"In dreams begin responsibilities."

Not long ago I saw Arthur Miller's play "All My Sons." It's about moral responsibility, and unfolds more fear and guilt than the family seems at first to have. It's a reasonably good play--though I suspect that Miller was less than he appeared--about common people who do unfortunately common things, like lie and cheat.

Then not long after that I opened a book and saw on page six Jackson Pollack's "Number 1," or "Lavender Mist," which looks very much like every other Jackson Pollack, just with slightly different colors.

Did Pollack and MIller agree on this? That is, are the common people, the unfortunate, the unthinking, or is Pollack merely a surrender to the temptation to think of those who disagree with us as somehow "lower" than we are?

This temptation affects most if not all of us. In school I was struck by the writing of Jose Ortega y Gassett, a Spanish Republican and philosopher early in the 20th Century, wrote "Revolt of the Masses" in which he desparaged "the masses" for their lack of taste and thought:
___________________________
There is one fact which, whether for good or ill, is of utmost importance in the public life of Europe at its present moment. The fact is the accession of the masses to complete social power. As the masses, by definition, neither should nor can direct their own personal existence, and still less rule society in general, this fact means that actually Europe is suffering from the greatest general crisis that can afflict peoples, nations and civilization.

Strictly speaking, the mass, as a psychological fact, can be defined without waiting for individuals to appear in mass formation. In the presence of one individual we can decide whether he is "mass" or not. The mass is all that which sets no value on itself -- good or ill -- based on specific grounds, but which feels itself "just like everybody," and nevertheless is not concerned about it; is, in fact, quite happy to feel itself as one with everybody else.
______________________________

He held modern art in high esteem and criticized the modern dislike of it as evidence of the masses inability to think. His praise of modern art praised the deliberate choice of modern art to be separate from and inaccessible to the masses. There are two kinds of modern people, he said: "the illustrious and the vulgar."

Apparently Ortega y Gassett did not believe that all people are created equal.

But there is a truth in his words. There usually is. Modern art has quite consciously set itself above and apart from, the majority of people. While some artists (David Sedaris has a sadly funny essay on a performance artist who works mainly with sock monkeys) choose to see themselves as above the average and inaccessible to them because they are so good and high and intellectual no matter how bad their art may be--the point of Sedaris's essay and the blinding sin of pride--there are those who have deliberately chosen a philosophy of art that makes it inaccessible to most people. It is made to "shock" now, to "question" or to "demand," and thus, being art, it is "right" and therefore anyone who disagrees with it or dislikes it is "wrong," or "low" and to be disregarded. It is a philosophy that seems to embrace circular reasoning, but it does so because it justifies its a priori conclusion: we are art, so we are right. If you do not agree, then you are wrong.

While this is put a little baldly, it seems to be the tone and conviction of modern art. But modern artists, to the extent that they think this, are wrong. Most people do not disagree with modern art because of its methods or media. They disagree with it because of its aims and purposes; they disagree with its worldview.

I think by and large that they are right to do so. The story of modern artists' fascination with totalitarianism is cautionary--artists suffer from the same malady of temptation that everyone else (read, "the masses") does. D.H. Lawrence has been called "the major English disciple of Nietzsche," ("The great mass of humanity should never learn to read and write," he said), and thought that another Flood to sweep them all away would be a good thing. Not surprisingly, he was a eugenist. You are inferior, into the gas chamber you go.Yeats, H.G. Wells, Ibsen all thought that the masses were threats to taste and intellection and that the government should do something about it (them).

As a result, many artists decided that they would deliberately make their art too "difficult," too strange, for the masses to understand. In a movement known as modernism, artists decided to exclude the masses from art.

Was this snobbery or hatred?

Granted, this is not true of every artist, but it is true enough of modern art, an art that deliberately cast off the concepts of an Aristotle for those of a Margaret Sanger, that we must be very careful and quite skeptical of it. Why is Dale Chihuly held in esteem in his native corner ofthe country? He is vastly overrated, for he is not much of an artist. I have watched him work--he is an administrator and sketch artist who hands off the drudgery to assistants who turn out his work while he revels in the reputation. A reputation probably once deserved, ,but not today, because he is too self-important to attend to the art of his visions. It does not speak, it does not ennoble, it does not even describe. No wonder he's little known outside of his neighborhood.

If the plot is the heart and soul of fiction, as Aristotle held, voice and characterization is everything else. Dada was interesting in a clinical fashion, but it is not often reread. It does not speak to readers.

Is that why the Harry Potter books--no great literature, but pretty good for Twinkies, I think--are so popular, because that sort of fiction comes along too seldom? Rowling at least is considerate enough to her readers to write for them. She writes more as a Christian than many others have done.

But--and here I think is why many artists choose the inaccessible art they do--to deliberately make puzzling art is to be safe from criticism. Modernism and post-modernism hide behind a shield, safe from standards, and thus is a safe place for trash.

WWJD? Well, we can only guess, but I would bet that reading the classics first would be a good place to start. There are stories of courage and perseverance, of victory--and of course of something to be victorious over--of dedication and selflessness. Many of them point out those qualities by illudtrating their lack, as in Conrad's "Heart of Darkness." They nonetheless point out what is noble and right.

Thus, they interpret the reader to themselves as someone worth knowning and writing for--unlike the modernist and postmodernist authors who largely consider those who do not read them as not even worth writing for, thought they are not read by them because they do not write for them.

It's a sneaky and pervasive philosophy, this, finding its way into many places, some of which we know personally.
Original Post
So which is it?

1) Either the masses don't understand modern art:


quote:

As a result, many artists decided that they would deliberately make their art too "difficult," too strange, for the masses to understand. In a movement known as modernism, artists decided to exclude the masses from art.


2) Or they do understand it and just don't appreciate it:

quote:

Most people do not disagree with modern art because of its methods or media. They disagree with it because of its aims and purposes; they disagree with its worldview.


And how can you coherently speak of the "world view of modern art" as if that were one clearly identifiable thing? I can point to so called modernist and postmodernist artists who had very different world views and ideologies. Some of them, like T.S. Elliot, were professing Christians.

And, lastly, how is being inaccessible to the masses per se a spiritual problem? Quantum Physics is inaccessible to the masses.

Great! He's an art critic now ... so versatile ... Roll Eyes
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Great that you posted these musings Melesi.
I don't have common reference points with you as far as a diet of Arthur Miller or Jose Ortega y Gassett, so my response is more intuitive, being someone who does draw and paint. And therefore subjective, which all discussion of art ultimately is. Wink

I'd like to know your own personal thoughts and interactions on/with modern art though, references aside.

quote:
choose to see themselves as above the average and inaccessible to them because they are so good and high and intellectual no matter how bad their art may be--the point of Sedaris's essay and the blinding sin of pride--there are those who have deliberately chosen a philosophy of art that makes it inaccessible to most people. It is made to "shock" now, to "question" or to "demand," and thus, being art, it is "right" and therefore anyone who disagrees with it or dislikes it is "wrong," or "low" and to be disregarded. It is a philosophy that seems to embrace circular reasoning, but it does so because it justifies its a priori conclusion: we are art, so we are right. If you do not agree, then you are wrong.


