The Great Art Debate

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The Great Art Debate

Post by ratbert » Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:49 am

Following on from the discussion in the 'I don't get...' thread, I thought the question of what constitutes art deserves a thread of its own.

Is Tracey Emin a self-obsessed con artist? Does only painting and sculpture that is recognisable as 'something' count? Is video art 'art'? Was Lowry too simplistic? Was Pollock just a nutter?

Lets have a heated debate.

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Post by Verbal » Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:04 am

The only work I've really wanted to see was Die Familie Schneider - basically two terraced houses, and you were given a 20 minute slot to wonder around each. Looked bloody terrifying, in the subtlist of ways.

As long as it makes you feel something inside, I believe, art will have a purpose. Film is art, after all.
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Post by Worthy4England » Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:41 am

I'm in for this one :-)

I'm not having all this pretentious crap that you have to get in the mind of the artist to understand what the "art" is about. It's clearly a money making scam, when someone gets an Art Council grant to put a pile of bricks on show. Sorry, I don't see talent there, I just see a pile of bricks and want my money back.

Pollock drops mess onto a canvas no better than my six year old. People displaying half carcasses in formaldehyde is biology not art.

If some deluded people want to pay a huge sum for crap, I have no issues with it, it's their money, but I won't be parting with any of my hard earned anytime soon unless it's for something that's recognisable.

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Post by TANGODANCER » Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:42 am

All very much a personal thing. Has to be what your conception of art is. Mine's Da Vinci, Canaletto, Gainsboro, Rembrandt, Turner, Grinling Gibbons, William Russell-Flint and all of their ilk. Sculpture is creating something meaningful and recognisable, not birds on sticks and piles of housebricks or giant bananas. I'm afraid the "stand in a room and watch a light bulb go on and off" form of so-called art is just not for me. Neither are half-cows in formaldehyde tanks. Something sad about people who create such works of "art" Just my opinion.

I watched on TV, a few nights ago, someone pay two grand for a twelve-inch by nine-inch daub that any competent ten-year old could have turned out. A "Well, it's by a famous artist" comment almost had me choking. All a long way away from Venus di Milo, Raphael and Michaelangelo.
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Post by Lord Kangana » Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:13 am

I like that Elephant art. You can see from the expression on the canvass that what the animal is really thinking is " I can make a feckin killin from this, as long as I smile for the cameras and play along, now pass the bananas".

Beautiful thing, art. Artists, on the other hand....
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Post by ratbert » Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:31 am

There is no denying the skill and talent of the classical artists, but many of them were doing a straight reproduction of something. Would Constable be a photographer today as opposed to a painter? I like many of the artists Tango mentions but I also like Dali and Picasso for filtering their view of the world through their imaginations.

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Post by TANGODANCER » Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:43 am

ratbert wrote:There is no denying the skill and talent of the classical artists, but many of them were doing a straight reproduction of something. Would Constable be a photographer today as opposed to a painter? I like many of the artists Tango mentions but I also like Dali and Picasso for filtering their view of the world through their imaginations.
But at least their talent for doing that was an obvious one. Picasso in particular was a very talented artist in the "straight" field (check his "Blue period" stuff.) I need to be convinced that Tracy Emin in particular has any talent at all exept that of conning people. I'm 100% with Worthy on not needing to get into people's minds in order to understand them. Art and talent should smack you on the nose, not need a guide book. Just my view.
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Post by Verbal » Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:54 am

It is quite easy to dismiss artists who can't paint a chapel like Michaelangelo as talentless. Yet this would be very dismissive, and I don't think art is as important in the feeling it envokes rather than the talent it shows off. It takes talent to paint a pretty picture, like it takes talent to do keepy uppys for two hours. But ultimately, if talent is limited to this show pony ability, and is unable to add any persona or meaning to it (in a footballing analogy, sticking the ball in t'net) then it becomes slightly devalued. More whimsical than anything - something to be appreciated but easil forgotten.

Pretty stuff alone is very nice, don't get me wrong. Yet meanings stick with me more than images. Why did punk get an audience if we're all about aesthetics? Most of them couldn't carry a tune in the bucket. It was what they represented more than the music.

That said, when talent and meaning is married I think it is superb. I went to Madrid recently, and visited El Museo del Prado. I'd never purposely visited an art museum, and to be honest most of what was there left me cold, but some images were genuinely striking. Potraits of the apostles in particular and the sprawling behemoth showing a banquet and the head of John the Baptist. Awesome.
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Post by Raven » Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:09 pm

Worthy and Tango sum it up perfectly for me, as for the likes of Emin, the bloke who puts bits of animals in tanks, personally I think its pretentious crap, people trying to be different cool hip etc just for the sake of it not for the sake of something they love or really think is "art"

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Post by Worthy4England » Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:14 pm

Verbal wrote:It is quite easy to dismiss artists who can't paint a chapel like Michaelangelo as talentless. Yet this would be very dismissive..
Indeed it is, they provide such an easy target, and it it's all the same with you I'll continue to dismiss them :mrgreen:
Verbal wrote:Pretty stuff alone is very nice, don't get me wrong. Yet meanings stick with me more than images. Why did punk get an audience if we're all about aesthetics? Most of them couldn't carry a tune in the bucket. It was what they represented more than the music.
Surely punk as with many other forms of modern music was as much about rebellion and non-conformance as anything else. Art it wasn't.

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Post by boltonboris » Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:20 pm

Image

Me and the Missus have this from an artist named Neil Dawson, bought from Castle Galleries in Manchester...

Again, could be construed as the work of 'a ten year old' but I love it and various other pieces of his work. When viewed in a dark room with a single light shing towards it, you could swear the whole thing takes on an aura of its own.

