Modern Art

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It seems now that there is a new definition of art. For some reason, ‘abstract’ art sells, even though it could just be a childs scribbles

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=499240&in_page_id=1770

Some would tell you that abstract art is an expression of the artists personal emotion. Art, indeed, is an expression. An interpretation, if you will, of the world and describing that interpretation to others. however, if you cannot understand the interpretation without a full explination from the artist, should it be considered art?

On his pictures are captions. tell me, did you understand the picture at all before reading the caption? Discuss

 
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I totally agree.

It’s quite rediculous. In 2200, one would expect two-year-old children to be forging the “masterpieces of the 21st century”.

 
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Also, the critics buying the art are coming up with bizzare descriptions of the art

“The striking use of oriental calligraphy has the kanji-like characters stampeding from the page, showing the new ascent of the East. It is one of Linsky’s most experimental works.”

 
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Hahahaha. That story is seriously awesome. Way to go mom. Also, I quite like a lot of modern art but don’t disagree that the majority of it I could make myself. To me, the stuff I like is set apart by color and composition on the canvas. However, I’m not…something…enough to see meaning in them. Mostly I just go OHHH that one’s real cool lookin. But yeah I like Pollack’s paint drips. Although that means I’d probably like a 2 year old’s paint drips too because I certainly couldn’t tell the difference.

 
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The Emperor Modern Art has no clothes

 
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Art is a beautiful thing.

Which is why artists are more well-known that pop singers.

 
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“abstract art is an expression of the artists personal emotion”. This is incorrect. The movement tied to the works in the article is called “Abstract Expressionism” which included artist like Jackson Pollock. “Abstract art” is a broad range that can be used to describe art even pre-Modern

 
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should it be considered art?

the critics buying the art are coming up with bizzare descriptions of the art

Art is defined by the individual, it’s not an objective thing. Whatever I say art is, that’s what it is, for me. Our society generally accepts some things as art, and other things as not art. The definition of art that our culture accepts has been pushed farther and farther. Now, it’s safe to say that everything is considered art. Duchamp’s readymade sculptures are accepted by society as art. They’re displayed in museums, and in art history textbooks.

Trying to assert that a particular piece is not art is pretty pointless.

 
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Terrelbot, what i meant by art being the artists personal emotion, is that theres plenty, not all, but defenetly some art that is said to be an expression of their happyness, angst, sadness, ect. take your pick. I also said art is an interpretation of the world around the artist. I was just saying emotion because several artists paintings can be based on how they are feeling at that time. take, for instance, Pablo Picassos Blue period, the reason for the dark blue shades and the subject matter of his paintings in the blue periods was usualy prostitutes and beggars was the suicide of his friend, Carlos Casagemas. Even if that art isnt abstract, its still based on emotion.

alexmiller, im not trying to pick out that particular peice, i was just using it as an example to describe abstract art as a whole. the description being that it could be done by 2 year olds.

 
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alexmiller: Not to pick on you, but being a working artist and my main influence being Duchamp I have to correct you. First off if any of his work is not accepted by a majority of the art world it would be his readymades (mind you all of them have been lost except for the replicas he had made during WW2). All of Duchamps work was (not singuarly mind you)inspired by the idea that the artist DOES NOT create the work, but infact the viewer of the art “creates” the work. The artist simply finds it and signs it. By a viewer signifying a importantce or a relavence to themselves, it becomes a work of art.

Cloudcow: I was simply correcting your definitions of art. In the art world we are very strict about labeling similar ideas in terms of their respec to movements of art and of the use of modern, post-modern, abstract, etc.
Abstract expressionism is the movement tied directly to non-figurative abstracted art (such as “scribbles”) that relates to emotion/idea. While Picassos work is abstract and based on his emotion it is not Abstract Expressionism like the work of the child you linked too.

 
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Terrelbot,

When I say “accepted as art”, I don’t mean loved by everyone. Many people have objections to dada and other forms of art, as proven by the creator of this topic. However, no one can deny that Duchamp’s works have gained notoriety as works of art, including his readymades. Open any art history textbook, or ask any art scholar, and they’ll confirm: Duchamp was an artist, and Duchamp made art.

