertainment? I see no reason why a comic, like any other medium, can't be both.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:04PM
ozoneocean at 6:06AM, Jan. 28, 2011
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DAJB
Among the art establishment, the likes of Tracy Emin and Damien Hirst are currently highly regarded artists. Among much of the general public, however, their work is considered laughable trash. So who's right? It's tempting to say that the academics are better qualified to judge, but they don't have a great track record. So-called knowledgeable art critics and well-respected academies have been among the first to dismiss the works of artists like Constable, the Impressionists and the Pre-Raphaelites - all now regarded as being among the greatest artists of the last two hundred years
This is important. Maybe in 100 years Emin and Hearst won't even be considered artists at all? Fashions and fads affect everything, even high-end art criticism. People who were highly regarded artists in the Renascence and even in the 19th century are now eclipsed by others who certainly weren't as well known in their own time.
mlai
Personally I hate broad definitions of artist. To me, an artist is someone who works in the traditional mediums of paint, pencils, ink, and marble/bronze/etc. Or in a medium which evolved from the traditional mediums, such as paint programs. That's it.

A musician is NOT an artist. He's a musician.
An actor is NOT an artist. He's an actor.
Etc.

What's wrong with being a musician or an actor or a dancer? Nothing. So stop calling yourselves artists and mucking up the definition.
I respect your traditionalism :)
The media isn't so relevant in traditional terms because those always change and evolve (i.e paint programs you mention). What you're talking about I think is 2D and 3D representation.
-I mean, there was a time when bronze casting didn't exist as an option, likewise oil paint, acrylics, pencils etc. but there were always other ways to produce 2d and 3d work.
…so is it the work that matters? What's represented? The artists' intentions behind the representation?

Definitions always get fuzzy.
Then we have other things like landscape art like Christo and his famous wrapping, instillation art like Emin's, or even body modification like Stelac. That's all art defined by intention.

Or even “outsider” art which is defined as art only by outside observers. True outsider art is just the product of manic obsessive creation by someone who doesn't intend the work to be art.In some ways that's like traditional, cultural art in that we call it “art”, but most totems, fetishes, idols etc were never intended that way.

There are many who have a more primitive, commercial attitude to the idea of “art”- artists like Damien Hearst work around that theme even as his fame and livelihood are inextricable from it.
He and many like him are also bound in the modern obsession with celebrity (which doesn't bode well for the longevity of their work)/
- Basically , they're now famous artists because they're celebrities and what they produce (whatever that may be) is “art” because of that status. This is also bound up in the commodisation of art and in turn changes the way we look at artists of the past.
- In times past an artist was famous primarily because of their work. But now we even look at historical artists such as Van Gough, Michaelangelo, Manet etc as celebrity artists, it's becoming so that their art is mainly important for their names rather than intrinsic qualities in the objects.

Self identification seems the simplest route to me.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
Genejoke at 9:03AM, Jan. 28, 2011
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Someone
Personally I hate broad definitions of artist. To me, an artist is someone who works in the traditional mediums of paint, pencils, ink, and marble/bronze/etc. Or in a medium which evolved from the traditional mediums, such as paint programs. That's it.

A musician is NOT an artist. He's a musician.
An actor is NOT an artist. He's an actor.
Etc.

What's wrong with being a musician or an actor or a dancer? Nothing. So stop calling yourselves artists and mucking up the definition.

Wrong.


A person is not an artist based on what methods tools or medium they use, art and artists are far more broad terms than musician, actor or painter.

An artist is a person that makes art. So define art.

