Debate and Discussion

What makes one an artist?
blindsk at 1:39AM, Jan. 30, 2011
(online)
posts: 560
joined: 5-5-2010
You know, I happened to be reading some Agatha Christie and came across this:

“But a murder can be an artist?”
“Oui, but they're still a murder.”

Just felt it was pertinent to the topic. I feel compelled to draw links to ozone's craftsman example. However, going along with my aforementioned point, the craftsman can simply “do,” but it takes an outside perspective to label it as art. Meaning, someone can create a special type of box, but if outsiders view it and appreciate it for more than just an ordinary box, then it becomes art. It's not just the fact that they're a craftsman of “x,” rather, it's the way in which they craft it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:25AM
KnaveMurdok at 6:15AM, Jan. 30, 2011
(offline)
posts: 49
joined: 10-3-2006
When you can RECONCILE the fact that you would rather DIE than live in a world where it was FORBIDDEN to create art.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:19PM
ozoneocean at 8:56AM, Jan. 30, 2011
(online)
posts: 25,050
joined: 1-2-2004
isukun
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.”
No, that's circumstantial. Art is highly contextual.
Circumstantial: In the west galleries have been really popular for a bit over 250 years, but even then they've only been home to a small portion of “art”. Even private collections.
Contextual: It's only art if your audience agrees that it is art, for a start. A gallery is one context, also a place of cultural reverence like the Sistine chapel There are other contexts involved: religious imagery, the media itself and attitudes towards it, style of representation, name of the artist, type of representation…
It goes on and all ties in with people's preconceptions and expectations as to what constitutes “art”.

ayesinback
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”.
Hahaha, reductive logic? Yeah, I suppose that describes my way of reasoning there. :)

ayesinback
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.
What I'm saying is that when talking about art in practice, people aren't going to understand me well if I'm being obscure.

ayesinback
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.
I'm not trying to label you, it's just that post-modernism encompasses the approaches you're describing.
I don't mean to say you follow fashions or repeat what others have said either.
They're obviously opinions you've arrived at yourself. Post modernism is very much a part of modern culture now (like modernism before it), so people in tune with modern culture naturally express views that can be said to fit within the current dominant cultural movement.

-Modernism was a very essentialist way of looking at things: there was one single view that was important and all else was subject to it… art was dictated by the Artist, or the Idea, or the art itself, outside of context because context was irrelevant. -very Isukun here!
-It fitted into the post war, industrial world, in that old institutions, empires, and cultural hierarchies were being destroyed and rebuilt in a shiny new, advanced, modern, exciting new image, making a clean break with the baggage of the old world. There were also overtones of cultural dominance since they were primarily Western driven ideals helping to “advance” the rest of the word.

-Post modernism in contrast is pluralist and context sensitive. It acknowledges multiple perspectives, that the audience and their reception of the art is just as intrinsic to the understanding of the art as the art itself, and that different audiences will receive art in very different ways depending on their cultural, ethnic and class backgrounds, and so on.
-It comes out of the fact that the world is increasingly more connected, global, post-colonialist, and communities are multi-ethnic and multi-religious. Older ideas and ways of thinking receive acknowledgment just the same as new ones- good or important ideas can come from anywhere, any time. The idea that modern Western ideas are always dominant or that “progress” is the only way is out of favour.

Both of those apply to much more than “art” and neither is a very full description.

blindsk
Just felt it was pertinent to the topic. I feel compelled to draw links to ozone's craftsman example. However, going along with my aforementioned point, the craftsman can simply “do,” but it takes an outside perspective to label it as art. Meaning, someone can create a special type of box, but if outsiders view it and appreciate it for more than just an ordinary box, then it becomes art. It's not just the fact that they're a craftsman of “x,” rather, it's the way in which they craft it.

My craftsman definition works only in it's own little universe. You're reconciling it with the common modern idea of “art”, which really just invalidates it. Like working out the physics behind magic lol!

I dunno how else to expand upon it without saying the same stuff: in the past “art” had a completely different meaning (more craft related), and it's an anachronistic definition that it tickles me to use privately…
It's outside of the modern cultural construction, which is what we're mainly talking about in this thread.
…So really, I probably shouldn't have bought it up. :(
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
blindsk at 2:32PM, Jan. 30, 2011
(online)
posts: 560
joined: 5-5-2010
ozoneocean
My craftsman definition works only in it's own little universe. You're reconciling it with the common modern idea of “art”, which really just invalidates it. Like working out the physics behind magic

In that case, maybe I just didn't understand your definition properly. Are you saying that it's acting as a label for who you are as a person? Not just doing art, but identifying yourself solely by your craft. Sort of the opposite of saying, “yeah, being an artist is just a hobby.”

