Slay The Dreamer

The Art Debate

78 posts in this topic

Instead of just posting links to the art that we like (like we did on the old forum), I thought we could try and get some discussion going on what constitutes as art and what doesn't.

 

For example; is Tracy Emin a con-artist rather than an artist? Are video games art? Was Pollock simply getting away with it? If it doesn't make any sense, is it art?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm, personally I've never had a definition of art, as it is as varied as there are different people in the world, but, I did read about so called "artists" torturing animals in public and called it performance art. Now, I think that's where I draw the line. :/

 

Edit: This is what Wiki has to say about art:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art

Edited by LinneaLuna

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To draw a line somewhere, though, means you must have boundaries and thus a definition-of-sorts, however vague :) Why would you say that torturing animals is not art?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because for me art is about communication, personal storytelling, beauty and visuals (both decorational and conceptual speaking) and I don't see why it is necessary to torture animals to make a point, if there is any point to it, when you could simply paint something macabre or make a macabre sculpture, I just think it's really really unfair to the animals that humans are crazy, I mean, they could even make fake animals and use fake blood, anything would do, if not even more creative.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So you do have a definition :P

 

Removing someone's freedom, whether it be an animal or a human, wouldn't be art for me. An artist should, in any case, be able to create their art without exploiting someone else for their own ends.

 

Surely you would be seen by most people as a torturer than an artist?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So you do have a definition :P

 

Removing someone's freedom, whether it be an animal or a human, wouldn't be art for me. An artist should, in any case, be able to create their art without exploiting someone else for their own ends.

 

Surely you would be seen by most people as a torturer than an artist?

 

Exactly my thoughts, but, these days so many people claim that "this is art" and think they are allowed to do whatever obscene thing there is, as long as they put "art" on it.

 

And yes, I guess I do have sort of a definiton. :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, the thing with art is that its subjective and as such can transcend this objective reality of ours - can art be above the law? Is it possible to do things in the name of art that are not lawful? Therefore, can we torture animals and get away with it because its art?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So you do have a definition :P

 

Removing someone's freedom, whether it be an animal or a human, wouldn't be art for me. An artist should, in any case, be able to create their art without exploiting someone else for their own ends.

 

Surely you would be seen by most people as a torturer than an artist?

 

Why can't they be both? I don't subscribe to the notion that art is always something positive, which I think is a common notion throughout society. But everyone should do what they do without exploiting people, it's a common restriction and true for art as well. But I wouldn't include it in the definition. If someone paints with blood, does he stop being a painter? No, but he is probably a criminal and should be brought to justice. He is still a painter though, and most painters are considered artists.

 

EDIT: Art to me is about creating things which not many others can create. Applied creativity. So following a manual I would not consider art, but putting a new piece of music together from known theory is art to me.

 

EDIT 2: Plus, if art is good or bad is subjective. If it is not subjective then we talk about a craft rather than an art. For example, in programming this is an important distinction because the work of a programmer should be strictly planned out by the rules of his craft, rather than be subject to intangible criteria.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Art doesn't have to be positive, art has many times been made to provoke and cause revolution, but torturing animals isn't something that either communicates, make a emotional or conceptual point in my book, it's just downright cruel. This one guy even hunted down endangered shark species just to kill them, put them on display and make millions. (at least the sharks were dead during the creation process, but still) I'm just thinking, if an artist's "job" or "vision" is to create something unreal to depict the real, then why go to such action? There are so many options and tools and ways to do things, I just find it difficult to understand why they have to torture animals. The only reason I see, is either to shock and make money, or they have some sort of odd, disgusting fetish.

But, I must admit, in high school we got to work with brushes made from squirrel's fur, but I can only hope the squirrels were treated with respect in their lives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why can't they be both? I don't subscribe to the notion that art is always something positive, which I think is a common notion throughout society. But everyone should do what they do without exploiting people, it's a common restriction and true for art as well. But I wouldn't include it in the definition. If someone paints with blood, does he stop being a painter? No, but he is probably a criminal and should be brought to justice. He is still a painter though, and most painters are considered artists.

