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Old 01-29-2012, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
19,379 posts, read 13,045,292 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erasure View Post
^
This is the reason why I don't quite like impressionists, I don't like Gauguin, Cezanne, don't like Modigliani, Van Gogh, and needless to say Picasso.
Not because they are not good painters, but because they represent to me just that - the beginning of a slippery - slope. Once they made a step away from the classical art that requires talent and proficient training, it was only a matter of time what next in line would pass for an "art."
When you speak of photography, putting it in the same category as painting, it means that you probably don't know much about painting per se. While creation of portraits was indeed a very important part for the development of painting, portraits were not a sole purpose of it. There is more to painting than just creation of someone's portrait ( or nature's scenery.) Even if I say that painting one's portrait requires a lot of insightfulness and skills on behalf of a painter, and you respond that same is required from a good photographer, this is where the parallel stops. The photography comes nowhere close when it comes to creation of more complex pictures, that requires original ideas, understanding of composition, talent and skillfulness of a painter. In contrast, what can a photographer do? Not much, really. He can go and hunt for what offered to him by pure circumstances; he is never a master of creation, but a slave of it, plus he has to rely on technical gadgets in order to create an image. So obviously where art is concerned, photography is a step down comparably to painting.
I have to disagree in part, erasure.
Talent is only the innate genetic ability to create. How it develops is mostly a matter of a lot of work and time spent. Training cannot make an artist alone, although it can sure help in the development of talent.

Talent is also not a steady constant. Like everything else in humanity, there are those who have a great river of talent, and for others, it is a thin stream. For some it never ceases to flow in full flood, while in others, it trickles down and runs dry.

There have always been self-taught artists who did just as well as schooled artists.

Photography as art is just the same. From the very first, photographers manipulated their medium, just as artists manipulate theirs. As photography's mechanical processes advanced, further manipulation was done, just as it was done when new artist's materials were developed. As far as a popular art medium, photography has been just as popular as older media for a very long time. The fine photographers' work of the past and present command prices that are similar to fine paintings.

The disciplines are different, but each depends on the human, whether he is behind the lens or has a brush in his hand. In each, thousands of small specific choices are considered while producing the work.

I actually know quite a lot, thanks. I've been a professional artist for over 50 years now, and am fairly well schooled; went to 3 colleges, and have a pretty good knowledge of art history. I have always made a living with my art in some fashion or other. I've also been a musician almost as long. To me, there's not much difference between making music and painting a picture- the biggest difference is the music vanishes the instant it's done, but lives in the mind for a long time. A painting hangs on the wall forever, but it also lingers in the mind, too.

For artists, the thing is, there really isn't a choice involved. An artist will do what he does. He has to, by his nature; it is what engages his brain the most. The same is true with lots of other disciplines- mathematics, physics, architecture, engineering, inventiveness- all comes from the same source.

It lies within all of us, but flourishes in relatively few in full flower. The best of those few become our magic makers.

But I've never seen that slippery slope- just like all the arts, everything always progresses, and the old always becomes the new, and vice versa, in big circles. When any means of human expression freezes and does not change, it dies and fades into history, largely forgotten.

For sure, it is all free choice. Everyone has something they like and don't. I'm glad you have your preferences.
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:44 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
18,050 posts, read 17,191,107 times
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Wow, banjomike, I love your posts. I can't rep you again for a while but I'll keep coming back to read your well written mini essays filled with knowledge.
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Old 02-05-2012, 02:57 PM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
34,630 posts, read 42,792,739 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowen View Post
I feel the exact same way. My girlfriend and I were in NYC and we stopped at the Whitney museum. An entire floor was dedicated to one "modern" artist who's name I forget and don't want to remember. The entire floor space was sectioned off in moulding forming individual squares. Smack in the middle of the squares were things like tiny children's chairs, beds and other tiny little reproductions of everyday items. It's a good thing the museum was rather empty that day because we laughed so hard at this so-called "art" we would have been thrown out.

The only painter who could be considered a "modernist" that I personally like is David Hockney. I could have painted the work shown on the first page of your link in kindergarten. Don't get me started on Jackson Pollock - IMHO his work was junk painted by a drunk!
Interestingly, Jackson Pollock WAS an alcoholic.
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Old 02-05-2012, 02:58 PM
 
Location: southern california
55,237 posts, read 72,462,455 times
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whether modern or old, the principles of painting must be applied. if they are not present it is not skilled work and not art, although important wealthy say it is.
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Old 02-05-2012, 03:13 PM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
34,630 posts, read 42,792,739 times
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It is so true that the drive to create manifests itself in different ways...artists make art, musicians make music, bakers make cakes, designers make clothing, etc. It is all the same.
Whatever a creative person makes is an expression of himself. I am always amused by people who beat themselves up trying to figure out what an artist is "trying to say". To me, it matters not at all what an artist is trying to say, but only how I interpret it. It is like a conversation between the maker and the viewer...sometimes I cannot understand, and sometimes I feel a perfect connection. This is what makes art fun.
To anyone who is intimidated by modern art, I suggest you just keep looking at the work of different artists until one day, a painting will make you cry, or remind you of a feeling, and you will be hooked.
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Old 02-06-2012, 05:35 AM
 
10,139 posts, read 22,435,726 times
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People are not "intimidated" by post-modern art, they just don't like it. "intimidated" is one of those condescending words that people use to discourage an honest appraisal of some scratches and scribbles that an untalented person claims is his art.