First off, every artist is an individual. They may be popularist, obscure, political, commercial, sometimes by choice, sometime by circumstance.
I believe that no artist (in this case I'll limit the scope of discussion to just painting because each painting is a totally unique, individual expression, rather than an individual impression of ˜fact' or an external reality, eg. photography, not to denigrate photography in any way, shape or form).

It is the duty of a political artist to question society. Whether they question using shock tactics, symbolism or subtlety.

I don't think any artist has to ˜justify' their creative input to anyone else, merely explain their philosophy or message it if they wish to.

To disagree with a viewpoint is one thing, to disagree with someone's creative expression is a bit of an oxymoron.

I've never met an artist who considers someone who disagrees with their picture to be wrong. Maybe misinformed lol, but not wrong.

quote:
As a result, many artists decided that they would deliberately make their art too "difficult," too strange, for the masses to understand. In a movement known as modernism, artists decided to exclude the masses from art.

Sorry but I consider this a ridiculous statement. All creative expression is in some way or another about communication. Whether it is a one-way or two-way message. Painters don't seek to be obscure, they seek to express themselves.

quote:
But--and here I think is why many artists choose the inaccessible art they do--to deliberately make puzzling art is to be safe from criticism. Modernism and post-modernism hide behind a shield, safe from standards, and thus is a safe place for trash.

Criticism from who? Other artists? Critics? Society? You can't accuse art of being shocking and obscure AND safe at the same time (as per your first quote). Smile If it can do both then it is very, very clever art!

quote:
Is that why the Harry Potter books--no great literature, but pretty good for Twinkies, I think--are so popular, because that sort of fiction comes along too seldom? Rowling at least is considerate enough to her readers to write for them. She writes more as a Christian than many others have done.

I think the Harry Potter stories are popular because they let children and adults ˜play' in a SAFE imaginary world of witches and spells, supernatural and other worlds, and you can't begin to know how happy I am that the christian right haven't banned her books because of that.

I didn't know Rowling was a publicly-declared christian. Have christians in fact embraced her ˜christianity' because she is so successful? Being one of the few people on the planet who haven't read any Harry Potter books (one day I will) can you tell me if there is a particularly christian theme/narrative in her stories?

It also sounds like you want writers and painters to make it easy for you to understand?
What makes them obliged to do that?

The whole point is an artist is expressing themselves not obliged to translate it into a version you might understand! Part of the communication process is your participation as the person viewing the image/written word - the thought process between the message and you. Your role is to think about, and at least attempt to digest/decode the the message. Maybe there is no message. Maybe that is the message!? The idea is to be involved with the art. Only 'interior-design' art is created just to be sold to be hung on walls - looked at, but never thought about. You want dumbed-down art?
Think Shakespeare. Rewrite all his works so that they are 'easier to understand' and so much richness, mystery and resonnance would be lost.

Does Rowling's writing appeal to you personally, Melesi? If so, why? Smile

I'm also wondering if you are having a problem with the 'spirituality' in modern art, or with modern art itself.

Art created as a celebration of religion is an expression of the divine spirit. However true creative expression is in itself born of the individual's spirit or essense, so it can be argued that all art is spiritual. Smile
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art_gurl,

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And therefore subjective, which all discussion of art ultimately is.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

While most discussion of art is subjective, not all of it is. The history of art is not, and discussions of art schools and methods is not, either. That was the discussion that I started. You will note that I did not judge the individual works of artists except for Jackson Pollack, and then only to the extent of saying that his art is all very similar to itself. That is very clear to anyone who views his work.

I think we are talking about two different things, here. You are talking about art and its meaning(s). I am not. I am talking about its aims as it is expressed by philosophers of art and of other parts of life. Ortega y Gassett did not limit himself to discussing art. However, I quote him in some of his thought. It is there for anyone to read, and he wrote it so that everyone could understand it, even the masses, whom he so obviously hated. That is not altogether subjective.

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Sorry but I consider this a ridiculous statement. All creative expression is in some way or another about communication. Whether it is a one-way or two-way message. Painters don't seek to be obscure, they seek to express themselves.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

That's not altogether true. That is, the statement was not quite ridiculous. Artists can and sometimes do consider some people as "beneath" them. Ortega certainly did. The Beat Generation certainly did. The Dada artists certainly did. Certainly, artists seek to express themselves, which means that there are people to express themselves to. That was not what I said. What I said was that modernist artists (and not everyone who paints in the modern era is a modernist artist--Fredrick Remington and Charles Russell come immediately to mind) painted quite deliberately for people who were not "common." That is, they sought to exclude a great number of people from their art. I find it interesting that this phenomenon is limited almost solely to the visual arts. Except for the Dadaists and some of the surrealists (not all), poets as a general rule did not join in this cultured despising of the masses. Painters often did--and very likely often still do.

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Criticism from who? Other artists? Critics? Society? You can't accuse art of being shocking and obscure AND safe at the same time (as per your first quote). If it can do both then it is very, very clever art!
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In fact one can so accuse modernist art. To make it "safe" from criticism is not to assure that it is not criticized. It is to so make it that the criticism doesn't matter to the artist because those who criticize it "do not understand" it, and so do not matter. The safety is in the mind of the artist. Therefore the art does not have to be "clever." It only needs to be "high" (whatever that means. The Term Without a Definition is the operative concept). Thus shielded from the criticism of the Great Unwashed, the artist can paint or write whatever is thought of, because there is no "right" or "wrong," no "good" or "bad" in art, and those who criticize it are merely those who are too base, too much of the "masses" to understand. Artists say so.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
I think the Harry Potter stories are popular because they let children and adults ˜play' in a SAFE imaginary world of witches and spells, supernatural and other worlds, and you can't begin to know how happy I am that the christian right haven't banned her books because of that.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Yes, the Christian Right has banned so many books, like...um...

You are right, but I was not talking about popularity. Popularity does not mean that a work is good or bad. It only means that it is popular.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
I didn't know Rowling was a publicly-declared christian. Have christians in fact embraced her ˜christianity' because she is so successful? Being one of the few people on the planet who haven't read any Harry Potter books (one day I will) can you tell me if there is a particularly christian theme/narrative in her stories?
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I didn't know that Rowling was a Christian, either. Where did you get that information? If you inferred it from what I wrote, you'll have to read it again. I did not say that Rowling was a Christian. I merely said

---------------------
She writes more as a Christian than many others have done.
---------------------

And that is quite different from saying that she is a Christian. One can write like one in many ways without being one. Since Rowling was not writing about theology, we can't say anything about her Christianity or lack of it, and since my point was only about her consideration of others, the statement was a little bit of irony, but with a point. She is one of those modern writers who is not modernist, who writes considerately of her audience, and thus writes with more heart than many others have done.

