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  1. #21
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    If we're talking about salespersons we don't like, why is art a special case?

    I'll buy various commodities from companies or persons I don't care for, if I need or want the product, and the price is reasonable, but I would include in the "price" the question of whether it is furthering some other agenda that I disagree with (e.g., fascism, products made with prison labor, religious fundamentalism, etc).
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
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  2. #22
    Will S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
    On a different level, what about Frank Lloyd Wright? Obviously, a lot of people felt his antics to be tolerable, but would you have accepted his telling you what furniture you could or couldn't have in your house, where to put your paintings, and what colors you could or couldn't paint the house? He was known to re-visit houses he designed, and re-arrange the furniture, telling the owners they weren't living properly in HIS house!
    I'm not sure I would describe this behavior as "antics" though he was obviously sometimes a difficult person. I have read that he was horrified at the furniture that he saw owners bringing into the houses he designed. To solve the problem he started making the furniture too. I live in a house done by one of his students and, while most of the furniture is built in, I wish that he had done more since it is very hard to find things that match the house that don't cost a fortune. I also curse the former owners at least once a week for something they did to "fix" the house that I'm now having to restore back to its original condition. I know that the paint colors are an important part of the design as well since Wright chose them to flow from light to dark as you move through the building. I think that changing the colors changes an essential aspect of the design, sort of like re-orchestrating Goetterdammerung for accordion and bagpipes, or taking a 1MB capture of "Pepper No. 30" and running it off on your inkjet. All of the essential information is still there, but it is hardly the same thing anymore.

    Thanks,

    Will
    "I am an anarchist." - HCB
    "I wanna be anarchist." - JR

  3. #23
    BradS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
    THAT's the distinction I'm interested in probing. What is that limit? is it always case-by-case, even within the oeuvre of a single artist? (the rest of your post seems to indicate yes, as the later cases of Celine and Hitler point out). Is there ever an absolute threshold, or a tipping point? How deep of a principle do you set? To take another contemporary example, Jews who won't buy German luxury cars. For some Jews, buying a Mercedes or BMW is tantamount to hiring your own murderer, even though they themselves are living sixty plus years after the events, and the companies themselves are no longer the same companies that supplied war materiel to the Third Reich. Some folks would consider that reaction (don't buy the car) to be stubborn and overly judgemental. Others would say that it is a laudable stand on principle.

    So when do you draw the line, how long do you keep it drawn, and what for?

    but, that's different entirely. Buying a car is not the same as buying art....unless, I suppose, the car is a Ferrari or Aston Martin.

  4. #24
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Actually, I'd argue that most cars are more like buying art - there's a substantial difference between an automotive requirement and an automotive luxury. Most of us don't NEED to buy a car, and most of us don't NEED a car with a six speaker stereo, multi-position power seats, XM Radio and dual-zone climate control. While not all automotive purchases are discretionary (if you have to drive a vehicle for a living, or your workplace is far enough from your home/distant enough from public transit), it is largely discretionary income that is spent on an automotive purchase. Once you're spending more than about $15K USD on a car, it is discretionary. If you live in New York, ANY amount on a car is discretionary spending.

  5. #25
    scootermm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
    There was a contretemps kicked up in another thread here that spurred this line of inquiry, as people responding to that posting were saying something rather different than the responses I'm getting here, which I find interesting.

    I imagine its fairly obvious the difference in responses you are finding. This is a discussion about a concept/idea. The prior discussion you are referencing was much more pointed and specific. They will obviously conjur up different responses.

  6. #26
    jd callow's Avatar
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    There can be a distinction on many levels between the artist and the work.

    If the artist is a bad person (your choice as to what kind of bad) and the intent of their work is in character and the viewer's response (me) is in-kind I would not support or purchase the work. As often as not the person and the intent of their work is significantly different and once the work leaves the context of its birth the meaning of the art can become further removed form the badness of the creator.

    My point of reference is always going to be at least somewhat removed from the person who made the work and therefore my interpretation and the value I place on the work may be further distanced from what I find disagreeable in the artist.

    If kept strictly in context there is also the possibility and likelihood that the wrongness in the person and their work will act as a counterpoint at some level to what makes them so wrong.

    I've met more than a few jerk artists, who create nice work. These are people who are not immoral, evil or destined to try and rule the world or some slice of it; they are simply jerks. If I really liked or wanted their work, I'd pass and possibly see that they knew I had passed and why.

    *

  7. #27
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scootermm View Post
    I imagine its fairly obvious the difference in responses you are finding. This is a discussion about a concept/idea. The prior discussion you are referencing was much more pointed and specific. They will obviously conjur up different responses.
    Not necessarily -

    It says a lot about how much we as humans CLAIM to be driven by principles (don't buy Exxon oil, they caused the Valdez spill) and in actuality, give our deep-held principles a pass when inconvenient/necessary (I've got about five miles worth of gas left in the car, I'm at an Exxon station, and the next gas station is 20 miles away). That seems to be the driving factor to me behind the dichotomy I've seen in responses - well, in this case, the familiarity people have with certain artists allows them to say, "I'd buy their work because it's fabulous, even if they are a jerk", perhaps because they've not had the same experience. Like shopping at Macy's I suppose - I can say I will keep shopping at Macy's because I haven't had a bad experience there yet, even though someone I know may have been run over roughshod more than once.

  8. #28
    BradS's Avatar
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    I think that there is also an opportunity to distinguish between a person who is bad and a person whose viewpoint, although perfectly valid, I do not share. (I recognize that a broad section of the population of this country is completely unable to make any such distinction).

  9. #29
    jstraw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    Indeed. Stalinist or fascist art at this point tells us something about history and is likely to contradict it's original intention by way of irony in its new context, or it might reveal something about other art of the same period that couldn't easily be seen in its own day.

    On the other hand, I don't think I'd purchase a racist work by a living neofascist artist.

    I wouldn't buy a watercolor of a landscape from someone I knew to be a living neofascist.
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. In velit arcu, consequat at, interdum sit amet, consequat in, quam.

  10. #30
    Craig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jstraw View Post
    I wouldn't buy a watercolor of a landscape from someone I knew to be a living neofascist.
    How about dead? I once saw an exhibition of some of Hitler's watercolours, and I thought he was actually a pretty good artist.

    If I didn't know who the artist was and just looked at the painting, I would have been happy to hang one of them on my wall.

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