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What is Art?

Rigby

Diaperfurs 4 Lyfe
This question is stupid anyways, since the person asking is always shooting down every single definition without presenting any themselves

It's not just Fallowfox here either; anytime I see someone bring this up, they just sit back and tell everyone who tries to answer it how wrong they are, ugh, it turns a simple conversation into a never ending uphill battle that results in everyone being pissy and mad at each other and believing the same exact thing they came into the conversation believing.
 

Aleu

Deuces
Presenting an idea in a unique manner visually, auditory, or sensually to move the audience one way or the other usually in an emotional way, be it anger, joy, sorrow, or disturbing.

It's not so much that something is done but the way that it is done. Communication in itself, is not an art however it can be made to be.
 

CatterHatter

The Grain of Salt
This question is stupid anyways, since the person asking is always shooting down every single definition without presenting any themselves

It's not just Fallowfox here either; anytime I see someone bring this up, they just sit back and tell everyone who tries to answer it how wrong they are, ugh, it turns a simple conversation into a never ending uphill battle that results in everyone being pissy and mad at each other and believing the same exact thing they came into the conversation believing.

Do what? So it makes everyone pissy because they have to think a little more about a concept which is hard to define? Fallow is playing devil's advocate by giving counters to any simplistic or flat explanation. It was obvious he was even using things he has heard before or words not specifically his own as counter-points. It requires deeper and less concrete thinking to describe art the concept not only because of its subjectivity but also due to its malleability. It is ever changing, but it must have some qualities to define it or it would not have a name and a body of work known as art. It's not about right or wrong; it is about trying to reach a greater understanding than what you had before.
It is the same as trying to define love when it means so many things to different people and it is one word but has many different uses. It can, at times, be as frustrating as trying to describe a color or other visual to a person born blind, but just not as futile.
 

Rigby

Diaperfurs 4 Lyfe
Do what? So it makes everyone pissy because they have to think a little more about a concept which is hard to define?

no, there will literally by no definition that will make him happy, he'll pick at it till the end of time, even if he agrees with it, it's just boring and an unpleasant discussion. hey, if you enjoy being asked a question then being told youre wrong no matter how you answer it, be my guest, but it's just lame imo

It is the same as trying to define love when it means so many things to different people and it is one word but has many different uses. It can, at times, be as frustrating as trying to describe a color or other visual to a person born blind, but just not as futile.

exactly, it's already a nearly impossible discussion, people going out of their way just for the sake of making it even more impossible is just ugh. if he really wanted an answer, he wouldn't actively discourage discussion
 

benignBiotic

Banned
Banned
You're honestly far too analyctical of things that it becomes ridiculous and you take everything so, so to-the-dot literally and exact and yet refuse to see things outside of face value, except when it suits your desire to come accross as more learned and correct by interpreting it in a different way to others without taking note of how disgustingly pretentious (and woefully boring) it is. It's painful to see and gets rather grating.
I'm not the only one who notices this! Good. I love you FF, but you drive me nuts when you get like that.

I'm a left-brainer. I consider art to be something that impacts me and sticks with me. A book, a photograph, a poem. If I look at it and it effects me deeply for a long period of time I typically consider it art. And this doesn't have to be in a positive or uplifting impression. Usually it's tragedy and darkness that I get attracted to. Not to seem like a dark boy.
 

Rinz

Lather, Rinz, Repeat
Art is a creature of hate and loathing, only meant to torture those who would dare create it and confound those who follow it.
 

Rigby

Diaperfurs 4 Lyfe
stop romanticizing art, this isnt high school english class
 

Glitch

SLUDGE FACE
Art is hard to define and I will gladly shoot down readymades and the vast majority of meme/rageface bull (how that even came into the discussion, I am not sure), to be honest.

- Slightly off topic and opinion alert.

I have seen many people use the "anything can be art" spiel in an attempt to avoid criticism of crappy work. Apparently, if something is art, it cannot be criticized because it's automatically good. Thankfully not everyone thinks like this, but I hope people don't forget that there is good art and bad art.

"Good art", for me, means that there is skill involved - a certain level of craftsmanship. If there is a subject, then it should be understandably conveyed. If abstract... well, I can't say much on abstract, but an understanding of color theory and overall technique push it up to "good." The first thing that pops into mind when I think "bad art" is someone on dA/art site whatever defending their poorly-drawn animu or zero grasp of anatomy of anything as something tied into "style." An adult example would be half of Damien Hirst's work (but that's opinion - I think the vast majority of it is rubbish). "Bad art" demonstrates a lack of skill and understanding of artistic technique.

It ticks me off whenever I hear anything along the lines of "it's art so you can't judge!" to defend some crap scribbles. The frescoes of the Sistine Chapel are art, and while it is an extreme comparison, I don't think all art should be treated the same. Doesn't do people who work on mastering their trade justice.

A lot of this applies to music for me as well. But again, none of this is fact.
 
