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On Richard Prince and Modern Art

bladerunner060
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5/29/2015 1:25:20 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
So, there's the old joke from Art School Confidential:

[looking at paintings that are nothing but a triangle on a background in an artist's house]
"How long have you been doing the triangles?"
"I was one of the first"

There's definitely a sense that a lot of modern art is lazy nonsense. Of course, that's not true of ALL modern art. But then there's Richard Prince.

For those who don't know, he took a bunch of people's Instagram posts, added a single nonsensical comment to the bottom, printed the page, and then sold them as original pieces, for thousands of dollars.

http://www.diyphotography.net...

This isn't the first time he's engaged in such (I guess "arguably") plagiaristic ridiculousness; he also basically jsut turned someone else's photogrpahs into collages (in some cases scribbling on them, y'know, for transformative purposes, I guess?). http://www.nytimes.com...

He won that case in terms of copyright. But how does he have a career as an artist?

I feel like modern art's failure to find a way to exclude this sort of nonsense is why it gets such short shrift all the time. Is there any way to fix it?
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cludwig
Posts: 16
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6/4/2015 10:55:08 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I agree that this kind of "Art" does a disservice to Artists and Art in general. Art (an Artistic Object) is most powerful and inspirational when it possesses mystique and a high degree of craftsmanship; its true value lies within the realm of the experiential, not in dollars and cents. If someone views a piece of Art and has the experience of "that is amazing, I could never create that", then it is a success. This kind of artistic object elevates art and the individual experiencing the art. If however the viewer has the experience "anyone could create that, including my 10 year old", then the artistic object is clearly a failure; the mystique has been lost/destroyed. Furthermore, it lowers and cheapens art overall and the individual viewer. Using this criteria, I too agree that this particular example does a disservice to Modern Art as any member of the public could create an Artistic Object such as this; the level of craftsmanship demonstrated is very low indeed. I have little respect for Art and Artists who undermine/destroy the mystique of art and have little respect, understanding and/or dedication to value of artistic craft.
DollarStoreSushi
Posts: 24
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6/5/2015 8:47:10 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I'm curious if anyone has seen an artist statement about this exhibit.

One thing I think a lot of people don't always "get" about modern/conceptual art is that it has a very different intent from more traditional forms. Rather than using the visual to reflect or record a real life object, person, or event, it sometimes is asking the audience to consider the nature, purpose, or validity of an idea or concept.

If I were to put on my best art student hat- I'm not an art student I'm just interested by contemporary art and theory- Id guess this is some sort of statement on the nature of privacy and ownership in the digital age. As a society, we flood the internet with our images and have access to a global network of people doing the same on a level unlike anything else in human history. When we put these images of ourselves out into the internet, in what way do we retain control of them? In an age of digital piracy where you can download nearly anything you want, or have access to any information, for free if you know how, how can we expect that even our own images won't be subjected to this near free for all? What is the human toll of this culture? We want instant access to all these ideas and forms of entertainment and we want it for free but when our own images are taken from us and someone makes a profit from them, its suddenly an unimaginable crime?

Another take Im just think about is how things like instagram allow people to in a sense market themselves as a product. We sell ouselves through snapshots and filters and likes and comments, crafting this online representation of what we eat, where we go, what we wear, how we look... Where is the line drawn in terms of who gets to buy and sell this products?

Modern art is about more than one's technical or artistic skills. Its about getting people to evaluate things or think about things in a way that they haven't before. The advent of the camera and the shock of modernism and industrialism and the psychic break of the world wars have altered art in the modern era. The goal isn't to have one's work hung in the Met (though the Gagosian Gallery is pretty prestigious), its about getting a conversation started, to challenge beliefs, to evoke emotion. And in that sense, his work has been pretty effective.

That said, it's not what I'd personally call great art and I don't really get why people would buy an instagram post. But it could raise some interesting questions about the state of our internet culture by putting a human face to the free and readily accessible exchange of ideas and media online, as well as taking the idea of packaging ourselves and lives very literally.
cludwig
Posts: 16
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6/6/2015 7:12:09 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
@DollarStoreSushi - Time is the ultimate judge and filter. Somehow, I don't think that in 100 years "Instagram Art" is going to be considered one of our society's finest and proudest achievements. Furthermore, political, technological or statement art is usually very culturally and period (time) specific. What is cool and poignant now will be considered a joke, comical, or pathetic in time. "Instagram Art" I don't believe will ever have the enduring power and appeal of Andy Warhol for instance. In 30 years, the verdict on "Instagram Art" will be in and I suspect it won't be a good one. I don't have a problem with the Artist profiting from Instagram Art though - all the more power to him for deriving great profit from stupid proletariat Art World Consumers/Investors.
bladerunner060
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6/6/2015 10:56:43 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/6/2015 7:12:09 AM, cludwig wrote:
@DollarStoreSushi - Time is the ultimate judge and filter. Somehow, I don't think that in 100 years "Instagram Art" is going to be considered one of our society's finest and proudest achievements. Furthermore, political, technological or statement art is usually very culturally and period (time) specific. What is cool and poignant now will be considered a joke, comical, or pathetic in time. "Instagram Art" I don't believe will ever have the enduring power and appeal of Andy Warhol for instance. In 30 years, the verdict on "Instagram Art" will be in and I suspect it won't be a good one. I don't have a problem with the Artist profiting from Instagram Art though - all the more power to him for deriving great profit from stupid proletariat Art World Consumers/Investors.

