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Author Topic: Collecting Art  (Read 10851 times)

John Camp

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Re: Collecting Art
« Reply #60 on: November 27, 2017, 04:57:30 pm »

Rob C said:

It's really why I agree with Sieff's dictum that there is no art, only artists. <Snip> Which of course, is what my old tin drum has been banging out for days. Photography has a handful of artists (IMO, of course) who have made remarkable pictures, but in line with Sieff's observation, and giving it a further twist, that doesn't make the pictures art - it makes them great photographs. For me, the missing element is the manual dexterity: it's a machine that does the heavy lifting and so many are happy to think that if it's in focus, covers a zillion tones, then it's a great photograph.



More stuff I disagree with. I think there's art, but artists come and go, sometimes in the same person. Sometimes, a person who is not professional (or even amateur) artist will make a fine piece of art, essentially by accident. (And they'll usually do it only once -- the distinguishing thing about a professional artist is that he can do it repeatedly, although not everything he makes will be a masterpiece.)

Manual dexterity (IMO) doesn't mean much. That's just training. It's necessary (IMO) but it's the vision that makes art, not the training. I once knew a man who was both a distinguished artist and a distinguished art professor, who said that if you catch a kid before he's in his early 20s, and give him good serious training, he can learn to draw like Raphael. Not make art like Raphael, but draw like him. There are god-only-knows how many couch guitarists who can doodle the shit out of a guitar, but will never make it off the couch. There are all kinds of people who can draw *extremely* well -- entire schools of them, in fact -- who wouldn't know a piece of art if it jumped up and bit them on the ass.

So, in my opinion, you don't look at artists, you only look at the art. Georgia O'Keeffe is very important in the area where I live, but I have great doubts about her art. Most of it, to me, looks like possible postage stamps, or college art projects. But O'Keeffe herself was a beautiful, independent, sexy woman and a very distinguished looking older woman who became a role model for much of what is fashionable in today's culture. And it was her presence and personality (IMO) which brought her fame as an artist. The art itself, not so much. That's another reason why I like Caponigro's "Running White Deer" so much. I don't know shit about Caponigro, but I know art when I see it, and I've got a piece of it hanging on my bedroom wall.
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tom b

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Re: Collecting Art
« Reply #61 on: November 28, 2017, 02:09:52 am »

"Photography has a handful of artists (IMO, of course) who have made remarkable pictures, but in line with Sieff's observation, and giving it a further twist, that doesn't make the pictures art - it makes them great photographs. For me, the missing element is the manual dexterity: it's a machine that does the heavy lifting."

In a world before Photoshop Jerry N Uelsmann proved that photography can be art.

Cheers,

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Tom Brown

Rob C

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Re: Collecting Art
« Reply #62 on: November 28, 2017, 04:23:19 am »

There's a sense, in this thread, of folks being very close but also as distant from a common ground as ever - not that one could reasonably expect a changing of minds, one hastens to add!

John's "but I know art when I see it, and I've got a piece of it hanging on my bedroom wall" is as good a definition as any, and perhaps the most commonly shared, which in an essentially subjective situation, is the valid one - no?

His further "More stuff I disagree with. I think there's art, but artists come and go, sometimes in the same person. Sometimes, a person who is not professional (or even amateur) artist will make a fine piece of art, essentially by accident. (And they'll usually do it only once -- the distinguishing thing about a professional artist is that he can do it repeatedly, although not everything he makes will be a masterpiece) - italics mine - touches broadly the same nerve as I think I have isolated on the text of page 95 of my recent little venture in desk-bound masochism:

https://ssanse.weebly.com/issue-2.html

(eighth row down, last-on-the-right thumbnail)

it's about exposure to an "artist's" oeuvre over a protracted period that confirms or denies the belief in their artworthiness (neat little neologism for the day - I think).

But insofar as music, graphic arts, writing and most of these things go, I believe they have to be inborn. Of course a teacher can help to bring them to a more refined level, but without the seed already there, even dormant if you will, nothing grows, probably not even the weeds of a poor art. If that's to be labeled with tones of elitism, then so be it; I see it as glaringly obvious.

All of which, of course (and as usual), takes us on a long and interesting journey beyond the scope of the original premise of the thread. Which is one reason that I like sites that are not too rigidly controlled: they can lead to places just as interesting and unexectedly different.

Rob




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