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Overrated And Underrated Artists
Posted: 01 March 2013 09:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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Well ... the whole point of Gursky is that he wants photos with flat lighting, no center of interest, etc. That’s what makes them the photos they are. (And they certainly don’t work except in full size, which is VERY large). Many of them are also severely digitally manipulated.

The problem is that there is a distinction between art and craft. Much great art isn’t great craft, and the reverse. Was Warhol a genius with the silkscreen? I dunno, but I seriously doubt it. I’m sure there are craft silkscreeners that could make the same kinds of arguments about his work. But it isn’t about technical excellence in silkscreening; it’s about something else.

Of course, having said that, the distinction between art and craft is just as arbitrary as anything else here.

(For full disclosure, I actually own a small piece of Barth’s. I’d love to own a larger piece but they are reeeeally expensive now).

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Posted: 01 March 2013 09:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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So Gursky goes out of his way to take bad photographs and calls them art? Maybe I should break out my Hasslelblad this afternoon and take photos of dead leaves in my back yard.

My son just came out to talk to me after reading this thread. He’s a pretty good photographer, just getting ready to enter a photo program in a local community college, and he had several ideas on how to improve Gursky’s F1 photo. While the photo is composed and exposed well, it did not capture the action of an F1 pit stop. I had not talked to my son about the photo, and he was thinking of different angles and slower shutter speeds to capture the controlled chaos of the pit stop.

I can only conclude that Gursky is severely overrated.

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Posted: 01 March 2013 09:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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I was thinking about some of the Warhol hate, and while he definitely made a lot of crap (and even farmed some out, or “collaborated”) I’ve always kind of gotten the impression that he simply didn’t care.  His choice of subject matter, the way he acted around the media and fished for rich patrons.  To me, he’s always come off as someone who thought the whole thing was a joke and just sort of churned out BS and screwed with the art community to see just how much he could get away with.

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Posted: 01 March 2013 09:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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I think the better example for your point would be Bernd and Hilla Becher, whose photos are, I’d say, clearly intended to look anodyne, anonymous, almost artless (unlike Gursky’s, which do require a huge amount of technical skill to prepare and print). The Bechers were trying to capture a kind of industrial photography that is almost the sort of thing you would expect to find in a technical manual rather than on the walls of an art gallery.

Here’s the thing: their whole approach wouldn’t work if the Bechers took photographs a la Ansel Adams. It would prettify everything and give it a personal character that’s entirely out of keeping with the point of the work. Now, that’s not to say the Bechers don’t do beautiful artwork: I find their works extraordinarily beautiful, and FWIW they were even included in the Met’s tribute to their outgoing director, Philippe de Montebello, so at least I don’t think I’m alone in finding them so. But it’s an impersonal, industrial beauty.

For technical skill, sure, I’d go for someone like Ansel Adams, Edward Steichen, or one of my favorites, Alfred Stieglitz.

Apples and oranges.

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Posted: 01 March 2013 10:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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Dead Monky - 01 March 2013 09:54 AM

I was thinking about some of the Warhol hate, and while he definitely made a lot of crap (and even farmed some out, or “collaborated”) I’ve always kind of gotten the impression that he simply didn’t care.  His choice of subject matter, the way he acted around the media and fished for rich patrons.  To me, he’s always come off as someone who thought the whole thing was a joke and just sort of churned out BS and screwed with the art community to see just how much he could get away with.

Yeah, that was kind of the point of his movement: Pop Art. It was art that dealt explicitly with popular imagery, and he was definitely a salesman. But (here we go again) at least he was somewhat original, and did his own work.

You look today at someone like Jeff Koons who isn’t even original, and who doesn’t do any of his own work ... he just farms it out to subcontractors, making statues of Michael Jackson with Bubbles the Chimp, or of himself having sex with his ex-wife Cicciolina, now you’re talking about someone who doesn’t care, making a lot of crap, with trash subject matter, fishing for rich patrons.

Though I don’t think he or Warhol thought it was a joke. Warhol at least was somewhat intelligent. Koons comes across as a bubblehead; perhaps he’s just a canny bubblehead.