My issue with it is not him getting profit from Art World folks, it's him taking other people's photos to do it.
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DollarStoreSushi
Posts: 24
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6/6/2015 5:18:51 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/6/2015 7:12:09 AM, cludwig wrote:
@DollarStoreSushi - Time is the ultimate judge and filter. Somehow, I don't think that in 100 years "Instagram Art" is going to be considered one of our society's finest and proudest achievements. Furthermore, political, technological or statement art is usually very culturally and period (time) specific. What is cool and poignant now will be considered a joke, comical, or pathetic in time. "Instagram Art" I don't believe will ever have the enduring power and appeal of Andy Warhol for instance. In 30 years, the verdict on "Instagram Art" will be in and I suspect it won't be a good one. I don't have a problem with the Artist profiting from Instagram Art though - all the more power to him for deriving great profit from stupid proletariat Art World Consumers/Investors.

Lol, well I really hope contemporary art will leave something more for future generations to ponder over than Instagram posts.
ironslippers
Posts: 513
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6/16/2015 5:03:48 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/29/2015 1:25:20 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
So, there's the old joke from Art School Confidential:

[looking at paintings that are nothing but a triangle on a background in an artist's house]
"How long have you been doing the triangles?"
"I was one of the first"

This actually a scene in a movie, Steve Buscemi plays the artist. The Name of the movie is "Love in the Time of Money" .

There's definitely a sense that a lot of modern art is lazy nonsense. Of course, that's not true of ALL modern art. But then there's Richard Prince.

I think that the fact he has got you considering whether it's art makes it art. How might you react if you saw his work in a museum? I got to admit I'd be curious but would I purchase it, probably not.

For those who don't know, he took a bunch of people's Instagram posts, added a single nonsensical comment to the bottom, printed the page, and then sold them as original pieces, for thousands of dollars.

http://www.diyphotography.net...

This isn't the first time he's engaged in such (I guess "arguably") plagiaristic ridiculousness; he also basically jsut turned someone else's photogrpahs into collages (in some cases scribbling on them, y'know, for transformative purposes, I guess?). http://www.nytimes.com...

He won that case in terms of copyright. But how does he have a career as an artist?

I feel like modern art's failure to find a way to exclude this sort of nonsense is why it gets such short shrift all the time. Is there any way to fix it?
Everyone stands on their own dung hill and speaks out about someone else's - Nathan Krusemark
Its easier to criticize and hate than it is to support and create - I Ron Slippers
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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6/16/2015 5:20:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/16/2015 5:03:48 PM, ironslippers wrote:
At 5/29/2015 1:25:20 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
So, there's the old joke from Art School Confidential:

[looking at paintings that are nothing but a triangle on a background in an artist's house]
"How long have you been doing the triangles?"
"I was one of the first"

This actually a scene in a movie, Steve Buscemi plays the artist. The Name of the movie is "Love in the Time of Money" .

Interesting. Art School Confidential is also a movie, but it came out after that one though the original comic predates.


There's definitely a sense that a lot of modern art is lazy nonsense. Of course, that's not true of ALL modern art. But then there's Richard Prince.

I think that the fact he has got you considering whether it's art makes it art. How might you react if you saw his work in a museum? I got to admit I'd be curious but would I purchase it, probably not.

I disagree. You can't define something such that just wondering if the definition applies makes the definition apply. That makes the word have no value in terms of conveying an idea.

That said, I didn't expressly say I didn't consider it art. I implied (and am willing to say) that I consider it lazy, unethical nonsense.

For those who don't know, he took a bunch of people's Instagram posts, added a single nonsensical comment to the bottom, printed the page, and then sold them as original pieces, for thousands of dollars.

http://www.diyphotography.net...

This isn't the first time he's engaged in such (I guess "arguably") plagiaristic ridiculousness; he also basically jsut turned someone else's photogrpahs into collages (in some cases scribbling on them, y'know, for transformative purposes, I guess?). http://www.nytimes.com...

He won that case in terms of copyright. But how does he have a career as an artist?

I feel like modern art's failure to find a way to exclude this sort of nonsense is why it gets such short shrift all the time. Is there any way to fix it?
Assistant moderator to airmax1227. PM me with any questions or concerns!
ironslippers
Posts: 513
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6/16/2015 6:02:17 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/16/2015 5:20:18 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 6/16/2015 5:03:48 PM, ironslippers wrote:
At 5/29/2015 1:25:20 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
So, there's the old joke from Art School Confidential:

[looking at paintings that are nothing but a triangle on a background in an artist's house]
"How long have you been doing the triangles?"
"I was one of the first"

This actually a scene in a movie, Steve Buscemi plays the artist. The Name of the movie is "Love in the Time of Money" .

Interesting. Art School Confidential is also a movie, but it came out after that one though the original comic predates.


There's definitely a sense that a lot of modern art is lazy nonsense. Of course, that's not true of ALL modern art. But then there's Richard Prince.

I think that the fact he has got you considering whether it's art makes it art. How might you react if you saw his work in a museum? I got to admit I'd be curious but would I purchase it, probably not.

