What Defines Art?

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Fido
 
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2008 10:08 am
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon wrote:
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.

Truth is Beauty, and beauty is truth. In art we recreate reality. If our conception of what we see is flawed so will be our art. The sweetest mouth could not breathe breadth into a subject without meaning. Meaning is communication, and communication is truth. But art is more than artistry. Art becomes an object in its own right. If you see a 3000 year old nude and the girl is hot, it's art. Its meaning must endure.

Art should not rely on interpretation. If someone has to tell you why it is in an art museum, it isn't art, but hoodwink.
 
Teena phil
 
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2008 02:54 pm
@Fido,
I think art is overall subjective. Art can vary though in its objectivity/subjectivity. An artist can sometimes attempt to "guide" us to experience a certain thing & at other times leave us completely to our own perception. Meaning certain art can wake at least somewhat similar feelings in its audience (though still all somewhat different as we're looking at it each through our own eyes) & certain art can leave everyone with completely different & unrelated experiences. Either way it's subjective. Exactly how we enjoy it depends on our perception & how much we enjoy it depends on the depth of our perception..so the end result is a combination of the artist's work & our own mind.

As far as definition art is a combination of inspiration & talent/skill. Art to me is like a channel through which an artist can transfer some of his own feeling or provoke/wake certain responses in the audience.

I would like to say that art has no boundaries but it isnt all equal. What separates classics in my opinion is that they're more universal.
 
Fido
 
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2008 03:37 pm
@Teena phil,
Teena wrote:
I think art is overall subjective. Art can vary though in its objectivity/subjectivity. An artist can sometimes attempt to "guide" us to experience a certain thing & at other times leave us completely to our own perception. Meaning certain art can wake at least somewhat similar feelings in its audience (though still all somewhat different as we're looking at it each through our own eyes) & certain art can leave everyone with completely different & unrelated experiences. Either way it's subjective. Exactly how we enjoy it depends on our perception & how much we enjoy it depends on the depth of our perception..so the end result is a combination of the artist's work & our own mind.

As far as definition art is a combination of inspiration & talent/skill. Art to me is like a channel through which an artist can transfer some of his own feeling or provoke/wake certain responses in the audience.

I would like to say that art has no boundaries but it isnt all equal. What separates classics in my opinion is that they're more universal.

Since art is often objective, so it is produced with a clear sense of meaning, how do you say it is subjective. What do you call it if it is both subjective and objective? One thing you can not say then is that all art is subjective. All art is more or less subjective, and the least of art is the most subjective. What the Count said of Jazz is true of all art, that if you have to ask, you will never know. If you do not walk up to a piece of art, and know what it is saying to you, what the intent of the artist is, or what it means; and if you have to ask an expert then the work has failed. And, there is a lot of classical art built around legends and myths and history that say nothing if you do not know the context. They are interesting as art history, or artifact; but they do not have meaning for most people without some one giving them a few clues. On the other end is some modern art that is so subjective that if you do not value you it out of emotion you cannot value it at all.
 
Teena phil
 
Reply Sun 9 Mar, 2008 05:12 pm
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
Since art is often objective, so it is produced with a clear sense of meaning, how do you say it is subjective. What do you call it if it is both subjective and objective? One thing you can not say then is that all art is subjective. All art is more or less subjective, and the least of art is the most subjective. What the Count said of Jazz is true of all art, that if you have to ask, you will never know. If you do not walk up to a piece of art, and know what it is saying to you, what the intent of the artist is, or what it means; and if you have to ask an expert then the work has failed. And, there is a lot of classical art built around legends and myths and history that say nothing if you do not know the context. They are interesting as art history, or artifact; but they do not have meaning for most people without some one giving them a few clues. On the other end is some modern art that is so subjective that if you do not value you it out of emotion you cannot value it at all.


First of all I agree that all art is more or less subjective.
Technically art is both objective & subjective. A painting can be measured & is a set of paints & colors, a dance a set of movements etc but how exactly we perceive it artistically is subjective. How easy it is for the audience to gain what the artist intended & perhaps how strong the experience is can reflect the grade of the work. Though again I think it is a combination that includes the person's own mind. What if the person isnt as receptive or is closed? Though of course a piece of art that can bring out the emotion or feeling out of the most people (regardless of time/generation/preferences ) is the work that had the most success.

