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Bill Mobbs
06-08-2007, 05:58 PM
It is my opinion that almost without exception the reason photographers and other artists (me included) make photographs is for the same reason some person 10,000 years ago draw lines around his hand and included pictures of some of his cattle. A search for significance is all. Just so others will know we were here at some time in the past. If this were not the main reason then there would be no reason to sign our work or seek copyrights to protect it. If “who done it” does not matter.... It would be free..... Who cares who claims it! My two granddaughters (6yrs and 2yrs) already know I am a great artist. That’s enough for me. My exhibition gallery may be an old shoe box in the garage. That too is good enough.

Oh, to the idea of what is art..... The stuff I do IS art .... The stuff you do IS art. We are all artists. It does not have to mean anything at all.

Just my opinion.

Best regards,

Bill

jd callow
06-08-2007, 06:49 PM
I believe we should be exalting in *our* artists today as we do our sports/pop hero's.

I'm probably wrong with regard to treating art and artists of our time and art in general as we do pop culture. I'm not sure what can done, but a good start might be to treat the humanities as one of the most important scholastic activities opposed to an elective.

jovo
06-08-2007, 06:53 PM
A search for significance is all. Just so others will know we were here at some time in the past. If this were not the main reason then there would be no reason to sign our work or seek copyrights to protect it.

The reason it's so hard to be certain of the provenance of Vermeer's work, I think, is that little or none of it is signed. Were he accountable to the IRS, I suspect he would have cited his profession as painter, not artist. (since I have no belief in heaven or hell, I doubt I'll ever get to confirm that statement). As everyone who buys a download from itunes knows, anyone with an available product is an 'artist', and that is bullshit with capital letters. Such people are artists because their producers say they are and their client/fans accept the term without challenge. As a consequence, in my view, the term 'artist' is meaningless and the term 'art' is also badly damaged.

I agree with JD....use the term 'art' or 'artist' contemporaneously if you wish to. In fact bandy it about with complete abandon. I just won't be one of the people who, a priori, agrees that it applies. The acclamation and approbation of others, over time, confers the value and validity of those words, and not our own self-declarations. I also believe the term will be applied to the work of many who meet the criteria so ably and aptly presented in this thread.

Christopher Nisperos
06-08-2007, 07:17 PM
Let us agree that artistic expression has certain qualities that have held true since the beginning. The first of these is that it is an original creation of something heretofore unknown and heretofore unproduced and second that it engages both the senses and the emotions of the artist and a portion of those who may view the original work...... Your thoughts are appreciated. I would hope that this fosters a constructive dialogue...I have no interest in contentions that seek only to fortify the constructs of our egos.

I have no answers for these questions. I have only questions...but they are damned important questions to me as a human being first and foremost and subsequently of one who aspires to artistic expression.

Your thoughts are appreciated. I would hope that this fosters a constructive dialogue...I have no interest in contentions that seek only to fortify the constructs of our egos.



Donald,

Since I respect the sincerity of your post, please understand in advance that my irrepressible sense of humor sometimes creeps out at inopportune moments ... like now.. Dude! You've been watching too many Ingmar Bergman films! Ok, back to seriousness. Here are some thoughts, offered —as you put it— in the spirit of constructive dialogue:

Basically, I in fact cannot agree that artistic expression is necessarily "an original creation of something heretofore unknown and heretofore unproduced". I would agree if you simply called it original artistic expression. I do not believe, however, that a person needs to satisfy some sort of "qualification" of pure originality in order the be seen as expressing him-or-herself.

On your second point, that "[artistic expression] engages both the senses and the emotions of the artist and a portion of those who may view the original work", I believe you're half right. Logically, artistic expression must engage the senses and emotions of the artist —otherwise he would never bother picking up a camera ...or paint brush... or never feel the need to sit down to write music, jokes, stories, poems or letters (yes, I believe a letter can be artistic).

For the rest —I mean, you're not "wrong", per se— one's artistic expression will only effect a portion of those who see it. I know that I'm mixing oranges with tangerines a bit, but the point is, nothing is really "Art" until someone —anyone other than its creator— appreciates it as such. Otherwise it's just a sort of non-erotic masturbation ... something the artist made to please himself.