If that's the case, then I can agree with that.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:25AM
ayesinback at 3:26PM, Jan. 30, 2011
(online)
posts: 2,007
joined: 8-23-2010
ozoneocean
-Modernism
helpful definition

-Post modernism
helpful definition
Thanks! That was, helpful. And so, yes, I'm obviously of the post-modern bend.
ozoneocean
in the past “art” had a completely different meaning (more craft related), and it's an anachronistic definition that it tickles me to use privately…
It's outside of the modern cultural construction, which is what we're mainly talking about in this thread.
…So really, I probably shouldn't have bought it up. :(

Not at all. You have two remarkable abilities that are frequently (stereotypically) irreconcilable: artistic talent/experience and pragmatism. Like: Giving people midnight blue when they asked for Navy (those philistines) :) *gotsta get tickles where you can*

under new management
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:14AM
Abt_Nihil at 6:00AM, Jan. 31, 2011
(offline)
posts: 1,239
joined: 8-7-2007
I'm surprised people still argue over what's art, as if they hadn't argued about it a million times before. Of course it's okay to have an opinion about it, but you can't ignore the fact that many different opinions will always be equally valid. You have to realize that all sorts of definitions have been played through, and all fall short to some extent. The most clear-cut being:

A subjective definition:
The individual has an innate sense for what is art, or a special mode of aesthetic perception. It doesn't matter what characteristics an object has, or what others say about it - it's up to the individual whether to see it as art or not.

An intersubjective definition:
There is an “art-world”, a community of “professionals”, who have the authority to decide what's art and what isn't.

An objective definition:
Certain objects share certain characteristics which make them art. This would include “rules” of how to produce art (like craft, composition, etc.), an elitist definition of art (like: crap can't be art), a differentiation between practical tools and works of art, etc.

Of course, there can be bastard definitions, mixing some of the aforementioned. Like an “intentional definition”: The artist has to intend to make art, otherwise the result can't be art. This depends on subjective as well as objective facts.

Most importantly, no matter which definition you invoke, you will always come up with some decisive counter examples :3 I think that discussions about what's art will teach you more about rhetorics than about what's art.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:44AM
ozoneocean at 7:05AM, Jan. 31, 2011
(online)
posts: 25,050
joined: 1-2-2004
Abt_Nihil
but you can't ignore the fact that many different opinions will always be equally valid.
Untrue.
Only during the current Post-modernist era does that hold true, due to the inclusive nature of that movement. Before that the rules were rather more rigid.

Go back before the era of popular salons and galleries and it's very much more simple, as I've said.
Which brings me to…
blindsk
ozoneocean
My craftsman definition works only in it's own little universe. You're reconciling it with the common modern idea of “art”, which really just invalidates it. Like working out the physics behind magic
In that case, maybe I just didn't understand your definition properly. Are you saying that it's acting as a label for who you are as a person? Not just doing art, but identifying yourself solely by your craft. Sort of the opposite of saying, “yeah, being an artist is just a hobby.”

If that's the case, then I can agree with that.

Yes, I suppose that's true ^_^

Just to get things straight for those who came late: our current ideas of “art being hard to classify, can be many different things” etc. is part of a culture that evolved when art started showing up in salons, galleries and collections. The definitions HAD to be expanded because the very nature of the idea of the artist and how their art related to society had fundamentally altered. And it has to keep on changing and expanding because what art means is still changing.
This wasn't an airy-fairy intellectual, philosophical change- it was actual, physical and political. Once “art” literally referred to any skilled work of craftsmanship or skilled practise. That is what being an artist meant. Nothing “higher” or otherworldly or undefinable.

Then Isukun's notion of taking art out of its original context starts to kick in. We have the private collectors, then the Salons, the museums and the galleries. Artists suddenly have a very different market to pander to, and this is facilitated by the rise of the merchant classes and later the middle class.
So “art” begins to undergo a separation from “craft” in the cultural mindset. With their new outlets and markets artists are free to create without “useful” purpose in mind.
This is where the attendant intellectual culture develops and definitions become muddied.

