What is art again? (1 Viewer)

mjp

Founding member
We all are allowed, as individuals, to decide what is and is-not Art. Its a big responsibility. Use it wisely.
If we all get to decide, it doesn't matter if you use the decision "wisely," does it.

Saying "use the decision wisely" implies that there are right and wrong choices. Which would seem to mean that everyone doesn't get to decide what is art, after all, because some of them will be wrong.
 
Yes M, if there was ever a place where right and wrong did not exist, it would be within the realm of aesthetics. I am just emphasizing how impactful, to yourself, your assessments, responses, rejections and internalizations are, regarding creatively conjured entities; whether they are your own or the work of others. Because everything worth gaining is gained by these considerings, they should be approached with intensity and focus...because its not at all a small deal. Thank you for the correction, "Wisely" is quite understated.
 

mjp

Founding member
I disagree of course, and either you misunderstood what I said, or you are just being clever by twisting it to suit your own purposes.

I see an awful lot of art, up close and in person. Probably much more than the average bear. I reject much of it - most of it - at a glance. I don't need to consider it, or try to learn to appreciate it. I know where it all comes from, what influenced it and, usually, what the artist is trying to get across to me. I know all of that in a few seconds. You probably do too.

I think everyone, no matter how much they "know" about art, decides whether the like or do not like a piece of art very quickly, and further intensive focus or study will rarely change that impression. You may be able to convince someone to appreciate something they don't initially like, but the odds are, they are never going to like it. It's just personal aesthetic preference. I don't believe making a judgment requires the solemn thought that you are claiming it does.

Maybe you take a holy view of art. That's the way your words are coming across. But your art does not reflect that, so I'm feeling a disconnect or insincerity in one or the other. And I wouldn't assume that your art is insincere, so that only leaves me doubting your words.
 
I think scribbler could have qualified his statement as "We are all allowed, as individuals, to decide what is or is not Art for ourselves."

A little nitpicky, maybe. But that's me.
 
Were I religious, "holy" would be the right word. But I'm not so other words that somehow resound in the area of "vital" will have to do. And yes, the immedite dismissal of most things presented as Art is certainly called-for...and thats because most of it is NOT Art and never was. And this is what makes those things that an individual perceives AS Art of the utmost importance. Many times I have been transformed by creative efforts in ways that are unnattainable by all the fill that makes-up the functioning part of existence.
And communication to other humans is not what Art is for. So it doesn't matter how anyone reads or misreads or refuses-to-read ones Art effort. The communication occurs incidentally and secondarily. The DO-ing of it provides the continued furtherence. The considering of it provides an intellectual vocabulary (that may or may not have anything to do with words and sentences and languages).
So your personal read on my work and whether or not it is in agreeance with my blather is pertinent because it peppers the clockworkings with more springs and gears.
Every artist is only really an artist on rarer occasions...its not a vocation. Sincerity is a matter of internal affairs. Only an individual really knows when the birthed thing is what it should be (and when its what it should NOT be). So honesty is more important than sincerity.
 
... wasn't it what wanes as the form appeares?

... or was it what appeares as the spirit formed?


... or didn't it wane as Bukowski dissapeared?
 
methinks it waxed as BUK disappeared. waxing and waning are old sailor terms...relative to the moon and its appearance, between new and full, getting larger.

with the sale of, and scale of, mass production (of his works) by mainstream presses, being my point of reference, POV.

pax
 
scribbler, a friend once asked me what poetry is to me.

"Is it a hobby? A career? Or a religion?"

You could sub "art" for "poetry" and my choice would still be "religion." And I think yours would be, too.

Keep creating, my friend.
 
What The Fuck IS Art Anyway?

This is a really cool thread, thanks mjp, Scribbler, for opening pandora's wine-stained box. Anyway, it could be, IMO: Surreal. Impressionistic. Abstract. Realistic. Expressionistic. All other forms of art; and a helluva lot more than that...after all, this is fucking BUKnet...

fav artists: Bosch, Blake, Vincent, Pollock, Bacon (many more; lots)

And what the fuck do you think art is anyway?

Warhol? Pollock? Blake? Etc.?

Sculpture; Paintings; New Media; Etc???

Hope this adds to the flavor.....

Thoughts?

