How broad is your definition of art?

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The Unleasher
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19 Mar 2017, 4:58 pm

I do not consider an upside down toilet art. Yes, there is a place nearby where that's considered art. I consider art anything that conveys a specific message and has time put into it. Anyone can draw five scribbles and say, "It represents why racism needs to stop."


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19 Mar 2017, 5:01 pm

jrjones9933 wrote:
ThisAdamGuy wrote:
thewrll wrote:
So if you don't understand it then it's not art? Really? I am a horrible artist but when I draw it's art. Just because you don't have talent doesn't make the piece less a piece of art. Please rethink your response.


And there lies the major problem. You either have to put a limit on what art is, or literally everybody on earth is an artist. I made a sandwich, therefore I'm an artist. I combed my hair, so I'm an artist. I can fart louder than anybody I know, so I must be an artist (fartist?) Personally, I'd prefer that there be limitations set up to discern whether what you've made is art, and whether or not you're an artist, rather than hand out participation trophies to everyone who wants to be called an artist.

You might think that works under my definition, above, but it only works if you convince at least one other person that it might be art. Soup cans signed by Warhol still have a high value, unless they explode and spread botulism all over the place... Maybe I can put one in an acrylic box, explode it, sign it and sell it as my own art?


It's worth a try. :lol:


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jrjones9933
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19 Mar 2017, 5:06 pm

The Unleasher wrote:
I do not consider an upside down toilet art. Yes, there is a place nearby where that's considered art. I consider art anything that conveys a specific message and has time put into it. Anyone can draw five scribbles and say, "It represents why racism needs to stop."


Image
Marcel Duchamp
Bicycle Wheel
Currently on display in MOMA


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20 Mar 2017, 1:53 pm

Creating my own art over time slowly prevented me from seeing specific actions or images as art. Helping out as an admin in online art groups also exposes you to a lot of other people's definitions of art, and you quickly learn to be neutral because your task is not to exclude in most cases, but categorise. When I'm out and about I often look at the silhouettes of trees against the sky and find the art in nature, while some people take it specifically and let nature do the art for them, e.g. placing acrylics on a canvas and putting the whole thing out in the rain. I suppose my definition is that it's an expression of humanity at it's best.
In a funny way I liken art to mathematics: a universal language that everyone can comprehend, except the latter only produces a single correct answer.


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Amebix
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20 Mar 2017, 6:04 pm

This point's basically already been made, but again, it doesn't have to be good or valuable to be art.
When I was a kid, I once saw a piece in an art museum called "Blue." It was literally just a huge piece of blue cloth on top of a canvas. I instantly thought it was BS. I read the comment on the piece, and apparently it was meant to be soothing, and remind one of childhood feelings of warmth, like a blue blanket. I still thought it was BS, and I still do. I think anything conceptual that needs an explanation to have value is BS. And I think it's insane and idiotic that anyone would spend tens of thousands of dollars on a big piece of blue cloth. But all that said, just because it's BS doesn't mean it's not "art." "Art" is a loaded term. There are art genres that resonate strongly with me, like futurism, Cubism, Taoist art, renaissance art, African tribal art, constructivism, expressionism, etc. There's art that doesn't resonate with me, but that I have respect for, like minimalism, abstract expressionism, impressionism, etc. And then there's art that I have no real respect for, like "Blue." But it's all art. Just don't assume that art has to have any real value.



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23 Mar 2017, 10:46 pm

I remember sometimes my sister would get lower grades on art for being 'too artistic' like once she was supposed to draw what was in a photograph. It was like blades of grass with sticks and other plants, so she added a very realistic spider web with a spider in it....she got a bad grade on the assignment for adding that. because it was 'supposed' to just be a copy of the photograph. I thought that was such B.S, if anything she should have got extra credit for that.