All of Duchamps work was (not singuarly mind you)inspired by the idea that the artist DOES NOT create the work, but infact the viewer of the art “creates” the work.

I think maybe you missed my point a little bit, because this is EXACTLY what I’m saying! “Art” is subjective. Each individual creates their own definitions of art. I can’t put it any more simply.

But my other sub point is that throughout history, everyone’s definition of art has basically been the same as the rest of their culture. It’s kind of like our ideas of "right and “wrong”. They are subjective things, but generally at a single point in the history of a particular culture, there is a consensus as to what is right and as to what is wrong.

It’s a postmodern idea, the whole subjective art concept. We’ve only come to accept it recently. I mentioned Duchamp as one of the many artists who broke the barrier. I hope I’ve clarified my point.

 
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alexmiller : I was not talking about “everyone”. Being a artist, I get the experience of living in the art world and not reading it in a textbook and I can tell you this, there is very mixed feelings on Marcel. Usually either artists (or curators) hate his work, or think he is one of the only original artists. I was saying that his readymades draw the most flak in the art world. Which is very true as several major galleries refuse to show the replicas. The point I was most transfixed on was “definition of art that our culture accepts has been pushed farther and farther” which I feel is largely incorrect. I am assuming though that you mean general culture which usually maintains instance of rejecting most modern art. The art culture though does accept more and more as we can see from pissing jesus to art house. I agree though, Marcel is one of the most influential if not the most influential artist on art today. I also feel no artist today has done work that Marcel hasn’t already done himself.

 
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Hmm… well maybe you’re right. Maybe I’ve got the wrong idea because I’m moving in the wrong circles or something. It’d be interesting to take a poll that asks whether the readymades are art or not. Still, I think we basically agree on the main point here: art is subjective. The viewer creates the art.

 
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As an artist and an art educator I can see both sides of the debate when it comes to “modern art”.

I think that the crux of the problem lies in the fact that the viewer sometimes thinks that the artist is trying to trick or fool him into beleiving that something like “scribbles” or “drips” are meaningful, as if the artist is playing some sort of joke by elite or educated people on the general public somehow. The fact of the matter is that a peice of art has two sides: 1) whatever the artist was thinking, feeling, expressing and 2) whatever the viewer sees in it.

When I create a piece of artwork, it’s for me. It’s something I need to do, make, express, etc… After that artwork has left my studio and goes into a gallery I no longer have control over it and how people see and perceive it. Each person brings their own opinions, culture, history and baggage to the artwork and interprets signs and symbols in a way that is relative to themselves. If that viewer happens to see what I was trying to “say”, great! If they see something else, that may be more meaningful to them, even better! To this end, when I show my work, I never have any accompanying text or statement and deliberately give my work vague or meaningless titles so that the viewer can make up their own mind about the work.

What alexmiller said above about the viewer creating the art is true. But it takes some concentration and contemplation, rather than brushing off an artwork because it belonds to a certain genre that you have a hard time understanding, try to interpret the colours, lines and shapes in a way that is meaningful to you, rather than trying to decipher what you think the artist was trying to say. If, after that you still don’t like it, move on to something else.

 
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What I find bizzare is that people can look at a Pie chart or graph on the stock market pages and see in it a reflection of reality, but claim to not grasp abstract art. I guess its kind of like the way a layperson and a mathematician would look at a formula. Context and the background of the audience plays a pretty major role.

Its important however for the artist not to cave in to the audience and simply give them whatever requires the least effort for them to understand. Firstly because it encourages lazy audiences (and we have them in droves today) and secondly because to do so reduces the artist to a technician. Consider how music has become increasingly simplistic over the ages to cater to the increasingly shallow taste of the audience.

Call me elitist if you will, but I believe that when someone sees a work of genius and feels no impact, I know the artist isn’t the one at fault.

