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What is ART?


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#31    Frank Merton

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 05:15 PM

I hadn't noticed; I thought it was funny but then one never can tell.


#32    pantodragon

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 03:38 PM

View Postkrypter3, on 14 March 2013 - 04:21 PM, said:

We are governed by emotion

Absolutely not.  This is a recipe for mental illness.  We should not be governed by our emotions.  We should govern our emotions.  Read Jane Austen’s novel Sense and Sensibility for an illustration of why this is so and of the consequence of allowing your emotions to govern you.

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krypter3 says…have the right to tell other's that their creations are worthless. Because you don't feel anything when you see them….

When I say someone else’s art is worthless it is not on the basis that I do not feel anything.  It may be on the basis that I feel too much and SENSE that the artist is trying to MANIPULATE me emotionally.  As an example, consider religious art.  Much of the stuff that fills the Old Master’s rooms in art galleries is religious.  What is it about?  It is propaganda.  It has been, mostly, commissioned by the Church and it is intended to overawe people, make them feel small, grateful, fearful, and all sorts of other things.  Take all those pictures of Christ on the cross, bleeding copiously and with his mother, Mary, and others weeping at his feet.  Those are horrible pictures.  I really do not want to see pictures of people being crucified – anymore than I want to see pictures of little children having had their skin burned off by napalm bombs, or people who are skeletal and are dying of starvation.  This is all repugnant, and poisonous.  It is people trying to manipulate other people emotionally.  If you let your emotions govern you then you expose yourself to all sorts of bad things: to advertisers, to teasing and bullying, to bosses getting you to do things you do not want, to salesmen --- the list is endless.  So, do you want to be master of yourself, or do you want to be subject to the will of others?

I do understand that it is difficult to grasp the issue of emotions.  I find it difficult myself and I have been working on it for years.  But we are very complex beings, and besides emotions we have senses, (more than just sight, hearing etc) and intuition and all of these work together to tell us what is going on; they let us look behind the surface of things, give us insight.  When you use all your senses and intuition etc then you SENSE that what is going on with Great Art is not benign and that if you let it get ‘under your skin’ then it will harm you.

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krypter3 says: What gives you the right to call other people's art work, popular or not, nonsense.

It seems to me you are talking about ‘free speech’ here.  Do you have a problem with free speech?  If you have a concern that I might hurt the sensitive feelings of artists then I say again: learn to govern your feelings.  If you governed your feelings instead of letting them govern you, then you would have no trouble with what other people said or thought about you or your art.  Also, if you developed the proper use of all your senses and intuition as well as emotions then you would be able to sense that my intentions are BENIGN, whereas someone else who might be taking more trouble to appear nice, and sensitive towards others, and caring might actually be MALIGN in intention.  People who are out to do no good to anyone do not let the world know; rather they go under the guise of being kindness itself.

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krypter3 says….thread that you draw and write. Why? Why do you do these things, what makes you an Artist. Why are you driven to create these constructs of your imagination.

I am not an artist.  I am a person who likes to paint and write and play the piano and make websites and travel abroad and go walking in the hills and study various subjects and learn languages and go to parties, and whenever I come across something I have not done then I want to try it out etc etc.  Most of the things I make or write end up in the bin because I do not value them that much and I need to make way for the new stuff.  It is not the product that I value, but my ABILITY to do things.

My mother said to me when I was a child: the more you know the richer life is.  I thought that was right back then, but now I would change that to: the more YOU CAN DO, the richer life is.  So painting and writing etc are, for me, all about living a good life, a rich and varied life.  But this means that the things I do I have to be able to enjoy.  I must be able to ENJOY writing, to ENJOY painting etc.  If I do not enjoy it then it will become WORK, it will become tedious, I will lose the motivation to go on.  If I enjoy what I do then I will be prolific and creative and I will be able to go on developing and growing.

View PostFrank Merton, on 14 March 2013 - 04:32 PM, said:

Ah! What a relief. That's the button -- emotions.



Button’s the word all right, and people will press it and get you going if you do not get on top of your emotions. Emotionalism, as well as all the stuff I wrote in my previous comment (to krypter3) are cheap: I remember listening to an interview with a published author once, and she said that when she wanted to get her readers feeling sad, she killed off a puppy!!! You see this sort of thing more and more in films and books nowadays: in a lot of films the story is actually getting lost as the director sticks in all sorts of superfluous scenes which are only their to tickle the emotions of the audience – it’s really not a lot better that going on drugs – and these scenes are cheap and easy and get the film/book sold.