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jrjones9933
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23 Mar 2017, 10:54 pm

Amebix wrote:
This point's basically already been made, but again, it doesn't have to be good or valuable to be art.
When I was a kid, I once saw a piece in an art museum called "Blue." It was literally just a huge piece of blue cloth on top of a canvas. I instantly thought it was BS. I read the comment on the piece, and apparently it was meant to be soothing, and remind one of childhood feelings of warmth, like a blue blanket. I still thought it was BS, and I still do. I think anything conceptual that needs an explanation to have value is BS. And I think it's insane and idiotic that anyone would spend tens of thousands of dollars on a big piece of blue cloth. But all that said, just because it's BS doesn't mean it's not "art." "Art" is a loaded term. There are art genres that resonate strongly with me, like futurism, Cubism, Taoist art, renaissance art, African tribal art, constructivism, expressionism, etc. There's art that doesn't resonate with me, but that I have respect for, like minimalism, abstract expressionism, impressionism, etc. And then there's art that I have no real respect for, like "Blue." But it's all art. Just don't assume that art has to have any real value.

If you find yourself in Houston, go down to the museum district and see the Rothko Chapel.


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24 Mar 2017, 3:17 pm

I have a /very/ broad definition of art-with-no-capital letter: I apply it as an umbrella term for a huge range of creative and aesthetic practices ranging from Superman comics to Guernica via Footloose and my gran's watercolours. I specify "visual art" for painting, sculpture, video installation etc. I've very little patience for making a dividing line between the "high"Arts and the rest, particularly since supposedly "low" arts like comics or rock have produced some of the most intelligent and orignal work of the past century while the "high" were lost in stagnant navel-gazing.

Myself, I'm a songwriter who defected from classical music rather than try to learn an acceptable post-Serialist style for an audience consisting of three other composers to nod knowingly about. Contemporary classical music is still music to me, though, however impatient I am with it. Every so often you still find something good hiding amid all the third-hand redigested Webern. I'm friends with composers who still work in it, with the best of artistic intentions. I don't envy them.

I'm happy to call all kinds of wierd and pointless gallery exhibits "art," so long as I can also call them "crap art." Hell, there's plenty of modernist art I actually like. I love Leeds art gallery because the curators have a knack of selecting contemporary art that's actually visually interesting instead of all "you gotta read the notes to understand it." Which is a serious disease amoung both visual artists and composers. To be a serious high artist, you apparently must a) have a horribly contrived "concept" behind everything and b) work in a style that is ugly or incomprehensible to the vast majority of the population. Conceptual art done well can be great. Conceptual art done 'cos that's how you impress art prize judges is usually awful.

</rant>


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Amebix
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24 Mar 2017, 7:59 pm

jrjones9933 wrote:
Amebix wrote:
This point's basically already been made, but again, it doesn't have to be good or valuable to be art.
When I was a kid, I once saw a piece in an art museum called "Blue." It was literally just a huge piece of blue cloth on top of a canvas. I instantly thought it was BS. I read the comment on the piece, and apparently it was meant to be soothing, and remind one of childhood feelings of warmth, like a blue blanket. I still thought it was BS, and I still do. I think anything conceptual that needs an explanation to have value is BS. And I think it's insane and idiotic that anyone would spend tens of thousands of dollars on a big piece of blue cloth. But all that said, just because it's BS doesn't mean it's not "art." "Art" is a loaded term. There are art genres that resonate strongly with me, like futurism, Cubism, Taoist art, renaissance art, African tribal art, constructivism, expressionism, etc. There's art that doesn't resonate with me, but that I have respect for, like minimalism, abstract expressionism, impressionism, etc. And then there's art that I have no real respect for, like "Blue." But it's all art. Just don't assume that art has to have any real value.

If you find yourself in Houston, go down to the museum district and see the Rothko Chapel.

Thanks for the recommendation! I just looked up images of it online, and it looks incredible



BrokenPieces
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24 Mar 2017, 8:57 pm

To me, art is self expression. So while I don't think a bicycle wheel on a stool is impressive, I can't say that the creator wasn't expressing him/herself. I don't think it's fair to say that art can only be defined by the majority or a major industry. There are some things in the fashion industry that I think should have stayed an idea. I've seen a painting in a large office that was just a horizontal line across a white canvas. (It annoyed me because it wasn't straight.) I was told it wasn't supposed to be straight because it represented life, and life wasn't a completely straight line. Makes no sense to me - I would draw something deeper if I wanted to represent life on a canvas. But I can't say it isn't art.