I disagree. You can't define something such that just wondering if the definition applies makes the definition apply. That makes the word have no value in terms of conveying an idea.

The power of art is measured by its ability to take up space in thought. The bigger the impression, the more views, the longer consideration it earns it's worth.
Often times I find it easy to overlook what some might consider art. I have heard of the artist but not seen the art, maybe it didn't get my attention.
I saw my first soup can at 11 or 12. I thought about that soup can often through the years. and in my early 20s I resigned to call it art.

That said, I didn't expressly say I didn't consider it art. I implied (and am willing to say) that I consider it lazy, unethical nonsense.

I agree up to the point where I have to admit "I didn't think of it".

For those who don't know, he took a bunch of people's Instagram posts, added a single nonsensical comment to the bottom, printed the page, and then sold them as original pieces, for thousands of dollars.

http://www.diyphotography.net...

This isn't the first time he's engaged in such (I guess "arguably") plagiaristic ridiculousness; he also basically jsut turned someone else's photogrpahs into collages (in some cases scribbling on them, y'know, for transformative purposes, I guess?). http://www.nytimes.com...

He won that case in terms of copyright. But how does he have a career as an artist?

I feel like modern art's failure to find a way to exclude this sort of nonsense is why it gets such short shrift all the time. Is there any way to fix it?
Everyone stands on their own dung hill and speaks out about someone else's - Nathan Krusemark
Its easier to criticize and hate than it is to support and create - I Ron Slippers
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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6/16/2015 6:09:37 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/16/2015 6:02:17 PM, ironslippers wrote:
At 6/16/2015 5:20:18 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 6/16/2015 5:03:48 PM, ironslippers wrote:
At 5/29/2015 1:25:20 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
So, there's the old joke from Art School Confidential:

[looking at paintings that are nothing but a triangle on a background in an artist's house]
"How long have you been doing the triangles?"
"I was one of the first"

This actually a scene in a movie, Steve Buscemi plays the artist. The Name of the movie is "Love in the Time of Money" .

Interesting. Art School Confidential is also a movie, but it came out after that one though the original comic predates.


There's definitely a sense that a lot of modern art is lazy nonsense. Of course, that's not true of ALL modern art. But then there's Richard Prince.

I think that the fact he has got you considering whether it's art makes it art. How might you react if you saw his work in a museum? I got to admit I'd be curious but would I purchase it, probably not.

I disagree. You can't define something such that just wondering if the definition applies makes the definition apply. That makes the word have no value in terms of conveying an idea.

The power of art is measured by its ability to take up space in thought. The bigger the impression, the more views, the longer consideration it earns it's worth.
Often times I find it easy to overlook what some might consider art. I have heard of the artist but not seen the art, maybe it didn't get my attention.
I saw my first soup can at 11 or 12. I thought about that soup can often through the years. and in my early 20s I resigned to call it art.

I disagree. Not to pull a Godwin (and please, please, be very clear that I'm not equating, but I am trying to show an absurdity that this argument could lead to, and thus chose something that would purposefully be problematic), but you could ask yourself "Was the Holocaust art?" By that token, it would then become art, and its power would be measured by its ability to take up space--it would thus be very impactful art. Would that be a valid train of thought to you? If not, why?

That said, I didn't expressly say I didn't consider it art. I implied (and am willing to say) that I consider it lazy, unethical nonsense.

I agree up to the point where I have to admit "I didn't think of it".

That doesn't make it valuable, though...
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ironslippers
Posts: 513
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6/16/2015 7:03:12 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/16/2015 6:09:37 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 6/16/2015 6:02:17 PM, ironslippers wrote:
At 6/16/2015 5:20:18 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 6/16/2015 5:03:48 PM, ironslippers wrote:
At 5/29/2015 1:25:20 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
So, there's the old joke from Art School Confidential:

[looking at paintings that are nothing but a triangle on a background in an artist's house]
"How long have you been doing the triangles?"
"I was one of the first"

This actually a scene in a movie, Steve Buscemi plays the artist. The Name of the movie is "Love in the Time of Money" .

Interesting. Art School Confidential is also a movie, but it came out after that one though the original comic predates.


There's definitely a sense that a lot of modern art is lazy nonsense. Of course, that's not true of ALL modern art. But then there's Richard Prince.

I think that the fact he has got you considering whether it's art makes it art. How might you react if you saw his work in a museum? I got to admit I'd be curious but would I purchase it, probably not.

I disagree. You can't define something such that just wondering if the definition applies makes the definition apply. That makes the word have no value in terms of conveying an idea.

The power of art is measured by its ability to take up space in thought. The bigger the impression, the more views, the longer consideration it earns it's worth.
Often times I find it easy to overlook what some might consider art. I have heard of the artist but not seen the art, maybe it didn't get my attention.
I saw my first soup can at 11 or 12. I thought about that soup can often through the years. and in my early 20s I resigned to call it art.

I disagree. Not to pull a Godwin (and please, please, be very clear that I'm not equating, but I am trying to show an absurdity that this argument could lead to, and thus chose something that would purposefully be problematic), but you could ask yourself "Was the Holocaust art?" By that token, it would then become art, and its power would be measured by its ability to take up space--it would thus be very impactful art. Would that be a valid train of thought to you? If not, why?