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It also sounds like you want writers and painters to make it easy for you to understand?
What makes them obliged to do that?
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Then you misread my words. I don't particularly care if they write or paint in a way easy for me to understand. My point was that modernist painters (and, again, not every modern painter is a modernist painter) deliberately paint in ways that make their paintings inaccessible to the masses because modernist art is based on a philosophy of despising the masses. Hence my quoting of Ortega.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++
The whole point is an artist is expressing themselves not obliged to translate it into a version you might understand! Part of the communication process is your participation as the person viewing the image/written word - the thought process between the message and you. Your role is to think about, and at least attempt to digest/decode the the message. Maybe there is no message. Maybe that is the message!? The idea is to be involved with the art.
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I agree with most of this. Yes, the viewer has the responsibility of learning to understand the art and the artist. My post was not a plea for "Dick-and-Jane" art. It was information on the philosophy of modern art, more a warning of taking modern art at face value without knowing what that face includes. Modern art, which does not include all contemporary art, is based on pride, on a self-exaltation that deliberately sneers at those who do not like it, who disagree with it and wish for something else.

Granted, there are those who come to art with a truly boorish attitude no less selfish than the most self-absobed dauber in a garrett. They have their reward, which is to have no reward at all. But modern art very often is just as self-absorbed as the masses that the artists often deride.

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Does Rowling's writing appeal to you personally, Melesi? If so, why?
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Appeal? Yes and no. Not in the same way that Shakespeare does, or Joseph Conrad, or Chekov, Dostoyevski, Jules Verne, Alexandre Dumas, Dickens, or even Tolkien or a number of others do. But in her own way, yes. The plots are familiar, but the characterizations are very good, and she writes with a light hand that tells me that she does not take herself so seriously that she gets in the way of her story. I enjoy her books, but I don't think that they are great literature, and I doubt that I will read them again, for they do not deal with the great questions. In Chekov's "The Black Monk," for example, at the end the reader is left asking, "Is he mad but happy, or happy but mad?" Rowling doesn't leave one pondering important questions, for she doesn't deal with any. As a result, she doesn't stretch herself and explore strange new thoughts, nor does she ask that her reader stretch and think. She writes entertainment, not literature. That's fine in its place, but it won't be literature for the ages.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++
I'm also wondering if you are having a problem with the 'spirituality' in modern art, or with modern art itself.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Thanks for asking. Much better to do that than to suspect. No, it is not modern art that I have a problem with. I enjoy learning, even about art I disagree with.

It's the spirituality that is wrong. I disagree with quite a bit--not all--of modern music (that is, classical music like Tibbetts and Ives and Stravinsky) because I disagree with its worldview. It seeks to describe a world that does not exist and to say that it does. The musicianship is superb, the construction often flawless, the music even in many cases beautiful. It's just wrong. Art is often like that.
Thanks for replying.
There's too much for me to respond to for now.
For the moment I would like to comment briefly:

quote:
It's the spirituality that is wrong. I disagree with quite a bit--not all--of modern music (that is, classical music like Tibbetts and Ives and Stravinsky) because I disagree with its worldview.

what do you see is its world view? So I can understand what you disagree with.

quote:
It seeks to describe a world that does not exist and to say that it does. The musicianship is superb, the construction often flawless, the music even in many cases beautiful. It's just wrong. Art is often like that.

I don't see anyone as being suitably qualified to judge or classify whether art is right or wrong. More you agree or disagree. That you have a reaction to it - of any kind - is good. All art provokes a reaction.
I would disagree however with the bolded part of your statement above. Perhaps the world does exist, and is created while the music is being played or listened to. Wink
.
quote:
Originally posted by Melesi:
What I said was that modernist artists (and not everyone who paints in the modern era is a modernist artist--Fredrick Remington and Charles Russell come immediately to mind) painted quite deliberately for people who were not "common." That is, they sought to exclude a great number of people from their art. I find it interesting that this phenomenon is limited almost solely to the visual arts. Except for the Dadaists and some of the surrealists (not all), poets as a general rule did not join in this cultured despising of the masses. Painters often did--and very likely often still do.


You haven't read much of T.S. Elliot? Or Ezra Pound? And in fiction, there was Gertrude Stein, James Joyce (my favorite), William Faulkner, etal. Modernism and Postmodernism (resp.) have found expression in all of the arts.
quote:
I don't particularly care if they write or paint in a way easy for me to understand.


Deep breath. I think the above sums it up.

ok Melesi... I reread your post and a few things occur to me that would make a point-by-point response from me futile.

- I disagree with most of what you say.

- You may have a casual passing scholarly interest in art but I see you have no passion for it whatsoever. Art is intuitive as well as scholarly. It can be historical and political but it is always passionate and always unique. Classic or modern, noone can ever be 100% accurate and aware of it's message and intent unless you know the artist personally and ask them. As enticingly close as they can get to knowing their subjects, all art historians inherently know this.

- Like a lot of people do, I think you are making lots of assumptions about what, how and why people create. And even if they should or shouldn't. Eek

You are certainly entitled to your opinion and disagreement is healthy. Smile If I detected some kind of underlying passion behind your words that prompted your questioning art (and therefore some connection to it) then disagreement or not I would happily continue a discussion with you.

I also believe - and I am not saying this to be provocative but because I think it's true - that your own religious perspective is getting in the way of your being able to enjoy, understand, interpret, appreciate, question, interact with art.

Unless of course it has somehow been 'authenticated' spiritually or otherwise. I can't imagine anyone who is all-knowing enough to do that. Roll Eyes

In your mind, does art pose questions or provide answers?

A question to consider if the mood takes you... if you were to paint/draw a picture what would it be about and what would it say?
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I think Melesi is approaching the advanced stages of Fundamentalism. Sirens are blaring in my head after reading this thread.

He sounds like how I used to sound 2 1/2 years ago when I was a Fundamentalist. Everything modern, postmodern or intellectual is some sort of stealthy, pernicious attack on Christianity. Everything is some subliminal plot by the "intellectual elites" to deceive the masses. Roll Eyes


This especially caught my eye:

quote:
Originally posted by Melesi:
But there is a truth in his words. There usually is. Modern art has quite consciously set itself above and apart from, the majority of people. While some artists (David Sedaris has a sadly funny essay on a performance artist who works mainly with sock monkeys) choose to see themselves as above the average and inaccessible to them because they are so good and high and intellectual no matter how bad their art may be--the point of Sedaris's essay and the blinding sin of pride--there are those who have deliberately chosen a philosophy of art that makes it inaccessible to most people. It is made to "shock" now, to "question" or to "demand," and thus, being art, it is "right" and therefore anyone who disagrees with it or dislikes it is "wrong," or "low" and to be disregarded. It is a philosophy that seems to embrace circular reasoning, but it does so because it justifies its a priori conclusion: we are art, so we are right. If you do not agree, then you are wrong.