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Hydra

Member
-

I'm bored so I thought about this for a while, and I've decided that art means different things to different people. Everyone's definition of exactly what 'art' is varies, but I've come up with four broad categories. They are by no means mutually exclusive.

1) "Snobby Art" - it's expensive, so it's art.

2) "Emotional Art" - it makes the viewer / listener / reader / whateverer feel something powerful or unique, so it's art.

3) "Smart Art" - it makes the.. I don't want to type all that again, so I'll just them.. art consumers.. think in a new way.

4) "Popular Art" - for lack of a better term. It's art because people like it. It's not trying to make a statement beyond simply being interesting.
 
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PastryOfApathy

Well-Known Member
Art is literally whatever the hell you want it to be. The whole concept of "art" is infinitely subjective, meaning that anything from this post to the shit I took this morning could be by some person's definition, art.
 

M. LeRenard

Is not French
Fallowfox said:
Obviously if the definition of Art is so loose that it includes every product of human creation ever then it's not a very good definition
Now... I don't know if that is so obvious. It could just be that 'art' is a quality that one can apply to something (whether that was the intent or not) that gives it some sort of meaning. In which case, since it is possible to apply said meaning to any given object, any given object could be art to someone. I don't think that negates the usefulness of that definition, because it's not the objects themselves that define art, but rather the characteristic given to said objects by the subjective viewer. If you know what I'm saying.

In terms of judging objectively whether or not art is 'good' or 'bad', the only way I've ever figured this should be done is by examining whether or not the artist achieved what he set out to achieve, and to what degree. You can go through and write the most deep and intellectual poem ever created, but if you write it in such a way that it becomes completely impenetrable even to yourself, you've failed to get your message across and hence your poem is a failure. This is how I see most modern art, and I think it's where Fallow is coming from for a lot of this: there's this tendency in modern art to be incredibly vague and mysterious, where you basically slap together any stupid combination of colors on a canvas, or you take a lump of misshapen metal and just smack with a blowtorch a few times, or whatever, and you give it a name like "Venus' Envy" and let people sit there and puzzle over it. In that case, you are incorporating the idea that anything can be art, but you're doing in the laziest way possible, which is to let the audience do all the work for you when it comes to interpretation.
To me, that's bad art on the artist's part. When you come up with the idea yourself, you can mold your creation to perfectly reflect that idea in an interesting and creative way. When you don't have an idea a priori, you're just jerking off and pushing all of the work off onto the audience. This is the kind of thing that pisses me off to no end when it comes to modern art; the 'art' that the artist is setting out to explore is completely undefined, on purpose. In which case, by definition, it's nonsense. If you really consider nonsense to be art, fine, but I still think you're a sucker who just fell for a great big scam, because nonsense is something anyone can create at home with minimal expenditure. If it's art, it's clearly the lowest form of it.
 

Rigby

Diaperfurs 4 Lyfe
Now... I don't know if that is so obvious. It could just be that 'art' is a quality that one can apply to something (whether that was the intent or not) that gives it some sort of meaning. In which case, since it is possible to apply said meaning to any given object, any given object could be art to someone. I don't think that negates the usefulness of that definition, because it's not the objects themselves that define art, but rather the characteristic given to said objects by the subjective viewer. If you know what I'm saying.

This is a perfect way to put this, yes.

In terms of judging objectively whether or not art is 'good' or 'bad', the only way I've ever figured this should be done is by examining whether or not the artist achieved what he set out to achieve, and to what degree. You can go through and write the most deep and intellectual poem ever created, but if you write it in such a way that it becomes completely impenetrable even to yourself, you've failed to get your message across and hence your poem is a failure. This is how I see most modern art, and I think it's where Fallow is coming from for a lot of this: there's this tendency in modern art to be incredibly vague and mysterious, where you basically slap together any stupid combination of colors on a canvas, or you take a lump of misshapen metal and just smack with a blowtorch a few times, or whatever, and you give it a name like "Venus' Envy" and let people sit there and puzzle over it. In that case, you are incorporating the idea that anything can be art, but you're doing in the laziest way possible, which is to let the audience do all the work for you when it comes to interpretation.

To me, that's bad art on the artist's part. When you come up with the idea yourself, you can mold your creation to perfectly reflect that idea in an interesting and creative way. When you don't have an idea a priori, you're just jerking off and pushing all of the work off onto the audience. This is the kind of thing that pisses me off to no end when it comes to modern art; the 'art' that the artist is setting out to explore is completely undefined, on purpose. In which case, by definition, it's nonsense. If you really consider nonsense to be art, fine, but I still think you're a sucker who just fell for a great big scam, because nonsense is something anyone can create at home with minimal expenditure. If it's art, it's clearly the lowest form of it.

Ahh, you were doing so well, ugh. The audience "doing all the work" doesn't make sense IMO. Once the art is compete and it is published for public interpretation and analysis, the original artist's interpretation isn't more right or wrong than anyone else's. maybe its more insightful, but it isnt right, and therefore not that important. They could have no interpretation and it alone wouldnt deplete the artistic merit entirely. It could make of weary of how much depth there actually is, but if it's there, it's still there.
 

