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Old 07-13-2008
 
#1
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Default Good art vs. Bad art.

The question I pose to you is this: What seperates "good" art from "bad" art?

Today, my friend asked me whether or not I thought "Wanted" was a good movie or a bad movie. I didn't really like it, but I didn't know why I didn't like it. What makes art bad or good?

One possible answer I came up with was the extent to which the art reveals some aspect or truth about the world that you had previously not been aware of or understood. There just wasn't all that much in Wanted that I hadn't seen before.

Using this criteria, it becomes understandable why some people seem to like "bad" things. I know a number of people who liked Wanted, and perhaps they simply hadn't seen the same movies and had the same experiences I had which led me to not appreciate their re-representation in wanted.

This criteria also suggests that art lacks objective quality. The quality is created by the experience one has with the object. Really, a stone is objectively just as beautiful as the mona lisa. The only difference is that most of us have seen a stone a million times before, but we've never seen someone smile just like that.

What do you think?
 

Last edited by Luther Stark; 07-13-2008 at 11:36 PM.
 

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Old 07-13-2008
 
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When the human senses interact with the world around them, the mind registers them as percepts. However, it requires the use of the mind's reason, concepts, to give us information about them. When we see, I dunno, a hot dog, with percepts we can know that something exists but we require the use of reason, the use of concepts to say what it is that exists - a hot dog.

However, concepts about anything more than the simplest things require mental effort to uphold and maintain, and the mind can only contain a finite amount of them at a time. The human need for art stems dually from the human desire for beauty and from the human need for cognitive economy.

Specifically, art renders what would normally be complex concepts in the form of simple percepts. As such, art proceeds from the artists metaphysical value-judgments, whether held consciously or subconsciously. This is not to say that art need proceed from a complete and well-formed philosophical world view. More often, since most people do not have complete and coherent philosophies, art, and the values which it promotes, are just linked to vague notions about life that we pick up from the culture surrounding us.

Conversely, we respond to art based on our own metaphysical value-judgments, whether they be conscious or subconscious. Our idea of beauty is formed by them, by our explicit and implicit values.

Wanted sucked hardcore because the highest value it seemed to communicate was "lol man kick ass right?"
 
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Old 07-13-2008
 
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Picasso once said that good artists create and great artists steal...

When it comes to movies there are a whole host of variables that make a movie great.

The story should be believable and immerse the audience and the audience should be able to relate to the characters, and the characters should be unique and interesting.

Of course an individual's taste in any form of art is all subjective.
 
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Old 07-14-2008
 
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Art is something I'll never understand, especially when someone like Colin McCahon can be considered an artist.
 
 

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Old 07-14-2008
 
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The problem with art is that most people admire it because they're told or learned that this is what sophisticated people do. If you're an art connoisseur, you're somehow above others. I like to admire a piece based on how it reaches me on a personal level, not some pretentious appreciation for the benefit of others.

Andy Warhol is crap. Picasso was pretty much crap too.

Take someone like Salvador Dali, now there's talent!

/opinion
 
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Old 07-14-2008
 
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Art is not talent and talent is not art. Just because you're an incredibly good drawer, doesn't mean you can make art. Good job making a pretty drawing, you've got talent. That's about it.

Art will always make you feel or understand something. It will always carry a message and most of the time a feeling. If it doesn't tell you anything or make you feel anything, it's not art. That doesn't mean if you don't understand it it's not art, it just means you don't understand it.
 
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Old 07-14-2008
 
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If it doesn't tell you anything or make you feel anything, it's not art.
What if it doesn't tell you something but it tells me something?
 
 

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Old 07-14-2008
 
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Originally Posted by Luther Stark View Post
What if it doesn't tell you something but it tells me something?
Think of art as another language with many dialects. Just because you don't understand what it's telling you doesn't mean it's not trying to portray an emotion, say something or get a point across.

So I might think a work of art is telling me nothing, when it in fact is, and you understand it while I don't. This is very commonly the case, especially with contemporary art. An uneducated individual will have a harder time understanding a work of art than a more educated one.
 

Last edited by p3ngu!n; 07-14-2008 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 07-14-2008
 
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A colleague of mine who's studied art history told me that his working definition of art boiled down to "it's art when someone thinks it's art".

I've yet to come across a better definition than that. I don't like this; you don't like that. That is irrelevant. If I like a particular piece of art, it's damn well art to me, your opinion be damned -- and vice versa. Ergo, it's art as soon as someone thinks it is.