Check into Andy Warhols death and disaster period... wait I wanna a less morbid reference place... There is a beautiful sunset you're basking in the beauty and it occurs to you the sunset is natures is art. though it was short lived and not created by human interference. The only thing that made it art was your declaration as such. Marcel Duchamps "ready mades" are a perfect example Look at his piece titled "fountain". Yes it is a urinal, not all urinals are called art but, that paticular one is. Yes someone could declare the Holocaust art but I haven't seen the Holocaust, so it won't be me.

What is a Godwin?

That said, I didn't expressly say I didn't consider it art. I implied (and am willing to say) that I consider it lazy, unethical nonsense.

I agree up to the point where I have to admit "I didn't think of it".

That doesn't make it valuable, though...
Everyone stands on their own dung hill and speaks out about someone else's - Nathan Krusemark
Its easier to criticize and hate than it is to support and create - I Ron Slippers
ironslippers
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6/16/2015 7:29:36 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
One man's art is another man's trash
Everyone stands on their own dung hill and speaks out about someone else's - Nathan Krusemark
Its easier to criticize and hate than it is to support and create - I Ron Slippers
fazz
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7/17/2015 3:01:56 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/16/2015 7:29:36 PM, ironslippers wrote:
One man's trash is another man's shart

Art is objectively art.
Hitchian
Posts: 764
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9/18/2015 8:00:06 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/29/2015 1:25:20 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
So, there's the old joke from Art School Confidential:

[looking at paintings that are nothing but a triangle on a background in an artist's house]
"How long have you been doing the triangles?"
"I was one of the first"

There's definitely a sense that a lot of modern art is lazy nonsense. Of course, that's not true of ALL modern art. But then there's Richard Prince.

For those who don't know, he took a bunch of people's Instagram posts, added a single nonsensical comment to the bottom, printed the page, and then sold them as original pieces, for thousands of dollars.

http://www.diyphotography.net...

This isn't the first time he's engaged in such (I guess "arguably") plagiaristic ridiculousness; he also basically jsut turned someone else's photogrpahs into collages (in some cases scribbling on them, y'know, for transformative purposes, I guess?). http://www.nytimes.com...

He won that case in terms of copyright. But how does he have a career as an artist?

I feel like modern art's failure to find a way to exclude this sort of nonsense is why it gets such short shrift all the time. Is there any way to fix it?

Not trying to be pedantic, but your use of the now anachronic "modern art" which ceased its historical pertinence some four decades ago, might betray a degree of superficiality in your analysis.

First, we must establish what (fine) Art is. Now, that debate is unlikely to end anytime soon and even the hopes of a meagre consensus are to be abandoned. It's simply the zeitgeist. This is not to say I don't take sides, which I fervently do. I endorse a formalist perspective.

The subtle but important distinction one has to make is between historical relevance and artistic relevance. Duchamp, Malevich and others rebelled against stagnation and therefore helped to liberate art as a whole of unnecessary momentary constraints. So while the urinol or "white on white" retain no substantial aesthetical value, they nonetheless helped broaden the limits of what was possible, what was envisionable, to extend the formal vocabulary, both of which would in turn pave the way for artists to come up with fresh works of renewed artistic value. Case in point, abstract expressionism.

In a way, Duchamp, Malevich and others were like blind people charting up a room they had just opened the door to. They expanded our map, went to its farthest corners, plotted the whole room. In doing so they have exhausted the possibilities of historical relevance. There's no contemporary avant garde, for there's nowhere to march forward to. It's all been done, one way or the other, no" shock of the new" to capitalzie upon.

What's left is inherent artistic merit of the work of art, which, in my opinion, resides almost solely in its formal qualities. We have to look at the polar opposite of this approach, conceptual art, to acknowledge the sterile, hollow and instantly forgettable work that comes out of the deliberate abandonment of formalism.

I know of a piece of abstract art that took two and a half years to be made. While one can certainly correlate time with quality, what matters most is the end result. If it's worthy, it doesn't really matter how long it took. In an ironical way, that would be a conceptualist point of view, you know, the very thing you seem so eager to belittle.
bladerunner060
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9/18/2015 8:20:34 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/18/2015 8:00:06 PM, Hitchian wrote:
At 5/29/2015 1:25:20 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
So, there's the old joke from Art School Confidential:

[looking at paintings that are nothing but a triangle on a background in an artist's house]
"How long have you been doing the triangles?"
"I was one of the first"

There's definitely a sense that a lot of modern art is lazy nonsense. Of course, that's not true of ALL modern art. But then there's Richard Prince.

For those who don't know, he took a bunch of people's Instagram posts, added a single nonsensical comment to the bottom, printed the page, and then sold them as original pieces, for thousands of dollars.

http://www.diyphotography.net...

This isn't the first time he's engaged in such (I guess "arguably") plagiaristic ridiculousness; he also basically jsut turned someone else's photogrpahs into collages (in some cases scribbling on them, y'know, for transformative purposes, I guess?). http://www.nytimes.com...

He won that case in terms of copyright. But how does he have a career as an artist?

I feel like modern art's failure to find a way to exclude this sort of nonsense is why it gets such short shrift all the time. Is there any way to fix it?

