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  #26  
Old 04-14-2008, 02:01 PM
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Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures

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Originally Posted by evaldart View Post
No milestones achieved, auction prices, exhibit histories or continued or persevering presence in the noted fronts of the "ART scene" should be considered a validator or authenticator.
If we are idealizing... that it is made at all is all the authenticity that is required for someone to find value in art. It need not even be made well nor need to reflect much consideration from the artist.

...but , of course, we don't live in such idealized times. I am quite happy with the co-struggles of finding personal value in my objects and actions AND those imposed by art lovers, collectors, dealers, historians, critics, theorists, and fellow makers. It may not be the most effective means for weeding out the factory floor goods from the art, but it sure is entertaining.

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Originally Posted by evaldart View Post
You cannot fool the artist in the mirror. A growing understanding of what Art actually-is will provide an artist with a greater and greater ability to be honest with himself about just WHAT he is doing and what he is making.
I couldn't (respectfully) disagree more! Honesty? I would never look for honesty amid the many liars, actors & epic storytellers that call themselves artists (Cheesepaws included!). Finding new ways to deceive yourself is the challenge - not a quest for personal truths.
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  #27  
Old 04-14-2008, 02:08 PM
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Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures

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Originally Posted by Cantab View Post
Another aspect of Quinn’s article interested me too, in this context. He refers to having got a ‘D’ in Art ‘O’ level when 16 years of age. Then goes on to self-justify with stuff about how “there are no quantifiable right of wrong answers” and how “There are no rules to creating art”.
Case in point with regard to honesty - I would never assume Quinn was being truthful regarding his aptitude as a kid or his acknowledgment of the "rules".

We lie for drama.
We lie for distance.
We lie because the people who don't understand why or how we make work simply cannot accept the truth - that we just don't know.
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  #28  
Old 04-14-2008, 10:48 PM
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Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures

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Finding new ways to deceive yourself is the challenge - not a quest for personal truths.
Well, I guess it boils down to either you are able to trick your mind into deceiving itself, or, your mind will deceive you into tricking yourself.
Then again, it could deceive itself into thinking it deceived itself. You see, thinking is the deceptive part, especially when you use your mind to think about itself. Now it should be evident why men don't think with their brains. That way hard ideas never deceive oneself.
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  #29  
Old 04-14-2008, 11:21 PM
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Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures

My Grandfather and two of my Uncles were sign painters. I spent time watching them in their trade and it was an "art". That "art" is pretty much dead
now (as are the above mentioned relatives). A friend of mind "creates" signs for a living. It amazes me how there is
no talent or skill or artistic merit to anyof it. Just last week I was visiting as was struggling to apply the
computer generated shadow lines that give letters a 3D look. Oh how he struggled to get those little curved pieces to stick and curve around the letters! My thoughts jumped to how my Grandfather or Uncle would have quickly applied the shadow with a twist and turn of a brush and such beauty that can't quite be obtained by the computer would spring on to the board.

Today I entered a Pier 1Import store......wow! These buggers over there somewhere are cranking out some neat looking inexpensive stuff! I don't want any of it in my house.

I want something that "turned on" the artist as he/she encountered the stone or mud or steel that they came in contact with. Not something that a buyer from Pier One spotted and said " send me 500 of those, 800 of these over here and Oh, can you make these elephants in three different poses?"

I guess unless the public is aware that there is a difference in the manufacture versus creation of an "object d' art" then we are doomed. Any moron can make signs, today. That is pretty much my take on all this above, unless I'm missing something.
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  #30  
Old 04-15-2008, 03:44 AM
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Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures

“You cannot fool the artist in the mirror. A growing understanding of what Art actually is will provide an artist with a greater and greater ability to be honest with himself about just WHAT he is doing and what he is making” - Evaldart

