Million Masterpiece
The One Million Masterpiece global arts project 32,715 artists
174 countries
community

Let's have a discussion.

The One Million Masterpiece | The Greenroom | Modern Art: what counts as art?

AuthorModern Art: what counts as art?
Sarah Edwards
Super Administrator

Posts: 161
Joined: 03.01.07

Posted on 27-11-2007 20:17
Just continuing a long raging debate about what makes art and whether some modern art should be included.
Personally, I don't really see the messy bed and blank canvas as art. My theory is that you can't just take something, give it a meaning and then try to shock people by calling it art. In the same way with most careers and skills, you have to earn a reputation and get experience before trying to change things or introduce something. If I was a new politician and I just walked into the House of Commons and said something really radical, really different and completely new, never even been thought before, then it would probably never be taken that seriously. Sure, you'd get into the paper, but would anyone vote for you? Would people actually seriously consider the idea. However if you had been a politician for many years, relatively succesful, experienced, if you said the same thing people would give it more credit. It is natural. The same goes for art. After years of doing more conventional things, showing your skills, gaining experience, then perhaps you could leave a canvas blank and then I think it could be art. I think Picasso got it right. His earlier works are truly amazing in accuracy, detail and show a deep skill for painting. Only after "proving" himself did he move onto cubism etc. which was very new and different.
Just food for thought etc.
Send Private Message
AuthorRE: Modern Art: what counts as art?
Sam Law
Member

Posts: 21
Joined: 18.01.07

Posted on 28-11-2007 11:38
In philosophy there's a branch called 'the theory theory'. Its apparently at the cutting edge of psychological philosophy. Basically, its a debate about whether everything is or can be a theory, or if there are some things which are just solid and cannot be called theories.
We're in a weird time for all arts because Art is trying to emulate science. We've reached what I call a bio-logical age, we look at ourselves as organic machines. And our art represents that. We're looking at the ideas of art; what exactly constitutes as art. We're looking at it and dissecting it like a biologist with a scalpel... Looking to see if art can be a theory and what the tenants (if any) are that constitute what Art is.
That's my thoughts anyways...
Send Private Message
AuthorRE: Modern Art: what counts as art?
Emma Hicks
Member

Posts: 5
Joined: 08.11.06

Posted on 02-12-2007 10:44
I dont really like analyzing and dissecting artworks as i feel it ruins them for me personally.
I don't want to guess what the artist was feeling at the time of creating the work or get bogged down with the theory side of things. I am more interested in how the piece makes me feel. a great work needs no explanation.It can stand alone.

But i am sure others feel differently about it.
Send Private Message
AuthorRE: Modern Art: what counts as art?
Sarah Edwards
Super Administrator

Posts: 161
Joined: 03.01.07

Posted on 02-12-2007 11:41
I agree with you to a point there. After studying so much poetry and so many classics for English GCSE, they no longer hold any interest to me. Its the same with analyzing and dissecting art - you can get lost in the analysing and ignore the actual painting. But I do think that you learn a lot from looking in depth at great works. And I think we all need to question things every so often.
Send Private Message
AuthorRE: Modern Art: what counts as art?
Jim
Super Administrator

Posts: 159
Joined: 30.11.06

Posted on 04-12-2007 05:00
Well, analyzing every detail in a piece of art can lend some appreciation for the piece, I agree with Emma, usually its the overall picture that has the most effect. Now I'm a big fan of Where's Waldo, and I enjoy looking at all the funny little details in the picture, but thats what the picture was meant for, it wasn't meant to be viewed from a distance or as a general color scheme. So I think what determines how art should be appreciated is what the artist creates, and how they intend for it to be viewed. This is why you usually don't see people rocking out to elevator muzak on their iPods (except for me, that stuff is awesome) or singing along with Pavarotti at an opera (except for me, if I was at an opera, I'd totally be belting out the words to "Ava Maria" ).
As for "What is Art", the most widely found view is "any piece that embodies the expression or emotion of the artist". I, however, would like to present a different definition. More cutting edge and harsh perhaps. I think art is anything that can be appreciated by the viewer, and does not have to have anything to do with the artist's intention. It is anything that can conjure up emotions in the viewer that they want to continue to feel. This doesn't necessarily mean happy feelings, very often people want to view art and feel sad, angry, or calmed. They look at pictures of loved ones to feel remembrance, or just some connection to the person or object in the picture. They look at pictures of fantastic landscapes because they wish they were there. Because of this, many things have unintentionally become art. IE: the Berlin wall, for many people, seeing this conjured up emotions of rebellion, a sense of repression, and encouraged the emotions to stand up. They decided to be angry because of this obtrusive barrier, in turn, I consider the Berlin Wall to be a lack of art, not because I respect the "artist" or because the "artist" intended for it to be so, but simply because of the reaction that it creates. Not the "shock value" but instead the people who relied on the wall, or memories of it to remember what they wanted and what they fought for. It became inspirational, and I think it was also a great work of public art when it was torn down, this created feelings of success that many people think back to and remember, dwelling upon this object/experience because they want the emotion and inspiration that came with it.
So, shortly, art is not decided by the artist, it is the decision of the viewer what is art and what isn't. So if you hock some phlegm onto a piece of paper and call it art, unless this is some truly inspiration phlegm (and I've seen some pretty inspirational phlegm in my time) than I don't think it should be respected as art.