Someone
Art is the process or product of deliberately arranging elements in a way to affect the senses or emotions. It encompasses a diverse range of human activities, creations, and modes of expression, including music, literature, film, sculpture, and paintings. …


So it's very straight forward, if you create something for aesthetic purposes as opposed to practical ones then you are an artist. simples.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:33PM
ozoneocean at 9:20AM, Jan. 28, 2011
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Genejoke
So it's very straight forward, if you create something for aesthetic purposes as opposed to practical ones then you are an artist. simples.
Not simple at all. Most of the “art” from the past we regard as highly historically significant was created for practical purposes. Whether that's commissioned portraits by Velasquez, religious art by Raphael or Fra Angelico, or the unknown sculptors behind the famous Hellenic Greek sculpture or even the face of the Sphinx.

The modern attitude to art is a product of the late 19th century when it became less of a craft and more about the creation.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
Genejoke at 9:43AM, Jan. 28, 2011
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Those examples still fall into the aesthetic category rather than practical, so the point still stands.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:33PM
ozoneocean at 10:28AM, Jan. 28, 2011
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Genejoke
Those examples still fall into the aesthetic category rather than practical, so the point still stands.
By modern standards. But that's only because you've taken them out of their historical context.
The purpose of the face of the Sphinx and other religious/royal “art” was to physically represent something. This is why they were crafted- specifically for that purpose. That was a practical aim. Not to evoke feelings and nuances
The same with portraiture- we look on these as being more about aesthetics now because they're that far removed from their purpose: the subjects are long dead, we have photos instead, the idea of status from having a famous painter depict your family is foreign to people today etc.

If we were to turn things around and think of many objects of the modern world in the same way that people in the past thought of what we think of as “art”, then many apparently purely practical objects would suddenly become objects of art.

You have to remember that words artifice and artisan which are related to the word “art” actually literally refer to“craft”.

——————–
…and I know it sounds like I'm just being a horrible smartarse wanker here, but I did spend a lot of years doing that academically so it's not something I can easily help. So I'm sorry if I just appear contrary for contrariness sake.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
DAJB at 10:43AM, Jan. 28, 2011
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I'm frightened by how much of Ozone's thinking is the same as mine on this subject. It's not natural, I tells ya!
;-)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:04PM
Hawk at 10:45AM, Jan. 28, 2011
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ozoneocean
Most of the “art” from the past we regard as highly historically significant was created for practical purposes.

That is true.

I had that sort of conversation while in a museum, where they were displaying thousand-year-old pottery. Was this pottery made to be art? No, it was made to hold somebody's food.

But I think it still qualified as art. Why? When somebody put it on display in a museum, it became art.

I have a definition of art that would probably bother some people. I think that no matter what it is, if you put it on display for people to enjoy its non-practical qualities, it's art. Now, you can spend years arguing the quality and value of it, but it was still meant to be art.

You could poop in a tin can and then put it on a podium in a museum and it would be art. It would be awful or stupid or smelly art, but it would still be art.

To me, a thing's status as art is not debatable. But the quality of that art is highly debatable.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:47PM
Genejoke at 11:20AM, Jan. 28, 2011
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The same with portraiture- we look on these as being more about aesthetics now because they're that far removed from their purpose: the subjects are long dead, we have photos instead, the idea of status from having a famous painter depict your family is foreign to people today etc.

Photography is art too. Your argument is still flawed, all those things were clearly made with artistic sensibilities. Doesn't nearly all art represent something? Something can be practical and artistic at the same time.
While I agree that art is in the eye of the beholder I disagree that everyone who makes something is an artist. otherwise all parents would be artists :)

A guy build a wall, the is no sense of design, it just serves a purpose is he a builder or an artist?

I say builder.

last edited on July 14, 2011 12:33PM
ayesinback at 11:25AM, Jan. 28, 2011
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Hawk
You could poop in a tin can and then put it on a podium in a museum and it would be art. It would be awful or stupid or smelly art, but it would still be art.
You're not just whistling Dixie:
http://www.tate.org.uk/servlet/ViewWork?cgroupid=999999961&workid=27330&tabview=text&texttype=10

I saw one of the cans in a NYC gallery just a year or two ago. I have to admit that it falls into the definition of art, although I'm still looking for a loophole.