The creator of something has no right to call it "art". The object of one's creation become "art" only at the instant someone else is moved by it, even if that sensation is hatred. In effect, this means that artistic expression can exist without its object being called art. Think of a sculptor creating a tiny statuette which he keeps in his pocket, never to be seen by anyone else. He dies and is buried with it. It was his artistic expression, but was it "art"? Yes? How would we know? We never saw it and never will.

==============

Regarding your other questions which, again, I respect because they so obviously came from the heart: I began to answer them, one-by-one, but I stopped and erased them. Your questions, by their nature, are a bit heavy and my answers, due to their concision, were coming across as being sacastic. Still, I think you'll find value in simple answers. Zen it out.

It would be much easier if you'd come-on over to Paris and discuss this whole thing with me at the Café Flore, where Sartre used to hang out. I'll pay for the first coffee (really*). I even have one eye that wigs-out like his did ... especially when I'm tired, like now. No Gaulloise allowed after 2008 (whew... I'm a non-smoker anyway!).

Bonne nuit,

Christopher

*serious offer. E-mail me if you come. Second coffee is on you!

.

Curt
06-08-2007, 08:32 PM
Wow I wish I had known that a year ago when I was in Paris. I would, without a doubt looked you up.

I kept asking everyone I met where the Photographs are and where are Photographic galleries. I was point to some outdoor photos by a cab driver. Here in the US, at least on the West Coast, photography is very strong.:cool:

jd callow
06-08-2007, 09:03 PM
For the rest —I mean, you're not "wrong", per se— one's artistic expression will only effect a portion of those who see it. I know that I'm mixing oranges with tangerines a bit, but the point is, something really isn't Art until someone —anyone other than its creator— appreciates it as such. Otherwise it's just masturbation, in the academic sense of the word.

.
that is so true.

I've nearly gone blind from producing stuff that no one gets to see and as it is I need to wash my hands in nair. It is tough to get over the arrogance of some of these folks. Just because they go to school for years, get a 'fine art' degree or two, they think they can then call their life's work art.

jstraw
06-08-2007, 09:26 PM
that is so true.

I've nearly gone blind from producing stuff that no one gets to see and as it is I need to wash my hands in nair. It is tough to get over the arrogance of some of these folks. Just because they go to school for years, get a 'fine art' degree or two, and then spend the rest of their adult life producing stuff that they think they have the right to call art.


Indeed. How dare they. I must move someone other than myself to know if I've expressed my vision. If I'm not validated, I'm not an artist.

jstraw
06-08-2007, 09:26 PM
That's called sarcasm, friends.

DrPablo
06-09-2007, 12:44 AM
I think the word 'artist' need not be confined to great or good artists.

I think even young children can have a real artistic impulse, a need or desire to create beautiful images or sounds. They may not have the technical aptitude or abstract thought processes of an adult, but if they're doing it out of the impulse to create something, then it really is art, not just a craft.

Isn't an artist simply a person who creates art? And a professional artist simply a person who creates art professionally? So there's nothing wrong with identifying one's self as an artist -- because frankly it's a pretty empty term.

I partially agree with JD that time is a poor measure of great art. But I disagree in that time is indeed a good measure of bad art, or at least mediocre art. The bad art gets filtered out. And the bad art that was popular in its time gets viewed very critically by posterity (take Soviet realism, for example). Time is a better filter for bad art than it is for great art.

DrPablo
06-09-2007, 12:55 AM
nothing is really "Art" until someone —anyone other than its creator— appreciates it as such. Otherwise it's just a sort of non-erotic masturbation ... something the artist made to please himself.

How is that any different when someone else views it? So instead of non-erotic masturbation it becomes non-erotic sex with someone else? And if it's viewed in a grand opening in a gallery it's a non-erotic orgy? Why does the word Art require extension? It may not have any impact as a work of art if no one else sees it, but how does that change what it is?


The creator of something has no right to call it "art". The object of one's creation become "art" only at the instant someone else is moved by it, even if that sensation is hatred.

