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  1. #81
    jd callow's Avatar
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    George,
    That was not clear to me, but I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

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  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrPablo View Post
    I think the word 'artist' need not be confined to great or good artists.
    I do.

    Sure, one can apply it in a patronizing way, like to the six year old who shows you the school project he's using as a Mother's Day gift. But when applied to adults in any non-sarcastic way, then I will draw the line around a rather small circle.

    It's sad that photography is so deeply plagued by this problem. You don't see it among pianists or dancers or sculptors. My hunch is that it is a disease of consumer culture, the idea that purchasing of items (cameras, Rodinal, matte cutters,...) provide authoratative artistic validation -- a message that is trumpeted at us many times daily from many different sources.


    I can put Neosporin and bandaids on my kids' "owwwies" & I do own a nice set of German cutlery -- but would you call me an EMT, much less a surgeon? And if so, can I examine your head?

    "What Would Zeus Do?"
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  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjorke View Post
    I do.

    Sure, one can apply it in a patronizing way, like to the six year old who shows you the school project he's using as a Mother's Day gift. But when applied to adults in any non-sarcastic way, then I will draw the line around a rather small circle.
    If I take your meaning right, an artist is not someone who simply makes art.

    An artist is something more than that.

    I know this is unanswerable, but where do you place that threshold -- and what do you call everyone who falls below it? Amateur artist? Dilettante? Poseur? What about the person who has something profound to say, but lacks the technical skill to say it? What about the person with technical prowess but has nothing meaningful to say?


    I can put Neosporin and bandaids on my kids' "owwwies" & I do own a nice set of German cutlery -- but would you call me an EMT, much less a surgeon? And if so, can I examine your head?
    No, because there is a mandated training regime and a credentialling process for an EMT and for a surgeon. In fact, if you're a senior surgeon at a foreign medical school and you want to practice surgery in the United States, you are required to repeat your residency training to be credentialled here. If you pose as a health care worker but lack the official credentials, guess where you're headed when you get caught? But the FDA approves Neosporin and Bacitracin and Ibuprofen and Preparation H for lay use with usage guidelines and disclaimers on the packaging. But guess what -- as a physician with a DEA number and a medical license I can (and do) prescribe both ibuprofen and bacitracin in ways that are not written on the packaging at CVS.

    But to be an artist does not require any formal recognition as such. Yes, I realize there are organizations and bodies of all sorts. But that doesn't prevent someone from being the next great American sculptor if they keep to themselves.

    Feel free to examine my head, though -- sans German cutlery please.
    Paul

  4. #84
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    I"m going to start calling myself a "tsitra", and hope someone will start saying I've got it ass backward .

    I'm lucky/cursed enough to have a vocational/professional label that is recognized, and has financial and other values (I'm a lawyer), but in general those labels are of questionable value.

    If I take a good photograph, it has value.

    If I print or otherwise display a good photograph, it may very well have artistic value, or historic value, or sentimental value, or value as a source of memories or maybe financial value (or maybe some other type of value).

    Artistic value is one of the possibilities - and a really interesting one. I think artistic value is both difficult to define, and interesting to discuss. It may be the most important, and may be the longest lasting, but maybe not.

    I find this and the other parallel threads running at this time to be both fascinating and valuable, but I am concerned how focussed they are with definitions and labels.

    The best "Art" I've ever seen in the "flesh" are the paintings of El Greco, and Gaudi architecture in Barcelona. Somehow, words don't seem appropriate to, describe them, but I honour those who try.

    Matt

  5. #85
    jd callow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjorke View Post
    I do.

    Sure, one can apply it in a patronizing way, like to the six year old who shows you the school project he's using as a Mother's Day gift. But when applied to adults in any non-sarcastic way, then I will draw the line around a rather small circle.
    I assume this only applies to you and the work you are exposed to. Otherwise it would create a bit of a conundrum for the rest of us because I would imagine that your tastes, sensibilities and experiences would dictate a much different circle of artists than the next person. The work you see is certain to be different than what others are seeing as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by bjorke View Post
    It's sad that photography is so deeply plagued by this problem. You don't see it among pianists or dancers or sculptors. My hunch is that it is a disease of consumer culture, the idea that purchasing of items (cameras, Rodinal, matte cutters,...) provide authoratative artistic validation -- a message that is trumpeted at us many times daily from many different sources.
    I must admit I never thought of it as a consumer thing.
    I assume that you are referring to those who call their work 'Fine Art Photography' and that you attribute this to their purchase of cameras and all the regalia(?). I do bristle a bit when someone will say they are a 'Fine Art Photographer' and then lambaste anyone who calls themselves an artist -- it's ironic that these folks tend not to call themselves artists. Most people I know who call themselves artists (and they don't do it very often due to the stigma) often have at least an undergraduate degree in art and they all pursue art as if their life depended on it. I won't presume to decide which are *really* artists and which are not.

    I do, as I'm sure you do, try and find as many as I can and add them to my 'circle.'
    Last edited by jd callow; 06-10-2007 at 01:42 AM. Click to view previous post history.

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  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by jd callow View Post
    ...they all pursue art as if their life depended on it....
    This is an important criterion. Note that it disconnects from issues of money and fame and popularity, even accessability of the work.

    "What Would Zeus Do?"
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  7. #87
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jd callow View Post
    I wonder how Warhol will be viewed after Marilyn and Campbell soup are no longer a memory?
    In my view, as a post-modern genius and prophet who was among the first to understand the importance of fame, celebrity and self-promotion totally divorced from talent or content - using trash techniques and trash materials to make (possibly by accident) a profound statement about a trashy society.

  8. #88
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    I split with bjorke on this point. I think it's important to be able to recognize when the word "artist" is being used as an honorific and when it's not...and not to limit its use to that.

    I believe that "art" can be a term used to describe a work comprised of specific characteristics, without involving value judgments regarding merit. I believe the maker of art is an artist.
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. In velit arcu, consequat at, interdum sit amet, consequat in, quam.

  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjorke View Post
    This is an important criterion. Note that it disconnects from issues of money and fame and popularity, even accessability of the work.
    So then you'd discount all the great artists who had some other primary profession?

    Or would you project this 'necessity' on them by virtue of their work's quality?

    I think there are a lot of failed artists who produce worthless crap because of lack of vision and / or technical skill -- but they've still got that burning, and they do it as if their life depends on it (until they're starving and they need to do something else because their life really does depend on it).

    I understand the criteria you use -- and still the 'artist' you envision seems little more to me than a Platonic ideal. There isn't really a clear cut way to distinguish that which is 'artist' from that which is not 'artist'. Rather, there is a spectrum of human engagement that approaches this archetypal, metaphysical figure of the artist -- and yet there's no agreement as to where on this spectrum we're allowed to use this particular label.
    Paul

  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by jstraw View Post
    I think it's important to be able to recognize when the word "artist" is being used as an honorific and when it's not...
    Exactly! I prefer to think of the word as a descriptor of perceived excellence...preferably by someone other than the person making the work. It's a little like everyone being 'special'. Well, they are, but now the term becomes meaningless. But DrPablo is quite correct..."there is a spectrum of human engagement that approaches this archetypal, metaphysical figure of the artist -- and yet there's no agreement as to where on this spectrum we're allowed to use this particular label." Clearly, in this thread, while there's no agreement, there certainly have been some strong assertions made. I guess 'art' and 'artist' will remain elusive terms indefinitely.
    John Voss

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