Not trying to be pedantic, but your use of the now anachronic "modern art" which ceased its historical pertinence some four decades ago, might betray a degree of superficiality in your analysis.

Not to be pedantic, but if I were referring to the movement, I would have capitalized it as a proper noun. It's not my fault that a movement used generic terms in its name. The generic was purposeful on my part, because the point is that modern art--generically--isn't really slotted into any specific "movement" except in being modern and claiming to push boundaries.

First, we must establish what (fine) Art is. Now, that debate is unlikely to end anytime soon and even the hopes of a meagre consensus are to be abandoned. It's simply the zeitgeist. This is not to say I don't take sides, which I fervently do. I endorse a formalist perspective.

The subtle but important distinction one has to make is between historical relevance and artistic relevance. Duchamp, Malevich and others rebelled against stagnation and therefore helped to liberate art as a whole of unnecessary momentary constraints. So while the urinol or "white on white" retain no substantial aesthetical value, they nonetheless helped broaden the limits of what was possible, what was envisionable, to extend the formal vocabulary, both of which would in turn pave the way for artists to come up with fresh works of renewed artistic value. Case in point, abstract expressionism.

But, I would argue, art should be weighed on its merits as art, not as a rejection of principles. Art can also make a point, to be sure, and that can enhance value, but if there's no artistic value there then it's little more than a joke to make a point. White on white has more artistic value than urinol, because at least there's a square there--a thing beyond the signature was made. Urinol, or the fountain, was just someone else's construction that he signed his name to. A urinal itself actually could be artistic, and can be defended as such. But he didn't make the urinal. His contribution was only in signing and, as part of the philosophical point he was making, in submitting.

In a way, Duchamp, Malevich and others were like blind people charting up a room they had just opened the door to. They expanded our map, went to its farthest corners, plotted the whole room. In doing so they have exhausted the possibilities of historical relevance. There's no contemporary avant garde, for there's nowhere to march forward to. It's all been done, one way or the other, no" shock of the new" to capitalzie upon.

Oh? I would rather disagree, given the example I gave, which specific method was impossible to do at the time of the avant-garde artists you're referencing.

The difference is that one is older--one you've read about in textbooks, and the other is new. But neither is valuable, except inasmuch as the point they made was still valid, and is valid as an exercise in making that point (or in the historical significance of that point being made). But as art they fail, because art is supposed to do something to the viewer. Seeing a urinal only does that because of a specific point--only because it's being put into a context where it's making a point, and the point is in an art world.

What's left is inherent artistic merit of the work of art, which, in my opinion, resides almost solely in its formal qualities. We have to look at the polar opposite of this approach, conceptual art, to acknowledge the sterile, hollow and instantly forgettable work that comes out of the deliberate abandonment of formalism.

I know of a piece of abstract art that took two and a half years to be made. While one can certainly correlate time with quality, what matters most is the end result. If it's worthy, it doesn't really matter how long it took. In an ironical way, that would be a conceptualist point of view, you know, the very thing you seem so eager to belittle.

How exactly am I eager to belittle the conceptualist? I'm not belittling the conceptualist, I'm belittling the untalented. There's no artistic talent in signing a name to a urinal(except, perhaps, the calligraphical). There's no artistic talent in printing up someone else's photographs. There is, by contrast, talent in making even the most incomprehensible abstract art. A collage is artistic, and having a concept behind it makes it more so, it enhances. Making a painting of triangles is not inherently lacking artistic worth, per se. Effort, at least, is involved in making them. It's the supercilious "I was one of the first" that betrays the nonsensical philosophical underpinnings, and those philosophical underpinnings are where you can get things like the artist I referenced, who has no value as an artist, and no point except that he makes money.
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bladerunner060
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9/18/2015 8:24:39 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
It's worth noting that my use of capitalization in the title may be why you thought I was referring to the specific movement, but I was not, which is why I did not capitalize it later.

The phrase "modern art" has specific connotations, distinct from those of the technical term "Modern Art" in the sense of the movement.
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Hitchian
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9/18/2015 8:50:55 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
(...)

Contemporary art is neither Modern nor in fact modern. It's extremely diversified and eclectic and if we were to detect a faint majority it would lean towards post-modernist, I. e., the implicit or explicit rejection of the modernist creed.

I think you misunderstood my point. I am not saying Duchamp's urinol or "white or white" hold notable artistic merit to this day. I explicitly said otherwise. They were nonetheless instrumental in opening up venues for other talented artists to express themselves. Said works had historical importance, as were it not for them we might still be stuck and cornered on formulaic, academic figurative art alone. In all its diversity, modernism is spiritually in debt to these precursors. Certainly, abstraction wouldn't have happened without them.

As I said, nevertheless, that says nothing about the artistic merits of their work. which I hasten to add is rather meagre. I fully agree with your assessment of the urinol. It was provocation - one that unfortunately was taken seriously by countless generation of artists. Like I said, it helped to expand the vocabulary. Today anyone is able to pick up that very same urinol and, unlike Duchamp, potentially turn it into a wonderful work of art. But that door was opened by Duchamp. Not a great artist, but a great provocateur and didacticist.

Now that a full century has passed we are in a position to realize that the failure to understand what art is leads to mediocrity and in some cases to that which has no business being called as art.

