Art Critique Debate! (Not Drawing Competition)
Debate Rounds (4)
We will give some details, and some basic critique as to why our piece of art is superior. This debate has a lot to do with the piece of art, but the level of critique and the reasons for admiration should also be taken into account.
The first round is for acceptance only. Only those whose Elo exceeds 2000 may vote, with a Select Winner voting system. You must have a higher Elo than mine to accept. No semantics, trolls, or any such intellectual dishonesty is allowed and will result in a full loss.
I thank FaustianJustice for accepting this debate, I am sure it will be a riveting experience. Call me cliched but my first piece is Vincent Van Gough's: Starry Night.
My reason is more than just the pretty colors. The picture itself symbolizes the conflice within man, the dialectical conflict. As Kierkegaard sais: all despair is pleasure, all pleasure despair. Now there are afew things to spot here. The first is the color of yellow, as Starry Night was made when Gough had lost it, and yellow is often a color of xanthophobic infatuation, it would be right to say that the deep strokes of yellow symbolize the mind wanting out.
Now understand the Bible verse: 'Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, saying, “Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon and the eleven stars bowed down to me.” Genesis 37:9'. You will find both the Sun, and the Moon, alongside exactly 11 circles of colors in the painting. You will also see the Church being particularly taller than the other buildings. Like Joseph who was cast out by his 11 brothers, Vincent obviously feels exiled by the critics who called him a loon, and bad at art for he was mixing impressionism with expressionism. Like Joseph he feels he is being protected from a Divine force.
You will notice that the brush strokes are extremely difficult to reproduce, and larger wave collides with a smaller one. Similarly the moon is drawn in the Sun. This is that dialectic contradiction which had become Gough's very existence. Now take the mountain, it has no shade of yellow, it is devout, cast away and yet it has risen beyond even the Church to the very 11 planets. Similarly this is Gough at once trying to comfort himself, pain that very despair that is the existence of man. Taking fantasy and reality, what he was feeling, and combining it together.
You can see that the base is a town, ordinary looking. That is Gough's origins, him convincing himself he is sane, with only higher ambitions. So because this is an utlimate piece of expressionism, and impressionsim; because it has unique brushstrokes and uses contrasting colors; and because it embodies that ultimate contadiction ot man: sanity and insanity; to be or not to be; I feel my opponent cannot place another art piece to its level.
Here is the link if you cannot view the art work:http://www.debate.org...
General Links: http://legomenon.com...
By the way I know my S&G is bad here, but I should note that the voters are not supposed to consider that in their vote. Thank you.
I too, am starting of with a rather popular work. something pretty much everyone knows, even when you couldn't quite grab the title. I submit Salvador Dali's "The disintegration of the persistence of memory". This is the surrealist painting we all know and love, there are few who wouldn't be able to envision the piece in their head just by stating 'melting watches'. The light bulb goes off, and the nod of recognition soon follows. But, is that the picture you had in your head? Please, read on.
Speaking on a technical level, Dali dabbled in various expressions from pointillism, to holograms, with his mastery of stylizing the real growing each time the muse descended. While you might not see individual brush strokes, you will see a host more. Subtle repetitions that seem slightly off, disjointed and impossible perspectives; this piece literally forces you to try and reconcile what you are looking at to what you think you have looked at. It draws you in, which as an artistic piece, should do.
Dali was tortured, to say the least. From being pelted by grasshoppers in his youth, to being haunted by the death of a brother, his early challenges are what lead to some of the most fascinating works modern art history has seen. Dali and surrealism go hand in hand, but its the name, and the function of the piece that I want to specifically call attention to "The disintegration ..." inferring that what you see are the leftovers from something else, which I feel is what makes this a superior piece. Personally speaking, when I realized the title (as a younger lad), its what drew me into art. Dali's stated symbolism (and some of the Freudian) seem at odds with each other in the way of an explanation. The disintegration of the persistence of memory was supposed to be about a recognition of science (with the Persistence of Memory becoming in a way obsolete), and marked the last of his surreal-at-the-core works, but like Van Gogh's affliction causing him to see yellow darn near everywhere, there was probably something a bit deeper at play. With the first inklings of his wife drifting off into senility, perhaps the surreal hit a bit to close to home, and something like this became the result.
Or, dude was impotent. Melting things and soft things and nearly erect but wave semi flaccid things are a common theme in his work, featured here:
Link if I screwed up the placement.
I thank Faust for his swift post. My next post is one of my favorites, not only because its symbolism is transcendental, but also because critics have made clear how making it was as hard as making the Mona Lisa. It is a painting made by Edvard Munch, and while almost all of you know about his The Scream of Nature, the painting that I am presenting is titled: Puberty.