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Post by Verbal » Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:24 pm

Worthy4England wrote:
Verbal wrote:It is quite easy to dismiss artists who can't paint a chapel like Michaelangelo as talentless. Yet this would be very dismissive..
Indeed it is, they provide such an easy target, and it it's all the same with you I'll continue to dismiss them :mrgreen:
Verbal wrote:Pretty stuff alone is very nice, don't get me wrong. Yet meanings stick with me more than images. Why did punk get an audience if we're all about aesthetics? Most of them couldn't carry a tune in the bucket. It was what they represented more than the music.
Surely punk as with many other forms of modern music was as much about rebellion and non-conformance as anything else. Art it wasn't.
You could probably say that modern art is a breakaway from priniciples of art such as aesthetics. I'm not saying I enjoy it, indeed, a lot of it seems tosh, just trying to provide an explanation.
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Post by InsaneApache » Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:37 pm

No punk wasn't art but it did have some roots in the artistic world. Did you know that Michaelangelo looked just like Charlton Heston?

Agree with the Emin and Hirst comments. Money making scams.

On another note, were posters aware that a lot of the 'classical' artists used a camera obscura to outline their works? A bit like finding out the Mona Lisa was started on tracing paper.
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Post by enfieldwhite » Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:37 pm

My simplistic opinion is, anything that requires explanation is irrelevent. That is to say I don't want an artist telling what he was trying to convey in the arrangement of bricks or various pickled livestock. I prefer to look at a painting and notice details myself.

I'm quite traditional and conservative in my tastes, although I think Dali is fantastic.

We are spoiled in London with some wonderfully housed (and mostly free) museums and art galleries, and I take advantage of that fact on a regular basis.

By the way, the British Museum stores twice as much behind the scenes as it can display. It has the largest collection of Turners in the world.

It is your right to request to see ANY item in storage, as it is the British people's museum.

I love that.
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Post by boltonboris » Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:38 pm

enfieldwhite wrote:My simplistic opinion is, anything that requires explanation is irrelevent. That is to say I don't want an artist telling what he was trying to convey in the arrangement of bricks or various pickled livestock. I prefer to look at a painting and notice details myself.

I'm quite traditional and conservative in my tastes, although I think Dali is fantastic.

We are spoiled in London with some wonderfully housed (and mostly free) museums and art galleries, and I take advantage of that fact on a regular basis.

By the way, the British Museum stores twice as much behind the scenes as it can display. It has the largest collection of Turners in the world.
It is your right to request to see ANY item in storage, as it is the British people's museum.

I love that.
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Post by enfieldwhite » Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:39 pm

boltonboris wrote:
enfieldwhite wrote:My simplistic opinion is, anything that requires explanation is irrelevent. That is to say I don't want an artist telling what he was trying to convey in the arrangement of bricks or various pickled livestock. I prefer to look at a painting and notice details myself.

I'm quite traditional and conservative in my tastes, although I think Dali is fantastic.

We are spoiled in London with some wonderfully housed (and mostly free) museums and art galleries, and I take advantage of that fact on a regular basis.

By the way, the British Museum stores twice as much behind the scenes as it can display. It has the largest collection of Turners in the world.
It is your right to request to see ANY item in storage, as it is the British people's museum.

I love that.
Thought I hadn't seen Anthea for a while, nor my Dad and brother for that matter
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Post by ratbert » Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:57 pm

TANGODANCER wrote:
ratbert wrote:There is no denying the skill and talent of the classical artists, but many of them were doing a straight reproduction of something. Would Constable be a photographer today as opposed to a painter? I like many of the artists Tango mentions but I also like Dali and Picasso for filtering their view of the world through their imaginations.
But at least their talent for doing that was an obvious one. Picasso in particular was a very talented artist in the "straight" field (check his "Blue period" stuff.) I need to be convinced that Tracy Emin in particular has any talent at all exept that of conning people. I'm 100% with Worthy on not needing to get into people's minds in order to understand them. Art and talent should smack you on the nose, not need a guide book. Just my view.
And that's the point - you could see what Picasso and Dali were thinking because their styles were so distinctive. Their works 'smack you on the nose'.

Emin you could say smacks you on the nose, but not in a good way. Used tampons left in public, anyone?

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Post by Puskas » Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:57 pm

I don't know much about art, but I know what I like.

A bowl of fruit on a table. Or possibly a painting of one.

Anything that makes me think should be banned.

I painted the ceiling of my bathroom last year. Wasn't that hard.
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Post by boltonboris » Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:59 pm

enfieldwhite wrote:
boltonboris wrote:
enfieldwhite wrote:My simplistic opinion is, anything that requires explanation is irrelevent. That is to say I don't want an artist telling what he was trying to convey in the arrangement of bricks or various pickled livestock. I prefer to look at a painting and notice details myself.

I'm quite traditional and conservative in my tastes, although I think Dali is fantastic.

We are spoiled in London with some wonderfully housed (and mostly free) museums and art galleries, and I take advantage of that fact on a regular basis.

By the way, the British Museum stores twice as much behind the scenes as it can display. It has the largest collection of Turners in the world.
It is your right to request to see ANY item in storage, as it is the British people's museum.

I love that.
Thought I hadn't seen Anthea for a while, nor my Dad and brother for that matter
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I know her well......

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Post by Worthy4England » Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:30 pm

Puskas wrote:I don't know much about art, but I know what I like.

A bowl of fruit on a table. Or possibly a painting of one.

Anything that makes me think should be banned.

I painted the ceiling of my bathroom last year. Wasn't that hard.
I have heard people suggest you're a bit of an artist in passing :twisted: must have been in reference to your bathroom ceiling painting endeavours. ;-)

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