Pax,

homeless mind
 
i think it's a personal choice. I think what MJP is saying is right, in that you either like it or you don't.
There is, I think, a large group of society who unfortunately don't know what they like or dislike. It is a conundrum.
Take music for instance. I have to honestly say I wonder why some music gets played and some doesn't. And it's usually the crap that clogs up the airwaves.
And certainly you can say the same about movies. There are movies that are made that i can't for the life of me figure out why they would waste Millions and Millions of dollars.

Of course, unfortunately for the aesthetics side of it, there is the Business side of Art, Music, Literature etc... That puts a price on the what they consider the "Value" and then because it is sold to some schmuck who doesn't have any idea what he/she likes or dislikes it is now considered a great piece of Art.
Think Mr color by numbers, Thomas Kinkade. Every time I see one of his paintings I wish I had can of Black Spray Paint.
But I guess that's the point. In my opinion, he stinks..... period. But of course that is just my opinion.

ask a child what they like or dislike and usually you will get an honest answer.
If a kid doesn't like the piece of art, you'll know.
Ask an Adult and my guess is, some will wonder what the right answer should be.
Unless of course they are a member of this forum. ;)

Just my 2 cents.:)
 

Johannes

Founding member
Shit. I wanted to give you a link to this famous UK (I believe) artist who only works with nature and tools of nature while always repeating some central (geometric) themes, like a curved line ... etc. For example he fished some stones out of a stream and discovered, that when you crush them to dust, you get a very deep and significant red color which he somehow moulded together and threw back into the stream, where it painted the stream red for a while, looking like a line of blood floating down and, while being photographed from bird's eye perspective, forming just that curved line which wanders through his whole work.

But I goddamned can't remember the name. Galsworthy? Macworthy? Help me, please. I saw a movie about him some time ago, it was called something about time. "Moment in Time?" "Stream of Time?" Does anybody have an idea whom I'm speaking of?
 
Andy Goldsworthy

He mostly designs decay into his projects. He's a hell of a photographer...but not much of a sculptor. His obsession with the natural order of entropy is a no brainer...The falling apart of his work is the subject instead of the holding together. I have seen some that looked good, a, eight-foot ball of branches or a tediously stacked stone assembly, but he seems more interested in building for photo ops. And as it turns out, he is now just designing public works and having them made for him like most major sculptors - degraded the whole thing to a "job".
 

justine

stop the penistry
he is now just designing public works and having them made for him like most major sculptors - degraded the whole thing to a "job".

how does being a designer, but not a builder, degrade an art form? architects are designers - you don't see them making the buildings - but it doesn't make their buildings any less beautiful. len lye had tons of designs that he never got round to building before he died, several of which have since been built. should we judge them on that and value them less as art?
 
Goosebumps

Emily Dickinson said something like: "I know it's poetry if it makes me feel like the top of my head is being blown off."
That's not bad, as far as definitions go of art.
How about: "It gives me goosebumps."
I remember that feeling when I first heard Bach's Brandenburg Concertos when I was a kid. The last movement of Number 4 in G-Major for example. The way he takes the theme and builds this incredible fugue and then later the two violins come in and play this crazy 32nd note up and down scale while the other instruments re-state the theme and there is where I got the goosebumps.
Also in Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps
Also Roy Harris, Third Symphony
Also The Doors , Dylan, the Youngbloods ("Come on People, Smile on your Brother Everybody come together and try and love one another right now"), Rolling Stones "Satisfaction,"
Henry Miller
Henry Charles Bukowski, Jr. "Hank"
Hart Crane
Homer
Dylan Thomas
e.e. cummings
Ezra Pound
etc.
Lots of goosebumps.
There's that last line in Rilke's "Archaic Torso of Apollo"--he's looking at this great ancient Greek sculpture and the poem ends: "You must change your life." I take that to mean, you should try and make your life as lovely and intense and integrated and real as a great work of art.
 

Gerard K H Love

Appreciate your friends
I agree with that, Justine.
If during the creative process the artist draws out a plan he can pass that plan onto someone else, even himself, to do the job of creating the art. It is art and there is a job.
I am referring to something sribbler wrote that needed to be clarified in my mind.

I remember welding in a factory and looking at the mess my novice welding ability left and in that mess I saw art. I didn't have a digital camera with me in 1975 so I have no proof, but you know what I mean. Yes, an artist sets out to create art mine in that case was by accident. It looked cool.

Good point-at the sam time- David. Everybody get together.
 