Edvard Munch gave birth to expressionism, so really the above art of my opponent is only a copyof Munch's original style. At the same time as Sigmund Freud, the Norweign artist was also delving into human psyche. The Puberty is the best representation of the conclusions of Munch's experiments.
So what does this picture show in terms of ability of painting? Only an expert artist can appreciate the detail of the collar bone. This, being done without a model is truly something spectacular. The brush strokes in the background, especially the color strokes in the girl's bosom should be considered. They are not long easy strokes, rather extremely short strokes of the same color with different layers. As we move up from the bosom, the face feels a tinge of color so evident of Munch's work. Instead of making life easier by using abstraction as Dali did, Munch worked hard to create this effect. Another effect of beautiful strokes is the small, nearly invisible imprint of a lantern like structure behind the girl. To the left of it there is a shadow made, behind the color. To be able to contrast the smaller shadow, and those outlines together behind color would take immense patience and practice. Munch got neither.
Now for the interpretation of the painting. To be honest one could write a book, and still it would be lacking. The girl is displayed as having just realized her own adolescence, she is shown shyly covering her genitalia with a perplexed look on her face. In contrast both her nipples are being shown which means that she is yet unsure of her womanhood. The picture is the perfect description of despair. At once there is fair, and ambition; curiosity, and shame, yes even guilt. The large shadow behind her, you will note is connected in color to the shadow on her thigh, which her hands have cast to hide her genitalia. This shadow is infant her genitalia which looms over behind her, the more she hides it, the more she represses it the more it is growing as it is spreading. You will see a distinct yellow line in attempt to make a border, a wall over the shadow, but note how that line does not cover it.
This painting shows the constant struggle of every person, whether adolescent or not. The war of those two gods: Eros (or Erotica) and Thanathos (or Death). So for the very stroke and the technique, for the embodiment of emotion, and for the utter brilliance of the painting I do not feel that this painting can be beat.
Link to profile:http://www.debate.org...
Technical superiority is hard to top, unless of course you are wanting to show what art is as opposed to how its made.
As you may recall from the previous round, Contender stated that the chosen art draws you in. Art forces you to look at a concept, rather than brush strokes. Art should require the observant to look back, to get into what they are viewing, to feel immersed, as though they are going on a journey.
As such, Con would like to say 'Pack your bags'. Submitted, 'Things are queer'.
Duane Michals shot the nine prints in 1973. This piece was chosen not because of technical superiority, such a thing for a photographer would be impossible to achieve when an applied to the desires of this installation. In keeping the camera slightly out of focus, the photographer is able to maintain a subtle degree of surreality while being able to take (or in this case, kidnap) the viewer to take them on a small journey. With regards to photography, the most compelling factors are to make use of reasonable depth of focus to the subject, establishing depth, and use of gray scale. You will find that the key factors for continuing from one point of the journey to the next is highlighted by being close to center frame, but just enough offset so as not to be the 'star of the show'. The dominating figure in one frame is just a supporting cast member in the second, and then background singer in the next. In addition, due to the nature of a camera, you will notice that focus is shared amongst those two competing but complimentary subjects before their importance is a fleeting thought in the observer's proverbial rear view mirror. Lastly, in each photograph, despite the varying levels of white and black balance from image to image, you will find that all points from stark black to blank white are met without a violent 'jump'. In the end, the viewer of the piece has been transported into the artist's world, traveling on a trip, but being deposited back where they started, seeking only to confirm that indeed, where they started from was where they ended.
Sadly, due to the nature of the piece, and respect for the host's space, following a link would be mandatory.
I am, it seems, placed in a rather awkward spot. I have no doubt on the good character of my opponent, and I do not wish to cause drama, yet I feel it would be unfair towards me to not point this out. Two things ought to be said: a. this competition was regarding art, as in painting of sculptures, not photography; b. my opponent gave more than one piece to be appraised. For the first I guess it was never expressly mentioned, but the second should be assumed. It is unfair that my opponent gets to place 9 photos, and so I ask the voters to take this unfairness into consideration when casting their ballot. To what must happen, I leave to the wit of the august judges.
This is the last round, and so I am posting one of the greatest paintings ever made. Not only does the art have an immensely different style, an impressive allusion, but it is also a sight for sore eyes. I present: 'The Birth of Venus' by Sandro Botecelli. It was commissioned by the de' Medici family, and displays the classic signs of Florentine Art. Florence was perhaps the city most artistic, and this is one of the Florentine masterpieces.
The painting itself shows the story of Aphrodite (Venus) as she emerges from the sea. As we know when Uranus was cut into pieces, the pieces fell into the sea, and out came Venus. Venus then, the goddess of both infautation, and of true love is displayed. One will, in further inspection, find the classics of Platonism displayed in the painting. Instead of showing the genetalia which is common for Aphrodite, the painter thought to rather cover it up with a golden lock of hair. Also instantly another goddess comes to wrap a shall around Venus. Venus' face is significant. Contrasting to many Greek images her face here is made a bit solemn, as if wisdom is hidden behind her beauty. This is what this truly signified, behind all the infatuation, there is a transcendence so described by Socrated in Plato's Symposium.