It's kind of like the DaDA movement, where the whole point of the art pieces was to mock art. or at least mock the broad definitions that encompass so much as art.

under new management
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:14AM
ozoneocean at 12:17PM, Jan. 28, 2011
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Genejoke
Someone
The same with portraiture- we look on these as being more about aesthetics now because they're that far removed from their purpose: the subjects are long dead, we have photos instead, the idea of status from having a famous painter depict your family is foreign to people today etc.

Photography is art too. Your argument is still flawed, all those things were clearly made with artistic sensibilities. Doesn't nearly all art represent something? Something can be practical and artistic at the same time.
While I agree that art is in the eye of the beholder I disagree that everyone who makes something is an artist. otherwise all parents would be artists :)

“Artistic sensibilities”? They were made, that's all you can say. You're still thinking of these things in modern terms.
Your idea seems to be that because the look of something is more appealing, or that more craft went into it that makes it more “artistic” than a simple wall. This is just a personal judgement.

My reference to photography was to help illustrate that we no longer regard portraiture as they did before cameras. Our perspective on that has changed.

No, nearly all “art” does not represent something. This has never been the case.

Of course things can be practical and visually appealing but your whole definition was based on the idea that for something to be art it had to be primarily aesthetic rather than practical.

We can most definitely agree of the eye of the beholder thing!

I never said everyone who makes something is an artist. I wouldn't tie myself up into a a knot like that. :)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
Genejoke at 12:58PM, Jan. 28, 2011
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Someone
Your idea seems to be that because the look of something is more appealing, or that more craft went into it that makes it more “artistic” than a simple wall. This is just a personal judgement.

if someone wants to make a wall as a divide then it would be a simple wall, that is not art but some may find something appealing in it's simplicity. That seems to be the point you are trying to make. that does not apply to things like churches or the sphinx as people have clearly intended to make it look good.

I get what you say about portraits but I don't believe it makes them any less art, it is just now they are more a choice as opposed the only option.

A lot of this could well go into the standard word definitions thread, as the meaning has shifted. people say “That is a work of art” art meaning superior skill, the meaning has shifted. So to take the old meaning only those who are really amazing at drawing or writing could claim to be artists.

Damn I'm complicating this stuff now.





last edited on July 14, 2011 12:33PM
Hawk at 12:59PM, Jan. 28, 2011
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ayesinback
You're not just whistling Dixie:
http://www.tate.org.uk/servlet/ViewWork?cgroupid=999999961&workid=27330&tabview=text&texttype=10

HOLY COW. I guess I should have seen something like that coming. :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:47PM
ozoneocean at 1:37PM, Jan. 28, 2011
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Genejoke
otherwise all parents would be artists :)
Haha, I just recalled this:

What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how
infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and
admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like
a god! the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals
Genejoke
A lot of this could well go into the standard word definitions thread, as the meaning has shifted. people say “That is a work of art” art meaning superior skill, the meaning has shifted.
That's true. The meaning has shifted
But that has greater implications than we first see- almost everything we think about art now is all a modern conceit.
In order to classify and define things as “artistic” (in the modern way of thinking about it) takes all sorts of jumping through hoops in order to justify it. We've needlessly complicated the idea, over-stressing conceptual qualities and aesthetics in order to take it away from the craft/skill based origin.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
blindsk at 2:50PM, Jan. 28, 2011
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ozoneocean
I never said everyone who makes something is an artist. I wouldn't tie myself up into a a knot like that.

I will make that conjecture, but with one little requisite. So hopefully it will be okay.

For the longest time I tried to hold on the traditional sense of art, much like mlai's definition of it. Art is something that artists create when they put the pencil/pen/marker to the paper and draw something out. To this day I try really hard to hang onto that definition. However, it's been tested by many a personal occasion thereby changing how I view art these days.

