What is art again? (1 Viewer)

Publicly not needed. HM. (except the comparison to the lawyer...ha, thats a first)

I think I understand the "ickiness" that Lolita refers to pretty well. And I have no problem with it at all. I dont imagine any paycheck-earning artists would be offended...and if they are, they're paying too much attention to what other people think.
Basically. if you're good at something, YES, let it serve you in any way it can. But there should probably be a hierarchy WITHIN that reserves your best, most dangerous, spectacularly intense and illuminating works for you OWN gain. It feels much different that getting a check, that gain. I have gotten plenty of checks (could always use some more) but I grow and flourish from the things that I never thought I would do...that NO ONE wanted me to do...(maybe they even begged me NOT to do it) until I did it. Everyone one else is there to impose limitations on things that arent needed. They'll use their money to that end. Just dont let them, thats all.
 
People who create art to pay the rent are...icky, to me.

Take, for example, Madonna vs. a jazz musician who makes $40K a year. Plenty of people would tell you that Madonna's a great artist (music is an art, right?), but not nearly as many folks dig original jazz.

And Madonna's not just paying the rent; she could feed several third world countries for decades. But the original jazz musician is hoping to pay the rent, and probably creating something far more original than a vocal line to a computer-synthesized dance track.

So the jazz musician is icky, and Madonna isn't?
 

Lolita Twist

Rose-hustler
To me, Madonna is icky... but it would seem to me, the jazz musician cares more about the music than he does the rent. Pop artists, to me it would seem, care more about making money than they do their music.

IE) The Funk Brothers. Never got paid a dime. Produced some of the best music ever recorded ever, never getting credit until yonks after the fact. Ever hear'ah Motown?
 
I've played and studied with dozens of jazz musicians who care very deeply about paying the rent. Jazz is just the way they do it, mainly because they do love it.

I was merely pointing out that creating art to pay the rent may not always be a despicable thing. Because these jazz musicians could become real estate agents, but instead, they make less to create art.
 

mjp

Founding member
Any artist, musician, writer or juggler who can make a living at their art should be admired. The vast, overwhelming majority never make a dime. Most spend more money on their art than they will ever earn selling or performing it.

Art, or any other kind of creative pursuit, is a ridiculously difficult way to make a buck. I think the idea that a lot of people are saying, "Hey, I don't give a rat's ass about art, but it sure seems like a great way to pay the rent!" is uninformed. You need to talk to more people who are "paying the rent" with their art and see what's really going on.

Even artists who might appear to be "cashing in," or catering to the lowest common denominator started out doing what they are doing because they loved doing it, or were compelled to do it. Your pop singer has to have an impressive amount of drive and tenacity in order to become successful. They don't just hand that shit to disinterested, random people on the street because they look good in the suit. You saw that Brady Bunch episode, right?

I think all this hair-splitting is pointless. My hat is off to anyone in any creative field who doesn't have to work in an office. Period. I don't care what they are producing. I probably ain't buying what most of them are producing, but I would never begrudge anyone a living.
 
Don't know if one can define bad,

I disagree. I think one can define bad art but viewing art in regard to it's role in society, which is: the striving for resolution to the dailiness of life.

(stay with me here)

For many (some), the dailiness of life is filled with emotional complexity. They're not limited to just feeling sadness at a funeral, happiness at a wedding or joy with the arrival of a newborn baby. Even wiping their own ass conjures up feelings other than pride.

They have mixed emotions.

Who should they be able to turn to to sort out these conflicted feelings? Artists. Artists and the world of art, because, after all, ya ain't gonna talk to your buddy about your sense of loss every time you flush the toilet.

And these artists should be delivering. If they're offering nothing but one-dimensional, canned emotional responses to even the simplest of trials and tribulations, then they have failed, and that is bad. Bad art, bad artist, bad human being. It should be considered a crime. If we get conned outta fifty bucks, no biggie, we know where to go to get fifty more bucks, but, if we're conned outta resolution ... where do we turn. Everyone else has already failed us.
 
You hit the nail on the head B, it is quite up to the artists to rescue the dallying sentiments and the thwartingly distracted engagings of mankind. But the trick is that it will happen by an Art that was aimed AWAY from humanity, by Art that was purposed whims and fancies and executed by the potentiated isolation of some unleashed oft-dissenter who needed-not at all to give impact to anyone.