They absolutely have the right to call their own work art. They also have the right to call it an aardvark, a kumquat, or a Martian.

Why do we now have to superimpose the necessity that someone be moved by it? It may well be possible that no one has ever been truly moved by one of Jackson Pollock's paintings. Or truly moved by Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors. So if you're intrigued by the former, or amused by the latter, is that enough? I mean I was intrigued by a baby sparrow that I saw today, and I'm amused by Seinfeld reruns. I don't think being moved as a viewer is necessary, and it's certainly not sufficient.

I think it just shows that the word art, per se, is pretty vacuous, and it's best used to describe or categorize rather than define something. Art is a human engagement for which there are constituent examples, or "works". Whether one of these works stands out technically, aesthetically, or philosophically can only be determined in context. But if it doesn't stand out that doesn't make it not art.

copake_ham
06-09-2007, 01:17 AM
Donald,

Since I respect the sincerity of your post, please understand in advance that my irrepressible sense of humor sometimes creeps out at inopportune moments ... like now.. Dude! You've been watching too many Ingmar Bergman films! Ok, back to seriousness. Here are some thoughts, offered —as you put it— in the spirit of constructive dialogue:

Basically, I in fact cannot agree that artistic expression is necessarily "an original creation of something heretofore unknown and heretofore unproduced". I would agree if you simply called it original artistic expression. I do not believe, however, that a person needs to satisfy some sort of "qualification" of pure originality in order the be seen as expressing him-or-herself.

On your second point, that "[artistic expression] engages both the senses and the emotions of the artist and a portion of those who may view the original work", I believe you're half right. Logically, artistic expression must engage the senses and emotions of the artist —otherwise he would never bother picking up a camera ...or paint brush... or never feel the need to sit down to write music, jokes, stories, poems or letters (yes, I believe a letter can be artistic).

For the rest —I mean, you're not "wrong", per se— one's artistic expression will only effect a portion of those who see it. I know that I'm mixing oranges with tangerines a bit, but the point is, nothing is really "Art" until someone —anyone other than its creator— appreciates it as such. Otherwise it's just a sort of non-erotic masturbation ... something the artist made to please himself.

The creator of something has no right to call it "art". The object of one's creation become "art" only at the instant someone else is moved by it, even if that sensation is hatred. In effect, this means that artistic expression can exist without its object being called art. Think of a sculptor creating a tiny statuette which he keeps in his pocket, never to be seen by anyone else. He dies and is buried with it. It was his artistic expression, but was it "art"? Yes? How would we know? We never saw it and never will.

==============

Regarding your other questions which, again, I respect because they so obviously came from the heart: I began to answer them, one-by-one, but I stopped and erased them. Your questions, by their nature, are a bit heavy and my answers, due to their concision, were coming across as being sacastic. Still, I think you'll find value in simple answers. Zen it out.

It would be much easier if you'd come-on over to Paris and discuss this whole thing with me at the Café Flore, where Sartre used to hang out. I'll pay for the first coffee (really*). I even have one eye that wigs-out like his did ... especially when I'm tired, like now. No Gaulloise allowed after 2008 (whew... I'm a non-smoker anyway!).

Bonne nuit,

Christopher

*serious offer. E-mail me if you come. Second coffee is on you!

.

Now let me see.

The self-appointed "artists" (the "usual suspects" here) will scorn me if I call the above quote the bunch of crap that it is - because that will be an example of my unexaulted, non-artist, plebian status.

So, instead, I should accept the above rant of the ridiculous as serious discussion point on what is "Art" and whether photography "qualifies"? [See OT].

Now the best thing about the rant is the claim that it cannot be "Art" if it isn't validated by being seen and approved as such by others. Didn't we just recently have a thread that got all discombobulated after some poster claimed that it cannot be Art if it IS validated by others - because then it is a sell-out?

What a bunch of malarkey this stuff is.

Reading through all of these threads, and many more I'm sure will follow, I have reached the ultimate conclusion as to what (who) Art is:

Art is the fellow a.k.a. Grt2Bart who likes to eat popcorn here!

