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Author Topic: Art and the plasticity of its forms  (Read 5401 times)

Rob C

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2017, 11:44:16 AM »

But Graham, those bikes and pens are being bought by folks of a different mindset, outwith the art scene. Not, of course, that I assume an investor buying Vinnie's stuff necessarily loves art, per se, but definitely by extension on resale!

Regarding the pens: if you were not pulling my leg, I have both to marvel and despair at a lawyer who would handle such a claim. I wonder how it went down in court - if it got that far. But then, have you seen any episodes of Judge Judy?

;-)

Rob

RPark

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2017, 12:39:46 PM »

Nice sounding words, but what is a "reflection" of authentic place and time, and what do you consider a "rhetorical contrivance"?

As I argued, all art is intrinsically a "reflection." Forgive the pedantic descriptor for documentary-style photography, which I prefer to something that requires an accompanying essay to complete its "meaning." Kinda like this.

Telecaster

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2017, 04:35:36 PM »

You'd be surprised how many classic motorcycles have a large premium added to the price because they were ridden by this or that world champion... typically when someone loaned it to him for a few laps at a historic even 40 years after his retirement :) He may have brought it back early and declared it an unridable PoS...

Circa 1992 a friend & I managed to talk our way into working a book-signing event for Brian Wilson, who had just put out his (first) autobiography. (We were both coders for a book distribution company at the time, and the company had ties to the bookstore hosting the event. We were both Beach Boys fans too!) So we found ourselves standing at the table where BW was doing his signing, opening copies of the book for him and rejecting anything that wasn't the book.

One sketchy-looking guy had a cheap Fender knockoff guitar that he wanted BW to sign, and of course we told the fellow "nope." But he was persistent and kept cycling back though the signing line. Eventually near the end of the thing BW gave in and took the guitar along with the guy's Sharpie. Which he then signed with a value-added extra: Don't be a dope and buy this piece of shit just because I put my name on it.  ;D  BW handed the guitar back with a grin on his face, the only time I saw him smile during the whole event.

-Dave-
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Alan Klein

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2017, 10:23:08 PM »

I once read that art has no utilitarian value but rather aesthetic value.  I suppose if you're a police photographer recording crime scenes for presentation in court, that would have utilitarian value.  But most pictures we're concerned with might get hung on a wall for eye candy only.  So this kind of photography can certainly be called art.  Of course  to be considered fine art, you got to get someone to spend a lot of money for it. 
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Rob C

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2017, 05:49:54 AM »

Circa 1992 a friend & I managed to talk our way into working a book-signing event for Brian Wilson, who had just put out his (first) autobiography. (We were both coders for a book distribution company at the time, and the company had ties to the bookstore hosting the event. We were both Beach Boys fans too!) So we found ourselves standing at the table where BW was doing his signing, opening copies of the book for him and rejecting anything that wasn't the book.

One sketchy-looking guy had a cheap Fender knockoff guitar that he wanted BW to sign, and of course we told the fellow "nope." But he was persistent and kept cycling back though the signing line. Eventually near the end of the thing BW gave in and took the guitar along with the guy's Sharpie. Which he then signed with a value-added extra: Don't be a dope and buy this piece of shit just because I put my name on it.  ;D  BW handed the guitar back with a grin on his face, the only time I saw him smile during the whole event.

-Dave-


Dave, I like you more and more!

I will never forget an early foreign shoot - for  a travel company - when I found myself in a small disco in Fregene, a favourite beach resort of the Romans, also featured (I believe) at the end of La Dolce Vita where the villa party breaks up and the self-invited and breaking-in guests wander off across the sand to where a beached whale-like creature lies. It would have been fun to have been on that gig, but the holiday company shoot wasn't bad either. The point of which preamble being, I think, that as I was trying to get my photographs of discotheque life, the Beach Boys were doing their thing with Barbara Ann. It took me a while to realise they were not singing about a lady hairdresser at all, and even longer to learn that they neither wrote the number nor had the original hit with it!