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Posted: 01 March 2013 10:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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Dead Monky - 01 March 2013 09:54 AM

I was thinking about some of the Warhol hate, and while he definitely made a lot of crap (and even farmed some out, or “collaborated”) I’ve always kind of gotten the impression that he simply didn’t care.  His choice of subject matter, the way he acted around the media and fished for rich patrons.  To me, he’s always come off as someone who thought the whole thing was a joke and just sort of churned out BS and screwed with the art community to see just how much he could get away with.

Yup, not only that, he made a great living at it; got to hobnob with the most interesting successful people in the world; and get his picture splashed in all the glossies.  The birth of celeb for the sake of celeb.
Great gig if you got the cahone’s to pull it off.. . . well and the shallowness -  it would drive me crazy being obsequious to people non-stop.


Still, how’s that joke go: laughing all the way to the bank.  tongue wink
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Pollack there’s an interesting case.  Besides sounding like he was a total jerk to the people around him, and doing art that never grabbed me.  I’m pretty sure I saw some of his stuff at the Chicago Art Museum in the 60s as a kid and never got it.
You know, there’s some stuff that I don’t like at all, but if it makes an emotional impact on me, it’s successful art.  That sort of stuff never grabbed me one way or the other, it seems contrived to me… I guess. 

BUT, then I read about the fractal thing.  I still don’t particularly like his stuff, but I’ve definitely looked at and thought about it differently ever since reading that stuff.

http://www.sciencenews.org/sn_arc99/9_18_99/mathland.htm
The researchers discovered that Pollock�s patterns could be characterized as fractals�shapes that repeat themselves on different scales within the same object. In a fractal object or pattern, each smaller structure is a miniature, though not necessarily identical, version of the larger form. Fractals often occur in nature, from the meanderings of a coastline, in which the shapes of small inlets approximate the curves of an entire shoreline, to the branchings of trees and the lacy forms of snowflakes and ferns.

A fractal pattern, whether in nature or in a Pollock painting, is subconciously pleasing, Taylor suggests.

In the June 3 Nature, Taylor and his colleagues present the results an analysis of paintings that Pollock made between 1943 and 1952. They quantified the fractal content of the paintings and calculated a fractal dimension for each one.

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Posted: 01 March 2013 01:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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mid atlantic - 28 February 2013 09:04 PM

Did Cage ever explain that?

Yes. Cage wrote about it repeatedly in essays and lectures. One of his favorite memes was a story of his experience in a special, soundless room, and he was still able to hear his circulatory system working and a high-pitched sound that was apparently a byproduct of the human nervous system working. Ergo, as long as you’re alive, sound is always being experienced at some level - and more generally (for example, for the deaf) as long as you’re alive, life is always being experienced through some kind of senses.

mid atlantic - 01 March 2013 08:35 AM

For example, the electric guitar was around for about 20 years before it became the primary insturment in rock music, but the artists who played it before rock and roll have mostly been ignored by music fans and critics - and few people care to investigate, so they continue to give undue credit to those who don’t deserve it.

You mean Charlie Christian? That dude was a badass, and joined the unfortunately long ranks of artists who died too young. Ignored by music fans and critics, yes. Not by other musicians - he’s legendary.

I am an admitted ignoramus when it comes to photographic art. Not too long ago, I ashamedly thought that photos weren’t anything more than point-and-click. My mother has developed photography as a hobby and she’s in a photo club. I’ve learned a fair amount of what I don’t know from her and developed a lot more respect for the craft. But I don’t know the photographic artists.

As far as the visual arts, probably my favorite genre is 19th century American landscape paintings, and the Detroit Institute Of Arts has a fantastic room of them which I always check out when I’m there. But, those probably aren’t underrated or overrated, just given a great deal of well-earned respect.

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Posted: 02 March 2013 12:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 01 March 2013 01:37 PM

You mean Charlie Christian? That dude was a badass, and joined the unfortunately long ranks of artists who died too young. Ignored by music fans and critics, yes. Not by other musicians - he’s legendary.

 

Not particularly Christian, but yeah he’s one.

