Originally Posted by jordanstarr View Post
Originally Posted by John McCallum
...so if leonardo did work for other people on commission and produced art for them for money and did what they wanted him to do, it wasn't authentic.
It's really quite simple - these are the kinds of statements often made by what are generally referred to as "second year university students".
In the USA we call these folk "Sophomores" and statements such as the one you quoted are considered "sophomoric". It is not a term of respect!
If...and a big IF that most likely will be...I ever get to heaven, I must seek out Johann Sebastian and let him know what all the sophomores have concluded: His work has no soul, and is inauthentic since he, and all of his 17th and 18th century counterparts were in the employ of patrons, did their bidding, and were essentially artistic whores. He'll be so disappointed! After all that work he did on the countless oratorios, Brandenburg Concerti, Passions of St. John, St. Matthew, violin, cello, and keyboard sonatas, suites, inventions, partitas etc., and etc.......all that sublime work.........it's now deemed merely soulless, inauthentic commercial drivel by people younger than some of my socks. Yikes.... jordanstarr....you need to get back to class and learn a thing or two!
Originally Posted by copake_ham
Well put me in a dress and call me a sophomore. Perhaps my slam of Anne Geddes is unwarranted - perhaps she is producing work that is 100% authentic to her personal vision.
That said, I'll stand by my own critical evaluation that while it may be true to her vision, it is nonetheless commercialized hackery of the worst order. Pure kitsch in the negative sense.
She has cottoned on to something that sells, and she is being rewarded financially for it, but in the end, her work will be forgotten. What kind of statement does her work make? Is there anything in any way shape or form intellectually provocative about her work? NO! It's a baby in a peapod costume! It's a half-step removed from William Wegman and his wiemaraners. Her work invokes a single response, every time - "AWWWW ISN"T THAT CUTE". BARF. A one-note, one-trick pony. There's no art in that- it's mechanical, mindless reproduction of assembly-line emotional trickery. It works very much like a well-crafted TV commercial for junk food, playing to a strong instinctual response that overrides any analytical frontal-lobe engagement. She is the artistic equivalent of chocolate-covered JuJu Beans.
This is why I say her work is inauthentic - it is so utterly devoid of any other content than emotional manipulation of the weak-minded. There is no richness, no texture. It lacks the capacity to engage the viewer on diverse and multiple levels. While it may as such be "authentic" to her personal vision, and it may be entertaining to some (or many), and it may be highly successful in achieving its mission, it is most certainly not ART, because it expresses only one goal and one vision - to get you to buy more of it through emotional manipulation. THAT qualifies as inauthentic in my book.
Last edited by TheFlyingCamera; 05-09-2007 at 08:48 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I thought we were talking about jordanstarr?
That was in response to John McCallum's comments directed at me.
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So where is the line to be drawn between Geddes and oh say Rolf Horne? Bearing in mind he has ridden the success of another photographer who has found a pretty good formula for success.
I'm not familiar with Rolf Horne's work. I'll have to look him up and see. In the meantime, does his work meet the "art" standard I described? Success in itself is not a standard of measurement of someone's artistic integrity or lack thereof. What we're debating here is ultimately a thoroughly subjective standard of evaluation. Some individuals' work will readily fall into one category or the other, to general consensus. Other work may cross lines from time to time. This is the nature of art, after all. Many artists who make a living from their artwork have done work to pay the bills that is not necessarily their best or most representative work. Few manage to keep both feet on the same side of the line - but then, a Caravaggio or a Reubens or a Mapplethorpe only comes along once a generation. Everyone else, has to walk that line.
I'm not sure that something that is decorative, or entertaining, isn't authentic.
I will agree, however, that it needs to be more to be ART.
To look to a musical analogy, I would suggest that much of Fats Waller's music is art (note lack of capitals) even if it was absolutely entertaining, and quite decorative too.
Anne Geddes and William Wegman only bother me, if they are held up as being more than they are. They take good pictures, which bring rise to a smile. I'm not going to put them on my wall, but I'm more than happy to receive a greeting card with one of their pictures.
If their pictures are on a calendar behind the counter while I wait in line to buy my car insurance, I'll enjoy them.
They have value, just a different sort of value than "a Carpaggio, or a Reubens or a Mapplethorpe".
I expect that if I had a greater compulsion to be the next Mapplethorpe, I'd be more irritated by Geddes' or Wegman's work. Flying Camera (Scott?) has more of a legitimate claim to that sort of aspiration (given what I have seen of his work) so I understand the strength of his reaction. It is just not my reaction.
My $0.02 (CDN) worth.
Is there anyone finer in the state of Carolina? If you know her, show her to me!
<To look to a musical analogy, I would suggest that much of Fats Waller's music is art (note lack of capitals) even if it was absolutely entertaining, and quite decorative too.
Anne Geddes and William Wegman only bother me, if they are held up as being more than they are. <
A lot of sense has been made here I think. I don't know the work of Geddes and Wegman, never heard of them -- one can become quite isolated up here in the rarefied Small White North of Finland. I think Flying Camera's dislike of their pictures is legitimate, if unfair. One must appreciate that the vast majority of people have no real interest in art -- they just enjoy looking at nice pictures every once in a while. This doesn't make them less intelligent than people who are interested in art. As to what art is, Lord, it's an endlessly fascinating subject but it's different for every interested person.
As to sell-outs, well, there are some famous examples worth remembering and celebrating. Let's remember Dali. He was a late-comer to the Surrealist group led by Andre Breton in Paris, but he took it by storm with his madcap panache and enormous talent. For a while in my teens, I was enamoured of many of his most famous paintings -- the elephants on stilted legs, the drooping pocket-watches, the nightmarish landscapes with beans. Dali turned Surrealism into a smash-hit, but he was a chancer and user. There was a famous falling-out with Breton, who took to calling Dali "Mr. Moneybags" because he used the movement (which it really was) to get rich. Dali was excommunicated, but by then he couldn't care less. He was already "out-sourcing" printing of his work and signing stacks of paper that were brought to him without even looking at them. His painting, ever technically proficient, became the very definition of soul-less flash. He retreated to his castle to live under the lash of his hideous wife. Dali is one of the greatest examples of wasted talent. I suppose he knew this, but didn't care.
Originally Posted by copake_ham
I thought we were addressing the topic. I see no point talking about posters as that is the weakest form of argument: attacking the messenger.
Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.