Which is why I say the classics are universal. It's like the beauty of a star studded sky, it should be timeless. Yet I know plenty of people that have no appreciation of classical arts & see no value in them. Are the works failing then or are the people's minds?

You mention "clear sense of meaning" (of course it may very well apply if you're talking about a work such as what you've mentioned about art featuring ancient mythology or anything specific) but emotion that a work may call for cant ever be too clear or objective. An artist himself might've just let it spill.

When I speak of classics by the way I dont necessarily mean everything that's considered classical. When I say classics I mean a work that should be enjoyed regardless of your tastes, age or knowledge of specific details about the painting. It's just something that is able to fill you with something, some feeling.
 
MJA
 
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2008 10:50 pm
@Fido,
[CENTER]ART[/CENTER]

Sometimes people define art as a beautiful painting or a drawing hung on the wall of an art gallery. Dance and music are also great expressions of art. I envisioned art a few summer days back in everything that was everywhere. This essay is about what I saw, and how I got there on that very special day.



I ended my trip or art show five hours later buying the best garden in the city a first place award. I see art much more often today, and in many more places. Not like that special day, but much more than I had. Art to me can be everything, a simply beautiful day, thanks.

PS: Slowing down seems to be the key.

=
MJA
 
Justin
 
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2008 11:16 pm
@MJA,
MJA wrote:
[CENTER]ART[/CENTER]

Sometimes people define art as a beautiful painting or a drawing hung on the wall of an art gallery. Dance and music are also great expressions of art. I envisioned art a few summer days back in everything that was everywhere. This essay is about what I saw, and how I got there on that very special day.



I ended my trip or art show five hours later buying the best garden in the city a first place award. I see art much more often today, and in many more places. Not like that special day, but much more than I had. Art to me can be everything, a simply beautiful day, thanks.

PS: Slowing down seems to be the key.

=
MJA

Wonderful essay and with much meaning. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Slowing down and seeing art in everything is like seeing the love in all things. Thank you!
 
dancinginchains
 
Reply Tue 18 Mar, 2008 01:55 am
@Lore,
Lore wrote:
Is art subjective? Are there boundaries? What makes "good" art and "bad" art?


These are some very broad questions, and also very good ones.

Art is interesting because while it's largely subjective, there's some sense of objectivity to it. But the objectivity in art lies in technique, by which I'm referring to how the work is created. Subjectivity comes in when referring to why the work was created, or its various interpretations. Like everything else, art is neither all of one nor all of the other. Art isn't completely subjective or completely objective, but rather it's a bit of both.

The question of whether or not there are boundaries is a tricky one because the general concensus is that so long as the work is not obscene, the bounds are endless. What makes this notion tricky though is there's currently no concrete definition of obscene that can be applied to if not all works, certainly a majority of works. One man's trash is another man's treasure, and in the world of art neither are more justified than the other for their view of the work. Since the interpretation of art is entirely subjective both are equally justified in their view of the work. Generally if there's an overall agreement that the art is pornographic, it's usually considered obscene, but like I said even in those cases there's still no working concrete definition of obscene art work. So as it stands at the moment, it would appear that boundaries do not exist in the art world.

What makes art "good" or "bad" depends solely on the person viewing the art work. For instance, an art connoisseur is going to have a completely different set of criteria when interpreting a work than say Joe Schmoe who works a 9 to 5 job at the office. What makes "good" or "bad" art is entirely subjective because of this reason. Personally my criteria of evaluating art is a combination of technique and subjective appeal.
 
Doobah47
 
Reply Sun 6 Apr, 2008 10:36 pm
@dancinginchains,
I think the question 'is art subjective' is in principal a nice analogy for is our perception of objective reality a subjective or objective mental stimulation.

We can talk about the objective (for example 'the leaves on the tree are green'), yet it would appear that only way we can process this information is via subjective processes, such as the imagination of trees seen previously, or the interpretation of the word 'green'.

So my answer to the original question is that art utilizes both subjective and objective properties of the audiences mind. I would say too that with art specifically, as opposed to music or theatre for example, the artist is also a member of the audience, and the process of making a work involves subjective and objective mental properties. However, we could say that anything anybody perceives utilizes both subjective and objective stimulation, and art is simply a part of what we perceive.

