Art, what is it?

Discussion of Joseph Campbell's work with an emphasis on the personal creative impulse as well as the sociological role of the artist in today's global community.

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Post by snake » Thu Jun 14, 2007 11:28 am

Clemsy...

...'she told me the most difficult part of working her art is 'getting out of the way.' I was reminded of the advice given to a baseball pitcher: "Don't aim, just throw the ball."'...

Reminds me of a favorite quote...

"I have no desire to prove anything by dancing. I have never used it as an outlet or a means of expressing myself. I just dance. I just put my feet in the air and move them around."
- Fred Astaire

and another favorite...

"Here, we have no art. We just do everything as best we can."
Bali saying

***********

I saw Estes a long time ago, on her book tour for 'Women Who Run with the Wolves'...she was quite fun and interesting...and yes...I agree about the 'creative cycle'...Just like nature...we are nature, and nature is cyclical...

I figure, if we hadn't gotten so out of tune with our creative selves in this way, we wouldn't be acting out so much destruction on nature...and each other...

***********

The one place I find aesthetics very important is in architecture...And I have been disturbed most of my life about how ugly, and boring most of it is...Around these parts anyway...

***********

Ivor...

I came across a photo of that skull on the net...I didn't know what to think of it, and forgot about it...and had never heard of that artist before...But, I still remember the paintings and sculpture I liked that inspired me at local galleries that I've seen over the last few months...Obviously, I don't keep up on the 'faddy' arteests....

As one poster I read said...'This guy is laughing all the way to the bank'...

That's probably about it...
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Post by Poncho » Fri Jun 22, 2007 8:48 pm

Hi snake

Thanks for your comments.

Good to hear you haven't heard of Damian Hirst. Sadly, he's well known over here for his pickled shark. Click HERE. You can click on the photo of the shark on the right to enlarge it.


He's been a bit of a naughty boy again just recently. As youn say he's laughing all the way to the bank. Click HERE


Personally I think that this is more fun. Click HERE



Anyway, I'm off for the Summer months. Enjoy yourselves dear friends.


:D
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Post by snake » Tue Jul 17, 2007 12:39 am

Well, Ivor...

I've heard of Hirst now...sorry to say...We get AOL so they post junk I look at once in awhile... I just read an article about his silly artjunk, and saw a picture of his pickled shark...Since it's in formaldahyde, it seemed more like it should be in a science lab or museum to me...go figure...

But the Headington Shark?!...What fun!...Nothin' like a headless shark in Headington, eh?...Thank goodness for that artists willfull determination!....That response by Peter McDonald is priceless!!....Oh, thank goodness there is still someplace where you can look up and see someone's humorous creativity 'exploding' right oughta' their rooftop!...

...'and that august body ruled that it must come down, giving as the reason that it had been put up without planning permission, or more likely just because it was delightful, innocent, fresh and amusing — all qualities abhorred by such committees.;

Boy, I sure couldn't agree more with that statement!!....Evidenced here by all the boring, suburban blahness that keeps expanding...

Thanks for letting me know about it...I think I just might take a picture of that Shark and that quote down to our 'planning office'...
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Post by Poncho » Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:21 pm

Tate Modern that home of Brit Art has come up with another wheeze, this time from a Cuban artist.

Click HERE for a good laugh!


Is it art or is it a pretentious load of bollocks?!


No doubt our resident curator, Martin, can enlighten us 8)
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Post by Martin_Weyers » Fri Feb 29, 2008 12:21 pm

It is described on the Tate Modern website as a "subterranean chasm" that "asks questions about the interaction of sculpture and space, about architecture and the values it enshrines and about the shaky ideological foundations on which Western notions of modernity are built".
Everything said, Ivor! I suggest going to the subterranian chasm at Tate Modern and then: Jump! It is not as wide as you think! (And don't forget to ask someone to take a photo of Ivor being detained.)
Works of art are indeed always products of having been in danger, of having gone to the very end in an experience, to where man can go no further. -- Rainer Maria Rilke
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Post by Dieverdog » Mon Apr 21, 2008 6:45 pm

To some degree I both agree and disagree with some of the things you said. I believe there have always been great artists and that there continue to be great artists. There have always been mediocre artists and will always be mediocre artists (or even poor artist if you will). Perhaps the thing that time has changed the most is the accessibility people have to the tools to make art and also technology to promote art via the internet. It has made our world a much "smaller" place. I beg to differ that there is no serious training for artists today... there are serious art schools now just as there were in nearly any era and artists who you can be mentored by and train with like in any time. But don't you suppose there were some numbers of struggling middle of the road artists in those other times and places, they just didn't become famous enough for us to know about them? And years from now there will only be a handful from our time that will be remembered by future generations and art history books of tomorrow.