Perhaps you're not eager to belittle conceptualism, but I certainly think it deserves that fate. It's been the fountain of consistent artistic impoverishment,.
bladerunner060
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9/18/2015 9:28:20 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/18/2015 8:50:55 PM, Hitchian wrote:
(...)

Contemporary art is neither Modern nor in fact modern. It's extremely diversified and eclectic and if we were to detect a faint majority it would lean towards post-modernist, I. e., the implicit or explicit rejection of the modernist creed.

And that's why I didn't use the phrase "Contemporary Art".

I used modern art for a specific purpose.

I think you misunderstood my point. I am not saying Duchamp's urinol or "white or white" hold notable artistic merit to this day. I explicitly said otherwise.

And I argue they had no artistic merit IN their day, either.

They were nonetheless instrumental in opening up venues for other talented artists to express themselves.

I'm aware that's the common wisdom in Art circles. I 100% disagree with that as nonsense. No one was prevented from making this art, and the art itself wasn't inspirational. At best it made someone who may never have thought of, say, using any surface other than canvas to paint, think that there are other surfaces. But that's not a particularly groundbreaking thing, nor does it rescue that as art even in its day.

Said works had historical importance, as were it not for them we might still be stuck and cornered on formulaic, academic figurative art alone. In all its diversity, modernism is spiritually in debt to these precursors. Certainly, abstraction wouldn't have happened without them.

You may think so. I disagree. That art did not contribute. The thinking behind the art did, perhaps, but I disagree that the existence of that art did it.

As I said, nevertheless, that says nothing about the artistic merits of their work. which I hasten to add is rather meagre. I fully agree with your assessment of the urinol. It was provocation - one that unfortunately was taken seriously by countless generation of artists. Like I said, it helped to expand the vocabulary. Today anyone is able to pick up that very same urinol and, unlike Duchamp, potentially turn it into a wonderful work of art. But that door was opened by Duchamp. Not a great artist, but a great provocateur and didacticist.

I don't think it was a door that was closed. Clearly, he went through it. So, perhaps he was the first to have such an idea--though that's false--or perhaps he just found a memorable way of going through it such that it expanded the narrow-minded's horizons, but what relevance does that have to my point more broadly?

I would argue the door was always open--he just showed people the door was open and always has been. It wasn't art, it was a publicity stunt. It was marketing, and marketing of the lowest class.

Now that a full century has passed we are in a position to realize that the failure to understand what art is leads to mediocrity and in some cases to that which has no business being called as art.

So does heralding nonsense as anything but. I'm not saying that's necessarily what you're doing, but it's certainly what anyone who considers signing a name to a urinal to be art, or anyone who thinks stealing someone else's pictures is art, is doing, which was my point.

Perhaps you're not eager to belittle conceptualism, but I certainly think it deserves that fate. It's been the fountain of consistent artistic impoverishment,.

I'm eager only to belittle that which has no merit being assigned merit. Once you concede artistic merit in some meaningful sense, how to assign it relatively becomes a lot more subjective.
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Hitchian
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9/18/2015 9:35:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/5/2015 8:47:10 PM, DollarStoreSushi wrote:
I'm curious if anyone has seen an artist statement about this exhibit.

One thing I think a lot of people don't always "get" about modern/conceptual art is that it has a very different intent from more traditional forms. Rather than using the visual to reflect or record a real life object, person, or event, it sometimes is asking the audience to consider the nature, purpose, or validity of an idea or concept.

Yet that's the fraudulent premise of conceptual art.

The medium to best address ideas or concepts is the written word. If conceptualism so vehemently despises and disregards form, why not then take the logical step and just write an essay instead? Because some want to reap the benefits of being associated with fine art, notably, social prestige and income, and at the same time escape the criterion through which visual art is gauged. Likewise, moving into the territory of philosophy would mean them being susceptible to refutation, which evidently they seek to circumvent. So conceptualism hits the sweet spot of having the best of both worlds while discharged of the respective responsibilities.

Cunning.
Hitchian
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9/18/2015 10:25:19 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/18/2015 9:28:20 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 9/18/2015 8:50:55 PM, Hitchian wrote:
(...)

Contemporary art is neither Modern nor in fact modern. It's extremely diversified and eclectic and if we were to detect a faint majority it would lean towards post-modernist, I. e., the implicit or explicit rejection of the modernist creed.

And that's why I didn't use the phrase "Contemporary Art".

I used modern art for a specific purpose.

I think you misunderstood my point. I am not saying Duchamp's urinol or "white or white" hold notable artistic merit to this day. I explicitly said otherwise.

And I argue they had no artistic merit IN their day, either.

They were nonetheless instrumental in opening up venues for other talented artists to express themselves.

I'm aware that's the common wisdom in Art circles. I 100% disagree with that as nonsense. No one was prevented from making this art, and the art itself wasn't inspirational. At best it made someone who may never have thought of, say, using any surface other than canvas to paint, think that there are other surfaces. But that's not a particularly groundbreaking thing, nor does it rescue that as art even in its day.

Said works had historical importance, as were it not for them we might still be stuck and cornered on formulaic, academic figurative art alone. In all its diversity, modernism is spiritually in debt to these precursors. Certainly, abstraction wouldn't have happened without them.