I still think California Girls is fantastic. That music, Jan and Dean et al. evoked notions that most of us living in grim old Scotland couldn't even imagine properly; most thought a Corvette was a war ship. I was ahead of the curve: I bought Playboy every month and, better yet, at the close of the decade I actually owned a copy of Harri Peccinotti's '69 Pirelli!

You Americans sure had a wonderful era. I hope you don't blow it all away.

Reverting back to that beach discotheque: had I had my D700 in the 60s, photographic life would have been a helluva lot easier and more productive in that club context!

Rob

GrahamBy

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2017, 08:20:59 AM »

I once read that art has no utilitarian value but rather aesthetic value.

To paraphrase Bernard Stiegler: in all the history of art from the cave paintings of Lascaux to the middle of the 19th century, no one asked questions about the definition or value of art. Its role was to be sumptuous; the role of the artist was typically to please the eye of a prince (or pontiff or merchant or...). It was only when mass reproduction via photography and sound recording appeared that there was a desire to distinguish art as a distinct aesthetic from that of manufactured object, and the possibility of creating a speculative market. Many art movements attempted to critique this (Fauves, Futurists, Dada, Surrealists etc) but none succeeded in countering the market logic.

BTW, apparently when Matisse became famous and signed with a prestigious Parisian gallery, he signed to take only 25% of the sale price... implicitly recognising the contribution of marketing to sale price.
His comment:
"All my future works are condemned to be masterpieces."
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Rob C

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2017, 10:04:35 AM »



BTW, apparently when Matisse became famous and signed with a prestigious Parisian gallery, he signed to take only 25% of the sale price... implicitly recognising the contribution of marketing to sale price.
His comment:
"All my future works are condemned to be masterpieces."


Poor devil!

;-)

Rob

RSL

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #27 on: January 09, 2017, 10:16:32 AM »

Hi Graham. Evidently Bernard Stiegler forgot about engravings, which have been made since the unobservable recesses of time, and many of which were printed thousands and thousands of times once paper became available. That was mass reproduction for sure. But I'd certainly agree with the rest of the post.

What really gets me rolling on the floor laughing is "limited editions" of photographs, after which the negative (digital file?) is destroyed. You simply can't limit the reproduction of really great art. There sits the Mona Lisa, and people rush to see the original, but there are thousands of photographic copies of the painting, some of which contain everything of the original except the physical brush strokes. If you produce a limited edition of your photograph and it doesn't begin popping up on the web, and occasionally in print, associated with some critical writing to avoid copyright problems, you can be pretty sure it wasn't the kind of deathless work you thought it was.

I can understand wanting to make a buck with your art, but if that's all you're trying for you're in the wrong line of work. Check T.S. Eliot, who wrote "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," and "The Wasteland,"  two among a series of works of art that rattled the world of art -- visual art as well as poetry. Then check his day job as a banker.

If your photographs are selling for millions you can be pretty sure what you're turning out is crap latched onto by investors. It ain't gonna be deathless, except maybe as a joke.

GrahamBy

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2017, 10:54:09 AM »

Indeed, plagiarism is the most sincere flattery.

For limited editions, I guess the book model of having a first edition, or a hard back, or a copy personally signed by the author has some validity: it appeases the collectors who are willing to pay more to be special. Otoh, assuming the author wants to be read, it's the paperback (or e-book) that really matters.

It'd be interesting to know how many writers make a viable living from fiction (excluding those who write it as advertising copy !) compared to the number living from painting, art photography and other visual arts.
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RSL

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2017, 11:04:26 AM »

It'd be interesting to know how many writers make a viable living from fiction (excluding those who write it as advertising copy !) compared to the number living from painting, art photography and other visual arts.

I'm sure it's damn few. And if you want to make big bucks in visual art you've gotta drip instead of paint. Dripping seems to turn on the investors. Maybe drip appreciation has something to do with name association.

