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What makes good art? (Read 162 times)

    What should good art do? What makes something beautiful?

     

    Here's a Cy Twombly:

     

     

    Compare with, say, Vermeer:

     

    Any workaday art critics out there?

    Zaphod


    President of the Galaxy

      I don't think art is about beauty necessarily. Art is more about emotion and communication - good art will evoke an emotional response in the audience or it will say something (maybe profound, maybe frivolous) to the audience. Very good art will do both. Art is also very personal - what speaks to me may not speak to you.

       

      Artists like Cy Twombly, or more famously, Jackson Pollock, have a style that does nothing for me and does not speak to me. Even so, I have no trouble understanding how someone else could get something out of it.

      jimmyb


        Perception.

         

        And perception is always distorted by your belief systems (and not just your perceptions that you project on art).

        This includes your beliefs about good and bad art.

        Or acceptable and heretical art.

         

        One thing that usually cuts through perceptions is great skill.

        You might find R. Crumb's comics distasteful, misogynistic, perverted,

        or completely illuminating, but his skill can't be denied. Some think The David is disgusting,

        but can anyone truly deny the greatness of the sculptor and the skill and execution emanating

        from that huge piece of rock? Or his Pieta in the Vatican?

         

        "Throw a loin cloth on that replica of the David! It might be great art, but do I have to look at that huge dingdong  going to work everyday?"

         

        No. You don't, you can look at his nose (Crusted Salt #101).

         

        Perception.

        Log    PRs

          Good art should inspire, uplift, elevate us to make a (sometimes entirely unconscious) connection to something spiritual that resonates with the better, the greater, the joyful (or the sorrowful) that transcends our animal, material existence.

          - Joe

          all running goals are under review by the executive committee.

          mab411


          Proboscis Colossus

            Zaphod got it for me - emotion and communication.  I'd also add "intent" and "honesty."  If someone just splatters a bunch of paint on a canvas or, in the case of music, just screeches out a lot of random notes and then afterwards goes, "It's about...uhh...it's about the impact of capitalism on developing nations," I'm not interested.

             

            Though that would certainly be easy to fake, as I'm sure many artists have. 

            "God guides us on our journey, but careful with those feet." - David Lee Roth, of all people

              The first one reminds me of cotton fibers in quilt batting or crazed scratching on a chalkboard.  It doesn't really resonate for me although I have to hand it to the guy for creating an almost 3D effect from 2D scratching.  The 2nd piece is more "art" for me.  Although the characters are from a different era, there is a feeling of stilted tension in the stances of the presumed teacher and pupil to me.  It captures a moment of learning which reminds me of some of my music lessons.  The light coming through the side window evokes a certain feeling.  There is attention to detail - the tile floor, the placement of the cello, the colors of the rich table covering contrasted with the chair.  It is a lovely painting.

               

              I agree with Zaphod.  mab411 also makes a great point about "honesty".  However, I do think that some people are almost afraid of appreciating modern art because they don't want to be potentially "duped" by someone with less than honest intentions.  Nevertheless, true art should not require reading an explanation card next to the art work in my opinion.

              Running Goals ...

               

              "But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep."  Robert Frost

                What should good art do? What makes something beautiful?

                 

                 

                I am by no means a workaday art critic or an expert in much of anything but I can give my impressions.

                 

                There is something about good art that is latent. It must hold a truth, some trueness. It has capabilities. In relation to people, for which art is intended, good art, for me, is in some way related to memory (subconscious or conscious). The culmination of one's experiences at any point in time may result in recognition (subconscious or conscious) of a truth when confronted with good art. This is sort of a personal experience and can possibly be emotional. Maybe more intriguing is the latency in good art. It is holding a truth. We may not have the experience to yet appreciate the truth. To get at the truth I think we need to either repeatedly expose ourselves to the work of art (book, music, painting, etc) to get a hold of this truth, or, we need to continue to have new experiences that will help us realize the truth that was latent.

                 

                Beauty is a moving target. What we call beautiful lies on a spectrum from something like desire to something that holds a real truth, like good art. Our ability to appreciate this spectrum can result in what appears to be a bundle of contradictions.

                jimmyb


                  There's a movie called The Moderns with Keith Carradine, where he plays a talented artist that makes some forgeries that are so good everyone thinks they're real. If someone makes a forgery of (e.g) Starry Night by Van Gogh, and slips into the MOMA in NYC, and replaces the real one, and everyone from now until the sun explodes thinks it's the same painting, is the forgery a great work of art?