Sounds like he's saying that Modern Art is a plot to set up a New World Order ruled by intellecutal elites. I bet he'll be saying next that artists will team up to make creative, sublimial advertisements for Mark of the Beast chips. ohsnap
quote:
Originally posted by Empty Purnata:
I think Melesi is approaching the advanced stages of Fundamentalism. Sirens are blaring in my head after reading this thread. He sounds like how I used to sound 2 1/2 years ago when I was a Fundamentalist.


I can't decide if he is a very bright man who is stubbornly refusing to live up to his potential or a very dumb man who has read too many books and has practiced a long time how to sound somewhat smart.


AND I CANNOT BELIEVE HE HAD THE FRIGGIN GALL TO WRITE THIS:

quote:

It is a philosophy that seems to embrace circular reasoning, but it does so because it justifies its a priori conclusion: we are art, so we are right. If you do not agree, then you are wrong.


since it's ALL he ever does. Just replace the word "art" by the word "Christian".

Remember the arrogance of "Believing in Nothing"? Are we forgetting so soon?




laugh

Isn't this the same guy who not too long ago tried to put Christianity up against popular culture - the masses who so easily embrace gnostic thought because it's so very accessible to them????????

Art, ignore him. The man is incapable of coherent thought. He can't even decide if he's for or against the masses...
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quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
I can't decide if he is a very bright man who is stubbornly refusing to live up to his potential or a very dumb man who has read too many books and has practiced a long time how to sound somewhat smart.


AND I CANNOT BELIEVE HE HAD THE FRIGGIN GALL TO WRITE THIS:

quote:

It is a philosophy that seems to embrace circular reasoning, but it does so because it justifies its a priori conclusion: we are art, so we are right. If you do not agree, then you are wrong.


since it's ALL he ever does. Just replace the word "art" by the word "Christian".

Remember the arrogance of "Believing in Nothing"? Are we forgetting so soon?




laugh


LOLZ! laugh bump

And he also had the nerve to write this:

quote:
Originall posted by Melesi:
WWJD? Well, we can only guess, but I would bet that reading the classics first would be a good place to start.


So, that means read ALL the ancients books on Jesus, including the Lost Gospels, gnostic Gospesls and "apocryphal/pseudiographical" books too, right?

Melesi would probably say, "No, those books are false and present a false Jesus. The Four Gospels and the Pauline Epistlesgive us a very clear picture of Christ......" Roll Eyes

In other words, he's not concerned about Jesus, he's concerned about defending doctrine. Making an A PRIORI assumption that the Four Gospels are in disagreement with other gospels and assuming that they are "more correct", also assuming that Paul is correct.
quote:
HonestBrother: Art, ignore him.


yes, well my hopes for a conversation pontificating about art ad nauseum were dashed (dammit!!) Big Grin when I 'encountered' this surprise package of uppercase upstarts and lowercase classisms... and smugness Frown

quote:
melesi:...is based on pride, on a self-exaltation that deliberately sneers at those who do not like it, who disagree with it and wish for something else.

Granted, there are those who come to art with a truly boorish attitude no less selfish than the most self-absobed dauber in a garrett. They have their reward, which is to have no reward at all. But modern art very often is just as self-absorbed as the masses that the artists often deride.


disapppointed, dazed and Confused
quote:
Originally posted by Empty Purnata:
Sounds like he's saying that Modern Art is a plot to set up a New World Order ruled by intellecutal elites.

I'm not sure whether that would be such a bad thing... laugh better than the world being run by GW Bush and fundamentalists (of any brand).

quote:

I bet he'll be saying next that artists will team up to make creative, sublimial advertisements for Mark of the Beast chips. ohsnap

that's called Graphic Design Wink laugh
quote:
melesi:...is based on pride, on a self-exaltation that deliberately sneers at those who do not like it, who disagree with it and wish for something else.


Sounds like he's talking about HiMsElF again! Big Grin

quote:

Granted, there are those who come to art with a truly boorish attitude no less selfish than the most self-absobed dauber in a garrett. They have their reward, which is to have no reward at all. But modern art very often is just as self-absorbed as the masses that the artists often deride.


Art, there's no need to be

quote:

disapppointed, dazed and Confused




Super HB is on the case!

Melesi is REALLY a self-absorbed dauber in a garrett!

He's making fun of you as a representative of the masses because you don't understand his game
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
Sounds like he's talking about HiMsElF again! Big Grin

quote:

Granted, there are those who come to art with a truly boorish attitude no less selfish than the most self-absobed dauber in a garrett. They have their reward, which is to have no reward at all. But modern art very often is just as self-absorbed as the masses that the artists often deride.


Art, there's no need to be

quote:

disapppointed, dazed and Confused




Super HB is on the case!


quote:
Melesi is REALLY a self-absorbed dauber in a garrett!


quote:
He's making fun of you as a representative of the masses because you don't understand his game

oh my goodness...! lol lol I like the icon

hmmm...I could say something rather 'visual' here about daubing but I will refrain. Wink

one of the masses...a critical mass...a chain reaction...a chain reaction is started by forcing together two or more samples of fissionable material, each of less than critical mass, to form one sample of supercritical mass...a self-sustaining reaction that, once started, continues without further outside influence...
art_gurl,

I think we are talking at cross purposes. I am not talking about "art." You seem to be. That's fine, except that it confuses the issue, because you keep assuming that I'm talking about what you're talking about, and we are not.

You draw an incorrect conclusion form a simple statement:

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I don't particularly care if they write or paint in a way easy for me to understand.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++

Which you then say is about art. It isn't. Check the context again. Your concern was

++++++++++++++++++++++++
It also sounds like you want writers and painters to make it easy for you to understand?
What makes them obliged to do that?
+++++++++++++++++++++++

That's what I was answering when I said what I did. It had nothing to do with art in general, only with your question that I might be insisting that artists create in a way easy for me to understand. I simply said, that I do not. YOu cannot then conclude that I have no "passion" for art, for I have not addressed that issue, nor have I said anything that might remotely lead to that concludion.

If I had no passion for art, why would I care enough about it to think about it, to read it, to view it in art galleries (I've done that? I didnot say so. No, for that was not the point of my thread) as I have done, and even to try to create some myself--at which I have done rather badly, if sincerely. There is a craft, a skill to art as well as a heart in it, and that craft must be cultivated in order to express the heart and mind of the artist. Since that is is not my trade and that in which I spend most of my time, while I can create articles (sic) out of steel, I despair of ever being good enough at it to make it worth other people's time. A passion for art? I think more than you know.

Please do not conclude too much on too little information.

You are also confusing modernist art with modern art. I have tried--I said it more than once--that not all modern art is modernist art. While I do not have a problem with modern art (all art was modern at one time), it the spirit and the worldview of modernist art with which I disagree. Modernist art has a concept of the world that frankly despises most people, that insists that everyone else conform to the artist's concepts, that "we" are the cognoscenti.