I think if we analyze art in comparison to music, we can say that the appreciation of formulaic art work is more of an objective process; in a party people dance in sync with each other, to the same rhythm, so the rhythm is less a subjective interpretation and more an objective fact - the perspective and figurative replication in the Mona Lisa is more of an objective fact which is interpreted pretty similarly as objective fact by a majority of the audience: so some art, like some music (usually art/music of the formulaic kind) is appreciated in a principally objective fashion. However, when music or art is not made in accordance with a formula, the the subjective would take over - we see people tapping their feet or occasionally twitching along to Shostakovich like we individually appreciate different aspects of a Van Gogh work (probably a bad example for Van Gogh does figurative representation, which is formulaic, yet there re elements of intuitive actions, which are appreciated subjectively as emotive stimulation), yet I would say that almost all artwork and music tends to be made following a formula that we are all, as artists and audience indoctrinated by, perhaps by nature or by society. So I would say that it is close to impossible to escape formula, therefore art is more of an objective stimulation, yet often inciting subjective responses by way of intuitive or emotive artistry.
 
No0ne
 
Reply Fri 6 Jun, 2008 12:48 pm
@Lore,
Lore wrote:
Is art subjective? Are there boundaries? What makes "good" art and "bad" art?



It's the reltated intelectuly added thought that led to the creation of and object which intern's make's it art, nature is a great example, yet without people to view it, it would never be art would it?

It's best to understand the artist and there thought's that went into the creation of there master peice, hence art is intelectual thought added into the creation of the master peice, this is what also seperate's a random act or thoughtless act(blind thought's and action's lacking intent and intelectualy based thought) from which is classafied as "art", meany people could say difrent what art is, but they all would mainly agree what seperate's art from non-art.

Yet the stuff people pass off as art now aday's well...I try not to speak ill of other's creation's, so I will hold off my finger's on that-.-' but Im sure people feel kinda the same way to what is now classafied or passed off as true art
 
boagie
 
Reply Fri 6 Jun, 2008 12:55 pm
@No0ne,
The Way of Art

Just some reference material:)
 
No0ne
 
Reply Fri 6 Jun, 2008 01:20 pm
@boagie,
boagie wrote:
The Way of Art

Just some reference material:)


Quote from-->The Way Of Art:
In myth the metaphor is two fold in its connotation. One is psychological and the other is universal. The metaphor of the myth is metaphysical as well as psychological in its connotation and it is connotative of both at the same time.

Yes but every fold has a fold to that fold, cause of perception, for if I fold a peice of paper it divide's it into two half's, if I fold it once more, it become's twofold and four half's but there are four fold's created form two fold's therefore it is four fold. midle
 
all-inclusive
 
Reply Tue 1 Jul, 2008 08:44 pm
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
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.
:confused:
Fido,

Are you saying there is no art in death? I would say that art isn't fabricated by love in itself, but from a myriad of emotions. I would would say that art stimulates emotions, and then thought. Greek tragedies are often stimulated by the emotional reactions contrived by death. Are these tragedies not artistic?
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 1 Jul, 2008 09:30 pm
@all-inclusive,
all-inclusive wrote:
:confused:
Fido,

Are you saying there is no art in death? I would say that art isn't fabricated by love in itself, but from a myriad of emotions. I would would say that art stimulates emotions, and then thought. Greek tragedies are often stimulated by the emotional reactions contrived by death. Are these tragedies not artistic?

If I were you I would look into Aristotle's poetics, and, who he thought were the fit subjects of poetry. And that would be great men, and in part this has to be an example of the higher they are the harder they fall. But we don't all want to look at the grousing around of low lifes like ourselves. We all see ourselves as greater than we are because we are so intent upon our struggles and victories. And we must identify with the victim of tragedy for the theraputic effect to occur. And this is easy to see in cop shows, or who dunnits, which are the tragedy turned inside out, and so a comedy. And in these comedies, the bad guy is intensly bad, and his cruel end is justified, but when it happens from multiple camera angles; it brings no relief. Everyone knows it is just acting, not real; but the emotions that are built up to a boil make every thinking person feel worse at cheering on that age old enemy of mankind: death.

