What Defines Art?

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Lore
 
Reply Fri 7 Mar, 2008 01:13 am
Is art subjective? Are there boundaries? What makes "good" art and "bad" art?
 
Justin
 
Reply Fri 7 Mar, 2008 07:27 am
@Lore,
Love. I would think that this makes all the difference in art. Nature also would define art.
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 7 Mar, 2008 07:54 am
@Lore,
Lore wrote:
Is art subjective? Are there boundaries? What makes "good" art and "bad" art?

Art is not subjective, but subject, and good art is worthy subject and skill. Artists do not find meaning, but shine a light on meaning, and not all subjects have a special significance. Just as in poetry, it is not the common place we are attracted to, but the noble, because we each percieve our own nobility. All we make art, is a reflection of humanity. Every art is a lense that can become a mirror. We look through art and see ourselves.
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 7 Mar, 2008 08:01 am
@Justin,
Justin wrote:
Love. I would think that this makes all the difference in art. Nature also would define art.

Love makes all the difference in life. From start to finish you are dead without love. And no one loves the dead. People honor the dead, bury them or let them lie. But no one loves the dead, and the dead love no one.
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Fri 7 Mar, 2008 10:32 am
@Fido,
With every generation and every age, art becomes something different, new and fresh and old and antiquated... art is interesting in that way.

Is art subjective? I would say very much so. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder so to speak. But aesthetics is very relative topic.

Does art have boundaries? Is it still art??????

Realists would say the beauty of the painting is inherent, or within, the painting. It would be the greatest, most beautiful painting even if no human ever again touched eyes upon it.

The subjectivist would say on the other hand that art and beauty are relative to every individual. Thus, the value of the painting is in the eye of the beholder.

What makes good art good and bad art bad
But is there something beyond art???? This is where people place there comments.

Justin says love. This is entirely too true. Love in some sense provides the will to conceive the beauty in a painting. Love in its natural state, as I take Justin to mean, is a creating force, like Plato's allegory of the horse draw chariot or Empedocles' notion of love and strife ripping apart and sewing together the universe. That we should say art is love and natural (both passive and active) is a fantastic statement!

Fido also raises legitimate points on art. Fido says love is subject, not subjective, leads me to believe that he believes that art is inherent, hence he is a realist. That artists are the torch bearers for art, showing others what beauty is, is subjective.

"Just as in poetry, it is not the common place we are attracted to, but the noble, because we each percieve our own nobility."(Fido)


This I don't know about. Notions of nobility may be aesthetic, thus subjective, thus the common place (our common conception of art.

"All we make art, is a reflection of humanity. Every art is a lense that can become a mirror. We look through art and see ourselves."(Fido)
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 7 Mar, 2008 11:32 am
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon wrote:
With every generation and every age, art becomes something different, new and fresh and old and antiquated... art is interesting in that way.

Is art subjective? I would say very much so. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder so to speak. But aesthetics is very relative topic.

Does art have boundaries? Is it still art??????

Realists would say the beauty of the painting is inherent, or within, the painting. It would be the greatest, most beautiful painting even if no human ever again touched eyes upon it.

The subjectivist would say on the other hand that art and beauty are relative to every individual. Thus, the value of the painting is in the eye of the beholder.

What makes good art good and bad art badBut is there something beyond art???? This is where people place there comments.

Justin says love. This is entirely too true. Love in some sense provides the will to conceive the beauty in a painting. Love in its natural state, as I take Justin to mean, is a creating force, like Plato's allegory of the horse draw chariot or Empedocles' notion of love and strife ripping apart and sewing together the universe. That we should say art is love and natural (both passive and active) is a fantastic statement!

Fido also raises legitimate points on art. Fido says love is subject, not subjective, leads me to believe that he believes that art is inherent, hence he is a realist. That artists are the torch bearers for art, showing others what beauty is, is subjective.

"Just as in poetry, it is not the common place we are attracted to, but the noble, because we each percieve our own nobility."(Fido)


This I don't know about. Notions of nobility may be aesthetic, thus subjective, thus the common place (our common conception of art.

"All we make art, is a reflection of humanity. Every art is a lense that can become a mirror. We look through art and see ourselves."(Fido)

I might say love is life, and life is a worthy subject of art, but I doubt I would say love is art. Even if that is true for lovers, and true for artists it may not always be true. We could not easily reverse the sentence, and say: art is love. It may be, but it is more besides.
 
Lore
 
Reply Fri 7 Mar, 2008 12:05 pm
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
Art is not subjective, but subject, and good art is worthy subject and skill. Artists do not find meaning, but shine a light on meaning, and not all subjects have a special significance. Just as in poetry, it is not the common place we are attracted to, but the noble, because we each percieve our own nobility. All we make art, is a reflection of humanity. Every art is a lense that can become a mirror. We look through art and see ourselves.


I agree. So it is when we can relate a piece of art to ourselves that it becomes art?

I like to think that art has meaning. The artist should have a message or an idea to convey to others, but one that might not easily be expressed in simple terms, and so, a physical manifestation is necessary to represent whatever it is they're trying to say.
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Fri 7 Mar, 2008 12:22 pm
@Fido,
Really????

