Re: ART: What Art Is

Date: Mon May 29 2000 - 10:24:49 MDT

ME: <she had neither talent nor education in art>

> Isn't this merely a call for credentials? Does anyone think she was
> unacquainted with works of Modern Art? Or is QueeneMUSE demanding
> have an art degree from a prestigious school before opening one's mouth or
> putting pen to paper?

Most explicitly, No!
Degrees are nice to have, they get respect, and yes, people will take you
more seriously, But Ph.D.'s don't hold the patent on the knowledge.
Libraries, the Internet, art classes, all good. Many free. But the desire
must be there, and an open willing mind.

If one is an artist, one SHOULD learn these things. But to critique and not
sound bilious, one MUST.

ME: > Her entire outlook was sneering, venomous, self-important and smug. If
> > instead of spending so much time on self absorption she had gone to the
> > trouble to educate herself on the current artscene, I'd have had more
> > respect.
> What would have educated her in this regard? I have a feeling that only
> adulation and praise would qualify for QueeneMUSE as education. Prove me
> wrong! Please prove me wrong.:)

Tsk Tsk, you have a feeling? ; P .... Daniel, objectivists can't go by their
FEELINGS, haven't you learned anything from your Goddess? ; ) just kidding...

First of all, let me tell you my name, it is Nadia. No, I don't want her to
praise Pollock and other 1950's modernist art, in fact she would have like my
work better, it's figurative realism, and very conservative. Last time I
looked at a Pollock I was sadly disappointed. (Which I'll go into below).

What would have qualified her as a valid person to critique ANY sort of art
would have been simple: *knowing what the standards are* instead of making
her own and calling them objective. It's kind of like saying: If I don't like
it, it's shit. Deal with it.

There are standards for art education. The main four ones are:

    This is the ability to see and understand concepts in art. Line, color,
form, negative space, balance, materials, techniques. such as collage,
airbrush, trump l'oiel, assemblage, casting, scumbling
What "visual terms" do artists use to express unity, movement, emphasis,
space, and texture, etc.? Visual perception is an ability to recognize the
processes that made the art as well as to understand the final composition
and meaning, if any. Artistic perception is learned through comparisons and
identification of these elements.

Creating, performing and participating in the arts. Doing art. Developing the
knowledge and skills in a variety of media. Applied knowledge. This is the
most common form of art knowledge. Many here on the list do this part, with
great success!
(For Ayn Rand her media was her writing -- which she mastered brilliantly. To
my knowledge she never attempted any visual art).

This is the understanding of contributions of the culture that the art comes
from, and the history of art before. It looks at what was happening
historically while art was being made. What is the content of art in various
times and periods and locations and cultures throughout the world? What was
the role of visual arts in human history?

The ability to analyze, interpret and derive meaning from works of visual
art. Judgments made about and determining the quality of art *in accordance
with the learned elements and principles at work*.

So you can see:
Adulation and praise have nothing to do with a good crit. Her potshot at
Pollacks work was to call it little better than a "drunk vomiting on the
sidewalk." Nice.

Again: I see her as emotionally reactive, sneering, derisive and smug ... Vs.
well balanced, aware, educated, worldly, calm and knowledgeable.

Hope this cleared it up for you.

I really do think her whole problem was her pathological dislike of anything
she couldn't control.

Now I will give you my (rather un-erudite) take on Pollock:

Jackson Pollock was a product of his time. I do not look at this work today
and find it very interesting, except from a historical perspective. What is
interesting is the variations that he spawned, including one of my favorites,
Rauschenberg (SP?).

At the time, Pollock made a huge, bold statement about what art was, and what
it wasn't. He freed up a huge roadway for a new breed of painters. His use of
composition, color and space was so radically different from what people were
used to seeing, that he sent shockwaves through the art market that are still
reverberating. He had a sense of humor too!
He did indeed, as Natasha Vita More (who is much more qualified than I to be
a critic) says, 'Think outside the picture'. He presented the art world with
a better understanding of itself and of it's collectors. At the time I was
not yet born, but as a small child I remember liking his work. But now, as an
adult, when I see it, it looks like art that comes from another time period,
and it has not held up well. It has huge cracks and is literally falling off
the canvas. This reminds me even more that he was a product of his time --
and was painting to make an effect on the consciousness of the art world. To
open our minds!

There are several parts to creation. Craftsmanship is one, conception another.
Some visionaries are not particularly good craftsmen. A lot of art's main
driving force is it's "idea."
Laymen and people who like art that 'looks like stuff", will say that art is
good if the artist is "drawing well" . It is easy to praise to art that looks
as if it takes much practice and discipline, if only for the work ethic!!
.... but this does not equal "good" art, only well rendered.

Pollock pulled the rug out of modern art as well rendered, well composed
stiffness -- and the rest of the art world owes him for that, even if we look
at his paintings today and they look a little bedraggled and trite.

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