Now, on the subject of the question posed in the OP: there's only one thing that distinguishes good art from bad art, and that's personal taste.
 
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Old 07-14-2008
 
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Originally Posted by Nuts View Post
The problem with art is that most people admire it because they're told or learned that this is what sophisticated people do. If you're an art connoisseur, you're somehow above others. I like to admire a piece based on how it reaches me on a personal level, not some pretentious appreciation for the benefit of others.

Andy Warhol is crap. Picasso was pretty much crap too.

Take someone like Salvador Dali, now there's talent!

/opinion
I consider myself a pretty big art guy, but I have friends that are much more into it than I am. And most of these people, whether they are artists themselves, or work in galleries, museum curators, or art scholars, are not pretentious about it at all.

There is this myth that "art connoisseurs" (to use your term) are elitist snobs who have broken and artificial notions of what is good art and what is bad; but at least in my experience, the first thing that my art industry friends will say to you is the exact opposite: that art is an intensely personal journey , and what makes it special is that no one sees it in the same way, and the only thing that matters is what it means to you.

I believe that certain things in life prepare you to appreciate art in one way or another, and I encourage everyone to learn more about art to have a richer understanding of it, but the fundamental thing is that art is only good if you think it's good.

There are plenty of people out there who are pretentious about this stuff - they are poseurs, social climbers. We know who they are and nobody likes them. I assure you that there is an authentic, friendly and reasonable crowd out there though. My friends high up in the world of wine (which has the same kind of myth surrounding it) share the same philosophy as my art friends - you can buy a $10,000 bottle of Bordeaux from the 18th century, or you can pick up a $20 bottle from Kroger - the only thing that matters when drinking it is, do you like it?
 

Last edited by Pizza; 07-14-2008 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 07-14-2008
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuts View Post
Andy Warhol is crap.
I for one think Warhol produced many great works /opinion. While Nuts thinks his work is crap, I happen to like it. Art is purely subjective.

My art teacher used to always say it was the meaning behind the piece, rather than just a pretty picture. An artwork that connects with me on a level beyond its aesthetic appeal is what I consider good art.
 
 

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Old 07-14-2008
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuts View Post
The problem with art is that most people admire it because they're told or learned that this is what sophisticated people do. If you're an art connoisseur, you're somehow above others. I like to admire a piece based on how it reaches me on a personal level, not some pretentious appreciation for the benefit of others.

Andy Warhol is crap. Picasso was pretty much crap too.

Take someone like Salvador Dali, now there's talent!

/opinion
salvador dali is one of the VERY few artists i do like. i dunno what the style he used, but I do like it. I am not the type to admire paintings and whatnot, they just don't strike my fancy, but I do like Dali. I like the painting with all the clocks. It was pretty nifty.
 
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Old 07-14-2008
 
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To me art is like sushi. Everyone is very particular about what they like and what they even want to attempt to try liking. I love eel, quail eggs, and tempura spicy tuna. Most people cringe at the thought of trying that. Art has a similar quality in what people want to venture into trying to appreciate or like. Dali and picasso are both technically good, able to produce works of high quality, but what makes their works better than the other is solely the opinion of whoever happens to take a glance at the picture.

That guy who chained the dog up and let it starve, some people view that as a type of art. I cannot fathom how it is art and find it despicable, but thats my opinion.
 
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Old 07-14-2008
 
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That guy who chained the dog up and let it starve, some people view that as a type of art. I cannot fathom how it is art and find it despicable, but thats my opinion.
What's despicable is how nobody moved to help the poor dog, which is basically part of what he was trying to prove. Nobody would touch the dog, despite watching its plight and suffering. That's not to say I advocate the act, but who's more despicable, him for making the dog suffer, or you for passing by and watching him suffer and doing nothing about it?
 
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Old 07-14-2008
 
#15
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What's despicable is how nobody moved to help the poor dog, which is basically part of what he was trying to prove. Nobody would touch the dog, despite watching its plight and suffering.
We're all taught that suffering is something to be avoided, yet most of us rarely have the experience of being in the presence of others who are suffering. One of the things that watching another being suffer does is generate a sense of compassion for that being. And one of the things that a sense of compassion for other beings generates is a sense of compassion for oneself.

In a way, we are all like the dog chained to the post. To the extent that the exhibition makes us more aware of that fact, it might be said to be art.
 
 

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