The picture in itself is instantly captivating. To make this is truly a difficult work. You will once more see the flowers overlaping the Titan's clothes, different contrasting colors of blue have also been used. Instead of long brushstokes this painting is nearly entiirely made of small, precise strokes.
Also the color is to be spoken of. Instead of use normal colors, Botecelli made his own colors, using oild and egg whites.The result that you get is that beautiful haziness to be found in the left side, contrast the haziness of the precision of the trees on the right. The more you look at this painting, the more it shall reveal. I truly feel this is a fitting painting for the last round.
I thank FaustianJustice for this competition.
In coming full circle, we have sparked your recollection, enabled the artist to take you on a journey, and now, we intend for the piece to challenge you, the viewer. That, to me, is art. The viewer should feel the artist in each piece, to get some degree of how and what idea or emotion is being conveyed. Having been reminded of a work, and brought into an artist's world, we can go one step further. Now its time for you to think about what the piece is thinking.
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I submit Rodin's "The Thinker". Cast in bronze toward the late part the 1800s, this piece is larger than life in scale, and a piece not specifically crafted solely by the credited artist. Under the direction of Rodin, the cast was created, rejected, created, rejected etc, until finally the Thinker as we know him today was made. The Thinker was designed to capture the essence of man, and what makes a man (as part of mankind). Its place among sculpture is iconic. Its place among philosophers and poets is just as well placed. The implication of such a piece is obvious: what is he thinking. The artist has now challenged the viewer not to what the idea artist wants to convey, but what idea the piece is going to convey. The Thinker looks moments away from a 'Eureka'! The Thinker is one of the few pieces of sculpture that does not make use of its base to give an impression of weight. Because of this, the overall 'lean' of the figure lends itself to the illusion of implied movement, the spark of an idea soon to manifest, and bring this figure to full impetus. The Thinker represents the next step of what art is, and THAT is what makes it such an incredible specimen of sculpture. We want to know what this inanimate lump of bronze is thinking. It has made us, demanded of us to look inside and consider what it is considering.
In defense of my choice of submitted pieces, I will admit, I went outside the box in my thinking. Clearly, the instigator didn't have 'music' or 'theater' in mind, however I cannot see why photography wouldn't be considered 'art' for the purposes of this critique, and the controversial piece in question is indeed one 'work'. I leave it to the judges as well to render their decision, and hopefully metion thier concerns regarding choice, should I be docked. Regardless of your decision, I hope this has brought something positive for you as a patron of the arts, and to our instigator whom also chose (literally) masterful works. Thank you!
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by NiamC 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments. ... My fingers hurt...
Vote Placed by n7 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro did well in R2 with talking about what the painting means. I think Con was a bit lacking in that area in R2. He shows a good painting and could have possibly won it, but he doesn't dive much into what it means. Pro again in the next round speaks of a painting's meaning and technical skill. Con breaks the rules by posting 9 pictures instead of one. Making Pro win this round too. Pro's finial painting told the story of Venus, while point out the platonic symbols and the technical skill (using small brush strokes). Con presents the thinker. Con does do better than the past round as he explains what the art work means. However, I think Pro's painting which has to do with the story of Venus is better than Con's artwork which is about a man on the verge of an idea. It is better to look at and has a more in depth meaning. Pro wins this round too. Pro wins the most rounds, so he wins the debate.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I'm no expert in this, so I made a decision based off of the depth of analysis that I perceived in each round. I felt I saw that depth in every round from both debaters, though there was a substantial difference in R2, which is where I feel this debate goes to Pro.
Vote Placed by Toviyah 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: 2nd round was a tie; both gave good defences of the technical and symbolic nature of their pieces. Pro won round 3. He gave a similar defence of his piece, but I don't think Con succeeded. Con did give 9 pieces to review, which was against the rules as given in round 1. Moreover, though the defence of the symbolism was impressive, there was a disregard of the technicality in art and well, I don't see how this can stand up. Pro pointed this out in round 4. Round 4 was a tie, both debaters did well defending their pieces. Though, there was a light treatment of the technicality on Con's side but was made up through some impressive analysis of what it means. So, Pro wins. It was an interesting debate to look through so thank you both!
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Round 2: Very very unfair for con. As Vincent's starry night is narrowly unbeatable, I give con points for presenting an excellent piece that works well against Starry Night, thus tying the round out overall. Bug deleted rest of RFD. Shortly put, Venus wins against Thinker, extra points given for con's unfair 9 photos-advantage.
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