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traineraz
Is there an objective "definition" of art?

Is art personal?

If so, what is art to you? Can you give an example?
Nate
Art, to me, is a generic term for any sort of expression. Whether it's good or bad is entirely subjective.

My definition of good art would be surrealism in all its forms be it a painting, a statue, or music. I just like to be reminded that there are people out there with some sort of imagination left in them.
traineraz
Imagination -- as opposed to mindless regurgitation of a handful of archetypes and styles -- does seem to be hard to come by.

Who do you find to be imaginative?
Nate
As far as painting goes, couldn't really say other than HR Giger. My only complaint is he sort of recycles his work, but I've yet to see it emulated.

Music is more my thing. Give me atmosphere, give me something heavy, but don't give me over produced, over rated, mindless, base, soulless MTV shit. Check the music thread for a few of my favorites.

Check out Ulver's "Perdition City" and "Quick Fix of Melancholy" too... Good absinthe music.
Absomphe
Art's a guy hanging on a wall, with no arms or legs.
Nate
If he's still alive, I'd say that's more or less entertainment.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE (traineraz @ Jan 17 2005, 01:31 PM)
Is there an objective "definition" of art?

Is art personal?

If so, what is art to you?  Can you give an example?

Most good artists I know don't spend too much time doting on the philosophical quandaries of what art "is" or "is not". They're usually too busy creating.

Art crtics, however, have a lot of fun speculating. A fellow by the name of Arthur Danto wrote a fascinating book called "Transfiguration of the Common Place", in which he argues that whether or not something is "art" can no longer be known (Duchamp's & Warhol's works are used to back up his arguments), and therefore defining something as "art" is irrelevant. He argues that what should instead be discussed are issues of aesthetics.

His book is rather dull, but his argument is philosophically compelling...
Kirk
" Art is the enlargement of experience"
Kirk
" Art is the Human disposition
of sensible or intelligible material
for an aesthetic end ".

James Joyce
Kirk
"Fine art is like faith;
The substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things unseen."
Ansel Adams







Donnie Darko
QUOTE (Kirk @ Jan 18 2005, 12:15 PM)
" Art is the Human disposition
of sensible or intelligible material
for an aesthetic end ".

James Joyce

I wonder what Joyce meant by "sensible"?
Kirk
I always thought he meant it as in "sensible shoes"
or proper choice of material .
Now I'm thinking maybe he meant impact on your sensibilities .
anticlimacus
"Art" is the using of a medium for the purpose
of creating emotional/intellectual/spiritual impact;
e.g., music is the manipulation of sound for said
purpose. (I always love hearing folks say "That's
not music!" after hearing a particular brand they
don't like. A running jackhammer is hardly art, but
in the hands of Blixa Bargeld...)
Donnie Darko
Good example. I saw a piece of gold foil become music in the hands of Bargeld and was transfixed...

I like your definition, though I think it is a bit broad, as I think there should be room for distinction between "art" and "craft". For example, the medium of baseball bat and baseball certainly has emotional, intellectual, and maybe even spiritual impact on me, though baseball is decidedly a "craft" and not so much "art".
Kirk
Art is the action I take
to change my reality
or alter your perception of it .
anticlimacus
Wow, good point, Donnie. I tried to clarify for my-
self what "art" is a while back, and could only con-
coct a very a broad definition, otherwise subject-
ivity and taste issues began creeping in, which I
didn't think was appropriate. I was also trying to
avoid using words like "higher" and "sublimation"!

I'll have to think about that for a while; I'm not sure
yet how I'd distinguish a boxing match from a Paul
Klee...

Kirk: That's a pretty concise definition as well. I got
into a discussion a while back about German ex-
pressionism vs. French impressionism, and my un-
derstanding of the distinction is that the former at-
tempts to help you see the thing itself more clearly;
e.g., the warped, bizarre set of the Cabinet of Dr.
Caligari was designed to make you see its elements
for what they really were: the trees were sharp
edges on sticks, the doors were super-tall, narrow
affairs, and this enhanced their essential character-
istics, basically rendering a door that was more
"door" than a real door. Impressionism, it seemed
to me, was an attempt to convey the subjective
feeling the artist experienced when viewing the
object. So, the first is an attempt to clarify reality,
while the latter wants you to see reality as the
artist does. Hmmm, when I say it like that they
start to sound like the same thing.

I'm not even remotely an art guy, so I really don't
know what the crap I'm talking about.

verbal_kraze
Damn this is taking me back to all the damn art history classes I took in college. I don't really want to go back right now.
anticlimacus
Oh, come on! We'll start with the ancient Meso-
potamians, then move to the Egyptians...It'll be a
hoot!

Speaking of "art", why are so few avatars working
these days?
AndrewT
I tend to go with the simplest definition- anything that goes beyond the utilitarian. Plenty of things have function, but when you start adding things that aren't needed, you get art.
Kirk
Art is hell,
it's the result of being haunted , hunted , desperate .
It's nothing you know .
It's a last gasp
and yet another.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE (anticlimacus @ Jan 19 2005, 05:01 PM)
I'm not even remotely an art guy, so I really don't
know what the crap I'm talking about.

Based on your eloquent description of German Expressionism vs. French Impressionism, I'd say you do know what you're talking about.