On the one hand, if I recall my experiences in an art class, it involved nothing but drawing and putting some sort of design or drawing on a piece of paper. It could've been paint, pencils, charcoal, or many other kinds of tools, but the ultimate goal was always the same. One interesting point is that you were never graded on how accurate or aesthetically appealing your piece was, just that it showed more than fifteen seconds worth of effort put into it. Anyway, before long I realized that many people extend their definitions of art far beyond simply drawing.

I won't bore you with all of the little encounters I've experienced that seriously had me questioning how I view art. But I can give a lot of credit to my university. First off, they have this “Fine Arts” program that encompasses a wide variety of things: music, acting, writing…did I forget something? Oh yeah, drawing, of course! But apparently having an art degree wasn't limited to being a painter or anything like that. Actually, even video game design falls into this category. I believe that's the next frontier in stretching out the definition of what art can be - people that design video games. Maybe that's the modern perspective on art? Always challenging what it can be applied to. There's a lot of that done in experimental stuff. But I'll never enjoy experimental music (I shudder just thinking of it). However, I know plenty of people that can sit down and listen to it.

Another time in my life that completely blew me away was when someone described themselves as a culinary artist. I was young, it was the first time I heard the word. I recall trying to figure out just what sort of art they created; imagine my surprise when I found out it was food! So chef's can be artists, too, eh? It makes sense to me now because you can turn on the cooking channel and see food prepared in so many different combinations you never thought possible.

So I'm going to say that art is anything that can be created with certain fundamental tools. The only requirement is that they be appreciated by at least one individual (besides yourself and outside of your immediate circle) before it can become art. That's how I see it, at least.
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demontales at 5:28PM, Jan. 28, 2011
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genejoke
Photography is art too. Your argument is still flawed, all those things were clearly made with artistic sensibilities.

I think what ozoneocean is trying to point out is something alike: If portraits that had the role photography took are art, does that mean class pictures are art too? Or family pictures, or the pictures you put on your facebook or whatever profile pages?

I agree that photography can be an art, but is all photography art? And is all painting art?

My definition of art has shifted so much along the years that I don't even know if it has a meaning to me anymore. It has something to do with expression, giving yourself into it, the desire to create. But I can't point my finger at it and give it a name. I don't think it needs one to be honnest.
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mlai at 9:51PM, Jan. 28, 2011
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I'll refine my definition a bit. The requirement is not that you must use a pen or brush… it's that you must create something outside of yourself, for others to observe.

You paint a painting, you sculpt a statue, you take a photograph… you have created an object outside of yourself. Others will view this object, not you.

You dance or act or sing or play a piano, you are creating a form of self-expression. Others will view/hear you. That is not art. That is dancing or acting or singing or music-making.

Also, art is an form of expression derived from a 3rd-person object which communicates to you through sight primarily, sound and touch secondarily/optionally. Hence, music is not art, food is not art. They are music and food. Video games are indeed art, unless it's a game where vision is not involved.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:07PM
arteestx at 9:54PM, Jan. 28, 2011
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mlai
And when ppl call themselves artistes (with an “e”), don't you just wanna throttle them?
HEY!! WHAT TH–?!?!?

;)

ayesinback
Do you think YOU are an artist? Why or why not?
Y'know, if you ask a room of second graders who in the room is an artist, all their hands will go up. Ask them who is a singer, they all raise their hands. Ask them who is a scientist, and they all raise their hands. Ask a room of middle school students these questions, and you get a much smaller number of people willing to raise their hands. Somewhere along the way, we get the message that we are NOT an artist or a singer or a scientist, that these labels don't apply to us after all. And I think that's a shame. I don't think we need to falsely encourage people that they are all GREAT artists or singers (watching a few audition shows of “American Idol” should put that to rest), but I wish we could all see ourselves as artists and singers and scientists. We all have an artistic side, a musical side, etc. and that we should express that when possible. Just because we're not Pavarotti doesn't mean we're not a singer, just because we're not Michaelangelo doesn't mean we're not an artist.