Now, tragedy gives a whole other experience. The great man is brought low, usually out of daring the Gods to do their worst. And we all do that. And what occurs to the victim of tragedy is fully justified. But when we see the victim in some senses working against fate, and shouldering his responsibility in some fashion we more admire him for being great; but most importantly, we forgive him, and feel his pain; and in the process are relieved of some of our own guilt. Guilt is the punishment we suffer every minute, almost, of our lives, except when we are doing our utmost to deserve it. And guilt is the greatest impediment and burden to any life, and to our relationships, but there is plenty of guilt to go around. When we identify, and can feel pity, we are spared the suffering of the guilty and are made greater, like the victim. And I think that is the one great lesson we can take from tragedy, that we need to be able to forgive others, and we need to be able to forgive ourselves; but it all happens together. And I know it seem inexplicable, this catharsis, but to want to punish others makes us feel mean and small; and wanting to forgive others makes us feel magnamous.

So; to answer the question; it is not the death of the victim that is the art, but it is his fate, and in fact all of our fates. For life to be a positive experience, love has to be behind it, and if love is behind all of life, it cannot but be behind all of art. Think of it as a child, and this should be easy because we all are all the ages we have been. And remember when you were loved, and it was just because you were you, and some ones chubby baby? I think it is possible that we go through our entire lives trying to recreate that one moment in time, and it is that which drives the great to greatness, and the millionaire to his millions. I think I would be a totally different individual were I constantly seeking love, rather than looking for a single effective method of expressing my love for life and for all of humanity. One does what one can. I say it. I might have a sculpter in me. I can model a face. But ultimately, the best art I have is a simple matter of words.
 
MJA
 
Reply Wed 2 Jul, 2008 08:26 am
@Fido,
"Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better." Andre Gide
 
Fido
 
Reply Wed 2 Jul, 2008 03:41 pm
@MJA,
MJA wrote:
"Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better." Andre Gide

Not even close. Giss agin!
 
all-inclusive
 
Reply Wed 2 Jul, 2008 09:19 pm
@Fido,
Quote:
So; to answer the question; it is not the death of the victim that is the art, but it is his fate, and in fact all of our fates.


SmileI like a lot of what you have said, and appreciate your insight on tragedy.
But for a tragedy to be indeed a tragedy, doesn't the fate itself, have to be the destruction, or downfall of either the character, or those around him?
The love for the character is something you develop by experiencing his flaws, and relating to the character, it is intended to do so in order for you to feel a sense of lament, or morning. Thus would the art of the tragedy, somehow be connected to death?

Would you agree?
 
Fido
 
Reply Thu 3 Jul, 2008 05:38 am
@all-inclusive,
all-inclusive wrote:
SmileI like a lot of what you have said, and appreciate your insight on tragedy.
But for a tragedy to be indeed a tragedy, doesn't the fate itself, have to be the destruction, or downfall of either the character, or those around him?
The love for the character is something you develop by experiencing his flaws, and relating to the character, it is intended to do so in order for you to feel a sense of lament, or morning. Thus would the art of the tragedy, somehow be connected to death?

Would you agree?

I do not know all tragedies, but I believe all tragic heroes are limited to three main types. One is like Oedipus, who did what he did not knowing what he did; who accepts his fate. The other type, like Orestes, did what he did knowing well what he was doing, and then tried to avoid the consequences. The third type is not normally associated with human activity; and it is Prometheus, who as a God, could not be killed, but who could be made to suffer, and since he could see the future, he knew his fate, so he did what he did knowing what he did, understanding the consequences, and he accepted his fate. This type is my preference, and since I can see the future, and it is not bright, I will try to bear my fate.
I don't think people really grasp what was happening with Orestes, or they would have more sympathy. I don't think they grasp what was happening with Oedipus, or they would see him punished worse. In the end he redeemed himself by refusing to be used by people who would injure his city.

Anyway; did I say love in regard to the anti-hero? If I did I was wrong. We recognize the anti-hero as a human being, like ourselves, rather than some vicious animal, and this brings out a natural sympathy, and at the point where we withhold judgement and execution because we recognize that none of us is without sin- there we are made whole. Tragedy is a foul and abused word. It is used glibly. The Israelis kill an apartment full of women and children, and they say it is a tragedy, when with that word they mean to say it is not a crime; but it is. And we do it; they do it and everyone does it; and it is an abuse of sense and language. If it were truly a tragedy, then we would see them as human and ourselves for what we are, human too; and in that fashion the great curse of human hatred and the desire to punish, and to enjoy the feast of revenge is lifted from our souls. My whole country is made small and mean out of the desire to punish people who have always known hurt and deprivation, and even if society needs protection from people, it also has the power to house them in such a fashion that they will be hurt no more.
 