Emily Dickinson said something like: "I know it's poetry if it makes me feel like the top of my head is being blown off."
That's not bad, as far as definitions go of art.
How about: "It gives me goosebumps."
I remember that feeling when I first heard Bach's Brandenburg Concertos when I was a kid. The last movement of Number 4 in G-Major for example. The way he takes the theme and builds this incredible fugue and then later the two violins come in and play this crazy 32nd note up and down scale while the other instruments re-state the theme and there is where I got the goosebumps.
Also in Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps
Also Roy Harris, Third Symphony
Also The Doors , Dylan, the Youngbloods ("Come on People, Smile on your Brother Everybody come together and try and love one another right now"), Rolling Stones "Satisfaction,"
Henry Miller
Henry Charles Bukowski, Jr. "Hank"
Hart Crane
Homer
Dylan Thomas
e.e. cummings
Ezra Pound
etc.
Lots of goosebumps.
There's that last line in Rilke's "Archaic Torso of Apollo"--he's looking at this great ancient Greek sculpture and the poem ends: "You must change your life." I take that to mean, you should try and make your life as lovely and intense and integrated and real as a great work of art.

Awesome.

The ED line is fucking killer.

(Just found it: "If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry.")

I can't bring myself to snip the rest of his quote, as it's just too damn good. Thanks.

Pax
 

mjp

Founding member
how does being a designer, but not a builder, degrade an art form? architects are designers - you don't see them making the buildings - but it doesn't make their buildings any less beautiful. len lye had tons of designs that he never got round to building before he died, several of which have since been built. should we judge them on that and value them less as art?
You hit the nail on the head when you say "designers." It is certainly still ART, but Koons, Warhol, et al did not get their hands dirty with the actual making of art after a certain point. Yet people still value their designed and manufactured art as much (or more so) than many other artists.

And of course many very well known and successful painters now have their "paintings" made in China. The artist never touches the canvases, but those paintings sell as the artist's work. They have gone from being painters to being designers, but they are still artists.

All art is a commodity. It's just a matter of degree. People who dislike mass produced art, or art executed by people other than the artists are missing the point. I feel pretty safe in making that statement because I was one of those people myself. But when I changed my view and started looking at the artist as a designer, well, that removes all the controversy and scandal from paintings made under an artist's name in China, Mexico, or Warhol's factory.
 

Lolita Twist

Rose-hustler
The weather will continue to change, on and off, until the end of time.

Everything is subjective, nothing really exists (I mean that not entirely literally, in more of a Zeno-way). Anything can be construed as art, it's really up to the individual. Not that this is some new, trendy ideology, but my opinion non the less. The horizon is an imaginary line that recedes as you approach it.

[referring to a childlike drawing of a cow]
Katherine Watson: 25 years ago, someone thought this was brilliant.
Betty Warren: Who?
Katherine Watson: My mother. I painted it for her birthday. Next slide. This is my mom. Is it art?
Susan Delacorte: It's a snapshot.
Katherine Watson: If I told you Ansel Adams had taken it, would that make a difference?
Betty Warren: Art isn't art until someone says it is.
Katherine Watson: It's art!
Betty Warren: The right people.
Betty Warren: And who are they?
 

Lolita Twist

Rose-hustler
People who create art to pay the rent are...icky, to me. However, selling short stories to adult magazines for the first X amount of years of your career to just get by and buy booze is just fine. Because those stories were good.
 
"Culture" will mislead you in regards to Art because it cannot attend to the yearnings and potencies of an individual. So, you, as the one and only perceiver who really matters, will need to continually raise your expectations and continually forbid the "business-as-usual" offerings that are being served up. All that stuff of commerce, utility, function and participation.
To get to the real Art will require painful discernings, dynamic disregardings, exhausting omissions, mind-numbing exclusions, heroic rejectings and remorseless exclusions. Hard work.
Then, you will have freed yourself to go about those glorious embracings, epiphanied encounterings, super-charging exhilerations, nourishing engorgings and impenetrable fortifications. More hard work.
So, if you make it critically important and work really hard some Art might come into you or go out of you.
But beware. Your culture will expect to convince you, during your weaker automaton'd hours, that they've made an Artful place for you. But that place wont save you.
Fact is, everything really worthy was coming anyway. A silent steamrolling Art locomotive; not to be stopped (and it wont be an easy hop).
 
People who create art to pay the rent are...icky, to me. However, selling short stories to adult magazines for the first X amount of years of your career to just get by and buy booze is just fine. Because those stories were good.