I think what you should take away from that is that the knowledge that things were not always as they are now. that when the "old masters' gazed at those same museum paintings we do now they weren't thinking “Yes, but is it art?”
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
Abt_Nihil at 8:02AM, Jan. 31, 2011
(offline)
posts: 1,239
joined: 8-7-2007
ozoneocean
Abt_Nihil
but you can't ignore the fact that many different opinions will always be equally valid.
Untrue.
Only during the current Post-modernist era does that hold true, due to the inclusive nature of that movement. Before that the rules were rather more rigid.

Go back before the era of popular salons and galleries and it's very much more simple, as I've said.
That's just a misunderstanding. By “will always be equally valid” I mean: "will be true in all sorts of discussion you can have today". I wasn't meaning to say something about historical definitions of art. Also, truth isn't historically relative, only what's thought to be true :-) It's just that a few hundred years ago, you couldn't possibly have held the same opinions as today, no matter whether they're true or not.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:44AM
isukun at 8:18AM, Jan. 31, 2011
(online)
posts: 2,481
joined: 9-28-2006
Art is highly contextual.

I still highly disagree. Even with your example of the Sistine Chapel, the vast majority of people who have seen the artwork still disconnect it from its religious setting and interpret the paintings on their own. They still depict religious icons and events, but that is the subject of the art, not its context. Knowing about the artist or the time period a work comes from isn't context surrounding the work, however, since it is not common knowledge to all viewers. It may be something an art historian can research and use to change their personal interpretation, but your average modern day person is not going to have that information and will be looking at each work with a blank slate.

The concept of separating art from other forms of expression is a relatively recent one. The only way we accomplish this is by removing all sense of practicality and purpose from what we consider art and focus entirely on the meaning of what each depicts. Yes all art has an origin, but that isn't important. Everybody is going to be viewing and interpreting the art from the viewpoint of an outsider. Someone who is from the 21st century who knows very little about the creator and where they were coming from if they know anything.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
ozoneocean at 8:24AM, Jan. 31, 2011
(online)
posts: 25,050
joined: 1-2-2004
Abt_Nihil
That's just a misunderstanding. By “will always be equally valid” I mean: "will be true in all sorts of discussion you can have today". I wasn't meaning to say something about historical definitions of art. Also, truth isn't historically relative, only what's thought to be true :-) It's just that a few hundred years ago, you couldn't possibly have held the same opinions as today, no matter whether they're true or not.
That's a given, but I wasn't only talking about 250+ years ago. Even during the period defined as Modernism (up till the 70s?) not all definitions of art were deemed equally valid. Most certainly not.

But, like I said in my response to Ayes- your view falls nicely within Post-Modernist theory. It shows you're a thoughtful person who's very well in tune with current thinking and more an adequately able to discuss contemporary attitudes to art, especially as it pertains to us here as comic artists. :)

isukun
. Someone who is from the 21st century who knows very little about the creator and where they were coming from if they know anything.
Then you're only really talking about a portion of the audience for “art”: those who have to be told that what they're looking at is “art”.

Granted, this may be a LOT of people, but to them the question of “what is art” is relatively unimportant: it is whatever is handed to them and labelled as such.
Who is an artist? “That person over there because the authority told me so.”
-This would fit nicely with Abt_Nihil's “intersubjective definition” of what defines art. -See his post above along with the alternatives he lists.

That does happen, you're right. You're also right that it is very much an “outsider” view. But it's only a part of the picture.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
ayesinback at 11:28AM, Jan. 31, 2011
(online)
posts: 2,007
joined: 8-23-2010
Someone
The artist has to intend to make art, otherwise the result can't be art.
I've taken this out of context because I'm not debating what is/isn't art (altho I think art Can be accidentally created), but trying to clarify what is/isn't an artist.

As part and not sole definition of artist, I agree with Oz (I think :) ) that an artist has to intend to create art, so that, sidewising the above:
"The artist has to intend to make art, otherwise the result of the work could be art, but the creator would not necessarily be an artist".