And M is right again, if you're an artist and you've managed to construct a life that keeps you somehow satelliting your body of work then you've done well (hands clapping). Its surely handy to offshoot: perform, exhibit, lecture, renew, book-bash, instruct, interpret, affect and insinuate as much possible within your impassioned area (or areas). But man, it can tire the best of us, earning THAT buck. So we have stamp collections and wine (and often even, there are other people living in our houses).:D
 
I disagree. I think one can define bad art but viewing art in regard to it's role in society, which is: the striving for resolution to the dailiness of life.

(stay with me here)...
First, you seem moderately twisted, so my interest is piqued.
Second, you have a cool handle, and that's big points with a jackass like me.

Now, let's examine your thinking. One would have to first agree with your premise: ie:art's role in society: striving for resolution in the dailiness of life.

(I'm still with you "” at the moment)

Well, the dailiness of life can be filled with emotional complexity, or emotional restraint, or even lack of all emotions "” so your verbal ship is meandering "” hard to port, hard to starboard. And I might add, I take pride in a good stool; and cleanliness is next to godliness, as the old saw goes...

Now to your discussion of mixed emotions; and those to whom one should turn?

You make a huge leap of faith here; wanting artists to sort out conflicted feelings. You are basically going to rely upon one of the most conflicted of all genres of the human species, artists, to pack that baggage on the plane of resolution? You are correct about one thing, though, no other group would probably be more open to talking about your sense of loss every time you flush your toilet, save for accountants.

To your last paragraph, I may disagree with your viewpoint of canned emotional responses. You see, I'm a big Andy Warhol fan; and well, you know his Campbell's soup art? Canned, beautiful, brilliant, ground-breaking, and copied to death. Let's just can that for the moment, as you close with something potentially a tad more important.

The discussion of bad art, bad artist, bad human being. And crime. And about getting conned outta resolution. And also about a fifty not being much to get conned outta. You see, here is where I have a problem. Because fifty is halfway to a bottle of Johhny Blue. And that, B-Ville, means something to me. I like my Blue, every now and then. But resolution, fuck, every new years day, you can't give 'em away fast enough. You can't sell 'em. They're just there. So resolutions to me are like wet toilet paper.

So there. I did my best. Hope it makes some sort of sense; at minimum, non-sense.

Cheers, bro. And if I have misspoken, forgive me, for it is not me, but the blend I am currently imbibing finding its way into the mix.

Pax
 
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Okay. So maybe I was wrong with throwing our conflicted feelings solely on the shoulders of artists. I forgot about the Scotch makers. Here's a toast to the other gods secret amongst us!
 
I wouldn't give a rats ass for art because if I had one I would cherish and keep it in a warm, safe place and take it out at night and hold it tightly to my bosom.
 

Gerard K H Love

Appreciate your friends
Now what do you geniuses think of these: Great salesmen are true artists. Sales is an art form.
I know that both statements are true.

....and it pays the rent and the payments on the Ferrari.
 
You'll have to find the genius of the crowd, but since he (or she) doesn't seem available at the moment, my response will have to do, temporarily, of course....

Artists of the tongue, yes, G-Love, but nothing tangible created. Would they fall under the category of "Bullshit Artist?" Methinks it may be so... Hmmm. :p
 
"The 'drag' is for me, the ash is for the tray." Our hero summing up the purpose of his efforts.

We here in the tray are quite enjoying those ashes, so we can only imagine what that "drag" felt like. So we all must take our OWN drag... and you might get paid for the resulting ashes (rest), but they they can only wish for the drag.
 
Don't Try...


2 single words that can convey worlds of knowing. It's beyond religion for me, because it's written out of my language. My culture. To me, it's perfect poetry.