Another example, I love surrealist paintings and my sister and other family don't understand them at all. So it's a matter of perspective, like most things.



MorganG729
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24 Mar 2017, 9:00 pm

My definition of art is very broad. To me, anything can be art.

I mean, I've only been drawing for a year and painting for 6-7 months, and I improvise. My own art likely comes off as an incoherent mess, to most people, I'm pretty sure. Abstract expressionism is I guess what I'd call it, but to most, I'm sure it's just outsider drivel that looks like what a little kid would do, sadly. You can see and hear pretty much all of my best stuff to this point - music, art, photography - on my website which is at my profile, for those curious, but I'm always experimenting and coming up with something that I think is better than the last thing. In music in particular, I'm only of the past few days learning more about minimalist phrasing in blues music, my preferred style, so most of what's on my website is garbage compared to what I've begun doing.

In any case, I realize this, that my works aren't up to snuff on many levels, but nonetheless, I feel that my passion is there, and I love the emotional and cathartic act of creating in and of itself. To me, that makes me an artist, even already! Just not a professional one, though who knows what I can perhaps do if given more time in these fields? I may be the next B.B. King or Jimi Hendrix or Vincent Van Gogh, and not know it yet, for all I'm aware. Not that I believe this - just reinforcing the point of why I personally believe any artist should be encouraged. I was in one student art show that was put on by an acclaimed local teacher, recently. People definitely thought of my work as sort of weird, I think, but were friendly about it. I own that eccentric weirdness, so it didn't matter to me.

I think so long as passion, emotion, individuality and creativity, and intent are there, you're always an artist on some level, regardless of what you do.

The stuff I've personally been cynical about in the past is stuff - even though it is art, in my mind, and has merit - that I perceive as being less eccentric or unique. I found out about an artist, John McLaughlin (not the jazz-rock guitarist who is absolutely brilliant in my own opinion), who had a bunch of untitled paintings with white canvases and coloured strips. It was minimalist, yes, but it seemed like the sort of thing where he probably used a ruler and tape, drew off the outlines, and spray-painted over it to create such perfected yet simple geometric figures. Personally, give me a frenzy of oddity and chaos over that. Nonetheless, that style is absolutely art as well, just not art for me. I do respect it, though. As I said - no one doing art should be torn down or discouraged, in my opinion. It's just about what works for some and not for others, to me.

This is just a matter of personal taste, to me. Anything can be art, to me.



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04 May 2017, 3:43 pm

My definition of art is paintings, drawings and sculptures.

No matter how much I love some books, games and movies, and no matter how beautiful they might be, I don't think of them as art.

ThisAdamGuy wrote:
But then you have people who put a baseball in a bird cage, put a rock in a hole, or spill lima beans on the floor, and call it art. To me, that's not art. The less the audience (is that even the right word?) is able to understand the art, the less they're able to identify with it. The less they're able to identify with it, the more worthless it becomes (in my opinion).
I agree completely with this. and IMO there are far too much "art" like that. I call it nonsense and worthless. Calling it art is a mockery of actual art IMO.

I think the same of nonsense plays and books, where there is no story or plot, just random nonsense.

To me, a poem isn't truly a poem if it doesn't rhyme. No matter how lyrical it might be.


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04 May 2017, 4:48 pm

Very broad. I really do believe that anything creative can be art. I love Tracey Emin's bed, though a lot would say it's not really art..


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04 May 2017, 5:27 pm

This is something I don't consider art. It's quality is just too poor, IMO.
Image



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04 May 2017, 5:48 pm

I feel like the "anything can be art" mindset is a byproduct or the "everyone gets a trophy" age. We're afraid of offending and excluding anyone, so we'll throw out all our standards and cave the minute someone says "I'm an artist" or "this is art."


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