                   

                  If it was exposed as a forgery and you had just recently seen it at the MOMA, would you be disappointed that you didn't see the real thing?

                  (even though you might have had an emotional response)

                   

                  Would the perception of the memory of your experience change?

                  Log    PRs

                    There's a movie called The Moderns with Keith Carradine, where he plays a talented artist that makes some forgeries that are so good everyone thinks they're real. If someone makes a forgery of (e.g) Starry Night by Van Gogh, and slips into the MOMA in NYC, and replaces the real one, and everyone from now until the sun explodes thinks it's the same painting, is the forgery a great work of art?

                     

                    If it was exposed as a forgery and you had just recently seen it at the MOMA, would you be disappointed that you didn't see the real thing?

                    (even though you might have had an emotional response)

                     

                    Would the perception of the memory of your experience change?

                     

                    The truth is still there, just one step removed. Like taking a picture of a painting.

                      I think true art draws and holds.  This applies to a movie, a painting, a musical piece, a dance performance or a race.

                       

                      Different works draw and hold different people.

                      "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus

                        Interesting comments: there are some Platonists in the house! And Jimmy: reproducing a piece of art is very different from creating a piece of art, no? We don't admire Van Gogh for the persistence of the physical object that he created; we admire him for the experience that he created. This is why people copy Starry Night all the time.

                         

                        Here's my theory for today: Good art renews and revitalizes experience.

                         

                        The work of art allows us in some way to experience more deeply. The Twombly piece, for example, asks us to reflect on the nature of art and remember it as a material, maybe even sort of primal human practice, especially in an age when technological facsimile and reproduction -- photography for example -- renders art as the reproduction of reality somewhat meaningless.

                         

                        The Vermeer piece and the Twombly piece are perhaps not so far apart in this effect: Vermeer asks us to see ordinary spaces as full of light, reminds us that the rooms we inhabit are capable of glowing, and that stillness can also be full of movement. Twombly reminds us to examine the scratches and flaws and erasures and scrapes of ordinary life, to examine them as if they were art and challenges us to see them as art. In both instances the artists bring experience itself to attention as experience, causing us to reflect on the extent to which we are capable (or incapable) of experiencing.

                          sometimes old works can even be improved.

                           

                          In an infinite universe, the one thing sentient life cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion

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                            I created this art today. While it may also be a functioning peice of logic, if one understood the complexity of the problem and the simplicity of the solution I'm sure they could find appreciation.

                             

                            www.hplg.net  The Human Powered League - Solo Cup Series - Trail Building


                            Interval Junkie --Nobby

                              What should good art do? What makes something beautiful?

                               

                              Here's a Cy Twombly:

                               

                               

                              I'd be a very harsh art critic; I don't like 99.99% of the "great" stuff out there; that's not even considering the schlock.  And abstraction isn't something that usually appeals to me.  But I can say that I really like the Twombly (and I don't even know who that is).  It's art as a verb, much like Pollack.  And for this particular piece I love the colors.  It doesn't "mean" anything, but there is a vibrant and frustrated impatience to this piece.  And it resonates.  I particularly like the erasure smudges.

                               

                              Yeah, I don't know why, but I would probably pay good money to hang this on my wall (I'm sure not what it's worth).

                               

                              Thank you for introducing it to me; I've never seen it before (nor Twombly).  Then again, I pissed off people at the MoMA for wanting entry a half-hour before closing because that was plenty of time for me . . . only wanted to see one piece anyway.

                              2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

                              Current Status 08/28: Slowly working back up from a pelvic stress fracture.  4mil distance PR w00t!

                              scappodaqui


                              rather be sprinting

                                First of all, good art is not necessarily beautiful.

                                 

                                Is beautiful art necessarily 'good'?  Maybe that's more reasonable.

                                 

                                I mean, it's so hard to qualify beauty in the first place, and 'good' could mean anything.  It could mean 'sublime.'  It could mean 'of moral benefit.'

                                 

                                'Good art' is certainly subjective and perhaps like truth, has to be defined by its viewers.  Of course, in an era when artists try to manipulate viewers in ways extraneous to the art... it gets confusing.

                                 

                                Me, I'm old-school.  I get the biggest sense of the sublime and of beauty when I see art that has required an obvious depth of creativity, insight, and comprehension that you might call 'Godlike.'  That is, so creative and fascinating it's impossible to readily understand it as having come from a human being, yet it has.

                                 

                                I hate most modern art, which is lazy, arch, and manipulative, and disgusts me.

                                PRs: 5k 19:25, mile 5:38, HM 1:30:56

                                Lifting PRs: back squat 176 lb

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