BRN

WTB Forum Mod Powers
Ahh, you were doing so well, ugh. The audience "doing all the work" doesn't make sense IMO. Once the art is compete and it is published for public interpretation and analysis, the original artist's interpretation isn't more right or wrong than anyone else's. maybe its more insightful, but it isnt right, and therefore not that important. They could have no interpretation and it alone wouldnt deplete the artistic merit entirely. It could make of weary of how much depth there actually is, but if it's there, it's still there.


I think you misjudged the point. "Getting the interpretation right" wasn't the issue covered in any part of his post; the issue was more how little clarity the artist gives his audience, making it difficult to find an intepretation at all.

I still disagree with the fox, but I'm just pointing out that you're not covering the argument he's really pushing.
 

Demensa

Characterless sack of potatoes
Now... I don't know if that is so obvious. It could just be that 'art' is a quality that one can apply to something (whether that was the intent or not) that gives it some sort of meaning. In which case, since it is possible to apply said meaning to any given object, any given object could be art to someone. I don't think that negates the usefulness of that definition, because it's not the objects themselves that define art, but rather the characteristic given to said objects by the subjective viewer. If you know what I'm saying.

I think that's a pretty good definition. The key is that art presents a meaning (This can either be the artist trying to express meaning, or the audience extracting a meaning) other than the objects used to make it, ie. you see a painting rather than 'colours on a canvas', or a musical piece, rather than 'random noise'.
Sometimes higher meaning is more difficult to find in some places than others. Sometimes it might just be the simple aesthetic pleasure you get from noticing a particular combination of colours. Other times a painting might tell an elaborate story, that is easily seen by most people.

The reason that random colours on a canvas, random noise and parts of everyday life can be considered art is usually the context it is presented in.
 

TigerBeacon

Internet Hate Machine
I'm pretty sure the process of creation is as much an art in itself as its result; being able to take something, understanding how it works, its properties, its nature, and being able to transform it in a way unlike anything that is natural. Art pushes the boundaries of what something can be and turns it into something much more than it should, whether in a practical or philosophical light.

If you call shitstains abstract art, its because they inspire a kind of idea behind the way they were formed, conveys and communicates that idea through the process of shitting.
 

CaptainCool

Lady of the lake
In my opinion anything that involves work to express a thought or an idea is art.
 

kap

Defeated by procrastination
I'd say that art is any original creation or presentation which was made with the main intent of appealing to and/or opposing someone's (anyone's) aesthetic. (Where what is "aesthetic" is determined by the viewer, and is subjective, but generally can be thought of as a sense of beauty or elegance, including intellectual elegance.)

By this definition, many things are art, but not everything.

Duchamp's readymades are, in my opinion, art. For example, we can talk about the urinal he submitted to a gallery as "R. Mutt". Originally, the urinal wasn't a piece of art because it was not created with the intent to appeal to an aesthetic, and was a mass-produced, non-original piece. While it certainly did have 'design' in that someone had to come up with a functional plan for the object, its purpose was mostly functional rather than aesthetic. However, although the piece itself was not 'art', the fact that Duchamp submitted made it art, or rather, a part of art. He challenged the aesthetic of the time, which did not see these types of objects as aesthetic. Duchamp's entire act of submitting the piece, then later reviewing "Mr. Mutt" was an act of 'art' in which the urinal played a central role. The presentation was original, had intent, opposed an established aesthetic, and, in my opinion, was intellectually aesthetic in that it was innovative and new in the face of hundreds of years of tradition. The same idea goes for the color fields (including blank canvases) and the silent compositions discussed previously on this thread.

Mass-produced works are not art. Though the original work that was later recopied may have been art, the paintings made by factory workers are no better than prints - and not the handmade types of prints either. They are non-original reproductions whose main intent is to make a profit, not to appeal to an aesthetic.

Then, as to the sorts of things dumped on FA or deviantart, you can get into the quality, craftsmanship, design, and so on of the submissions there, but the submissions themselves (with the exception of plagiarized posts, traced images, and the like) are 'art'. In that case, judging it is not a question of whether or not it is art, but to what degree it appeals to your own personal aesthetic.

Also, I would like to note that something like, say, this post is not 'art' in and of itself. Though someone else might apply that label to it, I did not make it with the intent of appealing to any aesthetic, and since I am the creator and presenter in this case, this post is not 'art'. However, if someone else wants says it is 'art' and present it as 'art' in an original manner that is supposed to appeal to and/or challenge an aesthetic, then it, in the context of that presentation, is part of the 'art' of the presenter, in the same way that Duchamp's urinal was his 'art' and, say, a newspaper clipping could be part of a collage maker's 'art'.
 

NerdyMunk

Only a Book Smart Nerd
What is art?
Baby don't paint me.
Don't paint me...
No more.
Oh well, I tried.
 
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