GrahamBy

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2017, 11:30:14 AM »

Paint? paint is very 20th century. Unless you pay someone else to do it, like Koons: it's all about the concept, man.

I do know a painter making a standard working class sort of income: he does what a critic referred to somewhere as "crapstraction", canvases sized to fit befind the sofa and be non-threatening, but recognisably "art". He takes himself very seriously but in reality he's an interior decorator, which is an honest profession. I quite admire his gumption, even if I think that he's a bit of a dick.

France has traditionally subsidized the arts quite heavily, so there is probably a far greater proportion of people surviving in theatre, visual arts and writing than in the US. Very few of them are making above average incomes, that's a sort of semi-socialism/free market trade-off. Just a pity the art schools here are so dreadful.
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RSL

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #31 on: January 09, 2017, 01:15:02 PM »

I know what you mean Graham. I've told this story on LuLa before, but I'll tell it again: I knew a guy who annually brought prints to our local art show in Manitou Springs, Colorado. He was pretty good, and I'd always spend time chatting with him. One year his work had its colors boosted to the point where the stuff was ridiculous. I said, "Looks as if you're really pushing the saturation slider." He said, "Yeah, and my sales have doubled."

Bottom line: kitsch sells.

Telecaster

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #32 on: January 09, 2017, 05:55:11 PM »

I will never forget an early foreign shoot - for a travel company - when I found myself in a small disco in Fregene, a favourite beach resort of the Romans, also featured (I believe) at the end of La Dolce Vita where the villa party breaks up and the self-invited and breaking-in guests wander off across the sand to where a beached whale-like creature lies. It would have been fun to have been on that gig, but the holiday company shoot wasn't bad either. The point of which preamble being, I think, that as I was trying to get my photographs of discotheque life, the Beach Boys were doing their thing with Barbara Ann. It took me a while to realise they were not singing about a lady hairdresser at all, and even longer to learn that they neither wrote the number nor had the original hit with it!

I've got La Dolce Vita on Blu-ray. I should actually watch it (haven't seen the film in decades)! I should also spend some proper time visiting Italy. Been through it via EuroRail on the way (circuitously) from the Middle East to Germany, but that hardly counts. Getting paid to be there and observe does sound like a decent gig.  :)

In college I took a "blow-off" music history class that turned out to be terrific. A lot of it was devoted to incomplete works, whether the result of ill health, death or artistic failure/collapse. The Beach Boys' unfinished album Smile was the prof's example of a modern work doomed by the overreach of its creator. The creator being Brian Wilson. I'd always liked Beach Boys music, even though it was totally uncool in the '70s when I was a teenager and budding musicaholic, but other than Good Vibrations I'd never heard the hauntingly beautiful Smile songs the prof played for us (via bootleg). That's when I became a proper fan.

In 2004 the same programmer friend mentioned in my last post & I saw BW and his band play his completed version of Smile. Recording technology, and his much improved emotional/psychological health, finally allowed it to happen. The performance was excellently done. The album version is great too.

-Dave-
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RPark

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #33 on: January 10, 2017, 11:49:56 AM »

So I've got it wrong! I'm pushing the slider in the wrong direction!

I know what you mean Graham. I've told this story on LuLa before, but I'll tell it again: I knew a guy who annually brought prints to our local art show in Manitou Springs, Colorado. He was pretty good, and I'd always spend time chatting with him. One year his work had its colors boosted to the point where the stuff was ridiculous. I said, "Looks as if you're really pushing the saturation slider." He said, "Yeah, and my sales have doubled."

Bottom line: kitsch sells.

RPark

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #34 on: January 10, 2017, 12:16:34 PM »

I agree ... and I sell "limited edition" prints. They're a lot easier to reproduce these days with digital technology, once the file is nailed down (though I'm forever tweaking).