Sorry, Cheesepaws. Evaldart sums up something that is profoundly true. I think Joe sums up the problems with your ‘liars all’ position, whilst Evaldart points to a truth that I have experienced myself – I know when my work is right or wrong, when to scrap it or be amazed when someone else can’t see the problems (and buys it!). And the more I work on art, look at it and make it the clearer I see myself and the potential and the limits of what I do. If the artist does not set out with a bedrock of sincerity and the desire to act with integrity, then it WILL be all lies and falsehoods - marketplace ethics. The work will suffer too. All the great poets and writers I know will say the same – if there is not a profound desire to speak with integrity, with an eye to truth, then the art that is produced is just for a market. I don’t go to the great poets and writers for lies, and I don’t look at great art to indulge my love of liars. I understand how "all the world's a stage". I understand how theatre is a falsehood, how any narrative or image on a picture plane is not ‘true’ but only in the sense that Picasso said all art was a lie THAT REVEALS TRUTH. If you do the lie bit without the truth bit, then it’s not art at all in the sense that these great artists mean it, and it’s to their values and ethics I aspire. That’s why Quinn offends – there is something there, but I just don’t BELIEVE the work. Looked at closely it IS full of falsehoods, it’s not Rodin, Picasso, Anthony Caro or ‘ol Henry. Their integrity sears my soul. I cannot divorce integrity from the work or the vision of these artists, and I cannot see any of them proclaiming ‘whatever it takes to get it done’ instead of having the actual love of craft that makes them the very old fashioned masters they are/were. Love what you do; if you don’t, get some workshop to do it for you.....

A final problem for me as an artist - knowing the work of stone masons well, and knowing their work by regular visits to study their techniques in Italian graveyards, it is impossible to look at Quinn's Alison Lapper and Kate Moss without seeing them in this carving tradition. The Italian carvers who make his work are craftsmen in this tradition - they are stone workers. Now, in Italy, this particular branch of statuary is held in low esteem as art, although in high esteem as craft. This is exactly the problem I experience when LOOKING at Quinn's work - it's the craftwork of the cemetry on show as art. It's impossible for me to SEE it as art because the makers have used the same stylistic conventions they use for a Madonna carving for a grave as they have used for Quinn's sculpture. Quinn's work is only individual at the level of conception, of idea. Technically, the work is devoid of character or feeling for the stone. Spend some time in a graveyard, then look again at Quinn - you will see how formulaic the stylistic conventions are, how hackneyed, how derivative. But, hey, whatever it takes to get it done, right?

Last edited by Cantab : 04-15-2008 at 04:42 AM.
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  #31  
Old 04-15-2008, 10:34 AM
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Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures

As an aside, I'm wondering if you had seen these sculptures and had no idea who creating them or by what process, would the reaction be the same?

That is how I initially viewed them. I had no awareness of the sculptor, I was just looking at them as objects, which in an of themselves I found interesting, well carved, and a new approach, not unlike the hyperrealism mentioned elsewhere and raved about by some, where the change in scale in and of itself makes the work interesting.

Despite not being moved as I would in the face of great art, I still think that this is a worthy enterprise, as it presents a different way of experiencing the aesthetics and geometry of a fetus. Similar in a way to that lady who posted about a year ago with her sculptures made of enlargements of microscopic and other scientifically derived organic subject matter.
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  #32  
Old 04-15-2008, 11:04 AM
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Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures

Just to note an aspect to this dialogue that I don't think has been discussed. I note at the outset that I'm generally in the Cantab camp as to the subject of the thread.
The eroding effect of ease of production. A great deal can be said for mechanical production, but it does permit someone with facilities and/or money to produce something that can be called art without anything approaching the effort or training required in the past. Are effort and its consequent restriction of production good per se? Of course not, but they do give some assurance that the product was created by a serious artist, committed, perforce, to his art, with manual abilities that have always been associated with art, and who has spent some time thinking about and looking at his work. This does not assure good art, but as this thread has made clear, integrity and honesty seem to be regarded by all of us as central elements of art, and traditional methods tend, perhaps indirectly, to evidence this.
Apart from the subjective, ease has resulted in a proliferation of sculptures that tend to overwhelm the audience. Even worse, they get bigger and bigger. Anything writ very large is inescapably impressive and carries an impact that can obscure its second rate quality. They also clutter up the world, and I note that we now have laws preventing the public from trashing anything that is called art.
Finally, ease permits production without the training, apprenticeship, and years of unacclaimed dedication that were once required for entry into the profession and that have always entered into great, or even good, art.
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  #33  
Old 04-15-2008, 11:44 AM
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Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures

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Originally Posted by GlennT View Post
As an aside, I'm wondering if you had seen these sculptures and had no idea who creating them or by what process, would the reaction be the same?