 

EDIT: Art to me is about creating things which not many others can create. Applied creativity. So following a manual I would not consider art, but putting a new piece of music together from known theory is art to me.

 

EDIT 2: Plus, if art is good or bad is subjective. If it is not subjective then we talk about a craft rather than an art. For example, in programming this is an important distinction because the work of a programmer should be strictly planned out by the rules of his craft, rather than be subject to intangible criteria.

A torturer and an artist? Well, yes they can be both in the sense that I could say that he is a torturer and another person may say that he is an artist - but can they be both at the same time and to the same person? Its like the biblical story of the Sacrifice of Isaac; Abraham sacrificed (or was going to) his son to appease God. To those who don't believe in God, Abraham is a murderer. To those who do, he is akin to a prophet.

 

I don't believe that art has to be positive. You can paint a cow with its intestines hanging out and I may even like the painting; but physically exploiting animals seems rather unnecessary. In fact, I myself have just produced a pastel piece with a crow's head removed.

 

 

Art doesn't have to be positive, art has many times been made to provoke and cause revolution, but torturing animals isn't something that either communicates, make a emotional or conceptual point in my book, it's just downright cruel. This one guy even hunted down endangered shark species just to kill them, put them on display and make millions. (at least the sharks were dead during the creation process, but still) I'm just thinking, if an artist's "job" or "vision" is to create something unreal to depict the real, then why go to such action? There are so many options and tools and ways to do things, I just find it difficult to understand why they have to torture animals. The only reason I see, is either to shock and make money, or they have some sort of odd, disgusting fetish.

But, I must admit, in high school we got to work with brushes made from squirrel's fur, but I can only hope the squirrels were treated with respect in their lives.

I looked at that link and yeah, some of it seems madness. In the name of art it could be interesting and interesting points might be being made; but its hard to get past the exploitation of the animals. I would also argue that those artists have no idea how to make their points more subtly; aren't there more artistic ways to make a point rather than tattoo a pig? It lacks imagination and creativity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I looked at that link and yeah, some of it seems madness. In the name of art it could be interesting and interesting points might be being made; but its hard to get past the exploitation of the animals. I would also argue that those artists have no idea how to make their points more subtly; aren't there more artistic ways to make a point rather than tattoo a pig? It lacks imagination and creativity.

 

I agree, I wonder what goes through their heads to be honest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That would bring up the question if art necessarily has a point or not. I think art can exist for itself. A musical piece can exist for itself (and many do I think) without making any kind of point. If art can have no point then those people could like torturing for itself. I don't think morally torturing animals can be defended, but I just think that it is immoral doesn't make it not art.

 

EDIT: @Slay the Dreamer: But that would mean that being a torturer is against the definition of art. That would give art a moral dimension I don't think it has.

 

EDIT 2: To me it is important to separate what something is from if a concrete instance of it is morally good or bad (unless the thing itself has a moral dimension, for example a good person is inherently judged on a moral scale). Like, "genius" or "artist" have this moral dimension of "this is a good thing" attached to them, while to me both just refer to a creative or intellectual ability, not a moral dimension. Hitler was a genius in some respects, but that has nothing to do with how immoral his actions where.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think art is directly tied with creativity and the intention of communicating and/or evoking something. There has to be some sort of meaning behind it and it should be the product of one's self-expression and display of creativity. Like Sam said, if there's something anyone can do, like putting a piece of leather in a casing, and it's something that has no reason or meaning, then I don't think you can call that art, but just snobbery.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But if putting that piece of leather in a case and calling it, I dunno, "Childhood Ambitions by A. N ModernArtist" (:P) is the artist's way of expressing how they felt their parents stifled their creative ambitions when they were six, even if to the rest of the world it just looks like a piece of leather in a case, doesn't that then make it art?