Still, just this morning I was thrilled to receive an email from a long-lost friend and early patron (he'd found me through one of my websites that tells the story, in words and pictures, of an ice climb, "Advertising Executives in Space" we pioneered together) He informed me that he still owns and takes as much pleasure from one of my (silver) prints as when he bought it 30 years ago. Being one of perhaps 2 or 3 of its kind, it really is limited, since I'm unlikely to return to the wet darkroom.

My old friend, an author and photographer in his own right, is not a well-known celebrity, but I believe that photo is more valuable for his many years of gazing upon it.

Beach Boys: I was never a great fan. I came to North america in my teens, from England, so I was already firmly entrenched in the English Blues camp. When Jimi Hendrix (who I saw live) pronounced from his orbiting spaceship:

"Although your world wonders me
with your majestic superior cackling hen
Your people I do not understand
So to you I wish to put an end
And you'll never hear surf music again."

That was it -- the Beach Boys were out!  :)


What really gets me rolling on the floor laughing is "limited editions" of photographs, after which the negative (digital file?) is destroyed. You simply can't limit the reproduction of really great art.

Telecaster

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #35 on: January 10, 2017, 05:27:35 PM »

Beach Boys: I was never a great fan. I came to North america in my teens, from England, so I was already firmly entrenched in the English Blues camp. When Jimi Hendrix (who I saw live) pronounced from his orbiting spaceship:

"Although your world wonders me
with your majestic superior cackling hen
Your people I do not understand
So to you I wish to put an end
And you'll never hear surf music again."

That was it -- the Beach Boys were out!  :)

Yep.  :)  (Though Jimi was reportedly a fan of Pet Sounds. Maybe of Dick Dale too!)

Surf's Up, from Smile, is a melancholic masterpiece IMO. Brian Wilson's 2004 version is excellent, and the unfinished Beach Boys' version from the archival Smile recordings officially released 67 years ago is also quite fine.

I like numbered photographs, but in acknowledging modern printing technology & methodology I prefer editions to be open-ended.

-Dave-
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visualizer

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #36 on: January 11, 2017, 02:10:56 AM »

I wanted to add to my thoughts on  the state of art since
I posted my original message. I have followed virtually
every art auction for the past 10 years.
The answer to what is art is not there.
Currently the new art.....food.
Imagine that every broadcast television show,
online contributor, new book, and social media,
spent as much time on fine art as they do on food as fine art.
What if every new culinary school was actually a school of
visual arts. Every judge on a 'chopped' game show was
a respected curator of art, and the contestants had to
work with a basket of themes and media to produce the best art?
Where would our world be then?
Certainly not wiping off, hours later, this new digestible 'fine art'.
The taste buds seem to be easier to tantalize than the brain cells.

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Telecaster

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #37 on: January 12, 2017, 04:34:49 PM »

Ahi (big eye tuna), grilled rare, is some sort of art form for sure.  ;)

-Dave-
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Rob C

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #38 on: January 13, 2017, 05:15:16 AM »

Tuna, skate and shark are the only types of fish that I have tried and positively do not enjoy.

The ones I like most are turbot and swordfish; cooking turbot seems to be an art form, one not everyone can perform well, and swordfish has to be saved from being cooked too dry. Nowadays, I think the species has to be saved; for sure one seldom sees it on sale anymore; it got rather expensive.

Rob

GrahamBy

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Re: Art and the plasticity of its forms
« Reply #39 on: January 13, 2017, 05:55:17 AM »

swordfish has to be saved from being cooked too dry. Nowadays, I think the species has to be saved; for sure one seldom sees it on sale anymore; it got rather expensive.

Very true unfortunately, it has been massively over-fished.

http://www.bigmarinefish.com/swordfish.html

Mind you, pretty much everything is over-fished now: we use fish to help feed cattle on feedlots so that we can eat them, or we feed them to our pets. Since there is a market and policing of ocean fishing is near impossible, commercial fishing is the modern piracy :(
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