Xolta is not intended for anyone under 18 years old.
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ayesinback at 6:58AM, Jan. 29, 2011
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Asking about what makes one an artist of course opens up the question of what is art. As far as drawing/painting/sculpting, I've heard of these lumped together as “fine art” — a little arrogant, but I think that label then allows for other media to have the potential of offering art.

To me, an object, tangible or not, becomes a work of art when it creates a new connection for someone other than the “artist”, and I can think of two specific connections: either an “Ah! so that is how it is” or a “Yes! Exactly right!”. This connection is based, for lack of better words, on unveiling a Truth. So art will always be subjective because not all works will make a connection with all people.

A lot of people confuse art with beauty. A piece of pottery can be beautiful. A wall can be beautiful. The Mona Lisa is beautiful. These works can be treasured, can bring aesthetic joy, admired for the skill required to create them, but if they don't create one of those two connections, imo, they aren't art. And just because someone treasures an item and houses it in a museum does not make it art.

So by my definition, some of Chris Rock's performances are art, and most of John Constable's paintings are not art. Actually, that Is how I see it. And a 5-yr old's crayon drawing can potentially be art where as a Rubens isn't it (to me). And most certainly, some of the greatest art we have are writings, whether plays, novels, or speeches (such as the Gettysburg).

So then what is an artist? Maybe it is one who sets out to unveil a truth and succeeds, even if only one other person sees it.
under new management
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:14AM
ozoneocean at 8:06AM, Jan. 29, 2011
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ayesinback
So art will always be subjective because not all works will make a connection with all people.
Very much the heart of post modern theory- ie. it's the reception of the audience that's key.

This means that the reception and interpretation of the “art” is dependant on how the audience receives it because of their cultural background (as an example), and the context in which the art is displayed it just as important as the art itself for transmitting meaning or even making it “art”. e.g: Liechtenstein's comic book images in their original comic book context had a very different reception when he recreated them as big images on a gallery wall…



All of which is so much sophistry to while away the hours, earn grants, fill some theses, pad out culture shows or get a bunch of artists shitfaced during their aftershow parties- Been there done that (a lot) and it's damn fun! :)

Personally I'll stick with the older idea of art and artists- master craftspeople and their craft (yes, even someone who makes cars or computers). It's purer and simpler because it's not jury-rigged and slipshod, hastily constructed and reconstructed constantly to justify and encompass changing modern cultural movements.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
ayesinback at 9:03AM, Jan. 29, 2011
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ozoneocean
. . .

it's the reception of the audience that's key.

This means that the reception and interpretation of the “art” is dependant on how the audience receives it because of their cultural background (as an example), and the context in which the art is displayed it just as important as the art itself for transmitting meaning or even making it “art”. e.g: Liechtenstein's comic book images in their original comic book context had a very different reception when he recreated them as big images on a gallery wall…

All of which is so much sophistry to while away the hours, earn grants, fill some theses, pad out culture shows and get a bunch of artists shitfaced during their aftershow parties- Been there (a lot), done that and it's damn fun! :)

Personally I'll stick with the older idea of art and artists- master craftspeople and their craft (yes, even someone who makes cars or computers). It's purer and simpler because it's not jury-rigged and slipshod, hastily constructed and reconstructed constantly to justify and encompass changing modern cultural movements.
Rather than use a McLuhan-esque term like receipt, how about trying a word like recognition, meaning that we all have an innate sense deep down. When we encounter a work that we judge to be art it's because this sense is awakened on a personal basis IN SPITE of how habit and education may have informed us. And if that recognition doesn't occur when a work is displayed in one way (a neglected antique for example), but does occur when the work is displayed differently (now cleaned up and refurbished) supports the idea that art is a matter of recognition, and not necessarily the purity of the piece.