 

I don't know - I'm actually the worst person to play Devil's Advocate on this topic really because I frigging HATE most so-called "modern art"; I fail to see how randomly splashing paint on a canvas and calling it "Male and Female" is even remotely artistic - please, I was pulling that sort of stunt in playgroup, only without the pretentious title, so where the hell is MY Turner Prize, people? Taking me to Tate Modern is like an exercise in self-flagellation, according to my "arty" friend because I basically fail to see the point of most of it. (Most people at Tate Modern: "It's a shark pickled in formaldehyde! It's a work of genius!" Me: "No, it's a shark pickled in formaldehyde. It's creepy taxidermy, that is all...") I don't know; sometimes I think maybe I'm just being thick and not "getting it" but then I see something so stupendously juvenile, like a canvas painted black which is called something like "Number 4" and sells for millions and then I just get really, really angry...

 

I am now going to put a piece of leather in a case, call it "Childhood Ambitions" and wait for that bloke who married Nigella Lawson to offer me millions for it... :P

 

I dunno, I guess I prefer my art to LOOK like art, if that makes sense? I like to know what I'm looking at; even if I don't necessarily relate to it the way the artist intended, I need to be able to FEEL something when I look at art. The only thing I feel at Tate Modern, for the most part, is pure, blind rage and frustration combined with a sudden need to point and laugh at the pretentiousness of it all...

 

Although last week I went back to Tate Britain for the last week of the Pre-Raphaelite exhibition, which was AWESOME. I am a HUGE PRB fan-girl (although the more I've read about them over the years, the more I realise I have to learn to separate the art from the artists because most of them were horrible human beings...) and I went to a lecture give by one of the curators, which was utterly fascinating. It was the second time I'd been to the exhibition (and the first time I've ever been to a lecture and private viewing!) and it was great because I got to thank the curator for putting Elizabeth Siddall's work in it - I've always been a huge fan of her work and resent the fact people refer to her as "that model for Ophelia who married Rossetti and died of a drugs overdose/killed herself", because she was a serious artist in her own right; to see her works included as a serious part of the exhibition was just...well, I cried the first time and nearly did the second time. And the curator agreed with me, so we talked for about half an hour about her work and it was GLORIOUS!

 

Art that looks like art, people. That's all I'm saying...

 

[/ramble]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Serious Sam: You make a good point.

 

And now it came to my mind the term: "Art for art's sake".

 

And as for modern art, I have many times walked pass this gallery where young artists are allowed to submit their creations for judging and to win money and "fame". Now, the thing is, most of the stuff they accept into this modern art gallery is basically nonsense, at least, that's what it looks like. There was on one wall, a video showing someone's new year's eve, like a simple home video, and it had been nominated (as far as I remember) in the category of "best new artist" or something similar. And I was thinking: "Wow, I should have sent them my home video of my dogs barking, maybe I would get rich and famous and a place in this gallery.... what nonsense." And on the other wall was a paper, a simple A4 paper cut a little bit here and there with a scissor, nothing fancy, worse than a kindergarden child could accomplish. And it confused me so much! And then there was this exhibition hosted by the people behind the modern art gallery somewhere else, and there was this taxidermied boar, standing on two legs with a spiky choker around his neck. I didn't know what to think of it, but I surely would never have it in my livingroom or anywhere else, maybe in the cornfield, lol.

 

Just saying, people can come up with anything these days and call it art. Who knows, maybe they'll hit the jackpot. A bit sad really.

 

Edit: Oh and I do like crazy art, but I don't like stupid art, if that makes sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of the Turner Prize entries this year were ridiculous. Wait, make that pretty much ALL the Turner Prize entries this year were ridiculous. If I ever meet Spartacus Chetwynd I'm going to punch her on the nose...

 

Although I did have to laugh because at the end of the Turner Prize exhibition there was a wall where people could write comments on cards and stick them up - soooooo many people said the wall itself should win the prize! It didn't, sadly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haha! Epic! At least the wall conveyed some sort of creative communication. :D

 

And as much as I try to be openminded about things, when a broom and a chair put on display with the tag "sculpture" on it, I do feel some twitches in my face.

