July 07, 2006

Art for Art's Sake

What constitutes art? How central is craft in true art?

And, whose work do you dig the most: 1) the old masters, 2) the impressionists, 3) Picasso/Kandinsky et al.?

Should art support linear thought or complement it?

Should it be representational, or abstract?

Should it delight the eye, or get one to think?

Posted by Attila Girl at July 7, 2006 10:47 AM | TrackBack

I never understood what made something art. I think it's just anything made with the purpose of pleasing the eye. If it makes you think or feel, that just makes it 'good' art.

I am a painter, though admittedly somewhat ameteur. Here's my latest, "Vineyard Mornings". It's reminiscent of Renoir, but as you can see I'm still not very good at paining clouds :(

Posted by: Kevin at July 7, 2006 12:33 PM

Oops! I linked to a funny Greg Gutfield post on Global Warming by mistake. Here's my painting.

(jokes are less funny if you blow the timing, huh)

Posted by: Kevin at July 7, 2006 12:36 PM

Well, why cannot a painting delight the eye and set one to thinking?

Personally, I've always felt that artists who were able to draw a horse before going in for abstraction had much better provisioned careers.

Having said that, Attila Girl, please do go over and submit your "rapity-rape" poem to the post at Ace's place regarding another PW troll. Jeff's site has been down due to DoS, probably incited by the strange creature who threatened Satchel in the comments.


Posted by: Dan Collins at July 7, 2006 03:36 PM

I think art should convey feelings. We look at something for an impression and a feeling.

Too often I see art being used as commentary or political retoric. Sometimes I see what is aluded to as art which I am sure is artistic humor as they run to the bank. (Urinals as art)

One thing we will not know for sure is what is really art today. Because true art withstands the detriment of time. It will still be art 100 years from now. So when you look at art think, in a 100 years which do you think will be in a museum.

Posted by: Jack at July 7, 2006 07:58 PM

I like classical architecture, sculpture, frescos, mosaics and decorative arts. I like medieval gothic painting and sculpture and the same in Renaissance art. I appreciate neoclassical and romantic paintings from the 19th and early 20th Centuries and think mid-20th Century American painters like Grant Wood and Edward Hopper are great.

Obviously I like physically recognizable subjects in art -- people, places, and things -- with allegorical or pensive themes. Art that pleases me most is that which opens my mind to reflections on the significance of human activity, self-perception of one's place in society, and difficult emotions such as loss, loneliness, alienation, and the occasional human triumph.

Surrealist painters like Dali and Rene Magritte, who distort and manipulate conventional images to stimulate reflection and emotion, are also high on my list.

On the other hand, I just don't get artists like Jackson Pollock and Alexander Calder. I'm more the balding old guy in Norman Rockwell's "Abstract & Concrete," who is looking at an abstract painting with an unknowable reaction, than I am what the old man is looking at. Hey, the colors are nice and aesthetically pleasing (sometimes) but WTF is the artist "trying to say?" So color me confused and unappreciative of most modern art, and if that makes me a Philistine or troglodyte, so be it.

Posted by: Redhand at July 7, 2006 10:41 PM

There really are no "shoulds" in art. I believe this to be true no matter the form. We who are artists at heart leave the "shoulds" to the critics, then ignore them from a distance while we continue to pursue whatever definition of "art" strikes our fancies.

The only "should" I would even consider would be that no one "should" be forced to endure municipal art that costs taxpayers tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars for the express purpose of making your municipality a laughing stock. Those responsible "should" spend the rest of their natural lives locked in the hoosegow.

Posted by: Woody at July 8, 2006 01:15 AM

It should delight the mind and the eye.

Posted by: Sissy Willis at July 8, 2006 02:57 PM

Well, said, Sissy.

Dan, I can't remember the "rapity rape" poem, except that I was making fun of people who assumed Darleen and I (and all Jeff's commenters) were self-hating women.

Posted by: Attila Girl at July 8, 2006 03:53 PM

"Art. Isn't that a man's name?"

A. Warhol

Posted by: Gregor Samsa Mendel at July 8, 2006 05:39 PM

Sissy's post reminds me of another quote on art...just can't place it


Art should be uplifting (enlightening?) otherwise, what's it for?

Interestingly, Puffington Host just had an article about how it is so NATURAL that only liberals are creative and produce "art."


Posted by: Darleen at July 9, 2006 11:18 AM

Also, they are the only intelligent people. At least, that's what they've been telling me.

Posted by: Attila Girl at July 9, 2006 02:24 PM

Here. This is art.

REAL art.


Posted by: k at July 9, 2006 04:40 PM

I thought this would make a great meme- so I'm going to use your questions ( with linkback) and answer them.
Great post!

Posted by: ilona at July 12, 2006 03:46 PM

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