Though ultimately I gotta say I love Kirk's definition: "It's nothing you know".
Pataphysician
QUOTE (Donnie Darko @ Jan 20 2005, 09:43 AM)

Based on your eloquent description of German Expressionism vs. French Impressionism, I'd say you do know what you're talking about.


... except that he got the definitions exactly backwards.
Donnie Darko
How so?
Pataphysician
If you take what he said:

"German Expressionism attempts to help you see the thing itself more clearly;
Impressionism was an attempt to convey the subjective
feeling the artist experienced when viewing the
object. So, German Expressionism is an attempt to clarify reality,
while Impressionism wants you to see reality as the
artist does."

and turn it around:

"Impressionism attempts to help you see the thing itself more clearly;
German Expressionism was an attempt to convey the subjective
feeling the artist experienced when viewing the
object. So, Impressionism is an attempt to clarify reality,
while German Expressionism wants you to see reality as the
artist does."

...you have the textbook definitions of Impressionism and Expressionism.
Donnie Darko
I think I disagree with the textbook definitions then. I don't know whether either intends to help you see anything more "clearly", since neither is interested in realism. German Expressionism tends to take the ordinary and exaggerate it till it looks extreme and unusual, whereas Impressionism is all about giving an "impression" of an image, as opposed to removing the fog and clarifying that image. If anything, Impressionism seems to obscure reality by blurring the distinctions between objects, light and colour, and creates an entirely new reality out of that haze.

Maybe I'm wrong too, having only taken a few art classes in college, but those are at least the definitions which I always thought were true.
Pataphysician
Actually the Impressionists thought of themselves as the ultimate realists. The academic art that they were rebelling against may seem like a more "realistic" painting style to our eyes, but the Impressionists thought of it as totally unreal, (also in it's subject matter; the Realist and mentor to the Impressionists, Courbet said "I don't paint angels because I've never seen an angel"). The Impressionists thought that their way of representing light, color, air, motion drawn from direct observation (as opposed to the academic method of reconstruction in the studio) was closer to what the eye really saw. The earliest transition from Impressionism to Expressionism can be seen in Van Gogh, who made it clear that his use of exaggerated colors and forms were his own individual "expression" and certainly not "realistic". Impressionism was the pinnacle of naturalism and materialism, but the Expressionists (who came later) were all about seeking "inner truth", and you might even say they loathed the material world.
Donnie Darko
Good points, especially about Van Gogh being a precursor to Expressionism. It's interesting because through their attempts to clarify reality, I think the Impressionists eventually ended up appearing quite a bit more subjective than they intended, since their aesthetics gradually moved further and further away from literal representation.
Pataphysician
Yeah, that's the problem with the term Impressionist, it casts such a wide net. There's a huge visible difference between Manet and late Monet.
Kirk
" I tell you , the more I think
the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people."
Vincent Vangogh
Kirk
"Ars Longa
Vita Brevis"

Art (is) Long
Life (is ) short

Hippocrates
Kirk
"Art is a jealous mistress."
Emerson
Kirk
"Art is making something out of nothing
and selling it."
Frank Zappa
Kirk
".... just a pigment of your imagination"
Comedian Tony Follari
Kirk
"Art is a lie
that makes us realize the truth."

"Art washes away from the soul
the dust of everyday life."

Pablo P.
chaz
the art object is an artifact. it's artist poop.gif .
after an attempt to express the ineffable.

one's life should be one's art.


life imitates joke. (?)
celticgent
user posted image
chaz
you're on a roll today. chickawow.gif
celticgent
no, i''m just very, very bored.


traineraz
Apparently, mummifying chickens is art.
Kirk
"Art , like morality , consists of drawing the line
somewhere."
G.K.chesterton.
Jaded Prole
and some know just where to draw the line.



chaz
QUOTE (traineraz @ Jan 27 2005, 04:30 PM)
Apparently, mummifying chickens is art.

it's a time capsule! w00t2.gif

maybe it can qualify as uhm.. a type of commodity art.
Kirk
" Art is never finished , only abandoned ".
Leonardo da Vinci
Absomphe
Art is rat, spelled sideways.
Nate
Wow.
Pataphysician
"Art is a dog on my porch."
- Neil Young, author of "Love Art Blues": "I got the Love Art Blues, don't know which to choose"
anticlimacus
Pata: Thanks for the clarification. My definition was
based primarily on what I perceived the artists were
trying to accomplish paired with bits of info I'd picked
up over the years.
amuletcypher
I believe that the real magic of art is in the experience of doing it.The fact that another person might like it or percieve to understand it has nothing at all to the reality of the artist's experience of creating it. It is a personal creative expressive experience .It usually is more for the artist than whatever the hell comes out. A disasterous ruined painting could have been exhilarating to do.Even a masterpiece is more than the finished piece and the critic or patron will never even know what the artist went through to get there. Even in the most calculted pieces the finished piece always comes as a revelation. When the artst can subdue his conscious mind the experience can be awesome.

I once watched people looking at my art in a gallery ...

The only ones that saw what I had hidden were the streetpeople , drunks and children.The rest couldnt fall in past the paint.

Amuletcypher
Donnie Darko
That's why I love Chuck Close. His work is often exhibited as individual pieces that led up to the final work (usually individual silk screens that make up the final piece), which in effect gives you a little window into what it was like to MAKE the art, so you're not just a passive recipient of the end result.
Rimbaud
Art:

user posted image
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