The amazing thing is that people who have talent perhaps now have more of a chance at finding it than they might once have done. And if they find it in them to share their work more people have a chance at seeing and enjoying it. I create and post art (not fine art per se) on the internet and people from all over the world comment and view and dare I say, admire it.... not many years ago I would not have dreamed of this. More art in the world (of any type, painted, written, performed) is, in my mind, a good thing. Like attracts like and self expression is a good and positive thing (though I don't profess to like all of it!).

I think really truly great people in any profession will naturally rise to the top given the right circumstances and given that they have some drive or will to succeed. I also believe this would be as true today as in the past. And then there is a discussion that could be had about what really makes a great artist? Some would not necessarily agree about Picasso being a great artist (he's often one used as an example of a great artist). Since art is subjective it's often difficult to state in absolutes, though you can let society's assessment be the ruler but you would seldom get total agreement. Art is in the eye of the beholder. Even society is fickle as to what they consider "great" art.... many now great artists were not considered so in their own time. It makes for lively discussions typically as there are many views on this.


____________________________________________________________________
in response to:
Martin_Weyers wrote:Gtrmnb1123b, welcome in the JCF conversation forums!

I don't think that it's a question of age. I sometimes feel quite the same. Just one little addition: I believe, that there are many "jewels in the muck hill", only that they are difficult to find. Everyone produces art today, everyone buys art, and so it's difficult not to get lost in the mist. I have an idea, that the internet with its search engines is one of the new clues that are given to us, to find what we are searching for.

There are indeed great artist. If you have an open mind and keep attentive, you will find some of them. I have mentioned some names in one of the first posts in this thread, but these are just perdsonal recommendations, and I'm not interested in discussing the value and importance of any artist. This would just lead astray. The best ist, just to listen to your heart, and don't care for what connoisserus and critics are saying.

Every year thousands and thousands of art students are leaving the art schools. So we have masses of artists, but probably not more great artists (and probably not fewer) than at, let's say, Veronese's times. During the Renaissance, most of the greatest artists were working at Florence, Venice, Siena, and a few other places. For people who were interested in contemporary art it was easy to find them - as far as they had the money to travel around, since there was no photography, no internet, and no airplanes that allow to to show the same exhibition in London, Paris, New York and Houston, if you have the money and influence of a Charles Saatchi.

Since there is no serious training for artists anymore, everyone can claim to be an artist. That's why we do have so many. Since everybody can purchase a book on "how to draw", today every interested and diligent housewife is able to learn drawing (more or less). There's an increase in quantity, so it's much more difficult to find quality.

At the times of a Picasso or Max Ernst, there were only a few hundred seriously working artists in the world. In the most prolific ages of art history, there were not more than, let's say, a half dozen great painters in each generation. Today it would be difficult to find them. That's the price we have to pay for prosperity and egalitarianism.

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Post by Poncho » Thu May 15, 2008 12:55 pm

A British artist (pre-BritArt generation like dear ol' Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst) has hit the headlines, but is he a 'proper' artist like Martin of Heidelburg?

Click HERE to find out and you can add your comments at end of article.


A masterpiece? er ... er ... I think not!

Oh ... and you may find this related article of interest too if you click HERE


Reminds me of the very old joke:

Q: How do you get a fat woman into bed (or here onto a sofa)?

A: Piece of cake!
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Post by David Allen Bales » Sat Jun 21, 2008 2:10 pm

After a gallery show in a small town on a rainy night, hardly anyone had walked through the door. I was thinking I had wasted my time. I was bitter. Art had never been very kind to me. I started a new painting the next day. An angry painting. KILL THE CLOWN. In the process of creating that painting I came to understand that it wasn't the finished product that mattered, it was the act of creation that made me want to keep working.Thats what made me feel the way I do about art. The act , not the curtain call, not the applause. Not he pat on the back. I don't paint and draw for the "public". I do this for me. If you don't like what I do I don't care. If I like it then that's enough. The artist Walter Inglis Anderson created to be in the now. He didn't realy care what happened to his art after he was done. Sometimes he would start his campfires with them. Read his Horn Island Logs. Being an artist, or anything for that matter, is not about your ego. Kill the Clown, kill the ego. It's enough to just love what you do. Art is creation.
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Post by snake » Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:45 am

David...