Hmm, and that guy pooping and decorating it with gold and gemstones. Did he have to use real poop? :/ gross

 

Edit: Here's one guy doing it, apparently, turning poop into gold is errm "popular" if you would call it that.

http://www.therichti...lls-for-500000/

 

Edit 2: Hey Nocturna, I found your Spartacus, lol:

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4566815/Plop-Art-This-pile-of-poo-is-favourite-for-25k-Turner-Prize.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome topic! I was actually just discussing this with a friend from Estonia recently, after she came back from a gallery in Helsinki raging at everything.

 

She came across a canvas, painted in a single shade of yellow, probably with a paint roller, and in the centre was a small pile of dog turd. The 'artist' (no idea who) was asking thousands for it, and probably got it too. Ridiculous.

 

I think what the sort of modern artists (if they can even be called that) like I mentioned above seem to neglect is the fact that art needs to be a visual statement(?) of some worth in order to actually be called art, it just can't only deal with the mental/emotional/political without any regard for... actual artistry/creativity? This is where so much modern so-called art fails, both as art and in it's efforts to provoke. So were someone to paint a single red line on a canvas or put a piece of leather in a case and call it art because it supposedly expresses their feelings about a repressed childhood I would say lol no, it's not art, that's you putting some leather in a case a being a pretentious ass about it. :/

But ahh, I could be so wrong and I certainly haven't thought about all this enough anyway, so anyone feel free to educate me. :)

 

That being said though, I actually love modern and contemporary art and I think there is heaps of wonderful stuff going on in Australia and Asia aside from all the pretentious rubbish. I also really love abstract art as well and get quite upset when people deny it any merit. Even though it's such a heavily abused and misused method, I think abstract painting can be absolutely amazing, beautiful and evocative, and I think it does require skill to create successful pieces.

 

I found this a few days ago while I was trolling around youtube looking at short films.

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1807xIr2iy4&list=LLWpTlCQF_xcS1e9yVKgpCUw[/media]

 

The first time I watched this it took my breath away and I still find it incredibly unsettling. I think it's amazing. Short film is a really exciting format for me right now and personally, I would call this fine art, though to others I suppose it may not be at all. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But if putting that piece of leather in a case and calling it, I dunno, "Childhood Ambitions by A. N ModernArtist" ( :P) is the artist's way of expressing how they felt their parents stifled their creative ambitions when they were six, even if to the rest of the world it just looks like a piece of leather in a case, doesn't that then make it art?

 

No, because (and this is where my original "definition" is missing something) I think other people should be able to understand and connect to your self-expression. Not millions of people, even a few are enough. Anything to prove that your work makes some sort of sense that can be reached for even if your work doesn't come with an instruction manual. Because otherwise that's not art, that's engineering. Putting three dots on a page and calling it "hikers on the snow seen from the plane" like I did when I was in junior high or saying a piece of leather is supposed to evoke childhood ambitions means you are being a smartass about it without actually bringing any creativity, emotion or soul into it. Honestly, how much heart can you put into a gesture that takes three seconds and can be done by a two year old? It seems to me as an insult to art and not in the sense that it's necessarily bad, but in the sense that it strips it of its core (which I think should be passion and desire to express yourself and love for art) and pisses on it. That's not love for art, it's mocking art in the most basic sense of the word.

 

So were someone to paint a single red line on a canvas or put a piece of leather in a case and call it art because it supposedly expresses their feelings about a repressed childhood I would say lol no, it's not art, that's you putting some leather in a case a being a pretentious ass about it. :/

 

*loves scarletfall* I'm under the impression that those who go to those modernist art galleries don't actually understand what's going on in there and don't really go through any artistic experience there, they just like to think they're incredibly trendy and intelligent and it makes them feel superior to the average folk because they like something us poor ignorant souls can't understand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She came across a canvas, painted in a single shade of yellow, probably with a paint roller, and in the centre was a small pile of dog turd. The 'artist' (no idea who) was asking thousands for it, and probably got it too. Ridiculous.