That's why I started with Jose Ortega y Gassett. In his 1948 essay (aptly) entitled, "The Dehumanization of Art," he explains his contempt for the masses which was already present in his larger work, "The Revolt of the Masses," written 18 years earlier. Apparently he learned nothing from World War Two. At least the Bauhaus artists had some remorse over World War One and worked to try to eliminate what they saw as an if not the origin of the conflict, pride. Ortega and the modernists did nothing of the sort in the late Forties and early Fifties. They continued down the path of despising that led the Nazis to hold the Jews and the Japanese to hold the Chinese as less than human.

I do not think that it is too strong to say, then, that modernist art is part--an unwitting part probably, but a part nonetheless--of a culture of death. For just as sleep is a picture of physical death, despising is a picture of moral death. Most hatred starts as despising.

That's what I'm talking about, not about the artistic impulse, but about the worldview of many of our modernist artists. Modernist art deliberately repels most people, it sets out to do so.

Ever watch a fashion show? WHen a fashion deisgner debuts his creations, most of the time they're clothes that ordinary people wouldn't want in their coffins. A fashio show, I finally realized, is one fashion designer creating clothing for other fashion designers to envy. When celebreties wear these things to awards ceremonies, much of it is derided, because much of it is plain ugly. It is so intentionally, and that is the modernist impulse.

You apparently do not have that impulse, for which I am grateful. The mode or means by which you express your passions and thoughts is irrelevant to this conversation, for any artist who wants to say something to other people will say it in a way that they will come to understand if not understand at the time. The impulse is to get people to see if not to agree. But if you decide that you are going to make art that most people will never understand because they are simply too dull, too base, too savage, too red-neck beer-swilling NASCAR to understand and you don't care, then you have crossed the line into modernist art that arises out of despising, and it becomes an art of death.

Not all artists do that. I have said so, so

++++++++++++++++++++++++++
- Like a lot of people do, I think you are making lots of assumptions about what, how and why people create. And even if they should or shouldn't.
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I simply incorrect. I am not talking about that at all. I am talking about a worldview deliberately expressed in some art.

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If I detected some kind of underlying passion behind your words that prompted your questioning art
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I am not questioning art. I'm not even questioning modern art. I am violently disagreeing with modernist art. Not it methods, not its media, but its heart and its mind.

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I also believe - and I am not saying this to be provocative but because I think it's true - that your own religious perspective is getting in the way of your being able to enjoy, understand, interpret, appreciate, question, interact with art.
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Oh? How might that be? I have not mentioned my religious perspective. I have not compared modernist art to a religious doctrine. You have not given an example of how I did that. Yo uonly made the assertion. Why do you say that?

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In your mind, does art pose questions or provide answers?
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Both. Remember Picasso's famous line: "Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth"? But if it provides answers--and it does--then we are free to discuss and to disagree with those answers, aren't we?

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A question to consider if the mood takes you... if you were to paint/draw a picture what would it be about and what would it say?
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A fair and very good question. It would be of the inside of an apartment that has one window overlooking a sunny and sandy beach. On the beach would be the usual merry crowd swimming, running after dogs that shake themselves on coming out of the water, children around the window of an ice-cream truck, perhaps a volleyball game, a kite-flyer, whose kite flies near the image of a small, approaching cloud.

In the semi-dark apartment is a worried fellow, pacing, with several open books on a table near him, and in a small shaft of sunlight that falls on one of the books and spills over onto the table, two ancient coins: a silver Greek stater and a gold Roman solidus.
EP,

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He sounds like how I used to sound 2 1/2 years ago when I was a Fundamentalist. Everything modern, postmodern or intellectual is some sort of stealthy, pernicious attack on Christianity. Everything is some subliminal plot by the "intellectual elites" to deceive the masses.
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Thank you for your thoughtfulness.

Exactly where did I blame or accuse things "modern," especially for being an attack on Christianity? I quoted y Gassett, not Galatians. I used the words and thoughts of those quite definitely not of the religious right, and I did not distort them nor breathlessly accuse them of pernicious motives and of taking over anything (a common tactic of both sides of most religiopolitical arguments, a tactic I find saddening).

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Sounds like he's saying that Modern Art is a plot to set up a New World Order ruled by intellecutal elites. I bet he'll be saying next that artists will team up to make creative, sublimial advertisements for Mark of the Beast chips
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Looks like you lost your bet,but it's easy to make such bets when there's no penalty, no responsibility for being wrong.
art_gurl,

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yes, well my hopes for a conversation pontificating about art ad nauseum were dashed (dammit!!) when I 'encountered' this surprise package of uppercase upstarts and lowercase classisms... and smugness.
+++++++++++++++++++++++

Really? Where did you encounter this surprise package?

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disapppointed, dazed
++++++++++++++++++++++

Why? Because I said that some people on both sides of the issue can be quite humanly wrong?
Artists aren't fallible? People who view art are not fallible?
quote:
Originally posted by Melesi:
art_gurl,

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yes, well my hopes for a conversation pontificating about art ad nauseum were dashed (dammit!!) when I 'encountered' this surprise package of uppercase upstarts and lowercase classisms... and smugness.
+++++++++++++++++++++++

Really? Where did you encounter this surprise package?

++++++++++++++++++++++
disapppointed, dazed
++++++++++++++++++++++

Why? Because I said that some people on both sides of the issue can be quite humanly wrong?
Artists aren't fallible? People who view art are not fallible?


Are you really surprised? You do come off as pontificating expertly about something you don't understand very well as evidenced by the fact you insist on making such a GROSS generalization when speaking of the "world view of Modernist Art":

quote:

That's what I'm talking about, not about the artistic impulse, but about the worldview of many of our modernist artists. Modernist art deliberately repels most people, it sets out to do so.


When in fact you're speaking of only a small subset of representative Modernists.

And do NOT start with me. I know the difference between Modernism and Modern Art.

I'll add that despising of the masses was NOT new with Modern (or even Modernist) art. And it isn't the primary purpose/motivation (generally speaking) of such art either.
Melesi... arguing art and individual perceptions of it (art is more perception that fact) is such a HUGE topic.

You are very fond of labelling and categorizing, whereas I try to avoid labels and stereotyping. What if I reject the term post-modernism for example? Or Modernist? Where does that take the discussion?

They aren't actual questions.

I am still mystified why you express the view with such authority that Rowling writes 'in a christian way' which is why I asked for some qualification on that statement. And I asked what makes writing appear to be christian?

You make such extreme statements such as: "Modernist art deliberately repels most people, it sets out to do so", with such authority that it's hard not to see that as arrogant. And I reject that anyone can discuss art - modernist, post-modern or otherwise - without also considering 'artistic impulse'. Which is in fact the voluntary or involuntary act of picking up a crayon, brush, camera or whatever tool to begin the creation.

Without passion there can be no art.

Thank you for answering the question about what you would create; and what you have created. Why do you judge it, deride it, instead of taking pride in it? To be modest or humble presumably, but to be happy and proud of your own creative attempt is not being self-indulgent. And I think that is the root of the (your) problem. Perhaps you see all art as self-indulgent unless it can justify itself in some way.