That is how I initially viewed them.

Why yes,.. I had no idea who made them when I first saw them a few months ago and I never made a comment because they didn't do anything for me, in fact I didn't really even know who Quinn was (guess I'm out of touch)... I viewed them the same way I view stone Buddhas cranked out in a Chinese stone factory. I admire the trade-skill and the labor in the same fashion as Cantab, but search for the art and the style, purpose, direction and they are devoid of that as well as feeling and essence. When craftsmen overpower and substitute their own direction (or lack thereof) for an artist and their vision or when that vision is blurry to begin with then the result will be lacking and this is what has happened.

In a process where people are creating FOR you the result can only be as good as the weakest link in that chain (as cliche as it is, it still remains true). The responsibility however lies at the top and I don't think this Quinn chap was there overseeing and contributing directly to that process and I don't think any other superstars these days do either. Michelangelo and other great artists oversaw and trained their own assistants and worked directly with them in most cases where success was crucial and also evident and it shows clearly in works such as Moses..

This is where the lies and hypocrisy make themselves known to those who know better..
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  #34  
Old 04-15-2008, 12:11 PM
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Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures

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Originally Posted by Cantab View Post
“You cannot fool the artist in the mirror. A growing understanding of what Art actually is will provide an artist with a greater and greater ability to be honest with himself about just WHAT he is doing and what he is making” - Evaldart
Evaldart’s quote, while eloquent and steeped in sincerity, is the sort of empty rhetoric that perpetuates (what I consider) misleading romantic ideals about art making. It makes the grand assumption that Art is something that requires a kind of divine-like understanding to execute and that this undefined knowledge contributes to some kind of search for a truth about one’s personal goals or a societal/historical meaning behind the work. (Nothing personal evaldart - different strokes and all.)

Perhaps I misunderstood his meaning, it is far from clear.

I do know that (for me) fooling the artist in the mirror is the easy part. If I didn’t fool myself I know I would quickly recognize the futility or foolishness of artistic pursuits. I have no desire to ascribe meaning, truisms or honesty to my actions in the studio – that is somebody else’s job and I don’t owe that “somebody” squat – including any accounting for my training, concepts or intended context.

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Sorry, Cheesepaws. Evaldart sums up something that is profoundly true. I think Joe sums up the problems with your ‘liars all’ position, whilst Evaldart points to a truth that I have experienced myself – I know when my work is right or wrong, when to scrap it or be amazed when someone else can’t see the problems (and buys it!). And the more I work on art, look at it and make it the clearer I see myself and the potential and the limits of what I do. If the artist does not set out with a bedrock of sincerity and the desire to act with integrity, then it WILL be all lies and falsehoods - marketplace ethics. The work will suffer too. All the great poets and writers I know will say the same – if there is not a profound desire to speak with integrity, with an eye to truth, then the art that is produced is just for a market. I don’t go to the great poets and writers for lies, and I don’t look at great art to indulge my love of liars. I understand how "all the world's a stage". I understand how theatre is a falsehood, how any narrative or image on a picture plane is not ‘true’ but only in the sense that Picasso said all art was a lie THAT REVEALS TRUTH. If you do the lie bit without the truth bit, then it’s not art at all in the sense that these great artists mean it, and it’s to their values and ethics I aspire.
You make some fine points – especially in drawing attention to a key concept – sincerity and integrity of intent. I would add, however, that approaching one’s work sincerely need not require a commitment to seeking a higher “truth”. When I create I am committed to sincerely deceiving both myself and my viewer.

Honestly.

I am also in the camp of believing that the artist knows the least about his or her own work. It is not our job to contextualize our creations.

And please, shame on you quoting from Papa Picasso - the grandfather of liars himself and as much a product of "the market" as any Art-star of today. Don't believe a word he says!

