Sculpture Community - Sculpture.net  

Go Back  Sculpture Community - Sculpture.net > Sculpture Roundtable Discussions > Figurative Sculpture
User Name
Password
Home Sculpture Community Photo Gallery ISC Sculpture.org Register FAQ Members List Search New posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #51  
Old 12-17-2003, 10:10 PM
fritchie's Avatar
fritchie fritchie is offline
Sculptor
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: New Orleans, LA
Posts: 3,456
Re: Art, craft and surfboards

You don't need to apologize at all. We're both saying more or less the same thing in different words. Art is a business as well as a searching of your own soul. Most regular artists, including me, see the business angle as fairly arbitrary.

I do have enough perspective to suppose that high end art dealers look for young, energetic, assertive producers of artworks, to insure a return on the cost of publicity and exhibit space. How others will perceive the art that results from these producers may be in the process less important than the investment and the need to receive a return.

This may sound exceedingly cynical, but it genuinely is the way I see the art market. When something has both spiritual and material sides, or creative and practical, if you prefer, conflict is bound to occur. You’re not the first to associate the “high art” versus “craft” discussion with “rich” versus “poor”, or “high social status” versus “commonplace”. All these things do run in parallel.

One of the things that keeps coming through in this thread is that real artists work for themselves, not for anyone else. How society views their work affects them, but they have to stay true to their inner selves or fail as artists.
Reply With Quote
  #52  
Old 12-18-2003, 12:37 PM
ExNihiloStudio's Avatar
ExNihiloStudio ExNihiloStudio is offline
Level 6 user
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 105
Re: Art contrasted with Craft

Well said fritchie

I would characterize working for yourself in the best sense as being a pursuit of excellence in a particular field or tradition. So, in the case of surfboards it would be a worthy mission to create the perfect surfboard, or at least make a surfboard more perfect than the best known so far. That alone is a worthy goal and it has its rewards, but practical things intrude, distort, and create conflict. See fritchie's last post for examples.
__________________
- Mark G. Taber
Ex Nihilo Studio
http://www.ExNihiloStudio.com
Reply With Quote
  #53  
Old 12-25-2003, 05:36 PM
Kimpak Kimpak is offline
Level 2 user
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 15
Re: Art contrasted with Craft

Just my 2 cents on this subject......

I create paper mache objects, animals, & figures
Whether it's called art or craft makes no difference to me.

My husband summed it up well....
You crafted a dog and turned it into a work of art!
Nuff said!
Reply With Quote
  #54  
Old 12-27-2003, 04:57 PM
Stephen Casey Stephen Casey is offline
Level 6 user
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Lakewood (South of Tacoma) WA USA
Posts: 116
Re: Art contrasted with Craft

I sold a how-to book that was all craft and only dreesed up in key spots with art, "individuality in expression of experience and perception."

Success or failure was important. But as time passed I reaized its insignificance materially, and that I would never re-publish that work for it's vacuity of art in it's major volume.

But ironicly of the art I have sold it was an effort of craftsmanship that I am most proud of.

It was an effort to mirror the state of the sitters fractured mind. Charcoal and pencil. To provide a mirror that would not morph when he looked at it, to speak clearly to him when he was alone. His name was David; he had lost a lot of his scrupples and ability to experience calm to street drugs. I had intended to give it to him. But instead demanded $20 from him and would not release it until almost a month later he managed to scrap up $15. At that point I saw that he felt he needed the portrait to move on with his life and poor as he was he suffered a great price in his world. I accepted the payment, much of it in wrinkled bills and coin. I pasted it to some rigid cardboard like matter and sealed it with a matte finish. I could of framed it nicely or done it up in several ways. But I didn't want to intrude on what this one piece already said to this one individual.

I am working now on a project that had marketability in mind from the offset, but at the same time I am saying something valuable about my subjects plight. That is my goal.

As long as your art is important to someone-even just one person-even if its the artist, now or in another time, it it valid and valuable.
Reply With Quote
  #55  
Old 12-27-2003, 08:14 PM
fritchie's Avatar
fritchie fritchie is offline
Sculptor
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: New Orleans, LA
Posts: 3,456
Re: Art contrasted with Craft - Portrait

Well said, Stephen. Thanks for sharing.
Reply With Quote
  #56  
Old 12-30-2003, 07:22 PM
sculptor's Avatar
sculptor sculptor is offline
Level 10 user
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: IOWA
Posts: 1,493
Re: Art contrasted with Craft