Words I've not seen contained in here yet:
Philistine
Collective Unconscious
Joy/Happiness
self-loathing
vanity
Dreams,(pipe & nighttime)
Contentment
Love

Art can be what is not there, as much as what is: words, notes, colors left un-chosen. Art is always personal at it's core, without the individual creator of it-IT can not exist. It comes from the human part of us. Monkeys do not paint, sing or write.
There are people who create beautiful personal works, never thinking of monetary gain: Family scrapbooks;fine wooden shelves for the living room; rebuilding grandpaps old car; sewing a shawl for a newborn. Are these things any less art than a work that sells for $$? Or maybe, are they more so? Does the individual that creates these things; then realizing they have an affinity and a talent for them and moveing forward creates a career... are they
a hack; a sell out? Does it matter? if I buy one of these items and it brings me joy and fullfillment? am I dumb, have I been taken?

What if everything that we do everyday is art? From taking a shit, to selling a car; to kissing someone we love, or smiling at a stranger through the glass?

Thanks to all for this thread, it's kept my mind busy for a few days as well as, kept me from my ART!;) Cheers!CRB:)
 

Lolita Twist

Rose-hustler
I feel as if I've been misinterpreted... I did not mean to say that all persons who produce art to make a living are "bad" or any other derragatory adjective/noun... what I meant was that, it is the people who produce "art" solely for the purpose of making mass amounts of soul-less money, without any regard or care for the caliber of their alleged "art" are just simply awful, in all connotations of the word. That is just my feeling.

IE) Most over-publicized modern-day pop artists and younger actors/actresses who are associated with the "teenage movie/music" variety of things (Miley Cyrus, Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton, Ashley Simpson, etc etc)
 
More Thoughts On Art, Will Change By Tomorrow

Mrs. G.: I now believe you meant no offense with your statement; but as a writer, you should know the weight of words. Without having to wait for a response, from the likes of a %$#@* like me.

Here's my revisionist thought; which will change by tomorrow. I, unlike some, dig revisions; as life alters on a moment's notice.

And please let me be clear: If anyone doesn't like what I have to say, please feel free to skip over all my posts, as they are not required reading; and are merely the POV of the back-end of a donkey.

Art should not be created for money. It should be created for art's sake. Now, I'm a hypocrite. I don't mind living within a paradoxical box. Because at this stage of my career, I can. But, as all professional artist's know, selling is one of the reasons for working. People may think that is not romantic, but so be it. The daily toil. The ideas. Striving to create the next great piece: painting, writing, sculpting, a new riff, whatever. I can only speak for myself, being fortunate enuf to get paid for my creative work: painting, writing, working with musicians, and other creative forms of expression; but I'm sure I'm not alone here.

But sometimes it gets hard to hear people on the soapbox.

Preaching about the integrity of art, without having paid the fucking dues. American Idol is not real. I have paid them, dues, my entire adult life. No regrets. Good times, bad times, good times, bad times. And good times. But the bad times can come just as quickly, once again. Ask any artist, I don't give a fuck who it is. Or any writer, actor, musician, etc. I know a bunch. It's the same fucking shit. For all of us. In any field of employment today.

Fame is a fickle motherfucker. Fatherfucker, too.

Jimmy Durante said it best; something like this: Treat the people kindly on the way up, because you will see them on the way down....

I wish everyone success. And I hope it comes easier for you than it has for the laundry list of people who have broken their balls to get there; and the ones who are still breaking their balls to succeed.

Pax
 
Albert Hoffman, the father of LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), lived to the ripe old age of 102. And, Hoffman studied hallucinogenic substances found in Mexican mushrooms and other plants used by the aboriginal people. This led to the synthesis of psilocybin, the active agent of many "magic mushrooms."

Would that be considered art; or just something someone created that helped synthesize the creation of art? Because I believe he created it initially to relieve middle-age boredom.

Yellow matter custard, dripping from a dead dog's eye.
Crabalocker fishwife, pornographic priestess,
Boy, you been a naughty girl you let your knickers down.
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
I am the walrus, goo goo g'joob.

...

Semolina pilchard, climbing up the eiffel tower.
Elementary penguin singing hari krishna.
Man, you should have seen them kicking edgar allan poe.
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
I am the walrus, goo goo g'joob g'goo goo g'joob.
Goo goo g'joob g'goo goo g'joob g'goo.

Pax
 

Lolita Twist

Rose-hustler
It's not exactly a stretch from one thought to the other. Pop stars tend not to be thought of as, "paying the rent," either.