Rather plays to Blindsk's contribution: one can create a homicide, but one must intend the homicide to be a murderer.
under new management
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:14AM
Abt_Nihil at 10:47AM, Feb. 1, 2011
(offline)
posts: 1,239
joined: 8-7-2007
ozoneocean
Abt_Nihil
It's just that a few hundred years ago, you couldn't possibly have held the same opinions as today, no matter whether they're true or not.
That's a given, but I wasn't only talking about 250+ years ago. Even during the period defined as Modernism (up till the 70s?) not all definitions of art were deemed equally valid. Most certainly not.
I was actually considering editing my post to say “decades” instead of “hundreds of years” :)

ozoneocean
But, like I said in my response to Ayes- your view falls nicely within Post-Modernist theory. It shows you're a thoughtful person who's very well in tune with current thinking and more an adequately able to discuss contemporary attitudes to art, especially as it pertains to us here as comic artists. :)
Uh… thanks? :)
I guess I should state my reasons:
(1) I've witnessed lots and lots of art-philosophy seminar discussions. I don't think debates about “what is art” and “what makes an artist” can ever come to reasonable, decisive solutions, because many equally valid, but opposing reasons can be given.
(2) I appreciate art because of its openness. It's quite unlike many other cultural practices, which force you to take a stand for something and against something. Art doesn't and, in my opinion, shouldn't.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:44AM
DAJB at 2:58AM, Feb. 2, 2011
(online)
posts: 1,462
joined: 2-23-2007
Just stumbled across this list of what appear to be considered the “plastic arts”. I have no particular interest in either criticising or defending the list (or the definition) but, since this discussion has (inevitably!) moved from “are you an artist” to “what is art”, I thought some people might find it interesting.
A European publisher
1st - Architecture
2nd - Painting
3rd - Sculpture
4th - Engraving
5th - Drawing
6th - Photo
7th - Cinema
8th - Television
9th - Comic books
I have no idea why these are labelled “plastic”, or why the list includes some of the more traditional “fine arts” alongside more modern art forms. It's interesting to see how wide the definition can be, however, and certainly illustrates just how subjective definitions tend to be.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:04PM
bravo1102 at 3:32AM, Feb. 2, 2011
(online)
posts: 3,351
joined: 1-21-2008
DAJB
Just stumbled across this list of what appear to be considered the “plastic arts”.
A European publisher
1st - Architecture
2nd - Painting
3rd - Sculpture
4th - Engraving
5th - Drawing
6th - Photo
7th - Cinema
8th - Television
9th - Comic books
I have no idea why these are labelled “plastic”, or why the list includes some of the more traditional “fine arts” alongside more modern art forms. It's interesting to see how wide the definition can be, however, and certainly illustrates just how subjective definitions tend to be.

Hey if this is the plastic list where's plastic model building? Guess it didn't make the top nine.

To be serious model building is considered a subset combination of sculpture and painting.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:34AM
kyupol at 11:07PM, Feb. 2, 2011
(offline)
posts: 3,713
joined: 1-12-2006
When I was younger and had zero drawing skills, for some reason I found out that I'm good at drawing penises and vaginas. So I drew them all over the school bathrooms using colored chalk for the bathroom stall doors and soap for the mirrors.

Did that make me an artist?

Come on… I gave alot of people some free sex education. lol!
NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:27PM
Genejoke at 11:42PM, Feb. 2, 2011
(online)
posts: 3,085
joined: 4-9-2010
Always trying to educate eh?
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:33PM
Zoras at 6:26PM, Feb. 18, 2011
(online)
posts: 14
joined: 7-22-2010
Personally, i believe that there are 3 basic steps to being an artist:

Step 1: Have an interest in art. (duh)

Step 2: Put things in an interesting order.(Most common form, such as objects in a painting or a sculpture.)

Step 3: Allow people to see your work and let them like it. (if they don't like it, they don't have to look at it.)

I hope these steps work for you guys, and all other aspiring artists out there.
Decepticons.
superior!
last edited on July 14, 2011 5:02PM
zammap at 4:31PM, May 9, 2011
(online)
posts: 55
joined: 1-9-2006
if you are looking at being an artist, as in a JOB TITLE then you become an artist the second you sell a piece of your art or services. Before that happens you are still a student (or a hobbist).
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:54PM
ledpusha at 7:49PM, May 22, 2011
(offline)
posts: 78
joined: 7-10-2006
If you are one then you can call yourself one….
If you can draw/play music that have albums/performer/dancer/sandwich maker.
Technically everyone is an artist lol
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:30PM
machinehead at 8:22PM, June 14, 2011
(online)
posts: 318
joined: 10-30-2008
Until I reach a point in my drawing where i'm really happy with the way everything looks. I'll never even contemplate calling myself an artist. I just consider myself a guy who can kinda draw.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:50PM

Forgot Password
©2011 WOWIO, Inc. All Rights Reserved