Comparative Histories: Art and Money
Art is older, though before there was money there were no museums and presumably no "fine" artists.
After the invention of money up until, say, Goya, essentially all art was commisioned, "commercial" art (usually with lots of client input) -- or folk art for personal use (singing round the family piano, homemade furniture, etc).
Middle-class "fine art" from reproductions started with Durer, who set the pattern for "name" artists to follow all the way up through Avedon.
Academy Art instituted speculative painting etc for salons that may result in sales or not according to "artistic merit." This fell apart, though not after a long run, and spawned the finearts gallery environment we have today -- at roughly the same time that the rise of picture publishing gave us what we'd now recognize as "media" -- the general domain of "commercial" artists.
Thing is, both are commercial ventures. A gallery that can turn over an Eggleston print for $200K is simply following a different business model from Vogue where they will sell thier (ink) prints of a Dave Lachappelle cover for pennies a print -- but make millions of prints. Lachappelle has said he usually loses money on editorial work, spending more than he should to get the image he desires -- and makes it up on advertising.
I fail to see what makes one effort more artistic than the other (differing tastes w.r.t. their styles notwithstanding). The difference is in the distribution mechanism (esp. considering that Egg photos crop up on magazine covers, and Lachappelle's works pop up in galleries), not the photography
Thanks for the history lesson
the only distinction between fine and commercial art, in terms of its 'artistic' value, that i can fathom lies in who designs, motivates and/or directs the photograph. when an art director calls the shots, the photogapher becomes a highly skilled techician delivering a very specific result. when the photographer has control, it's a different situation. portraiture is the obvious middle ground where the client has commisioned the photograph (which would not otherwise be made perhaps), but the photographer does everything else.
it is interesting to note that e. weston's portraiture (which was his financial mainstay for years i believe) doesn't get seen much. i wonder why?
Commercial art is, by definition art and just because you or I may say we are a fine Artists doesn’t mean we create fine art. Everyone seems to focus upon the motivation for the work’s creation, the level of technical facility displayed or the quality of the style. All of these may be important if they support the message but none really make it ‘High Art’
I am not sure, but I’m beginning to believe that I am the only person who has studied art seriously here. Those high minded elitist masturbators generally throw good art (of any kind) into two categories. There is art that has a psychological impact across time and across cultures and there is art that speaks to a generation, culture or is in some way limited in who it speaks to.
Shakespeare wrote plays to pay bills; Emily Dickinson didn’t sell her poetry. (Some consider) Thoreau’s most passionate and finely crafted work was not On Walden Pond, but his political and social monographs. No one reads them today outside of academia or if you’re a big Thoreau fan, but, most would agree, Walden Pond has a long life ahead of it.
Van Gogh and the impressionists followed a movement of painters who’s technical facility was as good as any that had come before or since. Can you name one? They are not well remembered and it is not just because they pale by comparison. As a painter Van Gogh’s kung fu was not so good, but it was sublime.
High Art often speaks to who we are. Will wonderfully constructed shots of lingerie models be the time capsule for this new century or will people 200 years from now hang it on their walls? Maybe. I don’t think it will be a touch stone for future generations though. In 200 year’s Pop Art may also be a foot note. Who is to say?
If you search this forum you will find some people who think fine art means finely crafted landscapes and commercial art is prostitution and never the twain shall meet. I have found very little intelligent or informed discussions of fine art, but a ton that is reactionary in the extreme and very ill informed.
Originally Posted by mrcallow
And you base that conclusion on ...??
Could it be, "Anyone who does not agree with me, or who does not accept my opinion as their own - simply must not KNOW anything?"
--- Thought about this for a while.... NAH!!! You couldn't be THAT shallow.
Painters from before Van Gogh and the Impressionists? - I can remember a few (from My Studies...) Michaelangelo, Botticelli, Titian, Tintoretto, Velasquez, Murillo, Goya, ... uh , Rembrandt van Ryn.... Jan Vermeer ...
- And this proves -- what? That someone has a good memory?
Ed Sukach, FFP.
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
I said it because of the level of the discussion. I don't know 1/10 of what I would like to know about art, but there is a lot of discussion on this forum regarding art that so far misses the point and spoken with such assurance it defies response. And if you do respond, how do you respond? Do you give a pedantic little art appreciation 101 post like I just did or do you assume they are knowledgeable and address their points. It would be my preference to address their points. I don't want to single out people, by listing their points of view -- so I would suggest you reread the posts here and else where and decide for your self.
Nothing I wrote in the preceding post is groundbreaking or out of the mainstream. As I stated, it is considered pretty fundamental. Does that make me a 'know it all' or someone that feels that my opinion is the only one that matters? I don't think so, but maybe. I have strong convictions and try to post when I know what I'm talking about or don't know at all and want to learn. I have a real hard time letting some of the more inane comments go by unchallenged when they speak to the heart of what I find important.
I wouldn't welcome, I would whole heartedly embrace an intelligent discussion. Unfortunately we get...
what we get and I am left with the thought that that is all there is.
No Ed, what I was referring to was a period just prior to the impressionists. It wasn't a test of memory, but comment about, how what was perceived as fine art then didn't last the test of time and what allows something to last is how well it speaks to people regardless of their place (in time, and otherwise). Another ingredient would be the quality of the message.
Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
Tsk. Not only can I name many of them off the top of my head (Leighton, Alma-Tadema, Delacroix, Sargent, the whole Pre-Rafaelite movement, Courbet, Turner, Ruskin, Goya....) but I know that many of them are still influential, whether their names are well-known to the public or not. Certainly the rise and fall of fashions within the gallery scene has had odd effects on the prices of their works (viz. the famous story of Allen Funt's Alma-Tad collection).
Originally Posted by mrcallow
[/list:u:d94175572e]19th century portraiture had broad influence on photographic portraiture that followed, and it still does. So much of the modern "fine art" photography I see today can easily be drawn on a line from the Holgaists of today through J.M. Cameron to Rosetti & Co (she probably knew some of them personally!). The period's sensitivity to light in many kinds of landscape painting had large sway over the impressionists -- look at Monet's "Woman with a Parasol" as a spectacular example (esp if you can get to the original, usually at the Musee D'Orsay when not on tour).
[/list:u:d94175572e]The elaborate settings of Victorians like Leighton et al, again while out of style in galleries, had huge influence on the orientalists and on film designers and directors like Griffith and Demille, who carried their notions of spectacle straight from pageants like Alama-Tad's "Spring" (at the Getty) in a direct line to modern popular works like "Dinotopia" and "Star Wars"
You were saying? :-D
Originally Posted by Jurajk
Go Canada! Go Flames!
you can thanks a lot that american refree. but it was good match.