How do you characterise art?


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I tend to look at art as some oddity that sits in a corner or on a wall that has no other function than to draw conversation or topical debate.

Some art might be percieved as Aesthetical, laced with beauty that has managed to move from the eye of the artist straight through their creative palette to be seen by a beholder, While another form of art is created to shock you into attention.

A dead cow cut in half, a pile of pooh, an unmade bed, not the art that I would prefer with aesthetics but none the less it gets attention, but where will this attention seeking stop???

There are only so many ways to shock a viewer or audience, Other than spraying them in cat pee. :rolleyes:

Where do you think the next crazed artistic direction will stagger?
Yeah, shock art is a bore. Unless you are the artist doing the shocking :D

It takes much more talent to do both aestetically pleasing and expressive art than just jolting the viewer.

I´ve always been what would be called a popart painter. This was always met with complete indifference or ignorance by everyone else but my peers.
It is imagery that must be learned by living in popculture, which the elder viewers haven´t.

Now as my generation has grown into adulthood there is suddenly wider apreciation for that type of art. Comicbook style characters have iconic values tied to them.

This is a type of evolution within all aspects of art, the iconography that follows the trends of society.

Shock art is just the artists need to get a reaction from the audience.
But I am very surprised every time some new artist gets his 15 mins of fame for putting a crucifix in a jar of urine or being met by christian uproar for depicting Jesus as gay.
I mean is it still so easy to provoke in this day and age?

Foreseeing any trends right now is difficult. Everything is being rehashed and styles are fresh for 2 weeks maximum. Fast consumption indeed.
Something truly new is around the corner for sure, but impossible to have a clue to what it is.
I think it will come in conjunction with a major change of our world alltogether.

What is Art?

Why limit the scope to Visual or Aural creations?

I think one that is going to happen soon is touch art.

Textures and stuff.

In my experience, artists sit about deciding what to do, pretty much like programmers, craft knives as opposed to compilers, inkwells as opposed to interpeters.

Art is only ordinary stuff, but sold as 'Art' as opposed to 'stuff'.
New art?

Well, it´s hard to come up with NEW art , then it would have to be in the planet making category or something like that. Or landscape architecture is very fascinating!

Yes, I think tactile art, art that you can tough also can be interesting if you make it right. There is too much of torn papers with "angelwing" written on it that people pass off as art...;)

But, of course, everything is art, in a way. I was talking more from the perspective of what is commonly viewed as art, or what shouldn´t.

I would like to make a furry sculpture for example, but then I came to think about that furniture is actually a form of tactile art, isn´t it?

I think the new thing with art, which is alreay happening is that artists themselves become multidimensional. They work with many different mediums. :eek:

Art is mainly a personal development for the artist, that inspire non-artistically active people to LIVE!

But hey, LIFE IS ART! :D

Originally posted by axel
Art is only ordinary stuff, but sold as 'Art' as opposed to 'stuff'.

I take it you don´t do art.
Most artists don´t make money off their work. Most artists are hellapoor until they stop being artists and become illustrators or designers and have a "real job" :D

I guess most artists in all fields are striving to capture something of the etheral essence of life. It is frustrating work since one can only hint at the true emotions underlying the motivation.
There is no satisfactory medium. No way to express it fully.

Cause as Bebelina says, Life is the ultimate art which the crafting artist tries to record :)
what is art?

art is a picture of someone's soul at a particular point in time
encompassing every emotion and desire
Dear Philistines,

Funny thing about ART is that it never really gets popular credit for enhancing and changing things in the popular world.

Some people thought Jimi Hendrix was shocking - not just cos of his haircut and clothes - but because he SUBVERTED the guitar into SOMETHING else indeed. He took all the bad noises and mistakes that people actually tried to avoid both technically and creatively - for example, FEEDBACK and DISTORTION were once MISTAKES. Then he injected love and imagination and intelligence into those subversions - and hey presto, a new rock and roll - we have an original and highly influential figure in ONE sphere of our culture.

Of course - SUBVERSION is an element of ART and has been LONG before Hendrix. Picasso subverted representation to say something new - and Damien Hirst and his dead cow ideas might one day turn up - philosophically speaking - in new guise, in the middle of another part of our culture.

Don't write artists off as merely trying to shock - what do you want them to do? Just tow the line? keep things all nice and cosy?

Lets face it. Either you like change or you don't.

Scientific innovation expresses itself eventually through its application in TECHNOLOGY - Artistic innovation expresses itself eventually through its application as POPULAR culture.

Consider this - There was once this guy who was messing around with mud that he noticed changed colour when light and shadows touched it. He showed people his 'amazing' insights into mud and light and everybody said SO WHAT! and BIG DEAL!

This little discovery eventually led to the development of photography, film, television, video, and eventually computer VDU's.

Culture keeps moving along - for better or worse. You want to winge about 'new' shocking artists? Go draw your pension and start reminiscing about the good old days when art was just about good drawing that we can all relate to and feel sentimental about with nothing disturbing, difficult, or challenging to bother you.