Edited by Jim on 04-12-2007 05:00
Send Private Message
AuthorRE: Modern Art: what counts as art?
Morgan Addie Hallmark
Member

Posts: 31
Joined: 16.02.07

Posted on 08-12-2007 18:44
if it is a picture, photo, any human-made image with some sort of meaning or purpose, I call it art. However I do agree with Isaac, it's the viewer in the end who really decides.
Send Private Message
AuthorRE: Modern Art: what counts as art?
Allison Dollar
Member

Posts: 92
Joined: 28.11.06

Posted on 12-12-2007 07:31
Isaac Wirtz wrote:or singing along with Pavarotti at an opera (except for me, if I was at an opera, I'd totally be belting out the words to "Ava Maria"

Fun fact of the day: People used to do that. They'd go to an opera and sing along and completely upstage it. Even on opening night, so many people would have heard the songs already (what with all the singers and extras working and rehearsing and all) that one couldn't even hear the leads! In fact Verdi realized he had written one of the best songs EVER and didn't teach it to his lead singer until the day before. And of course he was right and now La donna mobile is one of the most famous opera songs!

And off that random tangent...

As far as what is art goes, I'd like to know more about what was art, why was it created, for what audience, for what purpose, and what art there was outside of the mainstream and then sort of trace all that information through today. Art has always emulated science, math, music, the writings of the time... Everything! I'd like to know where we got the idea that Artists can't be good at math or science, but it might be ok for them to be good at English?

As for shock value, I don't think the actual artist with the actual art has failed in his mission. I feel the viewers and critics don't know any better and can fall victim to the new shock value artist who is just jumping on the band wagon. Education has failed to arm us with the ability to reasonably and logically think about art and its history and make decisions, so we make decisions based on subjective feelings and a few popular pieces we feel we are supposed to like but we don't know why. I'm not saying that all actual art is something we have to like (lord knows there are certain masterworks you couldn't pay me to take) but I do think it's something we have to understand.

I like Duchamp. I think it's a great thought. Take it out of context, and why can't we see it as a modernist fountain? He didn't do a lot of found objects and so I can take him a bit more seriously. I stopped liking Dali when he realized he was a name and could sell any signed and numbered piece of trash and make a living. I still like some of his works, but I was just a bit disappointed.

I'm sorry for mostly random ranting. It's 2 in the morning and I've got to go to work, but I felt like working on a piece and then I got distracted by the forums!

Anyone take either of those "Is it art?" tests online?

Edited by Allison Dollar on 12-12-2007 07:35
Send Private Message
AuthorRE: Modern Art: what counts as art?
Christina S.
Member

Posts: 39
Joined: 06.12.06

Posted on 28-12-2007 09:18
To me.. *everything* is art. Just sitting her at my computer I can't look around my room and find something that wasn't designed by *someone* ...from the posters in my walls, to my clothes, to the shade of yellow on the flashlight under my bed to the rounded edges of the heater vent in my ceiling. Any time you make a choice that serves no other function that to please yourself or someone else you are creating art. Someone decided to bevel the edges of my plastic wall socket cover.. they didn't have to... but they did. Decisions like that one share your opinion with the world, which to me is art in its most basic form.
Send Private Message
AuthorRE: Modern Art: what counts as art?
Sin-Mae Chung
Super Administrator

Posts: 372
Joined: 07.12.06

Posted on 28-12-2007 11:17
Art is just a word, a word is how we all interpret it. Both artist and viewer has their own idea what art is and if neither can come to an agreement over a piece of work it would still have been looked at as it possibly and perhaps as or is being art. I feel the arguement/discussion on what art is is just evident that some can't or is confused on this definition, especially finding a common ground in understand what art looks and feels like.

I like to keep an open mind, I never used to understand minimal art or abstract or abstractions etc. But I have learnt to appreciate all forms and movements of art, after having a look through the contemporary and art history.

I find it amazing how the English term of Art is so much debated where as there are many other names it has in many different langauges, the idea of what art is is bound to change through country, culture, local and the personal.
Send Private Message
AuthorRE: Modern Art: what counts as art?
Jake Hill
Member

Posts: 1
Joined: 02.01.08

Posted on 06-01-2008 14:32
Art is anything with Intention.
Even if the intention is to "test the boundaries of art"
Yea, I dont really care much for that kinda
"modern" stuff, but its still art, just as much as a beautiful
painting or a wooden chair.
Plus that whole "Dada" stuff is sorta over anyway...

Edited by Jake Hill on 06-01-2008 14:32
Send Private Message
AuthorRE: Modern Art: what counts as art?
andalicesays
Member

Posts: 8
Joined: 09.11.07

Posted on 21-01-2008 04:04
Haha, i see most modern art as a conspiracy to take a hell of a lot of money off extremely stupid people. And that is exactly what i like it for.