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That’s why Quinn offends – there is something there, but I just don’t BELIEVE the work. Looked at closely it IS full of falsehoods, it’s not Rodin, Picasso, Anthony Caro or ‘ol Henry. Their integrity sears my soul. I cannot divorce integrity from the work or the vision of these artists, and I cannot see any of them proclaiming ‘whatever it takes to get it done’ instead of having the actual love of craft that makes them the very old fashioned masters they are/were. Love what you do; if you don’t, get some workshop to do it for you.....
One can love what they do AND love jobbing it out.

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A final problem for me as an artist - knowing the work of stone masons well, and knowing their work by regular visits to study their techniques in Italian graveyards, it is impossible to look at Quinn's Alison Lapper and Kate Moss without seeing them in this carving tradition. The Italian carvers who make his work are craftsmen in this tradition - they are stone workers. Now, in Italy, this particular branch of statuary is held in low esteem as art, although in high esteem as craft. This is exactly the problem I experience when LOOKING at Quinn's work - it's the craftwork of the cemetry on show as art. It's impossible for me to SEE it as art because the makers have used the same stylistic conventions they use for a Madonna carving for a grave as they have used for Quinn's sculpture. Quinn's work is only individual at the level of conception, of idea. Technically, the work is devoid of character or feeling for the stone. Spend some time in a graveyard, then look again at Quinn - you will see how formulaic the stylistic conventions are, how hackneyed, how derivative. But, hey, whatever it takes to get it done, right?
What you say about Quinn here fails to give the artist the benefit of the doubt. To me it is obvious that the “lifelessness” is intentional. Surely you can recognize that IF he wanted to present us with a more lifelike or idealized form he could have found and paid for it. Frankly, he might have the skills to do it himself…or not – I don’t judge a work based on woulda/coulda/shoulda and it doesn’t matter to me in the slightest how the work was produced. In the case of Quinn – since we are discussing the carving being done by machines or paid artisans – either makes perfect sense to me given the insincerity of his subjects and the state of the contemporary memorial (which so many critics are claiming as dead - making your comparison to graveyard sculptures particularly apt).

With all of that said, I am not blown away by any of Quinn’s stonework but primarily due to subject matter - not his perceived lack of craft.
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  #35  
Old 04-15-2008, 12:14 PM
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Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures

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A great deal can be said for mechanical production, but it does permit someone with facilities and/or money to produce something that can be called art without anything approaching the effort or training required in the past.
Why not embrace this idea as utopian? Complete acceptance and integration of the arts into all levels of society - could be fantastic. Is the concern one of ego?
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  #36  
Old 04-15-2008, 01:06 PM
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Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures

part of being a is sculptor is sculpting. when i look at a really great work i always think how did they do that. wow what skilled hands and fine tuned eyes. and part of the amazement for me is to imagin the carver banging or even grinding or whatever away the stone to bring about his creation. a real gift that he or she has. but when i see these and know that they were basicly designed on a computor or whatever. and then the work was hired out i lose all respect for the artist as a sculptor maybe some kind of artist but not a real sculptor as far as i am Concerned this is a sculpture forum so your bound to get this kind of reaction from real sculptors
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  #37  
Old 04-15-2008, 02:13 PM
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Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures

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If I didn’t fool myself I know I would quickly recognize the futility or foolishness of artistic pursuits
Not addressing or quibbling with your points Cheesepaws, just using the quote as a launch for mine: Life is controlled folly. Having the conviction to enjoy and direct your own is key. Do what you can by the means that are efficient(unless you want to suffer). So, in regards to art--the result, the message, the experience, the end result should be the end result. Who should care how or by what route it was reached? If you focus on the "propriety" of the route, I say your priorities are confused, unless you aspire to the folly of armchair critic rather than creator. Like the Zen saying: If a man points at the moon, why look at his thumb? Knocking methods of production is like criticizing someone for the status value of the vehicle they drive, or the skill involved in controlling the vehicle. The real question is what the visitor delivered, not the means of delivery.
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  #38  
Old 04-15-2008, 02:32 PM
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Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures

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Originally Posted by jOe~ View Post
The real question is what the visitor delivered, not the means of delivery.
Please don't deliver any Pier 1 Import stuff to my house.
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  #39  
Old 04-16-2008, 06:35 AM
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Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures