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Posted: 02 March 2013 12:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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dougsmith - 01 March 2013 10:03 AM

You look today at someone like Jeff Koons who isn’t even original, and who doesn’t do any of his own work ... he just farms it out to subcontractors, making statues of Michael Jackson with Bubbles the Chimp, or of himself having sex with his ex-wife Cicciolina, now you’re talking about someone who doesn’t care, making a lot of crap, with trash subject matter, fishing for rich patrons.

Though I don’t think he or Warhol thought it was a joke. Warhol at least was somewhat intelligent. Koons comes across as a bubblehead; perhaps he’s just a canny bubblehead.

Maybe his “work” is affecting you the way he intends. oh oh

I’m not familiar with Koons, but after quickly looking him up, it seems he’s just screwing with what he perceives as highbrow sensibilities.

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Posted: 02 March 2013 06:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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mid atlantic - 02 March 2013 12:53 AM

I’m not familiar with Koons, but after quickly looking him up, it seems he’s just screwing with what he perceives as highbrow sensibilities.

I’ve seen him interviewed, and he doesn’t come across as a jokester. He comes across as someone who is, if anything, absurdly serious about the crap he produces.

FWIW Koons is arguably the most famous living visual artist (he’s certainly among the handful of most famous), and his works are routinely among the highest valued.

I note from the Wiki on Koons that he says there are no hidden meanings in his works. But I recall an interview he did where he stood in front of workmen who were constructing one of his enormous puppies peeking out from a sock. He said in dead earnestness that it reminded him of Christ on the cross.

That might be funny if he were some kind of New Atheist, but this would have been in the late 80s and he wasn’t joking.

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Posted: 03 March 2013 06:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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George - 01 March 2013 07:23 AM

And although Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker can be overplayed (especially in North America), I don’t see how his music is not original.

After listening to a little bit of Tchaikovsky, and reading a little about him, I’ve got to withdraw my criticism that he is unoriginal.

I see he was fairly original for his time, although I don’t care for his stuff that much.

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Posted: 03 March 2013 06:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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dougsmith - 02 March 2013 06:21 AM
mid atlantic - 02 March 2013 12:53 AM

I’m not familiar with Koons, but after quickly looking him up, it seems he’s just screwing with what he perceives as highbrow sensibilities.

I’ve seen him interviewed, and he doesn’t come across as a jokester. He comes across as someone who is, if anything, absurdly serious about the crap he produces.

Well, if you’re correct about that, maybe he can be labeled a great accidental comic, because it would be funny if he takes his bullcrap that seriously! LOL

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Posted: 03 March 2013 06:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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mid atlantic - 03 March 2013 06:20 AM

Well, if you’re correct about that, maybe he can be labeled a great accidental comic, because it would be funny if he takes his bullcrap that seriously! LOL

That’s right. Thing about him is that he’s a self-parody. But like Liberace, he’s crying all the way to the bank.

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Posted: 03 March 2013 07:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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mid atlantic - 03 March 2013 06:14 AM
George - 01 March 2013 07:23 AM

And although Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker can be overplayed (especially in North America), I don’t see how his music is not original.

After listening to a little bit of Tchaikovsky, and reading a little about him, I’ve got to withdraw my criticism that he is unoriginal.

I see he was fairly original for his time, although I don’t care for his stuff that much.

Now go and finish War and Peace. It’ll really start making sense after the first hundred pages or so, but you have to get there first.  wink

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Posted: 03 March 2013 09:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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mid atlantic - 03 March 2013 06:14 AM
George - 01 March 2013 07:23 AM

And although Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker can be overplayed (especially in North America), I don’t see how his music is not original.

After listening to a little bit of Tchaikovsky, and reading a little about him, I’ve got to withdraw my criticism that he is unoriginal.

I see he was fairly original for his time, although I don’t care for his stuff that much.

Tchaikovsky thought that The Nutcracker was one of the worst things he had ever written, and found it ironic that even in his time it became popular. As far as ballets goes, Sleeping Beauty is definitely better. Disney used it for his movie, if you’ve ever seen it.

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