If a level of skill or accomplishment is what your innate sense recognizes, then that is your art. That is your connection. It seems as if you're searching for a purity because you HAVE spent time so much time discussing and judging what is and isn't and possibly could be art. The marketing of art by experts.

under new management
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:14AM
ozoneocean at 9:29AM, Jan. 29, 2011
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Those views are also represented in post modern theory.
I don't fault it. It's really the best way to go about defining “art” in terms of the modern re-conception of the idea of “art”.
ayesinback
If a level of skill or accomplishment is what your innate sense recognizes, then that is your art. That is your connection. It seems as if you're searching for a purity because you HAVE spent time so much time discussing and judging what is and isn't and possibly could be art. The marketing of art by experts.
I think you may have misunderstood me, I'm not sure.
I don't search for purity. I would just prefer to use the older meaning of the term. It's a better fit, and it's actually more realistic… if a little mundane.

I have a cynical, sceptical, relentlessly prosaic streak. It's not as entertaining a way to look at life but it cuts through the fuzz.

———
As a true post modernist though, it depends on my audience. There's no way everyone else is going to go back to thinking of “art” the way they did before the advent of the gallery and the art critic etc, so in practise I'll stick with whatever meaning is most readily understood by the most people- the modern art industry was founded on the idea of art for art's sake afterall, you have to subscribe to the recognised meanings if you want to understand it.


It's like in graphic design when people ask for certain colours like “navy blue” or “gold”. I think of navy blue as a deep blue-black colour, but that's not how people understand it now, they just mean dark blue (in my work)… and gold to me is the colour of the metal, but they just mean flat yellow…
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
isukun at 11:06AM, Jan. 29, 2011
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There is only one thing I have ever found to be consistant in art. Art is something that is removed from any sort of outside context. The viewer is meant to be an outsider, separate from the work who must interpret it from their own point of view as an outsider. I don't consider entertainment art because it does not rely on that notion of an outsider looking in and instead invites the viewer/listener to become engaged in the work. That's why I don't consider entertainment art, but a separate category.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
ayesinback at 11:53AM, Jan. 29, 2011
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ozoneocean
I think you may have misunderstood me, I'm not sure.

LOL! Odds are Very good that I have misunderstood. We probably have quite different perspectives when considering an idea.

First, from what I've read in some of your other posts (including
“I have a cynical, sceptical, relentlessly prosaic streak. It's not as entertaining a way to look at life but it cuts through the fuzz.”),
when you put on Your thinking cap, it more resembles a “logic helmet” than does my thinking cap. Depending on the need, that can be a pro or con. Cutting out the fuzz cuts out possible influences that Could matter, or could be very beneficial by eliminating distraction. And so my use of the word “purity” was meant along those lines, regarding “essential”, “empirical”.

Secondly, I'm Not understanding what you're referring to with “whatever meaning is most readily understood by the most people”. All I'm picking up on is that something is really really good to a whole lot of people — and I don't think that's what you are really saying.

Last: you chose to study art and to work within the art industry. I didn't. I am not therefore as entrenched in what “current” or “market” mores are when it comes to art. That I prescribe to theories that you, with your experience, can label “post-modern” amuses me since I'm not advocating for any school of thought if only because I'm not informed of what these schools espouse — I'm not versed in fashionable or contemporary opinion.

@isukun
I don't understand what you mean by “Art is something that is removed from any sort of outside context.” That, or I really disagree. Whatever art is, the term has in one way or another denoted something of value, and value is not an outside context.
under new management
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:14AM
isukun at 9:24PM, Jan. 29, 2011
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I don't understand what you mean by “Art is something that is removed from any sort of outside context.”

Obviously. What I mean is that art has no context, it is interpreted based on what it is. The whole point of displaying art in establishments like galleries and museums is to remove it from any particular context. It isn't part of any larger picture, but is set aside on its own to be interpreted free from any context beyond the label of “art.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM

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