Glenn – I’ve seen the Alison Lapper piece in the real, and some other work. Seen from a distance in Trafalgar Square in London the Lapper was quite impressive. It is, after all, if nothing else, good statuary. It is when you look close up you realise how the carvers used every visual cliché in the stone mason’s book to complete the piece. It also reminded me of ‘Toy Story’! You know how computer generated cartoons lost the sense of the hand at work that was always present in the drawings of earlier cartoons when real drawings were used. There is a CGI evenness that somehow dehumanises the surface textures and the sense of a person at work. That’s what all Quinn's work looks like when you get close. The photos of the foetus on page one actually show this. Look at the tiny hands, the cord, the faces. This is stone cut to the principles of the CGI graphics program. The hand of the artists has been banished from this work, lost rather, because these graphics programs invite a characterless approach to carving when used in this way. Now, there are some great artists working in CGI and personalising it. Personally, I suspect that this means of producing stone sculpture is a technical cop out on Quinn’s part. He can get on with his big ideas without the torment, the personal drama of developing a style. I know of NO artist who has not put the issue of style at the heart of his art. It’s the signature that says a real person was here, it’s what lives on and startles – see Cezanne and be delighted every time with the technique, the style; look at a Rothko and separate the CONTENT from the STYLE – no way. Complete integration of both. Masterly work. Even Warhol, with his interest in mass production and assembly line manufacture, offered a clear defining style. In colour, line, technique, it’s a Warhol regardless of content (In fact, the style agrees with the content in Warhol, as it does in all great art). All 2D examples here of course, but we can do the same with the sculptors. What I want to know with regard to Quinn is: where’s the man’s style, and given the techniques he uses, how do those techniques contribute to the meaning or the artistic experience? That’s all I ask….

Cheesepaws: Picasso as liar. No, this is nowhere in the work. Picasso was particularly interested in perception, and this led to much work that explored the nature of how we see, including the distortions of visual perception and the distortions that artistic practices have introduced. Perhaps the early Cubist phase is the best example. Here the new implications of a post-Einsteinian, relativist understanding of the world resulted in Picasso’s experiment with how we might represent objects on a picture plane. In abandoning single point perspective he was working on the challenge to art by the new sciences. That’s not lying.

I’m also intrigued by your ‘lying’ thesis. You seem to relegate all art to falsehood. Tis a pity, as it’s not something I’d want to admit to any more than science or mathematics is all falsehood. I can’t accept that art is any less a valid measure of the world than that offered by the sciences, or by any other form of knowledge gathering. I’m quite convinced that art is a means of representing what the mind, as microcosm, KNOWS about the macrocosm, that is, the world we are a part of and is around us. I see no reason why the ‘findings’ of the artistic imagination is not a genuine measure of the real that’s out there, and that the mind relates to and is a part of. I see no need to draw lying into the frame at all. Artifice does not equal falsehood. And, in any case, lying implies intent. I see no reason why we should propose that Picasso’s self-advertising as a man MEANS that his art is ethically flawed. If it is, point it out. Give the examples. This is what I have tried to do with Quinn – I propose earlier that you can see the falsehoods in the technique and in the failure at the level of style. Of course, I can be wrong about this, but I’m not lying about it……

Last edited by Cantab : 04-16-2008 at 07:20 AM.
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  #40  
Old 04-16-2008, 07:54 AM
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Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures

I don't think there is room for discussion about lying, deceiving and cheating your way through a life in art. This was just Cheesepaws being contrary and testing his blather.

The realities of interaction during the creative processes has limits - seemingly infinite possibilities/options/angles - but physical limitations. This is due to those annoying laws of physics and such - they will not bargain, or relent...and most of all, they are NOT gullible. The art is their slave, just like a baseball game and a trip to the grocery store. One of the great possibilities of Art (that yields all those fabled truths, growths, epiphanies and transcendences) is to set upon a task that eventually has you doing something or producing something that you did not anticipate. THAT time in the studio working at the achieved hieght of some unique-to-YOU accrued manual undertaking is the only way to bring about anything that you will grow from. No one else matters, communication is a choking fly on the wall. This is the art that will win you the REAL superiority complex...which will give you the nerve to notice (or not bother with) the art-product out there that is all spectacle and no substance. If you ever see the Grave Digger (monster truck) you will be awed, impressed and maybe overjoyed...but it did nothing for those individuals; its designers, makers and promoters, but make them some money...and money can be got anywhere.