Art can transform you and your culture if you let it. It can set your soul back to ZERO so you can reinvent yourself all over again.

And you can play the same game too if you want.

That's freedom for you.
Yeah, but flinging elephant dung at a canvas? Give me a break. Any infant can do that, and with the same effect as that one dude.

By artists I assume everybody is talking about visual arts and the sort. I am an artist. I am a musician. I am a philosopher. I am a scientist. I am a writer. I am a historian. It's all a form of art. Whether my art is to create two-dimensional representations of the human form in all its grace and beauty, or to recall tales of our long and illustrious past, it's all an art.

"I may not know art, but I know what I like." That pretty much sums up what "art" is. Art is what pleases you. If you like being shocked and disgusted, maybe my collection of homicide photographs is right up your alley. If you'd rather lose yourself in a serene ambiance, I recommend Thomas Kinkade. If you like things that seem to transcend our normal sense of space/time, go for Pablo Picasso. You want pin-up girls? Look for Alberto Vargas. You like goofy little drawings that make you laugh and take your mind off of things for a second or two? Sergio Aragones is your man.

"Art" gives us pleasure, but not everyone is going to derive pleasure from the same thing, so don't expect everybody to accept as "art" whatever you happen to label as "art". Some idiot wanted to wrap a section of freeway 280 in pink plastic in the name of "art". He was run out of town on a rail. What he called "art", the rest of us called "a pain in the canasta" because too many of us have to use that freeway. It later came out that he wasn't actually going to do it. He was just going to get the grant money and finagle his way out, blaming the city and keeping the money. OUR taxpayer's money.

I believe that the government should help support the arts. I just think they should draw the line somewhere. Although I don't like the abstract statuary downtown, and I think that San Jose's statue of Quetzalcoatl in the city park looks more like an evil dog turd (and the Christian fundamentalists think its going to bring hoardes of devil-worshippers to town), it's no big deal. But I wouldn't want to see some city fork over a quarter million just to have some weirdo plop a truckload of horse manure in a city park and declare it to be "art that laments the loss of the horse as our principal means of transportation".

This brings us back to square one. What is art? Art is beauty, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Howdy Oxygen.

You point out 'some idiot' trying to rip off your local governement. That, I am afraid to say, is life in an economy such as ours/yours. The devious and money-grabbing infiltrate every walk of life - including artists. There is nothing morally sound about being an artist - we should challenge them as much as they intend to challenge us. Just as there are bad cops - not because cops are bad but because people can be bad, and some happen to be cops.

PS - Christo is the worlds most beautiful artist. The marriage of beauty, craftsmanship, and exposition of social and political ecosystems in relation to the notion of what constitutes a valid human activity is simply the best. Hitler would have hated him.

PPS - Christo raises his money himself, despite rumours of using taxpayers money. In England, people complain about wasting money on art all the time - they say it could be spent on hospitals instead. However, these are the same people who would rather spend money of TV dishes and lottery tickets than actually give money to charity or hospitals. Incidentally - I hate football and cruise missiles but I still find I have to pay for that crap out of my own tax.

Thats democracy for you.
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Every walk of life...

...yes, that is a very good expression that I totally have forgotten to fold into my vocabulary. And who doesn´t get irritated( I will not say hate) with football? A totally neanderthal sport that has lingered itself into those part of less developed humanitys idea of entertainment. :cool:
I like football, and I am not a neanderthal...I think. Hmmm, high forehead, no grass stains on my knuckles, domesticated dog, nope, doesn't look like it. :) I don't expect taxpayers to foot the bill, though. If legislation was introduced to stop it, I would vote for it if there were no objectionable clauses tied in.

Is Christo the guy who wanted to screw up Silicon Valley's major commute route? Or who did the elephant dung thing? I'm not familiar with the name. Of course, I'm not too familiar with specific artists aside from the "masters" and more mainstream names, such as Olivia, Vallejo, Frazetta, Vargas, Petty, and my personal favorite, V. Ryan. (I actually have two of his originals.)

The only other name in art that I can honestly say impresses me to no end is the artwork of *gasp!* Hitler. :eek: I viewed some of his watercolors in a book. They described them as "mediocre" or "poor". I think they did this only because it was by Hitler. His depictions of Vienna made me feel as though I was viewing the city through a dream. It was so still and quiet and delicately executed, as though to breathe on it would cause it to pop. I wish I could get prints of his artwork. Instead I'll settle if anybody can tell me a website where I might see his complete works? (I mean, complete in the sense of his paintings, not the Holocaust thing. I'm not that gruesome!) Or am I probably the only one who can look beyond the fascist dictator and see the artist's soul?

PS: Trust me, seeing that far was a Herculean feat, but it's possible;).
<i>"How do you characterise art?"</i>

Something that whispers secrets in the ear of my human.
Something that whispers secrets in the ear of your human? Are you keeping a pet that we should know about?;)

I know what you're saying. I agree. Some art stirs me, some just falls to the floor like a wet wad of tissue.