When I see the word "intimidated" in this context I know immediately that the person using it disrespects the opinions of (most) people that the work is crap but because they have drunk the cool-aid themselves are afraid to consider the criticism as an expression by equals. I actually have to laugh because knowing so many artists and having been to hundreds of gallery shows and painting studios, I know that only the disturbed and the delusional among these post modernists actually believe in what they are doing. The vast majority are simply creating art that curators and gallery owners will put up simply because it is "intimidating."

And, faced with an utter inability to do representational work at the level of the Masters, these artists have to try on the Emperor's New Clothes" by hanging banners from windmills or whatnot, or get a job in an academic art department. It will be hilarious to art historians 300 years from now and will no doubt be seen as a lazy generation of persons who could not paint jumping on the stage to get their 15 seconds of fame.

I repeat:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilson513 View Post
To me, the most disturbing era in two dimensional art was what is referred to as abstract expressionism. The most celebrated of these frauds was a woman named Helen Frankenthaler. Google Image her name and you will suffer a view of the low point in American art, IMO. Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns are a couple other perpetrators who come to mind. The whole movement should be remembered and exalted as a good reason why art critics in general and the New York Times in particular should never be listened to.

Today, a similar movement is afoot. You described it well and laughed appropriately, if not politically correctly. Add to that the work of the toothpick and straw lady (everything is a mass of identical little items arranged in shapes) the blue everything lady (ordinary things all painted one color) and the mine is bigger than yours guy (hang 20 foot banners from something no one ever hung a 20 foot banner from before) and you have the current crop of talentless "artists" sucking up all of the oxygen from some very fine contemporary realists (today's version of master work).

Last edited by Wilson513; 02-06-2012 at 05:50 AM..
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:49 AM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
34,630 posts, read 42,792,739 times
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Perhaps intimidated is the wrong word. I like Helen Frankenthaler.
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Old 02-06-2012, 01:24 PM
 
10,139 posts, read 22,435,726 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
Perhaps intimidated is the wrong word. I like Helen Frankenthaler.

Maybe then I over reacted to the word.

As for Helen Frankenthaler, she is the seamstress of the Emperor's New Clothes. Her pathetic efforts, poorly painted on a canvas are not art. It may be her rebellion against art. It may be her rejection of modern art. More likely, it may be her cynical admission of not having painting skills but still getting the center of the stage as a result of being married to a famous NY art critic, but it is not art. Sorry.
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:17 PM
 
Location: Maryland
62 posts, read 138,166 times
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Wow - what a great piece. I love it. Thanks for putting it up - I'd never seen it before.
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Old 02-27-2012, 01:09 PM
 
501 posts, read 1,231,303 times
Reputation: 642
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilson513 View Post
To me, the most disturbing era in two dimensional art was what is referred to as abstract expressionism. The most celebrated of these frauds was a woman named Helen Frankenthaler. Google Image her name and you will suffer a view of the low point in American art, IMO. Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns are a couple other perpetrators who come to mind. The whole movement should be remembered and exalted as a good reason why art critics in general and the New York Times in particular should never be listened to.

Today, a similar movement is afoot. You described it well and laughed appropriately, if not politically correctly. Add to that the work of the toothpick and straw lady (everything is a mass of identical little items arranged in shapes) the blue everything lady (ordinary things all painted one color) and the mine is bigger than yours guy (hang 20 foot banners from something no one ever hung a 20 foot banner from before) and you have the current crop of talentless "artists" sucking up all of the oxygen from some very fine contemporary realists (today's version of master work).
Thank you for your very well written and informative post. I apologize for the delay in replying but just now have found the time to google Helen Frankenthaler. I do not understand her "art" nor the artists like Pollock, de Kooning, Hoffman, Louis, Nolands, Johns et al. This is just my personal view as I grew up studying the paintings of the Great Masters and I'm sure this has influenced my opinion of Abstract Expressionism. I just do not like it to the point of avoiding any exhibits of their works. No wonder why I never heard of Helen Frankenthaler as I've visited many of the museums where her work is part of their permanent collections and just avoid those sections.

I was young when I visited the exhibition I mentioned in my previous post, the gallery was virtually empty and the words "politically incorrect" were not even coined back then! No one heard our giggles thank goodness.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilson513 View Post
Maybe then I over reacted to the word.

As for Helen Frankenthaler, she is the seamstress of the Emperor's New Clothes. Her pathetic efforts, poorly painted on a canvas are not art. It may be her rebellion against art. It may be her rejection of modern art. More likely, it may be her cynical admission of not having painting skills but still getting the center of the stage as a result of being married to a famous NY art critic, but it is not art. Sorry.
I could never express this quite as well as you so I'll just quote your excellent post (s). I think Clement Greenberg had much to do with furthering Helen's career. Was he also a critic at the NY Times?

An interesting article about Frankenthaler:

At her death 27 December 2011 it became widely known through social media that Frankenthaler singlehandedly tried to stop the support of artists whose work were different from hers and was one of those responsible for the NEA dropping individual grants to artists. According to LA Times, "Frankenthaler did take a highly public stance during the late 1980s "culture wars" that eventually led to deep budget cuts for the National Endowment for the Arts and a ban on grants to individual artists that still persists. At the time, she was a presidential appointee to the National Council on the Arts, which advises the NEA's chairman. In a 1989 commentary for the New York Times, she wrote that, while "censorship and government interference in the directions and standards of art are dangerous and not part of the democratic process," controversial grants to Andres Serrano, Robert Mapplethorpe and others reflected a trend in which the NEA was supporting work "of increasingly dubious quality. Is the council, once a helping hand, now beginning to spawn an art monster? Do we lose art ... in the guise of endorsing experimentation?"

That woman was quite the hypocrite.
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