"I might say love is life, and life is a worthy subject of art, but I doubt I would say love is art. Even if that is true for lovers, and true for artists it may not always be true. We could not easily reverse the sentence, and say: art is love. It may be, but it is more besides."(Fido)

The word play you use is very tautological/equivocal. Keep in mind the original post is on art. If we digress we lose the original purpose of the thread, which is "Is art subjective?"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
But let me try to put your statement in some level of coherency by going through it systematically.

"I might say love is life, and life is a worthy subject of art, but I doubt I would say love is art"
This was implied in the very context of the thread. Not to do so would mean your statement is irrelevant to the discussion.

"Even if that is true for lovers, and true for artists, it may not always be true".
So even if love is art, that isn't always necessarily the case. Thus art could in fact be love.

"We could not easily reverse the sentence, and say: art is love."
This is where I lose you. I just reversed the sentence based off of your "dialogue." You deny your previous negation.

" It may be, but it is more besides."
So, setting flowery oratory beside, you say that art is not only love, but anything else put within its perspective. This is true, however I must question you prose.

Most philosophers would frown on oratoric dialogue, that is, superficially pleasing yet contextually empty and confusing... Socrates can attest to this... I can say so because I talk to him on a daily basis while I play cards with Abraham Lincoln and that Beaver from the lunesta commercial. This is one of my pet peeves. Philosophy is substance and finality, not confusion. You have a valid point, but philosophy through romanticism's lens is problematic.
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 7 Mar, 2008 01:37 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
Only in music and word is art not objective. Music is entirely subjective because it is perceived more as emotion, and there, to each is their own. But all other art tends to make the object, from the subject, for the mass experience of others. Good art is made of a true concept. Good art expresses truth with skill. Ultimately, whether art is good or not, it is subject which makes it art at all. An artistic subject has meaning, and that is what the artist expresses. If a sculpter sculpted an exacting sculpture of a rock it would have only a subjective meaning. It would have no more meaning than one would give to it. In art, one does not have to look for meaning to find it.
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 7 Mar, 2008 01:48 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon wrote:
Really????

"I might say love is life, and life is a worthy subject of art, but I doubt I would say love is art. Even if that is true for lovers, and true for artists it may not always be true. We could not easily reverse the sentence, and say: art is love. It may be, but it is more besides."(Fido)

The word play you use is very tautological/equivocal. Keep in mind the original post is on art. If we digress we lose the original purpose of the thread, which is "Is art subjective?"

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
But let me try to put your statement in some level of coherency by going through it systematically.

"I might say love is life, and life is a worthy subject of art, but I doubt I would say love is art"
This was implied in the very context of the thread. Not to do so would mean your statement is irrelevant to the discussion.

"Even if that is true for lovers, and true for artists, it may not always be true".
So even if love is art, that isn't always necessarily the case. Thus art could in fact be love.

"We could not easily reverse the sentence, and say: art is love."
This is where I lose you. I just reversed the sentence based off of your "dialogue." You deny your previous negation.

" It may be, but it is more besides."


So, setting flowery oratory beside, you say that art is not only love, but anything else put within its perspective. This is true, however I must question you prose.

Most philosophers would frown on oratoric dialogue, that is, superficially pleasing yet contextually empty and confusing... Socrates can attest to this... I can say so because I talk to him on a daily basis while I play cards with Abraham Lincoln and that Beaver from the lunesta commercial. This is one of my pet peeves. Philosophy is substance and finality, not confusion. You have a valid point, but philosophy through romanticism's lens is problematic.

I really have to apologize about not givin a shit. I think much of art. Excuse me.

For that reason I wash my mouth and freshen my breath before talking about it. I can't tell you how much I would like to write like a machine manual all about art. I have read enough of those to know the art is elsewhere. But if I had only grunts and groans to talk with, I would still talk about art. Today art is on every lip and fingertip. How can you avoid it?
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 7 Mar, 2008 02:00 pm
@Fido,
If I say art is subject and love as a subject can be art, I am not saying all love is art unless it can be considered as plot for someones internal narrative. For how many people does art have to hold meaning before it is art? The more meaning a subject has the louder it will be proclaimed. But it is the artist who first recognizes art because that is the ideal he is recreating in art. He knows the mark he has, not to deny her, placed before himself.
 
Lore
 
Reply Fri 7 Mar, 2008 02:40 pm
@Fido,
What of the value of art?
If everything is now art, then what was art before?
Is it because we have so many mediums through which to express?
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Fri 7 Mar, 2008 02:44 pm
@Lore,
*Note to Fido. I have faith that others who read yours, as well as this, ridiculous post, understand that this type of conversation is conveyed merely to hear ourselves talk. Your postings are interesting in that you assert quasi-truths. In modern day science, this is called attention deficit disorder. Socrates fought great battles against your type "the sophists" who emphasized the importance of sounding good rather than conveying true knowledge... however mixed it may be.

And I think you do think much of art, hence the ADD comment. Also, watch your language. How jaded you are, Fido, that you assume I deny the relevancy of art in context.