Perhaps by making a statement you agree with, or by having no ego at all. Or being ikonic or realistic or 'one size fits all'?
It is this type of thinking that I have a problem with.

One of the most rewarding things art can do is to challenge our preconceptions and misconceptions. You may have a passion for the classics... a safe and well navigated route... what about a serious diet of new unexplored artistic territory? Student art shows, experimental theatre, taking a drawing class yourself? Aren't you an artist?
Isn't everyone born on this planet creative (the answer is YES)?

It's great that you say you create in steel - what do you create? Do you visualise it first, plan it out before you begin? Or do you like to see what happens? Why steel? What qualities attract you to it?

Explore your inner artist more fully first, then go take another look at others' art.
Then we can talk some more.

That's all I have time to say right now. Smile
Couple questions,

Looks like you have a few Counselors/Psychologists on your hands Melesi. Very much unconcerned with your views on art, but extremely concerned with diagnosing you and handing out a few 'artistic' prescriptions (purposely fragmented).

I do have a few questions about...

quote:
It is a philosophy that seems to embrace circular reasoning, but it does so because it justifies its a priori conclusion: we are art, so we are right. If you do not agree, then you are wrong.


I like this statement...
However, if I were one of the Modernist artists that fell into this group of artistic misfits, my defense would be...

My art is about the vulnerability of individuals and how they react to the struggle. How do I cope in a digressive society that? The masses have given me the cold shoulder, because I don't conform to this unneccessary struggle, and surcome to an unneccessary fate of being stoned to death. I am stoned because the majority says we can't judge between right and wrong, my right is their wrong simply because morality IS oppressive <--which I don't dispute. So the masses oppress morality, by playing the victimized underdogs <--makes sense to me. I rebel. I may come off as self-righteous, and egotistic because I don't care. But I will expose the vulnerabilty and the shamelessness of the masses. I will be wrong in spite of their right. To me, this is the way of life, this is the way of art. To me art IS the struggle, without the struggle their is no art.

What would I do if we were perfect? What would I do if I didn't have anything to rebel against? Instead of being good for goodness sake, I'd rebel for rebellions sake.

This is MY art.
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
Looks like you have a few Counselors/Psychologists on your hands Melesi. Very much unconcerned with your views on art, but extremely concerned with diagnosing you and handing out a few 'artistic' prescriptions (purposely fragmented).


bar humbug... Big Grin or should I say...
Incorrect. I am MOST concerned about Melesi's musings on art. Wink

However I am not trying to be patronizing or arrogant - and if I am, it pales in comparison with some massive doses that preceed it - I am trying to open the door a little wider. If that's being seen as trying to shut the door and stub Melesi's metaphoric 'toe' in it, then you've misread me.

Anyhoo... what's a little pop psychology among friends? Smile

But we can all go on ad finitum like a chain reaction... lol

and no doubt we will... laugh
coz it's fun.
.
It is fun...

But at the same time I appreciate your particular thoughts about art, and if you can poke fun, and still relay your views about the issue, cool Smile

For instance,

I read into Melesi's point of view (I could be wrong), that there is a level of abnoxious insensitivity on the part of modernist artists. How do we feel about this? Should their be an EHTICS amongst artists in the art industry?
Massage therapist have ethics. They have the ability to make their patients extremely vulnerable, however it is unethical, and improper to take advantage. How do we equip ourselves against being taken advantage of by artists, if artist do not have any ethics?
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
For instance,
I read into Melesi's point of view (I could be wrong), that there is a level of abnoxious insensitivity on the part of modernist artists. How do we feel about this? Should their be an EHTICS amongst artists in the art industry?


There is a level of abnoxious insenstivity in certain people of all professions. I don't think artists should be disallowed the right to be abnoxious!

Ethics is ALWAYS an interesting question in relation to any part of human existence.

Why should there be ethics in art? Not trying to side-step, an honest question.
Are we talking ethics of the artist, the procedure, the message or the final product?

The question of equipping ourselves to not be taken advantage of by artists is a really interesting one. One I'd like to give a bit more thought in responding to.

I'm not sure if 'we' talking more about censorship?

ANyhoo... I'll get back to you. I like this question a lot! I hope I can do it justice. Smile
.
Last edited {1}
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
Massage therapist have ethics. They have the ability to make their patients extremely vulnerable, however it is unethical, and improper to take advantage. How do we equip ourselves against being taken advantage of by artists, if artist do not have any ethics?


It is clear how a massage therapist might take advantage of us.

It is not so clear how an artist might take advantage.

Could you clarify?
Censorship is oppressive; just as oppressive as morality. I think they're both neccessary.

For instance, at the University of Texas, their is some serious racial tension. With this environment, along came an artist with a bright idea. This (white) artist, made a lifesize manican doll of a black woman with one baby on one arm being breast-fed, and a needle hanging out the other arm, their where other stereotypical images being portrayed by this "Art", but those two stood out. This 'art' was infact publicly displayed.

As you've stated 'art' is provocative. How does one prepare for being provoked, mocked, ridiculed, slandered, socially and mentally abused, all in the name of 'Art'?

You can ignore this post, because it's full of rhetoric. Just wanted to prove a point.
Being ridiculed(provoked) makes one vulnerable. Are we required to live by higher standards/ethics, and 'take the high road' when we are provoked by these artists? Should artists be held accountable for taking advantage of ART and PEOPLE by being insensitive?

The youth are being taken advantage of by rap music (this I hate to admit). Tobacco commercials, beer commercials, anti-religous propaganda...etc. All examples of people being taken advantage of by the provocative enticements of art.
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
Censorship is oppressive; just as oppressive as morality. I think they're both neccessary.

For instance, at the University of Texas, their is some serious racial tension. With this environment, along came an artist with a bright idea. This (white) artist, made a lifesize manican doll of a black woman with one baby on one arm being breast-fed, and a needle hanging out the other arm, their where other stereotypical images being portrayed by this "Art", but those two stood out. This 'art' was infact publicly displayed.

As you've stated 'art' is provocative. How does one prepare for being provoked, mocked, ridiculed, slandered, socially and mentally abused, all in the name of 'Art'?

You can ignore this post, because it's full of rhetoric. Just wanted to prove a point.


Some artists, like some people, are assholes and need to be ignored. No code of ethics in the world can raise someone's IQ

But I don't think any artistic "code of ethics" or any censorship rule could screen out an example like the one you cite without also targeting a lot of works I might enjoy.

Even in this instance, as offended as I truly am by the image you've conjured, I'm against censorship.
Dammit... I had to run away and answer the phone so you've both jumped ahead. Big Grin

Just wanted to ask HeruStar - in regard to your 2 questions:

1. Should their be an EHTICS amongst artists in the art industry?

2. How do we equip ourselves against being taken advantage of by artists, if artist do not have any ethics?

...if you are interested in pursuing a discussion about the two questions you raised - both great - and to limit the scope... are you suggesting some kind of hypothetical definition of:
- the roles, rights and responsibilities of the artist/creator, and,
- the roles, rights and responsibilities of the viewer?