I love that we live in world where anything CAN be art...but I also love that only a tiny bit of all that actually IS. And the definition of Art at which I have arrived is unique to me and is a product of blood and sweat on the studio floor. It is the reward of Herculean labors that serve no function. But my self-mytholizations are of little use outside my head, only allowing me to turn a buck (and a few heads) as I roll down the highway alone at night with the bumper of the F-350 occasionally punctuating my travels with a scrape and a burst of sparks...fireworks of the anti-celebration.
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  #41  
Old 04-16-2008, 04:27 PM
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Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cantab View Post
Glenn – I’ve seen the Alison Lapper piece in the real, and some other work. Seen from a distance in Trafalgar Square in London the Lapper was quite impressive. It is, after all, if nothing else, good statuary. It is when you look close up you realise how the carvers used every visual cliché in the stone mason’s book to complete the piece. It also reminded me of ‘Toy Story’! You know how computer generated cartoons lost the sense of the hand at work that was always present in the drawings of earlier cartoons when real drawings were used. There is a CGI evenness that somehow dehumanises the surface textures and the sense of a person at work. That’s what all Quinn's work looks like when you get close. The photos of the foetus on page one actually show this. Look at the tiny hands, the cord, the faces. This is stone cut to the principles of the CGI graphics program. The hand of the artists has been banished from this work, lost rather, because these graphics programs invite a characterless approach to carving when used in this way. Now, there are some great artists working in CGI and personalising it. Personally, I suspect that this means of producing stone sculpture is a technical cop out on Quinn’s part. He can get on with his big ideas without the torment, the personal drama of developing a style. I know of NO artist who has not put the issue of style at the heart of his art. It’s the signature that says a real person was here, it’s what lives on and startles – see Cezanne and be delighted every time with the technique, the style; look at a Rothko and separate the CONTENT from the STYLE – no way. Complete integration of both. Masterly work. Even Warhol, with his interest in mass production and assembly line manufacture, offered a clear defining style. In colour, line, technique, it’s a Warhol regardless of content (In fact, the style agrees with the content in Warhol, as it does in all great art). All 2D examples here of course, but we can do the same with the sculptors. What I want to know with regard to Quinn is: where’s the man’s style, and given the techniques he uses, how do those techniques contribute to the meaning or the artistic experience? That’s all I ask….
They do more than contribute, they define it! The parallels to CGI animation and Quinn “style” is a good one. Of course, that look is a predominant contemporary style in art (widely embraced by both eastern and western cultures). Perhaps you fear the loss of the hand – fair enough – but I find it hard to dismiss the distinct and wonderful qualities of a modern aesthetic based on a pining for a definable list of “rules” or a potentially dated need for an identifiable mark of the individual. For me Quinn’s content and style seem in perfect synch. Intent stills seems to be the lingering question and I will put it to you again – why do you assume he doesn’t have complete control of his style and that the “lifelessness” isn’t precisely intended? If he is in control - would that change your view of him as an artist?

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Originally Posted by Cantab View Post
Cheesepaws: Picasso as liar. No, this is nowhere in the work. Picasso was particularly interested in perception, and this led to much work that explored the nature of how we see, including the distortions of visual perception and the distortions that artistic practices have introduced. Perhaps the early Cubist phase is the best example. Here the new implications of a post-Einsteinian, relativist understanding of the world resulted in Picasso’s experiment with how we might represent objects on a picture plane. In abandoning single point perspective he was working on the challenge to art by the new sciences. That’s not lying.
But it IS self-deception to damn the “known” conventions of art and try something absurd (like multi-point perspective). Of course Picasso didn’t fully exorcise the value of established “rules” but he did suspended them long enough to re-invent them. I am glad you find honesty and truth in the work (as do I), but I still see it born from Picasso convincing himself that the established rules didn’t matter. That is deception pure and simple.

By the way - thanks for the thoughtful responses. They have kept me questioning my own assumptions, as well as providing some interesting class discussion with my students.
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Old 04-16-2008, 04:33 PM
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Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures

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Originally Posted by evaldart View Post
I don't think there is room for discussion about lying, deceiving and cheating your way through a life in art. This was just Cheesepaws being contrary and testing his blather. .
I hope we can agree to disagree.