Somewhere out there is a painting that I believe is called "Sleep", or something like that. The infant in the scene is so deep into his slumber and so angelic-looking that I wanted to cradle him in my arms and fall asleep in my easy chair with him. It was done sometime before World War 1, and something about the peaceful hamlet in the background tugged at a longing for a world I and most of us have never known. I felt at peace as long as I could look at the sleeping child, but the sight of the hamlet stirred up feelings of loss, that circumstances beyond my control robbed me of the chance to live a much more idyllic life. It touched something else deep inside me, moved me like no other painting has. It was a nameless something, bordering on regret. I remember before closing the book and returning it to the shelf that I said a small prayer to any god that woud listen (odd thing for an atheist to do, that's how much I was moved) for a paradise lost.


Jane's Addiction said that Nothing's Shocking.

What was the last thing that shocked you?

Why did it shock you?
Honestly, it was the September 11th attacks. I was emotionally numb all day. Several well-meaning people have told me that I should give it a good cry like so many others have done. I haven't cried yet. I can't.

Why did it shock me? Because of the stark-raving reality of it all. The people in the WTC had done exactly was I was in the process of doing. They had gone to work. They had fought the morning commute just to get to their high-rise coffin. Two of my boyfriend's co-workers were at the WTC when it happened. They were doing a job that he could have easily been assigned. They died. They were not soldiers, they were not UN workers, they were nowhere near a war zone. They were just everyday working slobs like me, slaving away for that next paycheck. It was scary enough when an ex-coworker of mine began stalking another co-worker. This guy was off enough to come in with a machine gun. For safety's sake, I had my escape route plotted. But how do you escape a 757 careening down on top of you?

Maybe the WTC was too easy a choice for what last shocked me, but it's true. That was the last time I have really been shocked.
the Spectacle

Art is at the core of human expression/individualism/perception. It frees us from the mundane and allows wonderment out of rhetoric.
Yes, by defining art, you also define the contrary. The contradiction is as much the expression as what is being presented.
My first interest in art was that of creation, simply to combat mere adequacy. Why are we here? what is the purpose? Let's explore.
Provoke a thought and change an ideal.
Ones perception can be loosely defined and simultaneously broken when observing the spectacle of it all. Whether street performers intending to 'shock' an audience into seeing a bigger picture, (experience IS spontaneous), or a crucifix submerged in urine, you are the only one who knows what YOU enjoy, the 'artist' attempts to persuade you to think.
By making any decision, you have responded to a stimulus underlying what is actually perceived. Try to define perception while taking the subliminal into account.
In the interest of individuality, art cannot be defined. Any definition will not be adhered to by the spectacle. When museums are full of the blase, the forgotten, an attempt at communication beyond one's time, the spectacle will move to the streets, to the theater, in the clubs. The spectacle is EVERYWHERE in EVERYTHING.
Even GG Allin was an artist, if simply to contradict what you want to see. You get a rise, become offended, but at the very least, he has given you a unique experience.
But one that you will likely never want to experience again.(I wouldn't) It's your choice whether you intend to explore or not.
Same as everything from pentecostals speaking in tongues, to all types of pornography. Art is not an intention, or else it becomes the blase.
Rather it's the undefined provocation of any undefined stimulus for any undefined reason. We explore with a key without knowing what is on the other side of the lock. Art is definitively undefined.
What is Art???

I like to think of myself as an artist (I'm not very good, but I sure as heck try:)) and I'm not sure that there is a clear definition of what art is. I think it depends on the veiwer. For example, I was in an art museum a while back and I was looking the abstract art (which I personally can't stand) going "this is like the fingerpaintings I did in Kindergarten" But there was a group of people behind me who were saying things like "this has such wonderful feeling and expression"
*One persons trash is another persons treasure*
To me art is all about the details. I love things that have a wide vareity of colors and where you can tell that the artist spent forever just trying to find the perfect shade of green for the grass.
~~Is this making any sense??~~
Anywho, that is my 2 cents
(can you tell I am very pasionate about my artwork :D )
We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely.
All art is useless
(Oscar Wilde)
I used to not like abstract art because I didn't understand it. A good friend of mine who is an art student explained it to me, and it turns out that it's a lot deeper than smearing paint on a canvas and BSing people out of big bucks. It's still not exactly up my artistic alley, but at least now I know what I'm supposed to be looking for.

I once did a canvas as a joke against abstract art. I painted it gray and put one white line in the middle. I had set it against a pile of junk in the back of my brother's pick-up so it would dry faster. I kid you not, within twenty minutes a Jaguar XJS had pulled up and my work was analyzed and interpretted by three art afficionados who ended up buying it for 150$, which is not a bad sum for a totally unknown artist. I have since sold about seven pieces, not all of them done on canvas. (One was done entirely on a wooden stool.) I get an average of about 125$ when I find the right place to show them.

I still say I aspire to be a 'real' artist, though. Sometimes, especially when I've sold a piece for a higher amount, I wonder who is kidding whom. Maybe that's the ultimate statement of my artwork. One of us is laughing at the other, but neither one of us knows which one is laughing.