I can't respond now but I would like to. Right now I have to run...

but it's getting really meaty and interesting, thanks!
.
How can one tell their child... "this is wrong, BUT it is art, so it's o.k."...

I think these modernist artist place a stumblingblock in the evolution of art. It creates a blind authoritarian relationship between artists and their patrons, and it also creates a generation of Reactionaries.

Here's one of my reactions...


Peep my infiltration
Of the infractous INFLUENCE
When injections get lethal
You can see through people
Transluscent minded
Self-proclaimed hypocrites
Through their assertive inaction
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:

As you've stated 'art' is provocative. How does one prepare for being provoked, mocked, ridiculed, slandered, socially and mentally abused, all in the name of 'Art'?


quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother: Even in this instance, as offended as I truly am by the image you've conjured, I'm against censorship.


There is a difference between morality, censorship and integrity. I can argue that in some instances, not necessarily the above.... which I would need to see in life to make any valid comment on.... the seemingly horrendous can and is done with integrity. Making it a true statement, rather than a shock piece of marketing.

The problem with censorship is who is doing the censoring.

Really have to run now....
quote:
- the roles, rights and responsibilities of the artist/creator, and,
- the roles, rights and responsibilities of the viewer?


Yes...

Only if we can agree that art is 'INFLUENTIAL'.

I believe that people can be taken advantage of and mislead by artistic influences.
art_gurl,

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Melesi... arguing art and individual perceptions of it (art is more perception that fact) is such a HUGE topic.
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Agreed. That's why I don't mind either discussing it or anyone disagreeing with me. Arguing a topic with logic and intention but without rancor is helpful. Either I help someone else think more clearly, or I learn to. Either way, it's worth it.

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You are very fond of labelling and categorizing, whereas I try to avoid labels and stereotyping. What if I reject the term post-modernism for example? Or Modernist? Where does that take the discussion?

They aren't actual questions.
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And yet they are valid and interesting. Labels are conventions, merely helps in the process of understanding. Labels are necessary, I think; at least they are unavoidable. The human brain must categorize--taxonomy is built into us. The only question about it is teh right way to do so. You have categorized me a couple of times here, I notice, and yet you say that you try to avoid them. That's how innate categorizing is.

If we do try to avoid labels, what happens? I think a lot of our understanding disappears. Where would we be without the categories of biology? Darwin realized adaptation and evolution first because of categorizing finches' beaks. It does have its uses.

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I am still mystified why you express the view with such authority that Rowling writes 'in a christian way' which is why I asked for some qualification on that statement. And I asked what makes writing appear to be christian
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It was a bit of mild humor. Rowling writes about an imaginary world of magic (I have sometimes had a hard time with a few of my church brothers and sisters--usually sisters, now that I think about it--over the issue of magic in her books. It's no big thing, I say, and a few have seen why I say it. A few.) which most fundamentalist and evangelical Christians shy away or even recoil from. Yet she writes with a good solid understanding of her audience, and she writes considerately of them. It's the consideration that she shows that is more Christian than some Christian writers have ever shown. It doesn't mean that she is Christian, just that she displays a Christian virtue. Some Christian authors could learn from her.

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You make such extreme statements such as: "Modernist art deliberately repels most people, it sets out to do so", with such authority that it's hard not to see that as arrogant. And I reject that anyone can discuss art - modernist, post-modern or otherwise - without also considering 'artistic impulse'. Which is in fact the voluntary or involuntary act of picking up a crayon, brush, camera or whatever tool to begin the creation.
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And yet modernist art sets out to be extreme. I do not say that this is the case with all modern art. In fact, I toyed with the idea of posting a separate thread speaking of what I find good in modern art. I just haven't done so yet. Be of good cheer, though: some modern art is wonderful stuff. If I can post a thread about that I may yet prove to be less than the bug-eyed nightmare that some like to say that I am. At least on art.

I think that one can discuss art without discussing the artistic impulse, at least for a time. It depends on the point of the discussion. If we're going to discuss teh topic comprehensively, then, yes, we would have to discuss that. But I'm not sure that we've needed to yet on this thread. My topic is a little more focused than that.

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Without passion there can be no art.
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Isn't that a bit sweeping, a bit of labeling? I think that it would be more proper to say that without passion there can be no good art, certainly no great art. But I think that there is plenty of bad art around that is passionate, too. Yet you are right; there can be no real art without passion.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Thank you for answering the question about what you would create; and what you have created. Why do you judge it, deride it, instead of taking pride in it? To be modest or humble presumably, but to be happy and proud of your own creative attempt is not being self-indulgent. And I think that is the root of the (your) problem. Perhaps you see all art as self-indulgent unless it can justify itself in some way.
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I think the problem is the common one of comparing myself to the wrong people. There is so much great art around that I could never aspire to, and my own conclusions have always been to read the great books first and see and hear the great art first. I will never be a great artist. Of course, that will not stop me from trying. I simply know that my talents are not up to the standards set by so many others. HB derisively quoted my line about self-absorbed daubers and pointed it at me. While I don't think that I am self-absorbed, he's right about the "dauber" part. I don't have much artistic talent. However, I have made some steel artistry for people's homes--one that I rather like is a dragonfly on a rippling pond made out of steel that a friend has as a railing in her home. That someone is willing to live with something like that that I made is humbling and gratifying.

But it isn't great art. It's, oh, lower-middle art, I guess? It's the best I can do, so I do it. Maybe some day I will do better.

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And I think that is the root of the (your) problem. Perhaps you see all art as self-indulgent unless it can justify itself in some way.
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Not at all. The human impulse and need for beauty, which exalts and ennobles and lifts the human mind and spirit to higher and better is justification enough. Good art is its own justification. I'm not sure how a work of art could "justify" itself, anyway. An interesting thought.

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Perhaps by making a statement you agree with, or by having no ego at all. Or being ikonic or realistic or 'one size fits all'?
It is this type of thinking that I have a problem with.
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So do I. It wasn't at all what I was suggesting.


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
It's great that you say you create in steel - what do you create? Do you visualise it first, plan it out before you begin? Or do you like to see what happens? Why steel? What qualities attract you to it?
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Usually I visualize it first, though like all works, 1. "Always have a plan A." 2. "always have a plan B because plan A won't work." Then I fire up the forge. Why steel? There's something about the heat, about the hammer, the smell of hot steel, the way it sets my jacket on fire (just kidding, though I have done that. I remember seeing a list of "You know you're a blacksmith when..." list on a T-shirt. Two of them read, "You blow your nose and your handkerchief turns black," and "You catch on fire and it's no big deal." I've slapped the flames out on my jacket and kept on working), the fact that I can take a piece of metal and turn it into something useful or interesting. Something from the earth, dug, melted, and refined (a Buddhist grace before meals said something like "72 labors have brought this to you." I am not the only one involved here) can protect, help--I'm currently working on a stairway lift for a friend with ALS so she can live in her home a bit longer--or even say something about us or our world. It's like baking bread, another of my fascinations. How can something like that become something like this, something that speaks? I put down the hammer, take off the gloves, turn off the torch, cool down the forge, and pick up the image in steel. It's a small gift, but it is a gift.