Certainly there is a bit of devils advocacy going on here, but with regard to art I think deception is central. However, by no means should you infer that I support any sort of art charlatanry or “cheating” in a way that demands ethical justification. Sorry if I have not been clear on that point in earlier posts. To be honest, I don’t even believe that there are that many (if any) true artists out there who “cheat” in the name of self-advancement or personal gain. Perhaps it is the nature of the field itself that you were referring to earlier that demands honest intentions? If so, then I would agree.

The kind of deception I am referencing is personal in nature. When I walk into the studio each day I must fully believe that I have the ability to balance a proverbial boulder on the head of a pin. I must deceive myself in order to reject anything that might inhibit my vision - including the laws of physics or any established “rules” of art. Additionally, I know by experience and more often than not, the intended “meaning” of any particular piece of art matures/evolves/changes year after year. In the moment of making a new work I deceive myself into thinking I have a clue as to what I am doing, when, in fact, it is all but impossible to predict how a work will respond to the distance of five, ten or twenty years.

Initially I mentioned to Cantab to reject what Quinn was saying about his work as a lie. I stand by that. That’s not to say that Quinn is not telling the truth about being a poor student or that he doesn’t honestly believe that there are no right or wrong answers in art. Put simply he is not obligated to speak truthfully on these things nor should it matter what his answers are. As specialists with a sophisticated visual (not necessarily verbal) acuity coupled with an understanding of the fluid nature of process (as well as the afore mentioned evolution of work over time) - how can you seriously expect artists to answer questions regarding process with any amount of certainty? I don’t know about you, but most of the time I simply don’t know why I made the decisions I did on a work of art. Sure, sometimes it is about the limitations of the materials or my skills, sometimes I respond to formal relationships of various elements, and sometimes it is a simple progression of action/reaction – but not always. The subconscious has a heavy hand in my work… as does raw gut intuition. Those are a bit harder to quantify. Add to that how working processes can change from piece-to-piece and day-to-day….and finding concrete truths about process becomes near impossible. So I lie. If somebody is more interested in chatting about why I welded instead of glued or swept the line of a piece to the left instead of to the right - then I generally don’t care what I say. It makes no difference to me what they believe and it won’t impact my process on the next work. Hell, I doubt I could give an “honest” answer if I wanted to…other than simply, “I don’t know.”

Likewise, if we are not talking about personal style or process but meaning in a work -then I know even less. Like I said in an earlier post – that is somebody else’s job. They too are specialist (critics and historians) and if they want to ascribe meaning to my work that I did not intend – then great! You can’t stop them and – with luck – they will be the ones who will etch your name in the history books …not the artist…and not the work alone. I point this out to underscore how expansive deception runs in the arts. Very little is concrete enough to declare true or honest.

Again, I don’t see how any of this “lying” negates an “honest” experience of a work of art. Anyway - thanks for listening...I mean that
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Old 04-16-2008, 11:20 PM
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Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures

This is very interesting Cheesepaws and you make an excellent case. I'd argue that at it's core, deception is not at all central to art but merely another method or byproduct, a trick for the eye or twisting of the minds perspective to convince one of the potential for any given reality.. I mean it in the sense of trickery and not in the sense of a "lie" such as Satan tempting Eve in the garden of Eden.. That kind of deception invokes imagery of premeditated evil and that cannot be central to art.
Central to art is expression and deception falls subordinate to that greater cause and in some cases could be viewed as disingenous and or inauthentic. I would assert that there are swaths of various works with no inherent deception at all. They simply are and are not meant to trick, lie or deceive, when I look at one of Jeff's abstracts or Evaldart's or Cantab's or anyone's am I looking at deception or am I seeing their reality?
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Old 04-16-2008, 11:52 PM
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Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures

To rely on the concept of deceit to get you through your day instead of finding what you believe is painful to hear. Some days are a grind & no doubt you need to switch it up a bit or at the very least sing a whole lot louder. But there's a difference between will and deceit, no? And instead of making stuff up when pressed by a question. how about a candid "that's what came out of me that day" or "it was an intuitive response..." There are words for these things that don't involve deceit and acknowledge how one mysteriously got to point B. If you feel the need to shovel bull poop, perhaps your true calling is politics. But hey, if it works for you, who am I to criticize a tried and true process? Best of luck.