"Paying the rent", I assumed, was used always and here on in as an expression, per se, in this discussion, to mean, "to make money". Paying the rent, literally, or to get by, is admirable, in a sense. A skid row bum, who plays a guitar on the street and gets coins tossed into his guitar case, is quite poetic to me. Does he love what he's doing? Maybe - he's poor, and he bought the guitar, didn't he?

homeless mind said:
...Art should not be created for money... but for art's sake...

Inevitably, and indubiously.

Pax to you. No hard feelings.
 

the only good poet

One retreat after another without peace.
i heard recently of a poetess who was up for poet laureate but rejected it. she would have had to write poems for coronations and state events, what-have-you. her reasoning was that you cannot write to order.

in the past there were poems scribed for events and novels written in serial form(we might as well say for money), stuff that are now considered great works.

what has happened.
 

mjp

Founding member
Mark Twain wrote a lot of great, funny work in order to "write his way out" of bankruptcy. He made some bad investments (in typesetting machines!), lost all his money and decided that rather than declare bankruptcy he would pay back every penny he owed. He paid all that money back by writing. Would he have written everything he wrote when he was on that tear if he had been prosperous and comfortable? Maybe not. Bukowski said the writing of Post Office so quickly and so soon after leaving the PO was motivated by fear (fear of poverty). In the visual arts it's common to do commissioned work, which is the artist's work more or less bent to the wishes of the buyer.

Art made only for the love of it is great. So is writing, cabinet making, quilting, etc. But there is a difference between being a professional and an amateur. An amateur has the luxury of doing whatever the hell they want, whenever the hell they want. A professional does not usually have such luxury and often has to use their talent to pay the rent, sometimes in ways that may not be what they would be doing if they were absolutely free.

Then there is the rarer breed of successful professional, who eventually regain the freedom of the amateur, but by the time they reach that level, are usually accustomed to the perks that suitcases full of money usually bring. So now they have to maintain that income, and the easiest way to do that is start "production" in one way or another.

Trying to apply some "sellout level" to all creative people as a whole is really impossible. And even "sellouts" can create some great work while selling out.
 
...snip...

in the past there were poems scribed for events and novels written in serial form(we might as well say for money), stuff that are now considered great works.

what has happened.
Charles Dickens is perhaps the greatest serial writer who every graced a blank sheet of paper with his words. I believe he got paid by the word; hence, why many of his works are lengthy.

Great point.

Agreed, TOGP.

snip...

Art made only for the love of it is great. So is writing, cabinet making, quilting, etc. But there is a difference between being a professional and an amateur. An amateur has the luxury of doing whatever the hell they want, whenever the hell they want. A professional does not usually have such luxury and often has to use their talent to pay the rent, sometimes in ways that may not be what they would be doing if they were absolutely free.

Then there is the rarer breed of successful professional, who eventually regain the freedom of the amateur, but by the time they reach that level, are usually accustomed to the perks that suitcases full of money usually bring. So now they have to maintain that income, and the easiest way to do that is start "production" in one way or another.

Trying to apply some "sellout level" to all creative people as a whole is really impossible. And even "sellouts" can create some great work while selling out.
Amen. Sledge hammer hits nail on the proverbial head.

Pax
 
This is a great thread.

There will always be an argument as to what is good art and what is bad. This a regular occurrence with my father and myself. Who's wrong who's right.
I do have fun debating the topic but neither of us wins or loses, we just know we are both right.
Bottom line is.... does it move you, do you like it, does it have some meaning deeper then what your currently experiencing, is it memorable?

There is nothing wrong with getting compensation for doing something you truly love. Doing what other people admire you for. We all buy art, music, literature etc...
So yeah some made for hire art/music sucks, is horrible, is icky. But I bet someone else is out there buying it thinking this is the best thing ever.