Art exams at GCSE and A-Level here are incredibly geared towards meaning and interpretation. Art lessons in school have basically become a competition in bullshitting; the huge numbers of annotations you have to write explaining what you were trying to do in each piece and what direction it is leading into are best coped with by writing ridiculous statements and seeing how far you can push the teacher (a long, long way, in my experience). i don't know whether the qualifications are due to the influence of modern art, or the other way round, but i think it's got to be seen rather as an expression of over political correctness. As everyone is entitled to free speech, it follows that everyone is entitled to 'free art', and i guess you can see this as related to modern art in two polarised ways; the first being that modern art is a personal expression and therefore anything can be considered art, and it is wrong to say it's not art because by this you are trampling on another person's beliefs, and the second that this political correctness itself creates an attitude of hostility towards certain things that tend to be expressed in art, turning a lot of relatively meritless works into something that stirs controversy and becomes famous, or infamous.

The fame is, i guess, what brings the money in. Snobs looking for a conversation piece at their next big do can't really get much better than a Damien Hirst, so they're willing to pay stupid amounts of money for them. The current definition of the word art seems very intertwined with interpretation, and so the fact that a lot of it is pretty much bull seems almost irrelevent.

Whoever's the 'Oak tree' glass of water is, it embodies this whole spirit. The fact is that the interview with the artist, posted below the glass of water, is actually the real art. i admire this in a completely different way to more traditional art; the first because it's a novel idea that exploits dumb people, and the second because they actually inspire feelings in me more than mirth.
Send Private Message
AuthorRE: Modern Art: what counts as art?
Jo Vickers
Member

Posts: 66
Joined: 31.10.07

Posted on 21-01-2008 15:54
I had the same experience with GCSE and A level art, andalicesays. Each piece of work was a project that had to have research, ideas, development, and a "final piece". You could never just grab a canvas and see what happened when you sloshed some paint on it! When I went for my Uni interview the interviewer constantly asked me about the "meaning behind my work" and looked right down his nose at me when it became clear that there was no deep sociological influence on me when I drew stuff! It put me right off and now I'm doing an English degree instead. Books are much more suitable for over-analysing than paintings!
Send Private Message
AuthorRE: Modern Art: what counts as art?
andalicesays
Member

Posts: 8
Joined: 09.11.07

Posted on 22-01-2008 04:13
Haha, i completely agree, which is why i'm doing an English degree also ^^
Send Private Message
AuthorRE: Modern Art: what counts as art?
Sarah Lindley
Member

Posts: 7
Joined: 06.12.06

Posted on 22-01-2008 16:14
Question, can something just be simply beautiful? Our need to define everything to the last detail so we can understand it sometimes gets us into trouble. We end up defining the "Awe" out of thing. I like have some things that just make me want to sit back and go "Awe" I have seen art so beautiful that it has made me cry, not because I knew the reason the art was made, simply because it was beautiful. smiley
Send Private Message
AuthorRE: Modern Art: what counts as art?
Anon.
Member

Posts: 10
Joined: 06.12.06

Posted on 08-07-2008 16:15
I think it's alright to do it your own thing from the start, IF you do it for yourself, and not only to shock or get popular. Things that are done only to shock aren't art, in my opinion.
AuthorRE: Modern Art: what counts as art?
Khym Nga
Member

Posts: 41
Joined: 06.12.06

Posted on 21-03-2009 17:22
i think you should be asking about post-modern and contemporary art. modern art was still an art movement that was different. post modern was a toning down of modern art at first. but now along with contemporary as long as the concept is right it seems anything can be art. so it is difficult to judge as all have their own opinion. sad thing is I feel art could be dying now as stronger concepts seem to be all that matters, technical skill is dying
Send Private Message
AuthorRE: Modern Art: what counts as art?
Sin-Mae Chung
Super Administrator

Posts: 372
Joined: 07.12.06

Posted on 31-08-2009 11:33
Khym Nga wrote:
i think you should be asking about post-modern and contemporary art. modern art was still an art movement that was different. post modern was a toning down of modern art at first. but now along with contemporary as long as the concept is right it seems anything can be art. so it is difficult to judge as all have their own opinion. sad thing is I feel art could be dying now as stronger concepts seem to be all that matters, technical skill is dying


Oddly though. you could say that technical skills started dying a very long time ago (Thank you Marcel Duchamp) during modernism.. there will always be a cycle of form over function and function over form. It really depends on the concept and who the artist is. I have seen contemporary art with either skill and ideas.. although there are some amazing works that have both. However I do agree with you. This neo-contemporary art form does lean more towards concepts rather than skills alone.. Artists are expected to know how to be articulate about their work, and you are much more respected when you have a degree or if not.. have YEARS of experience. and fair enough.. people do not want to be paying for works that is done on a whim. It is interesting how art is not just freedom of expression but a scene of acting and faking, money making and business.
Send Private Message
Jump to Forum:
To reply to this thread, please Login or Register.










© 2006 - 2021 Million Masterpiece.
All rights reserved.
Home | About | View | Community | Shop | Login | Directory