That is also why I am concerned about the modernist impulse, for it is not a gift. The art could be--some modern art is, because the impulse that drove it is not self-absorbed--but it is wasted. Bad art kills the spirit. Art should never harm, and never deliberately ignore.
Herustar,

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++
My art is about the vulnerability of individuals and how they react to the struggle. How do I cope in a digressive society that? The masses have given me the cold shoulder, because I don't conform to this unneccessary struggle, and surcome to an unneccessary fate of being stoned to death. I am stoned because the majority says we can't judge between right and wrong, my right is their wrong simply because morality IS oppressive <--which I don't dispute. So the masses oppress morality, by playing the victimized underdogs <--makes sense to me. I rebel. I may come off as self-righteous, and egotistic because I don't care. But I will expose the vulnerabilty and the shamelessness of the masses. I will be wrong in spite of their right. To me, this is the way of life, this is the way of art. To me art IS the struggle, without the struggle their is no art.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
There is truth in your words. What I think you might have left out, though, is that one who would say this has tried to speak to the masses, to, what, wake them, warn them, uplift them? Something, anyway, and that is a far different impulse from the one that I am concerned about. The one I reject is the one that says, "I care nothing for the masses. Let them rot because they do not understand true art. They criticize me? I am the artist and I will not bow to their pewling cries. If they will not understand, let them live their short, miserable lives in their own filth. The world would be better off without them. I will show them what art is, and let them follow or die."

This is different from the artist who has tried to speak to them and they would not listen. As I told art-gurl, there are those who do not care to hear what the artist says. I think that they are impoverished in doing so, but it is their choice. The artist's reaction that you posited is understandable, sometimes even true, but I would bet that such an artist would, after a short rest some place, be driven back to his art. He might do so in despondency or at least pessimism, but I think he'd do it. I do not think that he's the artist I'm concerned about.

If he does not, if he means exactly what he says, then I fear for his art. He sounds like an angry Nietzsche, whose political offspring gave us the Nazis. To rebel for the sake of rebellion is, in a perverse irony, to let the masses determine his work: whatever they do not want, that's what I will do. To rebel for a goal could vewry well be a good thing. To rebel for the sake of rebellion is a critical danger to all, even himself. I hope for his sake that he would not do that.

What would I tell such an artist? To take a break, to go to a riverside retreat, a cabin in the woods, with a couple of friends, and walk in the woods a while, talk about what pleases him, think of the beauty of the earth and what is worth defending. Then, when he is ready, come back and defend that good with all his heart.
Peep my infiltration
Of the infractous INFLUENCE
When injections get lethal
You can see through people
Transluscent minded
Self-proclaimed hypocrites
Through their assertive inaction

Heavens, Herustar, that is good.

A common understanding of the subject prepares us for a lament or complaint against "injections" and then you twist the meaning right at the end to point in a surprising direction. We don't even see how you begin the turn with the fourth line until it's too late. You have us, and then you make the reader gulp with those last two words. Very well done, indeed.
Thank you...

And yes rebelling for rebellions sake is wrong. But to me, the end of rebellion marks the end of the struggle; which is the beginning of nihilism. We struggle not only to survive; but strugglings ulterior purpose is for us to KNOW that we are alive. To know, and appreciate life's WORTH. Art can make poverty look beautiful, sorrowfully beautiful, but beautiful (one of the reasons why I love photography). Art is about engaging, and as you've stated not 'ignoring' this absurdity that we call living. I don't know whether I love or hate the struggle, but I know that I have no strong desire to be without it. I don't know much about alot of art, but I know I appreciate it.
Melesi,

If you'll allow, I'd like to give a small tangent that drives my point home.

Reggae music (<--enough said)[I'll continue anyway)

Bob Marleys 'No Woman, No Cry'
In this piece (which I love dearly) Bob not only emphasizes the beauty of the struggle, but you also get the sense that the love between him and his woman is made much sweeter because of the struggle. They probably didn't have two penny's to rub together, but they had eachother. This song speaks volumes on life and love. Most important however, it gives you the greatest theme, the most relevant emphasis, the greatest gift of life which is HOPE.

'In this great future you can't forget your past, so dry your tears I say'
interesting, interesting...!

I'm not in hiding... but I can see you're not missing me anyhoo... LOL Wink

btw: I've found a great essay on Art & Morality... I'll be back in earnest tomorrow... keep it flowing Smile
.
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
quote:
- the roles, rights and responsibilities of the artist/creator, and,
- the roles, rights and responsibilities of the viewer?


Yes...

Only if we can agree that art is 'INFLUENTIAL'.

I believe that people can be taken advantage of and mislead by artistic influences.


ok Herustar... I'm not sure if this is agreement, your call, I would agree that SOME art is INFLUENTIAL. Not all art is. Is that close enough ? Smile

And defining the influence it has is very slippery ground. Influnece of ... style, substance, colour, by imitation, technique, and to what degree....etc.

OK... here's what I've come up with so far... feel free to add, argue, comment. It's by no means definitive, and I'll probably add on to it.

Role of the Artist:
- to question themselves, society or others
- to put forward a viewpoint
- to probe, examine, and put ideas on trial
- to celebrate ideas
- to deliver a message
- to engage the viewer
- to be a visionary


Rights of the Artist:
- the right to express themselves without censorship
- to not have to defend or explain their work
- not to live a reclusive life of poverty
- the right to credibility


Responsibility of the Artist:
- to be true to themselves and true to their vision
- to have a point of view and express it
- to maintain the integrity of their message whether it is popular or not
- not to plaigarise others' work
- name and sign their work
- not to be swayed or influenced by popular opinion
- not to be an imposter. eg. not to deliver work just to be ˜popular'

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Role of the Viewer:
- be present in the moment and see the work in-situ not in a catalogue or book
- to look for the message
- to contemplate the message
- avoid paranoia - the artist is not laughing at you
- avoid being self-absorbed yourself - if you don't identify with the work, maybe someone else does?
- don't pretend to understand the message if you don't - ask

Rights of the Viewer:
- to like or dislike what they see after fair and unbiased appraisal of the execution and the context of the work
- question the context, but not the message
- to ask the artist (if possible) to explain if the message is unclear
- to demand to know why something has been titled "Untitled"
- your own opinion of the work

Responsibility of the Viewer:
- be polite
- be prepared to suspend disbelief
- don't critique work after accepting too many free glasses of wine on opening night!!
- allow the work to speak for itself and to speak to you
- engage in the communication on offer
- to approach the work with an open mind and no preconceived ideas
- be objective
- be subjective
- be prepared to examine and contemplate another viewpoint to your own
- be prepared to be wrong
- avoid the ˜I know better than the artist' syndrome
- only ever whisper "I could do better than that", when out of the gallery and far away from the artist or gallery owner.

.

I'll be back later.

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