You may think so. I disagree. That art did not contribute. The thinking behind the art did, perhaps, but I disagree that the existence of that art did it.

As I said, nevertheless, that says nothing about the artistic merits of their work. which I hasten to add is rather meagre. I fully agree with your assessment of the urinol. It was provocation - one that unfortunately was taken seriously by countless generation of artists. Like I said, it helped to expand the vocabulary. Today anyone is able to pick up that very same urinol and, unlike Duchamp, potentially turn it into a wonderful work of art. But that door was opened by Duchamp. Not a great artist, but a great provocateur and didacticist.

I don't think it was a door that was closed. Clearly, he went through it. So, perhaps he was the first to have such an idea--though that's false--or perhaps he just found a memorable way of going through it such that it expanded the narrow-minded's horizons, but what relevance does that have to my point more broadly?

I would argue the door was always open--he just showed people the door was open and always has been. It wasn't art, it was a publicity stunt. It was marketing, and marketing of the lowest class.

Now that a full century has passed we are in a position to realize that the failure to understand what art is leads to mediocrity and in some cases to that which has no business being called as art.

So does heralding nonsense as anything but. I'm not saying that's necessarily what you're doing, but it's certainly what anyone who considers signing a name to a urinal to be art, or anyone who thinks stealing someone else's pictures is art, is doing, which was my point.

Perhaps you're not eager to belittle conceptualism, but I certainly think it deserves that fate. It's been the fountain of consistent artistic impoverishment,.

I'm eager only to belittle that which has no merit being assigned merit. Once you concede artistic merit in some meaningful sense, how to assign it relatively becomes a lot more subjective.

I am not saying it had artistic merit at the time either. Don't know where you got that idea. I drew the clear distinction between historical relevance and artistic merit. As I see it, merit does not go away in time. That's why gothic, renaissance and Romanticism masters are still held to such high regard today. The formal qualities of their work withstands the test of time.

You're free to speculate left and right but the historical fact remains those works opened the door to full-fledged modernism. You can say the door was open all along but that's a platonic view. All one can say for sure is those works helped to fashion modernism, out of which, surely, great works of art sprang from. A similar phenomena happened with free jazz. Nowadays, even straightahead jazz can incorporate a dollop of free improvisation and cacophony to heighten the tension but still be firmly rooted in convention. That has been made possible because free jazz has expanded the vocabulary. You can say that it was there all along, in a platonic realm of sound, but that derides the practicality of life. Musicians constantly borrow from here and there, reshape, re-contextualize to create something new.

As someone involved with abstraction and deeply interested in art philosophy and phenomenology, I see those works as mere stepping stones, with little to no artistic value, but historically relevant nonetheless. On the other hand, I can't see the merits of conceptualism. I deem it philosophically bankrupt and void of artistic interest. I've come to the conclusion as I review its alleged necessity and pertinence and force myself to attend conceptual show after conceptual show and notice the fact I won't commit anything to memory once I'm past the door.
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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9/18/2015 10:40:53 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/18/2015 10:25:19 PM, Hitchian wrote:
At 9/18/2015 9:28:20 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 9/18/2015 8:50:55 PM, Hitchian wrote:
(...)

Contemporary art is neither Modern nor in fact modern. It's extremely diversified and eclectic and if we were to detect a faint majority it would lean towards post-modernist, I. e., the implicit or explicit rejection of the modernist creed.

And that's why I didn't use the phrase "Contemporary Art".

I used modern art for a specific purpose.

I think you misunderstood my point. I am not saying Duchamp's urinol or "white or white" hold notable artistic merit to this day. I explicitly said otherwise.

And I argue they had no artistic merit IN their day, either.

They were nonetheless instrumental in opening up venues for other talented artists to express themselves.

I'm aware that's the common wisdom in Art circles. I 100% disagree with that as nonsense. No one was prevented from making this art, and the art itself wasn't inspirational. At best it made someone who may never have thought of, say, using any surface other than canvas to paint, think that there are other surfaces. But that's not a particularly groundbreaking thing, nor does it rescue that as art even in its day.

Said works had historical importance, as were it not for them we might still be stuck and cornered on formulaic, academic figurative art alone. In all its diversity, modernism is spiritually in debt to these precursors. Certainly, abstraction wouldn't have happened without them.

You may think so. I disagree. That art did not contribute. The thinking behind the art did, perhaps, but I disagree that the existence of that art did it.

As I said, nevertheless, that says nothing about the artistic merits of their work. which I hasten to add is rather meagre. I fully agree with your assessment of the urinol. It was provocation - one that unfortunately was taken seriously by countless generation of artists. Like I said, it helped to expand the vocabulary. Today anyone is able to pick up that very same urinol and, unlike Duchamp, potentially turn it into a wonderful work of art. But that door was opened by Duchamp. Not a great artist, but a great provocateur and didacticist.

I don't think it was a door that was closed. Clearly, he went through it. So, perhaps he was the first to have such an idea--though that's false--or perhaps he just found a memorable way of going through it such that it expanded the narrow-minded's horizons, but what relevance does that have to my point more broadly?

I would argue the door was always open--he just showed people the door was open and always has been. It wasn't art, it was a publicity stunt. It was marketing, and marketing of the lowest class.