 
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art is in the eye of the beholder, it is relative, i personally belive that the reason abstract is considered “art” is because people have bad taste. i am an artist and i know that many other artists would disagree with me. but that is their opion in which they are entitled to, if you dont care about this “art” than dont bother with it and dont pay money for it. lets use this to our advantage in fact, if somone wants to buy some cheap jazzed up scrap, give it to them. try this, get scrap metal, randomly glue it together, splash paint on it, glue put sand on it (people like it when you add texture to it), and for it’s description say “it is nothing but itself”. an easy $100 to $10000 for the price of about $50

 
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Modern Art is difficult because a lot of what gets passed around as quality looks as though a child could do the same work. However, some of that art is only deceptively childish or unskilled. In the same sense that in Kongai you might not take the “best” move because it is too obvious, some modern artists interact with higher concepts by not making the “best” design.

Also, a lot of modern art is simply trying to distill the essence of classical art into more fundamental elements while still maintaining the complex interaction. Kind of like how Rock-Paper-Scissors compares to Kongai.

 
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Art is anything that is created or presented with the intention of creating art. People go on about how scribbles isn’t really art but I fail to see the artistic merit in copying a face or a landscape as closely as possible, which is exactly what classical art is. The invention of the photograph negated the need for classical art forms.

If you don’t get anything from it, fine. To then extend that to thinking that because it doesn’t speak to you, then it isn’t art is idiotic. You can even reasonably debate that if it doesn’t speak to you then it’s bad art, but you can’t assert that it isn’t art.

Also, why shouldn’t art be something that anybody could create? Why should art be something only accessible to the elite? Another point, if you believe that anybody could do it and make money, why aren’t you doing it? Surely anyone who believes that they could do it and make money would be doing so already?

 
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I read that article and see it similarly to what alexmiller and lazymuse have already stated quite well. It’s been my experience that a lot of modern culture is so without meaning, that artwork in any medium is expected to carry metaphysical meaning or brilliance that was never meant, is, or will be there.

Philosopher George Santayana called poetry “a religion that is no longer believed…that beautifies and justifies to their minds the positive facts of their ancestral worship, their social unity, and their personal conscience.” The real problem is that outside of mass media artwork, we don’t believe anything.

 
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That’s pretty dang funny. She should have gone ahead with the exhibit, and then taken her son to it.

“Where is zee artist’e which so aboundeth in creativity?”
“One sec, I gotta clean his diaper. He made a poo.”

 
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To me, art is a truth derivable from its most simplistic elements; however, it must be more complicated than its elements, or else no progress is made. I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan about paintings, etc., but I do find great beauty in music and mathematics (and science when it limits the empiricism involved.) I mean music in the way that singular notes are mixed, not so much art as in the poetry behind it (this applies for most songs, but is very false for a select few.) Basically, I like there to be a clear-cut truth that is more complicated than its premises, and this child does not do that very well… All I see is a bunch of random paint (who knows, there may be a pattern behind it), but, as I have learned with mathematics, the apparently ugliest things become the most beautiful once you understand them, so you never know, maybe I’m just too shallow for this kid’s art, but I find it unlikely considering his age (he doesn’t even really know what he’s drawing, I would suspect.)

 
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The art world is a very self-promoting, yet harshly dieting group of people. What sells will sell.

Yes, some art is promoted tirelessly, though it may be absolutely terrible. Things aren’t as bad as they could be, just because my ‘daddy’ is a famous artist doesn’t mean I can become one, this separates us from the business world. BUT, it does not mean there won’t be things like this happening on occasions.

Also, why shouldn’t art be something that anybody could create? Why should art be something only accessible to the elite? Another point, if you believe that anybody could do it and make money, why aren’t you doing it? Surely anyone who believes that they could do it and make money would be doing so already?

Completely true, I honestly believe art should be like fine literature. It should be able to be bought in stores for reasonable non-superduper expensive prices.

Sometimes artwork is completely beyond it’s time, but sometimes things like these happen. Art is how people interpret it, nothing else. Some of the greatest artwork is scribbles, but that in no way should promote drawings from a three-year-old to be sold at such prices.