In the process of creating that painting I came to understand that it wasn't the finished product that mattered, it was the act of creation that made me want to keep working.Thats what made me feel the way I do about art. The act , not the curtain call, not the applause. Not he pat on the back. I don't paint and draw for the "public". I do this for me. If you don't like what I do I don't care. If I like it then that's enough. The artist Walter Inglis Anderson created to be in the now. He didn't realy care what happened to his art after he was done. Sometimes he would start his campfires with them. Read his Horn Island Logs. Being an artist, or anything for that matter, is not about your ego. Kill the Clown, kill the ego. It's enough to just love what you do. Art is creation.

BINGO!....

That is what I was trying to address...You stated it wonderfully!...You found 'the magic'...

It gives us a whole new perspective on how we've been conditioned to live and think...

"Paint as you like and die happy"...

Continued joyful painting to you David!...and everyone else!...
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Post by snake » Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:56 am

Tate Modern that home of Brit Art has come up with another wheeze, this time from a Cuban artist.

Hey, I've got cracks like that in my driveway!...And they didn't cost me nothin' either...Will cost me a whole bunch to fix though!...I live in Earthquake country, so bigger cracks than that are par for the course...

========

Here's another one...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/ ... ristti.art

EEEeeewwww!
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Post by Martin_Weyers » Mon Sep 15, 2008 1:37 pm

snake wrote:David...

In the process of creating that painting I came to understand that it wasn't the finished product that mattered, it was the act of creation that made me want to keep working.Thats what made me feel the way I do about art. The act , not the curtain call, not the applause. Not he pat on the back. I don't paint and draw for the "public". I do this for me. If you don't like what I do I don't care. If I like it then that's enough. The artist Walter Inglis Anderson created to be in the now. He didn't realy care what happened to his art after he was done. Sometimes he would start his campfires with them. Read his Horn Island Logs. Being an artist, or anything for that matter, is not about your ego. Kill the Clown, kill the ego. It's enough to just love what you do. Art is creation.

BINGO!....

That is what I was trying to address...You stated it wonderfully!...You found 'the magic'...

It gives us a whole new perspective on how we've been conditioned to live and think...

"Paint as you like and die happy"...

Continued joyful painting to you David!...and everyone else!...
I agree that the main motive of a creative artist should be creation rather than showing. I don't think though that an artist's need to share his work gives evidence of an ego-driven mind. I'm not having art shows to be admired (though that's fine with me too!) A real artist expresses his deepest experiences through his work. It's natural that he seeks for communication by sharing his work. In terms of the hero's journey, starting campfires with artworks that do have the potential to speak to others and inspire others is a way of refusal of the return.
Works of art are indeed always products of having been in danger, of having gone to the very end in an experience, to where man can go no further. -- Rainer Maria Rilke
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Post by snake » Wed Oct 08, 2008 6:31 am

I agree that the main motive of a creative artist should be creation rather than showing. I don't think though that an artist's need to share his work gives evidence of an ego-driven mind. I'm not having art shows to be admired (though that's fine with me too!) A real artist expresses his deepest experiences through his work. It's natural that he seeks for communication by sharing his work. In terms of the hero's journey, starting campfires with artworks that do have the potential to speak to others and inspire others is a way of refusal of the return.

Hi Martin....I agree...Did I ever imply anything about lighting 'fires' with the artwork?...I never meant such a thing at all...Or, maybe you are just adding to what was already posted...

As I've mentioned children before...And as you know...put a piece of paper in front of a young child who is free to do whatever they like...when done they will excitedly show it to whoever is around - they want to be seen and acknowledged - which is our wonderful need as humans...They would never think to destroy something they loved creating in the moment...

What begins to inhibit our creativity, and becomes painful is when someone becomes critical and starts pointing out our 'flaws', or what is 'wrong' with what we have been enthralled in, or so lovingly created...
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Post by Martin_Weyers » Sat Oct 18, 2008 7:50 pm

snake wrote: Did I ever imply anything about lighting 'fires' with the artwork?...I never meant such a thing at all...Or, maybe you are just adding to what was already posted...
Snake, I was referring here to David Allan Bales:
David Allen Bales wrote:The artist Walter Inglis Anderson created to be in the now. He didn't realy care what happened to his art after he was done. Sometimes he would start his campfires with them. Read his Horn Island Logs. Being an artist, or anything for that matter, is not about your ego. Kill the Clown, kill the ego. It's enough to just love what you do. Art is creation.
I just started reading The Gift by Lewis Hyde, and would like to recommend it to everyone seriously interested in the question of the relation between art, artists and modern society. (Another book by this author, Trickster makes this World, has been mentioned a few times in the forums.)