But for all intensive purposes... I'm just going to ignore you.
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 7 Mar, 2008 09:13 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
If it will help; and I do admit there is some common confusion on the issue. Objective perception involves some verifyable object as music or language can only hint at. The sun in the sky, many deny, and when they are seen to be burned are asked why. What is objectifly true cannot easily be denied. When art reaches a point where it is subjective, when each person experiences it differently, and must say, not what it means, but what it means to me, then it is subjective more than subject. A clearly meaningful subject is viewed objectively.
 
Lore
 
Reply Fri 7 Mar, 2008 09:26 pm
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
If it will help; and I do admit there is some common confusion on the issue. Objective perception involves some verifyable object as music or language can only hint at. The sun in the sky, many deny, and when they are seen to be burned are asked why. What is objectifly true cannot easily be denied. When art reaches a point where it is subjective, when each person experiences it differently, and must say, not what it means, but what it means to me, then it is subjective more than subject. A clearly meaningful subject is viewed objectively.


I'd like to think that art is objective, wouldn't you? I think simply saying "art is subjective" is too easy. I think art is objective, otherwise we wouldn't call something art! A tree isn't art, it's a tree in itself. It is not manmade, and so we cannot define it by our own, a work of art. But a painting of a tree is art. I feel as we've progressed it's become much harder to define what is or isn't art, but there obviously has to be some foundation. That it is created by humans? Manipulated by them? An object has gone through the hands or mind of a human and come out as something different, with different properties.

There should be guidelines for what makes good and bad art.
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 7 Mar, 2008 09:45 pm
@Lore,
Lore wrote:
I'd like to think that art is objective, wouldn't you? I think simply saying "art is subjective" is too easy. I think art is objective, otherwise we wouldn't call something art! A tree isn't art, it's a tree in itself. It is not manmade, and so we cannot define it by our own, a work of art. But a painting of a tree is art. I feel as we've progressed it's become much harder to define what is or isn't art, but there obviously has to be some foundation. That it is created by humans? Manipulated by them? An object has gone through the hands or mind of a human and come out as something different, with different properties.

There should be guidelines for what makes good and bad art.

Not all art is objective, and not all is subjective. If I say art is subject, I mean every good piece of art must shine a light at a maningful Subject. Get it subject. Objective or subjective are terms of perception.
 
Justin
 
Reply Sat 8 Mar, 2008 12:31 am
@Fido,
Wow, hadn't had time to check back and this is turning out to be a very good thread. All interesting views.

My interpretation of art would be creation by the hands of master who create through love and through the masters hands, (God if that's what you call him). I think that art comes in all forms and is best when the artist can experience and express love in his or her works.

One can do nothing alone. Without the powers that be in the Universe, man could do nothing... so when man works with creation and his fellow man while knowing the love within himself, man will create art in everything he does.

Art being the physical expression or manifestation of love and balance. Art without love is not art at all.

Whether objective or subjective... it's however you interpret it to be. Art is manifested in all of creation if one so chooses to see.

That's my two cents worth.
 
Lore
 
Reply Sat 8 Mar, 2008 12:40 am
@Lore,
What frustrates me and what I'm trying to define more clearly is the difference between a post modern work, such as a styrofoam cup next to a crumbled napkin, framed or placed and then called "art", and a painting by van gogh or picasso. surely there must be some distinction. are they even comparable?
 
Fido
 
Reply Sat 8 Mar, 2008 08:33 am
@Lore,
Lore wrote:
What frustrates me and what I'm trying to define more clearly is the difference between a post modern work, such as a styrofoam cup next to a crumbled napkin, framed or placed and then called "art", and a painting by van gogh or picasso. surely there must be some distinction. are they even comparable?

The question is good, and the answer is subject. Some subjects have more meaning. Now look; I have seen a room full of impressionistic paintings of hay stacks looking like muffins, and the question comes to mind, of, in what sense are they art? You have to understand the circumstances. First, photography was coming into its own, though without color, and always with direct light upon it. If the artist chose a common enough subject in the hay stacks, that was light, shadow, and color that was the subject. Art is always the same, but no one wants the same from art. Rather, a part of the challenge is to present the art in a new fashion, but also, as always to find meaningful subjects for art. That artist who sees as meaningful what all people see as meaningful has his task half done. Then it becomes only a question execution, or skill, or ability.
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Sat 8 Mar, 2008 08:04 pm
@Lore,
Lore wrote:
What frustrates me and what I'm trying to define more clearly is the difference between a post modern work, such as a styrofoam cup next to a crumbled napkin, framed or placed and then called "art", and a painting by van gogh or picasso. surely there must be some distinction. are they even comparable?



Lore, If you agree that one persons perspective of beauty is different from another's, the relativistic nature of art becomes apparent. The fact that you may think the color green is most beautiful and that I think the color red is the most beautiful doesn't change the fact that we have different conceptions of what is the most beautiful color. Beauty (in art) really is in the eye of the beholder if you accept that rationale... its pretty much a difference of opinion. The distinction and comparability of the post modern "art" and the classical painting rests in that relative understanding and appreciation for each. I may not think that styrofoam cup is art, but theres bound to be some beatnick in Soho who thinks otherwise.
 
 

 
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