Edited by pantodragon, 21 March 2013 - 03:38 PM.


#33    pantodragon

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 03:39 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 14 March 2013 - 04:35 PM, said:

I better elaborate: we have anger, sadness, pity, joy, and we have another emotion.  Appreciation, awe -- oh just call it art.



I heard Alain de Boton on the radio this morning (selling his latest book) talking about how we should have secular buildings that work the same as religious buildings like cathedrals.  Cathedrals, he said, were designed to make people think in a certain way and feel certain things …… my point exactly: this is about controlling other people.  Do you really want to be controlled in thought and feeling by other people?


#34    pantodragon

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 03:41 PM

View PostStarMountainKid, on 14 March 2013 - 07:16 PM, said:


I think greatest art are creations no one else but that specific artist could accomplish. There has been only one Michelangelo, only one Rembrandt, only one Picasso. The same with the greatest artists in every genre. There is something in these creations that stand above talent and technique, something in their art that touches or intrigues us in their unique way that is missing from lesser good artists.

ART is a concept created by the powerful to serve their own purposes: it is an investment, it is a possession, it is something you can be knowledgeable about, an expert about, and gain status thereby, it is something you can use to manipulate others, or something you can use to overawe etc etc.

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StarMountainKid says
I think greatest art are creations no one else but that specific artist could accomplish. There has been only one Michelangelo, only one Rembrandt, only one Picasso.
Well, that is ensured by copyright laws.  Copyright is how people protect their investments and make sure the price stays high.  There have been forgers who have successfully created fake Picassos, fake Constables, fake Rembrandts etc.  There has probably not been a fake da Vinci because all his paintings are known.  The forgeries were often only detected using microscopes and chemical tests.


Also, most of the classical artists worked like this: they had a studio and took in lots of apprentices.  The apprentices would specialize in trees, or cupids, or draperies, or flowers, or whatever.  Then the Master would design the painting and the various apprentices would do the trees and the cupids and the clothes and so on.  The Master himself would only do, say, the important characters.  So most of the Old Masters were designed by the master but mostly painted by the apprentices.  There are quite a few Old Masters about which it is not really known whether they were actually by the master himself, or by one of his apprentices who has gone and set up on his own.

So, these ‘great’ artists are only unique because they are protected by copyright, and some of the paintings that carry their name may not be by them at all, but by an apprentice.


#35    krypter3

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 07:18 AM

I have nothing about free speech. It's the simple fact that you state you how you hate people telling us what art is great, then you do a three sixty and tell us what's art and not art. You simply contradict yourself with your own argument, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.  Tis the joy of free speech no?

Edited by krypter3, 22 March 2013 - 07:24 AM.


#36    Frank Merton

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 08:11 AM

That something "moves" us is probably necessary before we will call it art, but this is not sufficient.  If it revolts me or angers me, I am not willing to call it art.  Art need not be "beautiful," but beauty sure helps and the object in question may in the end expand my understanding of what is beautiful.

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."   This is perhaps true, but can be carried too far.  Most people readily agree on most things that they are beautiful or not, and even agree on how beautiful one thing is compared to another.  Hence we have art that becomes famous and gets in museums where people pay money to be allowed to see it.

Of course there are things in these museums that I avoid.  The young man tied to the tree being shot with arrows may have an outstanding torso, and his face may be beatific, but the concept of martyrdom is disgusting (A God worth worship would never want such a thing) and this intellectual/emotional conflict, while it moves me, strikes me as propaganda and not as art.

That we have art tells me there is more to us than machine, more to us than electro-chemical mechanism.  What that "more" is we will never know -- it is outside the realm of our ability to understand.


#37    Tutankhaten-pasheri

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 06:18 PM

"Art" is whatever you are told it is. These days often by effete parasites who make money from disected and embalmed animals, or an unmade bed. If these parasites tell you it is art, then you better believe it because otherwise you are fascist reactionary scum. Oh, but I forgot, the real fascists also liked to tell people what "art" is. So, generally, "art" is for parasites with their heads up in the clouds, or perhaps up somewhere else....





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