Now that a full century has passed we are in a position to realize that the failure to understand what art is leads to mediocrity and in some cases to that which has no business being called as art.

So does heralding nonsense as anything but. I'm not saying that's necessarily what you're doing, but it's certainly what anyone who considers signing a name to a urinal to be art, or anyone who thinks stealing someone else's pictures is art, is doing, which was my point.

Perhaps you're not eager to belittle conceptualism, but I certainly think it deserves that fate. It's been the fountain of consistent artistic impoverishment,.

I'm eager only to belittle that which has no merit being assigned merit. Once you concede artistic merit in some meaningful sense, how to assign it relatively becomes a lot more subjective.

I am not saying it had artistic merit at the time either. Don't know where you got that idea. I drew the clear distinction between historical relevance and artistic merit. As I see it, merit does not go away in time. That's why gothic, renaissance and Romanticism masters are still held to such high regard today. The formal qualities of their work withstands the test of time.

You're free to speculate left and right but the historical fact remains those works opened the door to full-fledged modernism.

It's speculation to argue that without them we wouldn't have gotten modernism anyway.

You can say the door was open all along but that's a platonic view. All one can say for sure is those works helped to fashion modernism, out of which, surely, great works of art sprang from. A similar phenomena happened with free jazz. Nowadays, even straightahead jazz can incorporate a dollop of free improvisation and cacophony to heighten the tension but still be firmly rooted in convention. That has been made possible because free jazz has expanded the vocabulary. You can say that it was there all along, in a platonic realm of sound, but that derides the practicality of life.

Don't get me started on platonism--that's another argument entirely. Not a fan.

But my point was that there's no merit to the works, and as such, any "expansion" is at best about their ability to make someone think outside the proverbial box.

Free jazz is somewhat different, in that jazz still has some measure of convention making it jazz.

Musicians constantly borrow from here and there, reshape, re-contextualize to create something new.

As someone involved with abstraction and deeply interested in art philosophy and phenomenology, I see those works as mere stepping stones, with little to no artistic value, but historically relevant nonetheless. On the other hand, I can't see the merits of conceptualism. I deem it philosophically bankrupt and void of artistic interest. I've come to the conclusion as I review its alleged necessity and pertinence and force myself to attend conceptual show after conceptual show and notice the fact I won't commit anything to memory once I'm past the door.

A fair point, I suppose. Again, I was focused on artistic merit alone, but your arguments about conceptualism as, well, a concept are not without merit. I do think that, inasmuch as it doesn't throw away certain core concepts of art, it's not necessarily bad, but that where it does so, it becomes so. Hence my original point about Prince, who is a conceptualist IIRC, but who is bankrupt.

I consider One and Three Chairs to have at least some artistic validity, on par with a collage, for example. Not a great deal, but at least a little. Every Building on the Sunset Strip, too. I think they both lie in at least a grey area, where they may have an overinflated sense of the value, but there's at least something artistic-y there.
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Hitchian
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9/18/2015 11:05:52 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Let me give you an example:
From Bravo's TV show Work of Art: The next great artist, season 1, episode 4 (top left corner)

https://youtu.be...

It's an image by Andres Serrano, allegedly made with his wife's menstrual blood. I'm not trying to be gratuitously provocative, but I recruit this extreme example to show how meek concepts are when compared to shape. colour, texture. Even in this extreme case, the power of this image lies entirely with its formal expressiveness. Were it an uncaptivating blob of red like any other, the fact it's made out of menstrual blood would not evoke any aesthetic emotion on you. In other words, it's the visceral aesthetic response to shape, colour, texture and all the other formal attributes that drives the aesthetic experience and even the most extravagant concepts tied to the production of the object itself have a very negligible impact.
Hitchian
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10/17/2015 9:13:20 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/29/2015 1:25:20 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
So, there's the old joke from Art School Confidential:

[looking at paintings that are nothing but a triangle on a background in an artist's house]
"How long have you been doing the triangles?"
"I was one of the first"

There's definitely a sense that a lot of modern art is lazy nonsense. Of course, that's not true of ALL modern art. But then there's Richard Prince.

For those who don't know, he took a bunch of people's Instagram posts, added a single nonsensical comment to the bottom, printed the page, and then sold them as original pieces, for thousands of dollars.

http://www.diyphotography.net...

This isn't the first time he's engaged in such (I guess "arguably") plagiaristic ridiculousness; he also basically jsut turned someone else's photogrpahs into collages (in some cases scribbling on them, y'know, for transformative purposes, I guess?). http://www.nytimes.com...

He won that case in terms of copyright. But how does he have a career as an artist?

I feel like modern art's failure to find a way to exclude this sort of nonsense is why it gets such short shrift all the time. Is there any way to fix it?

Do *not* conflate "modern" (the term is inappropriate) art with Conceptualism. It is the latter which is a fraud, even if its participants aren't completely aware of the scheme they're enrolling.

Conceptual artists tend to live in a bubble whose limits are defined by the stance "Art is anything I deem so". That naturally leads to "Good art is anything I deem so". Because the objects they produce are usually so banal, so yawn-able, so pathetic, so futile, so pointless, they feel the need to append A4s of text trying to persuade the audience of the merits of the work.

Again, do *not* mistake Conceptualism with contemporary art. That's a basic misapprehension.