all-inclusive
 
Reply Thu 3 Jul, 2008 02:41 pm
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
I do not know all tragedies, but I believe all tragic heroes are limited to three main types. One is like Oedipus, who did what he did not knowing what he did; who accepts his fate. The other type, like Orestes, did what he did knowing well what he was doing, and then tried to avoid the consequences. The third type is not normally associated with human activity; and it is Prometheus, who as a God, could not be killed, but who could be made to suffer, and since he could see the future, he knew his fate, so he did what he did knowing what he did, understanding the consequences, and he accepted his fate. This type is my preference, and since I can see the future, and it is not bright, I will try to bear my fate.
I don't think people really grasp what was happening with Orestes, or they would have more sympathy. I don't think they grasp what was happening with Oedipus, or they would see him punished worse. In the end he redeemed himself by refusing to be used by people who would injure his city.

Anyway; did I say love in regard to the anti-hero? If I did I was wrong. We recognize the anti-hero as a human being, like ourselves, rather than some vicious animal, and this brings out a natural sympathy, and at the point where we withhold judgement and execution because we recognize that none of us is without sin- there we are made whole. Tragedy is a foul and abused word. It is used glibly. The Israelis kill an apartment full of women and children, and they say it is a tragedy, when with that word they mean to say it is not a crime; but it is. And we do it; they do it and everyone does it; and it is an abuse of sense and language. If it were truly a tragedy, then we would see them as human and ourselves for what we are, human too; and in that fashion the great curse of human hatred and the desire to punish, and to enjoy the feast of revenge is lifted from our souls. My whole country is made small and mean out of the desire to punish people who have always known hurt and deprivation, and even if society needs protection from people, it also has the power to house them in such a fashion that they will be hurt no more.



I'm sorry if I do not follow you, but I'm not sure what you are trying to get across.
Are you trying to say that in actual life, people would try to justify their crimes with tragedy? Are you trying to relate the horror of tragedy to actual events? :perplexed:
I'm not trying to put words in your mouth, I am simply perception checking.

Did you answer my question?
 
Fido
 
Reply Thu 3 Jul, 2008 05:03 pm
@all-inclusive,
all-inclusive wrote:
I'm sorry if I do not follow you, but I'm not sure what you are trying to get across.
Are you trying to say that in actual life, people would try to justify their crimes with tragedy? Are you trying to relate the horror of tragedy to actual events? :perplexed:
I'm not trying to put words in your mouth, I am simply perception checking.

Did you answer my question?

Tragedy in drama is a far thing from it use as political spin. People say tragedy. Oh; its a tragedy that the whole family had to die to get one man who may not even have been with them. Yes; its a terrible tragedy, but no worse than butchering a little truth. War is just a continuation of policy, and a wierd sort of relationship, like a man with his meal. But the fact remains that injustice should never be justified. If it is a crime; it is a crime, and not a tragedy. In drama; the tragedy was something that was once played out, and some person was chosen to bear the sins of the community and be driven out. What we don't realize is that for primitives, there is no place to go, and surrounded by enemies, every man not a friend was an outlaw sho could be killed on sight. We take only so much from our families and immediate community. Primitives got their life and their entire identity from their people, and so custom, and character is the source of ethics. What would you do if driven out of the only place you knew, away from your support, away from your identity, off to become an animal among animals. How would you feel? The feeling of emptiness, and of deprivation are the source of tragedy, just as human sympathy and love is the source of comedy. Do you ever think of how many people we hound out of their communities into prison? Does anyone understand that as much as we judge and convict on the basis of individual actions, that it is a person's family and community that suffer the pain? Yes, No? That is what I call art, according to subject, because when the subject is man, and mankind, and the life of mankind is illustrated with truth, and love, then craft, artistry itself can produce a master piece.
 
all-inclusive
 
Reply Thu 3 Jul, 2008 05:52 pm
@Fido,
And through this explanation you have come to make your point. It took a few questions to understand just what you were trying to get across. This makes sense to me, and I thank you for the insight. So by saying that "no one loves the dead" If I remember right...you are saying it is the reactions one makes in life, that earns ones love, but in death no respect can be earned? At that point s/he is no longer reacting, s/he is neutral?
 
 

 
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