Artists who create to pay rent = icky.

Beginning adult rag writers who get by/buy booze = just fine.

Do I have that right?
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Buk wrote short stories for the skin mags in order to pay his rent etc. I can't see anything wrong with that. He also gave readings, although he hated it, just to get the money...
 
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I have no problem with that either, Bukfan. It's a fascinating part of his legacy.

"Icky," however, sounds childish and maybe even insulting relative to the millions(?) of artists worldwide who are: graphic artists, painters, sculptors, designers, illustrators, animators, etc. who toil daily and create (good and bad) work "” to pay the rent.

That's all.

Pax
 
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"Paying the rent", to me has everything to do with plain ol' sustenance. "Feeding the bulldog", "Paying the frieght", passing the day, fitting-in, being useful, drawing a check, back to the salt mines, punching the clock, earning your keep, 9 to 5...all the triflings, meanderings and dutiful participation that necessarily occupies the greater portion of our lives. But, If we have a developed ability that will provide a more agreeable way to subsist, then fine, do it. Or dig a ditch. doesnt matter. The Art doesnt care how you get sheltered and fueled. But the Art has no need to be included in the menial travails. It is the "special" part of your presence, the ONLY part that doesn't care about how rough your day was. So, when its time for Art, we're NOT to be thinking about the rent, or retirement, or college tuition...all the other crap will take care of THAT. The Art must be made quite apart...by its own terms...and not get contaminated by the crawling ants and the your bank-account's honey-do list. Make some stuff for money, YES,. paintings, stories, symphonies; but the real stuff will happen by another need altogether. Just know what is getting made when....dont confuse the two acts.
This is why I often prefer tearing apart a backhoe to executing commissioned sculpture. But in the end, eating is most important, so we will do whatever we must.
 
You remind me of my brother-in-law, who is a lawyer, talks in circles, and argues both sides of the point in the same conversation with equal joy and dexterity.

But, when teetering and preaching from the high ground, keep an eye on your feet.

I dig your writing; and many of your perspectives. You rock.

However, your philosophic waxing on this one is getting stuck on the proverbial candle.

I wouldn't pigeonhole all artists into the corner of your beliefs; as we all create differently; and have different motivations. Money, sex, drugs, girls, boys, boats, houses, fame, infamy, guilt, family, whatever...frankly, I don't care. Like most fields, the artworld is comprised of everything. Perhaps more, because of the creativity involved.

Speaking alone, all I care about is the final art; let me be blunt, the final product "” because, like Bukowski books and most other art, it's for sale. 10 minutes to create or 10 years, irrelevant. It's one of two things: Great. Sux. Hell, Vincent wanted to sell his art, Pollock, too.

In the real world I live in, most artists who aren't in college or younger are encumbered with responsibilities. You know.

Or they are just part-time artists or writers, with another gig paying the rent, preaching from the safety of their net, while the professional artists live and die by their sales.

To pay the rent.

Gotta go, my doberman needs feeding. ;)

Pax
 
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hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
Reaper Crew
Moderator
Founding member
art can be created by anyone, anywhere, anytime for whatever reason. and not everyone will like it. but that doesn't matter.

trying to define art is like trying to catch fog in your hands. it seems like it should be easy, but the harder you try, the more foolish you look, taking swings at the air like some nutjob.

but, luckily, somebody somewhere will call that swinging nutjob an artist.

or something. sign this urinal and stick it on the wall, I'm done. ;)
 

Lolita Twist

Rose-hustler
"Icky," however, sounds childish and maybe even insulting relative to the millions(?) of artists worldwide who are: graphic artists, painters, sculptors, designers, illustrators, animators, etc. who toil daily and create (good and bad) work "” to pay the rent.
With all due respect... but it seems with everything you write, you really have something up your ass.
 
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You have no idea. Doctors are baffled.

Now let me be serious.

When someone insults a majority of the entire working art world "” people busting their balls trying to eek out a living (probably over 50% would be my guess) "” and don't mind working to pay their rent via art, I occasionally feel obligated to comment.

It's not "Icky." It's fucking cool. IMO.

I do have one regret in this thread, and that is that Scribbler may misinterpret what I wrote, as it is not directed at him personally, but rather at his POV. I also sent him a PM stating so; he is good wood, and a bud. This is a public apology, needed or not.
 
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