Well, if it was sold, the buyer clearly thought he/she made a good investment. People wouldn't be willing to pay millions for Mona Lisa because it doesn't have dog turd, or because of the canvas or other materials it does have, or because of the painting itself (aesthetically speaking). Only works of renowned artists sell well, and it doesn't really matter what they do as long as they're still renowned. Similarly, some random person painting a portrait (or sticking dog turd on canvas) isn't in the same position.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Or, maybe there are some sick, rich and snobby people out there, who likes to buy nonsense for themselves because they have too much money to spend, just so they can feel "unique", I dunno, I have enough dog turds on the field behind the house, and it's free! :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But that's purely a matter of taste, whether something is nonsense or not. I personally find it hillarious when musicians explain the piece to the audience because it's all abstract and stuff, but for some people that is touching. Same with paintings I guess. Some people do like "senseless" things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

True, but, poop? Really? (maybe it's just me, I have a phobia when it comes to poop, lol).

 

I guess it's the same with Lady Gaga's clothing, she usually looks ridiculous, but for the fashionista she's a genius. (I really don't get the meat-dress).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Edit 2: Hey Nocturna, I found your Spartacus, lol:

http://www.thesun.co...rner-Prize.html

Yeah, that's her. Stupid bint...honestly, the whole Turner Prize thing this year was even more freaking ridiculous than normal, and having gone into that exhibition after coming out of the Pre-Raphaelite one ten seconds earlier...yeah, let's just say there are some things which need pointing and laughing at...

 

I think what the sort of modern artists (if they can even be called that) like I mentioned above seem to neglect is the fact that art needs to be a visual statement(?) of some worth in order to actually be called art, it just can't only deal with the mental/emotional/political without any regard for... actual artistry/creativity? This is where so much modern so-called art fails, both as art and in it's efforts to provoke. So were someone to paint a single red line on a canvas or put a piece of leather in a case and call it art because it supposedly expresses their feelings about a repressed childhood I would say lol no, it's not art, that's you putting some leather in a case a being a pretentious ass about it. :/

No, because (and this is where my original "definition" is missing something) I think other people should be able to understand and connect to your self-expression. Not millions of people, even a few are enough. Anything to prove that your work makes some sort of sense that can be reached for even if your work doesn't come with an instruction manual. Because otherwise that's not art, that's engineering. Putting three dots on a page and calling it "hikers on the snow seen from the plane" like I did when I was in junior high or saying a piece of leather is supposed to evoke childhood ambitions means you are being a smartass about it without actually bringing any creativity, emotion or soul into it. Honestly, how much heart can you put into a gesture that takes three seconds and can be done by a two year old? It seems to me as an insult to art and not in the sense that it's necessarily bad, but in the sense that it strips it of its core (which I think should be passion and desire to express yourself and love for art) and pisses on it. That's not love for art, it's mocking art in the most basic sense of the word.

 

*loves scarletfall* I'm under the impression that those who go to those modernist art galleries don't actually understand what's going on in there and don't really go through any artistic experience there, they just like to think they're incredibly trendy and intelligent and it makes them feel superior to the average folk because they like something us poor ignorant souls can't understand.

Oh don't get me wrong, ladies, I totally agree with you - I think the whole thing is pretentious twaddle and I actively snipe about it because it's just pointlessness itself. I remember the very first time I went to Tate Modern and saw these two canvases that basically express everything that infuriates me about this: they were both painted bright orange (with a roller, I suppose) and down the right-hand side of each one was painted a maroon line, one much thicker than the other. They were called "Adam" and "Eve" and I just totally lost it at that point. That's tosh, that's all that is. Even I could bloody do that and I can't draw stick people!! Ugh, it just makes me want top vomit - preferably onto a canvas to submit to next years Turner Prize. I'll call it "Expressions of the artist as living sculpture" or something equally pretentious and wait for the money to roll in... :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

 

That said, I am quite excited about the Roy Lichtenstein retrospective coming up. Although that's mainly because I'm a comic book geek and his early pop-art stuff in that style is just amazing. I'm hoping they'll have "Drowning Girl" there so I can get a print of it because I love it...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now