The original title from 1883 is The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property; For the new edition from 2007 the title has been changed into The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World
However, it's the same book. The Gift is a book about true art, which, according to the author, is a gift, rather than commodity.

To avoid a possible misunderstanding: Hyde is not saying that the artist shouldn't be paid for his work. What he says is, that modern society, with its overemphasis of economical values makes it tough for artists and other people who's work is not slanted toward moneymaking. He shares a variety of examples for the value of gift exchange, the way it is handled in tribal societies -- something we've lost.

I must think of something Tobias Meyer, the director of Sotheby’s Contemporary Department (and one of the pop stars of today's art world), once said about how to detect the quality of an art work: At the end of a public sale, he claimed, you know which one is a great art work, and which one is not. -- These people actually consider the prices on the art market as an inerrant indicator for artistic quality. What Hyde suggests is nothing less than an alternative draft, that regards artworks independant from economical values -- and also independant from the artist's ego.

I like the way Hyde considers artworks as gifts the artist receives (let's say, from the muses), and shares with society. If you see it that way -- as a gift you've received and that you want to share with your people -- it's a beautiful thing. Art shows are not always about the artist's ego (though many artists admittedly have a big one).
Works of art are indeed always products of having been in danger, of having gone to the very end in an experience, to where man can go no further. -- Rainer Maria Rilke
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Post by David Allen Bales » Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:07 pm

I think that the ego should be defined. The ego is that part of you that cares what others think about you or your work. That is the part of you that hurts when you are told that you are not good enough or that you are not following the rules. When you free yourself of that burden then you free your creative self. We will always care about others thoughts. The key is not to care too much. I think that what I was trying to say about art is that it is two different things. It is one thing to the artist and a very different thing to the viewer. I think that artists should get paid for their work and I will show my work as often as I can. I just started down the right path when I got my ego in the right place. As far as burning your art. That is the difference between the artist and the viewer. The artist is through with the piece and it doesn't realy matter if they share the message with the world. If you sell a painting it goes away and hangs on somebody else's wall . It's gone from the artist. If you burn it ,it is still gone. To the artist it realy doesn't matter that much. Not to me anyway. I would like to get paid for the piece before the burning. I just don't think that it should be taken that seriously. The act of creation is all about being in the now. It's not about how much it's worth.
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Post by Martin_Weyers » Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:24 am

My own experience is a bit different. The idea that the artist is interested in creating only, and does not care about the audience and the artwork as an achievement, is a quite new idea. Few artists of the past would have agreed with that viewpoint.

If you understand creating art as a way not only of self-realization or spiritual exercise, but also communicative refinement of mankind, it does matter, if the finished artwork continues to exist. Artworks enrich our lives; And artworks enrich the world, like flowers and people.

The artist has to take care for the viewer - without fear of criticism involved. While creating an artwork, the artist switches between creating and viewing, testing the impact on the viewer.

To improve in the arts, communication is indispensable. Even criticism can be helpful, as long as it is part of the communication between artist and audience, and not just intellectual quarrel or condescension.

I don't consider producing art as something completely separated from society. Of course, for the artist, there's the need to retreat - the artist studio as a "sacred space" that helps to focus. However, the blooming in the arts, no matter if we talk about the works of Titian or van Gogh, Bach or Mozart, is the result not of pure withdrawal from society, but of a balancing act between retreat and social exchange.

Great art is not produced by individuals in blissful moments; In a way it's created by community, by culture, by civilization, with the artist as its servant.

That's why producing art is not always fun; It can be joyful, and it can be an ordeal. Joyful participation in the sorrows of the world means, to me, also joyful participation in the burden of creating something that is bigger than me, and yet a crystallization of the best parts of myself.

To share my work helps me to connect to the best parts of other human beings, in service of life and transcending ego, rather than ego boosting.
Works of art are indeed always products of having been in danger, of having gone to the very end in an experience, to where man can go no further. -- Rainer Maria Rilke
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