Oh, as to the poster, Christopher, I can assure you of one thing above all - the next time I am in Paris - I will NOT be calling on you. And, to make things's "fair", the next time you are in NYC, you don't have to call on me either!

So we're even - and don't have to worry about who picks up the cafe billet.

TheFlyingCamera
06-09-2007, 07:47 AM
There's no class war going on here on APUG. I really don't get why some folks seem to think that artist is a dirty word. Unless they feel that they have nothing to say with their images, and resent those who do. Yes, I see myself as an Artist with a capital A, but I bear no ill will toward those who practice photography as a craft or a hobby.

gr82bart
06-09-2007, 08:09 AM
Much, much, much ... sip ... much, much, much ....

Regards, Art.

jd callow
06-09-2007, 07:31 PM
I partially agree with JD that time is a poor measure of great art. But I disagree in that time is indeed a good measure of bad art, or at least mediocre art. The bad art gets filtered out. And the bad art that was popular in its time gets viewed very critically by posterity (take Soviet realism, for example). Time is a better filter for bad art than it is for great art.
Sadly I don't see time always doing justice to the bad. It seems that many marginal, at best, artists and objects of art are given permanent residence with greater works simply because of association with a movement, period or age. Often art is marginalized because the significance of the context in time is lost or the preceding or following movement was so overwhelmingly 'better.' Some art and artists are completely glossed over because they stood alone, were out of step or followed a path that was a dead end.

Art historians or art history can be exceedingly arrogant in its determination of what is significant.

Meanwhile, if we constantly view art through the rearview mirror, or use what has passed as the measure we miss all the possibilities that are there in front of us. I try and see the opportunity. I love the work of some of the experimenters here on apug and elsewhere. I could not care less if their works or mine survives or meets the measure that all too often is wrong, wrongheaded or contrived. Not everything needs to be grand to have value and some value is fleeting.

DrPablo
06-09-2007, 07:41 PM
I think there is some value even in preserving more pedestrian art from past eras. But right now, especially with the internet, there is such an overabundance of mediocrity (simply because of the abundance) that it wil take more than time to wash it away.

Curt
06-09-2007, 07:47 PM
I see George forgot to take his medication again today. Since when did the A in APUG stand for Asshole Brigade? There's no class war going on here on APUG. I really don't get why some folks seem to think that artist is a dirty word. Unless they feel that they have nothing to say with their images, and resent those who do. Yes, I see myself as an Artist with a capital A, but I bear no ill will toward those who practice photography as a craft or a hobby.
__________________

I am getting very close to what I believe.

I am an Artist working in the medium of Photography.
I call myself a Photographer.

Similar to an Artist working in the medium of Painting.
They call themselves Painters.

I am also an Artist who works in the medium of Graphic Design.
I am also a Graphic Designer.

So I am an Artist who works in Photography and Graphic Design.

jd callow
06-09-2007, 07:54 PM
I have no issue with preserving pedestrian work or studying any and all that have come before. I take issue with time being the arbiter of what is art, when there is a big wide world of things being created everyday that deserves our attention.

jstraw
06-09-2007, 07:57 PM
I am getting very close to what I believe.

I am an Artist working in the medium of Photography.
I call myself a Photographer.

Similar to an Artist working in the medium of Painting.
They call themselves Painters.

I am also an Artist who works in the medium of Graphic Design.
I am also a Graphic Designer.

So I am an Artist who works in Photography and Graphic Design.

But graphic design isn't art. :D

copake_ham
06-09-2007, 08:23 PM
I have the highest degree of respect for those who are "artists". What I am weary of is the constant, unresolvable debate as to "who" is an artist!

The minute one asks that question is the minute that all hell breaks loose here because it is UNANSWERABLE!

It's just a fodder question to get folks all in a dither!

(OMG - I live in NYC and I just used the word "dither". I may have to do time in the provinces now!).

Now, Art, I'll try to remember your real Avatar name if you remember to put the "n" in "munch"! ;)

copake_ham
06-09-2007, 08:46 PM
The intention with saying: "self-appointed 'artists'" was to convey the message that no one "validates" art. Therefore no one validates "artists".

Just do what you do and why worry what anyone else thinks?