Re: ART: What Art Is

Date: Mon May 29 2000 - 19:04:34 MDT

In a message dated 30/05/00 00:03:31 GMT Standard Time, writes:

> Only curious: what art does Alex do? I dabble in poetry, drawing,
> and short stories. In the past, I tried music and still have the urge to
> try that again.

    I have tried several arts and had faily good success. Mainly I draw and
paint. I have done a few comissions of animal portraits but have only
recently tried a human portait, this being my wife. For some mad reason I
decided to do it using my pc with a mouse and mat, not tablet and stylus !.
It has come out fairly OK but still needs finishing.
    I learned to play violin as a child and have taught myself to play a bit
of piano (keyboard), but I dont read music so I have to learn by ear and play
from memory.
    I have also tried some artistic photography although this is an artform
that I would rather look at than participate in. I've also dabbled with the
written word, but my limited vocabulary and attention span usually mean that
I never finish a work.
> While I'm not strictly against the "I know what I like" school of art
> criticism, I don't think it's the end of esthetics. After all, the
> is still there of why one likes what one likes. Also, the question of why
> all human societies have art while extant nonhumans appear not to have it
> remains. Also, the major art forms -- literature, painting, sculpture, and
> music -- seem universal in human cultures. Regardless of one's stand on
> Rand's esthetics, these are still intriguing questions which she tried to
> answer or, at least, provide a framework for further research on.
    I think there is a basic human need to express our inner relationship
with the outside world or to show others and maybe ourselves what our
interpretation of the world is. I think that art has always been a way of
expressing the abstract things which are very difficult to comunicate with
other means. As the highest inteligence on earth we have developed the need
to comunicate these to others where as say chimps couldn't really give a
*monkeys* (sorry) whether the next chimp is passionate about a pretty flower.
    Im not sure what im getting at here ramble...ramble.......

> No arguing with that. No one really has to defend their taste.
> I don't like and have never like Picasso, but I love van Gogh. I didn't
> always feel this way about him, but the more I've looked at his works --
> quite a number in the flesh -- the more I like them.

    This proves what you find esthetically pleasing has somehow changed as I
am sure that if I took the time to truely study Van Gough's art I would
probably come to like it.

> I don't think Rand was asking you to substitute her mind and opinion for
> anyone's in her _The Romantic Manifesto_. Even by her explicit theory, she
> distinguishes between personal tastes and esthetic evaluation/judgment.
> even gives examples of works she thinks are great but which did not like
> works she likes which are not great by her standards.

One thing I must say that IMHO between Van Gough and Picasso, Van Gough was
probably the better painter. even though I don't like his work. This just
highlights the Personal taste vs esthetics issue.

> This is where the popular notion of "guilty pleasures" comes in. No doubt,
> some of this is due to leftover cultural elitism, but I don't think this
> makes it completely invalid. After all, sometimes our ideal of ourself is
> out of line with the reality. Okay, most times our ideal is out of line
> with it.:)

    Speak for yourself, I really am ten feat tall and the best looking man in
the world.



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