I applaud those that can create and make a living at it and enjoy it. I like a small percentage of what's out there. But what I like, I like very much and am very happy that someone is out here creating something I can admire that I can't create myself.
And allowing me the pleasure of adding it to my collection of stuff.

just a bit more then 2.257 of my cents:D
 
Aldous Huxley, seeing a copy of the avant-garde periodical transition on the table of a friend, took one look at it and remarked: "No, it isn't art." This is "transition" spelled backwards but with a slight change: NO IT ISN [T] ART.
Clever guy, Aldous. I think this was during his pre-mescaline days...
 
all i know is art seems best when you dont take it seriously while at the same time you act like you cant do with out it. shit tricky

i recently wrote a long narritive poem about mega man (a fucken video game character ) it was just present for a friend every line was written to excite him and not in an attempt to write a good poem

i just re read the fucker its some of the best purest stuff i have ever written
 
Bukowski Art With Black Sparrow Envelope

I still can't figure out how to post a dad-gum photo so it appears immediately here; as they are jpgs of my own shooting...(If a mod wants to help and make it immediately viewable, AOK with me; and tx.)

Here is one that may help define art, as per Sir Charles and BSP. :D

BSP-BUK-ART-BUKnet.jpg

Does anyone know if this is the original envelope it came in? Sorry about the stain on the top near BSP, it's how I purchased this bad boy...

Also went to Chronic's site, and viewed the ART pieces there - http://www.collectingbukowski.com/nyg/nyg_77.html. Saw the hand-drawn and the signed and numbered versions (not this one). Does anyone know how many additional ones like this were made?

Pax
 
"Paying the rent", I assumed, was used always and here on in as an expression, per se, in this discussion, to mean, "to make money". Paying the rent, literally, or to get by, is admirable, in a sense. A skid row bum, who plays a guitar on the street and gets coins tossed into his guitar case, is quite poetic to me. Does he love what he's doing? Maybe - he's poor, and he bought the guitar, didn't he?

I suppose I didn't come into the conversation expecting someone to assume a figure of speech's meaning was different than what is commonly thought. I reread your post about pop stars making mass amounts of soul-less money, and I think you should start taking issue with the people who are interested in consuming soul-less art instead (or in addition to) of people that are filling the demand.
 

Lolita Twist

Rose-hustler
If you knew me, you'd know I generally tend to hate people as well ;)

But the starving jazz musician? Hell, I'd buy him a coffee and fried egg.
 
The REAL Art, the best of your best, the finest of your fine, does not respond to name-calling. It hasn't got time for "amateur" and "professional" or "hack", "hobbyist" or "superstar". The Art only cares that you are fueled and ready, that you are nourished and able, that you are physically and intellectually up for the chore of executing it at more and more challenging levels.
Luck might have it that your rare abilities earn you a buck in the drib-drab. Good. But dont mistake those dutiful efforts for advancement, or those "called-for" products for illuminations. No matter how grand and how celebrated, most of the lesser artful doings look backwards for a "need" or they beg desperately of needers for justification. The the REAL stuff only requires you, it and another test of will.
 
Scrib, my man.

I'm ready to do funnels with you. Michelob Ultra. 24 oz. a pop. Haven't done one in 20 years; but you make me want to do one. You go first.

Dang. I'm gonna have to talk to my art. See how it labels itself. And make sure it has an md and/or phd, so I can be physically and mentally up to the task of creating it "” in regards to its opinion of my mental and physical health, prowess.

Again, you rock, bro.

We have to do shots together. Seriously. When are you heading to the Southern part of our glorious nation? You, in a word, kick-ass. Hyphenated and all...

Pax
 
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Yeah, sometimes you gotta sit down with the Art and have a little talk. Furrow your brow, scrunch your nose, raise your chin, flair your nostrils and see if you smell an imposter. Reflect upon your motivations, look right into the eyes of that thing, that song, that dance, that bit of needlepoint. If its nervous, twitchy, or offers you money it could all be a ruse. Then you kick that fucker in the ass and it scampers away. To where its needed. But you got the money and the real Art cheers from all around. So you sit back, funnel down a big beer like a rosey-cheeked frat boy and stare-down a work-in-progress. Whats it gonna be this time?
 
Great takes by scribbler and mjp, methinks.

Art can't be prescribed, a very artistic thinking musician Brian Eno pointed out once that just because a music has high intentions doesn't mean it will suceed as such and vice versa. The music of Motown is very artistic but was composed, played and performed with strictly commercial aspects in design.

(i'm sorry, i'll go back to being silly very soon)
 

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