Be brave little grasshopper ...

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by gr82bart, Mar 19, 2007.

  1. gr82bart

    gr82bart Subscriber

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    I'm kind of afraid to post this as I have a feeling I know how bad this may turn out ... but cross my fingers ... here goes ...

    If I said something like "The only real value one's art has is to one self and no one else." How would you guys and gals respond?

    Regards, Art. (Dives behind a nearest foxhole bunker for cover.)
     
  2. Colin Graham

    Colin Graham Member

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    I think if you really expect otherwise you're in for copious heartache. But I suppose there is a romantic futility to it.. :smile: While I value Wynn Bullock, I'd save my own negatives in a fire.
     
  3. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Art... I like to share my photographs with others, but if they don't like them... well, so be it. At the end of the day, they are ultimately made for me and my family and as you said, no one else. With that said, I appreciate feedback from other's (and from myself) as it's a great way to improve, but I don't make photographs just for the feedback.

    go forth grasshopper....
     
  4. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I don't think that it is true.

    If the sentence were changed to: "Your art may only have value to you." then I would be fine with it. In fact I operate under the premise that my art may only have value to me.
     
  5. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    Well....don't say something like that then...:wink: I'm not sure what 'art' you may be including or excluding, but the passion people bring to their love of their favorite music is formidable! It may even surpass the value the artist invested in it. I know that the two dimensional art we have in our house is exceedingly valuable to us....we look at it and spend time with it every day. No...I couldn't agree less with your premise if I understand it correctly.

    OTOH, if you are referring to the deep sense of satisfaction that making the art in question brings, then I suppose that's exclusive to the artist and couldn't be shared in any case.
     
  6. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    I cannot agree with this concept. I think that there are many artists in all areas of esthetic pursuit who live to share their talent with others.

    Why would anyone exhibit their photos at a gallery or even a Saturday street market if they didn't think others would value their art? Why would a great Diva or tenor sing on stage if they thought they were the only audience needed and can accomplish their art by singing in the shower?

    While I don't pursue public acceptance of my art (and hesitate to elevate it to that level) I think many (maybe most "artists") very much expect others to value their art at least as much as they do themselves.
     
  7. big_ben_blue

    big_ben_blue Member

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    but what if one is a "professional" artist and has to make a living out of it? A hungry stomach can make some pretty convincing arguments of ensuring ones art has "value" for the paying others too (preferably in cold hard cash). This value for the other party might be of a financial nature (investment) or a "pleasure" value (personal enjoyment). If you take a quick look across the historical landscape of "art", you'll quickly find that most of the "great" artists put just as much economical value and value for their patrons into their works as personal artistic value for themself; I would even go as far as saying most of these artists quite happily accepted degrading themselves as "whores" to the commerce (again, ideals are fine and dandy, but they don't pay the bills). And if one tried to defy the system - see vanGogh(sp?) and his rather miserable life. The system isn't fair for sure, and if one depends on it for livelyhood, best to find a middle ground without wandering of into the extremes. Just doing it for the pleasure of others will soon degrade one's art into sterile lifeless equivalents to those dreadful velvet Elvis paintings. Now OTOH, if one does NOT depend on the public aceptance of his or her art for income, then by all means, aim for the pure ideal and free youself from the restrains. It's just that not everyone has that luxuary. Even people on various artists grants still had to first convince someone of the value to the public of their work to secure those grants.
    As Jovo had mentioned, there are different forms of "value" to consider, and if one equals "value" with the satisfaction of the creation, then the original question would be reduntant (well, maybe you have some groupies around who get excited seeing the artist at work, they might get some value out of it too).
    I'll give this thread about four and a half pages until it's heading for the soap box. That's a great many grasshopper still to squash :wink:
     
  8. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    I would say that I photograph what moves me, and every time someone else gets something out of what I have done, it makes me happy, but I wouldn't stop even if everyone (please, pretend they don't already) said "Well, that's ... interesting"

    - Randy
     
  9. eddym

    eddym Member

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    If by "real" you mean "economic" then I would say that the only real/economic value that one's art has is whatever someone else is willing to pay you for it.
    If you don't mean "economic," then you need to better define your terms before the question can be answered.
     
  10. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I don't think people create art to be valued by others. I think that most create art to be creators and whatever happens next happens.
     
  11. Anupam Basu

    Anupam Basu Member

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    Art*,

    Art, or anything else, has no "value" as an innate attribute. That is to say value is not a metaphysical quality of the object itself. It is a function of external, that is to say semiotic, social and therefore arbitrary constructions. Given this, your use of the word "real" becomes problematic.

    On the other hand, given the unstable connotations of this "real," your statement is not objectively verifiable and hence not problematic at all. To you that is the "real" value of art, but it does not stop anyone else from positing some other kind of value. So no problem there, unless a lack of philosophical exactitude is considered a problem (in case you meant your claim to be an absolute one).

    -Anupam


    * - ignoring for the moment the wonderful self-reflexive possibilities of your statement - "Who am I to deny that maybe God is me?"
     
  12. Colin Graham

    Colin Graham Member

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    I think only you can decide what value means, or that's the point the way I understood it.
     
  13. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Point well taken, and in fact, I'm building a part-time portrait business into a full time one this year. So... yes.. I need people beyond my family to value my photography so they can subsidize said personal work! :tongue:
     
  14. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    My photography is of worth to myself. As to its worth to others, I will leave that to the historians and the auctioneers.
     
  15. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    That's a very elliptical statement, and is subject to many interpretations.

    The first one would be that art is truly worthless to anyone except its maker. If anybody has ever appreciated somebody else's artwork, then this proposition does not stand. I think it is the case. I appreciate other people's artwork. I have had people appreciating my work (thank you so much, the two people who did!). Ergo, my art has a real, existing value that is not limited to what I give it. It's not much, but it's true.

    The second one, a variation on the first, would be more to the effect that the only value of my art that I can really be sure of is the one I give it myself. Like Descartes, I fear so much to be deceived by other people's appreciation, that I will rely only on my own cogito to ground my knowledge. It's a pretty shaky position, that borders on solipsism. As Wittgenstein said, the problem with solipsists is that have yet to meet another one. Give a little trust to other people, Jimmy, that will do ya good.

    The third one, the more charitable one, would be that a photographer does not need approval to pursue his goals. Genius knows itself, but not-genius seldom recognize it. If people call you crap, sham, phoney, weak, or loser, then do not listen about their devaluation, and care instead for the shred of value you harbour within your breast about your art. Not a bad position to have, but if taken in a radical way, it might just be your downfall. Art is also communication, and taking cues from audience is just another tool you can use to make your art better. YMMV.

    There are, I am sure, plenty of other interpretations. But I'm tired tonight.

    So in the end, pithy statements do not necessarily embody great wisdom. They do wreak havoc on weak interpreters, however, who will tear each other to shreds in yes/no camps.

    Art, you little provocateur, have some more popcorn!
     
  16. timeslicer

    timeslicer Member

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    The experience internally generated in viewing photographs is self referential and implies Art of a sort. So the photo has a life beyond the original taker and that life is potentially artistic, even in the most crass photo.
     
  17. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If the phenomenon of eBay demonstrates anything, it is that there is an astounding amount of crap in the world that's of value to others.