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Knocking methods of production is like criticizing someone for the status value of the vehicle they drive, or the skill involved in controlling the vehicle. The real question is what the visitor delivered, not the means of delivery.
And Joe, this is the difference between the things you compare. One of them, the only goal was execution, the other is the pretense of execution ( unless they paid cash for the status car) If the method of delivery is built on something in which the removal of one piece of scaffold down the road can crash the entire artifice, then that's a pretty shabby way to live. What then is an acceptable amount of risk? I think in charging "what the market will bear" for something mass produced, that it's likely someone is taking it in the shorts somewhere. But that's just business, and a matter of perspective I'm told. In the end, it depends how much of a stickler you are for perceived integrity in individual objects. or people.

Last edited by grommet : 04-17-2008 at 06:37 AM.
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:03 AM
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Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures

i just spent a little time looking at quinns art and reading a little about him. which i never did before my last post. sorry if i come off sounding like a bit of a dick. but now. man i cant beleive some body paid millions for a frozen cast head in blood. which latter melted holy cow why not use some gelatin or somthing. or better yet feed a whole lot of starving people. it seems to me these kind of works really are like theme park stuff. . you can even buy a print of one of his sculpture for 1500 pounds like about 3000 bucks. for that you could take a trip to england and see them for you self but then you wouldnt have his signature .its all about the money i guess. and what could be better than money for nothing
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:13 AM
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Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures

The parsing of words and comments here is worthy of what political candidates are doing to gain traction. Meanwhile the real issues get glossed over. People here aren't trying to accumulate votes, but they sure are confused about the real issues. Lord have mercy come election time. Free Tibet and minds(and art).
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:29 AM
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Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures

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.its all about the money i guess. and what could be better than money for nothing
Money for nothing indeed?

A quick google search provided the following: from Sports Illustrated highlighting the salaries of "average" professional athletes (not even the "big earners)." Here are the numbers for various professional sports:

Basketball (NBA) -- $5,000,000
Baseball (MLB) -- $2,800,000
Football (NFL) -- $1,750,000
Hockey (NHL) -- $1,500,000
Men's Golf -- $973,495
Women's Tennis -- $345,000
Men's Tennis -- $260,000
Women's Golf -- $162,043

Quinn and a literal handful of others are doing alright – why begrudge them financial success? In the face of overwhelming odds a lucky few get to earn as much as a lump of muscle who can shoot up with steroids and run 100 yards with an oval leather form tucked under his arm. We should celebrate the economic accomplishments of our fellow artists and not allow this one mere measure of success to influence how much we like or dislike the work they produce.

Even at the prices you quoted - compared to what athletes, CEOs, Lawyers, and the rest of corporate America earns – I think Quinn is grossly underpaid!
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:32 AM
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Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures

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Originally Posted by jOe~ View Post
The parsing of words and comments here is worthy of what political candidates are doing to gain traction. Meanwhile the real issues get glossed over. People here aren't trying to accumulate votes, but they sure are confused about the real issues. Lord have mercy come election time. Free Tibet and minds(and art).
Vote for me! I can bowl at least an 84!
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:43 AM
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Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures

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Even at the prices you quoted - compared to what athletes, CEOs, Lawyers, and the rest of corporate America earns – I think Quinn is grossly underpaid!
Making money is an art. Working your fingers to the bone only gets you bony fingers.
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:47 AM
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Re: Marc Quinn's foetus sculptures

You can either hit a 100 mph fastball or you cant. No amount of money will buy this extremely rare ability. No rich daddy, nor any befriended crony, nor any performance enhancer, nor any amount of study and intellectual application, nor any surging trend or fashion will allow your nervous-system to hit that pitch. Those well paid athletes are powerfully unique specimens...but if Alex Rodriguez decided tomorrow to become a fine artist Quinn, Hirst, Koons and their crowd would welcome him with open arms, kiss his ass, even they would make him a genius in no time...A Rod could be be in the MOMA if he cared to be.
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