I feel that one should not contrast art and craft.
Art should be built on a firm foundation in craft.
If we delineate craft as the mastery of the tools and materials and art as using those skills to take the next step, the step that enlightens and delights, the step that blends beauty and imagination and offers them to others eyes.
Reply With Quote
  #57  
Old 12-31-2003, 09:07 AM
anne (bxl) anne (bxl) is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Ibiza (Spain)
Posts: 426
Re: Art contrasted with Craft

Quote:
Originally Posted by waveshop
My Yang seems to be the craftsman and my Yin the Artist. If the two are swirling smoothly together,.... Its all good!
Well said !
Yang is action, technic, pragmatism. tradition?
Yin is reflection, analysis, emotion. breaks new ground?
Reply With Quote
  #58  
Old 12-31-2003, 04:08 PM
Stephen Casey Stephen Casey is offline
Level 6 user
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Lakewood (South of Tacoma) WA USA
Posts: 116
Re: Art contrasted with Craft

Sculptor said:
I feel that one should not contrast art and craft.
Art should be built on a firm foundation in craft.
If we delineate craft as the mastery of the tools and materials and art as using those skills to take the next step, the step that enlightens and delights, the step that blends beauty and imagination and offers them to others eyes.

Stephen argues:
Well said Rod. But I would argue that asthetic is found in the ugly as well. In fact I would say that art via figuritive sculpture is often and rightly so an expression of the negative stresses in societies. Enlightening but not delighting. I repect some art that I find painful to look upon. As in Van Gogh's late paintings.

I regret that my current project demands so much pain but at the same time it gives me the oppurtunity to communicate the subjects strength in times of adversity. (I am doing a medievel chess set.) If anyone finds beauty in this set it will have to come from their own empathy toward the charactors. So I suppose the beauty will have to come from the viewer and not the artist.
Reply With Quote
  #59  
Old 12-31-2003, 04:21 PM
Stephen Casey Stephen Casey is offline
Level 6 user
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Lakewood (South of Tacoma) WA USA
Posts: 116
Re: Art contrasted with Craft

But of course beauty has an importance in of it's self.

Such as Sculptors work below;

http://sculpture.net/community/attac...tachmentid=288
Reply With Quote
  #60  
Old 12-31-2003, 08:48 PM
fritchie's Avatar
fritchie fritchie is offline
Sculptor
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: New Orleans, LA
Posts: 3,456
Re: Art contrasted with Craft Ugliness as Art

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Casey
... etc. ... But I would argue that asthetic is found in the ugly as well. ... etc. ...
I agree, Stephen. Rodin may have been the first sculptor to express this (I’m not sure), in his figure of an aged woman with a complicated title such as “She who was the helmetmaker’s beautiful wife”. The model had posed over many years for Parisian sculptors, and I agree that she shows personal beauty. My figure of another older, very experience model, Ann, which Stephen found on my ISC Portfolio page, has been my most popular figure to date, but in a somewhat truncated wall interpretation.

And I want to emphasize, I certainly do not consider either of these pieces, or the people behind them, anything but beautiful. Superficial beauty is not real beauty, and serious people see this.

Last edited by fritchie : 12-31-2003 at 09:47 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #61  
Old 12-31-2003, 10:41 PM
sculptorsam's Avatar
sculptorsam sculptorsam is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: MN
Posts: 823
Re: Art contrasted with Craft Ugliness as Art

Quote:
Originally Posted by fritchie
Superficial beauty is not real beauty, and serious people see this.
Oddly enough, I was just having this conversation with my father-in-law regarding the aesthetic choices of Playboy magazine...

Sam
__________________
www.sculptorsam.com
Reply With Quote
  #62  
Old 12-31-2003, 10:54 PM
sculptor's Avatar
sculptor sculptor is offline
Level 10 user
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: IOWA
Posts: 1,493
Re: Art contrasted with Craft Ugliness as Art

Quote:
Originally Posted by fritchie
I agree, Stephen. Rodin may have been the first sculptor to express this (I’m not sure), in his figure of an aged woman with a complicated title such as “She who was the helmetmaker’s beautiful wife”. The model had posed over many years for Parisian sculptors, and I agree that she shows personal beauty. My figure of another older, very experience model, Ann, which Stephen found on my ISC Portfolio page, has been my most popular figure to date, but in a somewhat truncated wall interpretation.

And I want to emphasize, I certainly do not consider either of these pieces, or the people behind them, anything but beautiful. Superficial beauty is not real beauty, and serious people see this.
Agreed: Beauty transcends a "buff young bod" That's just the way I like to do some of the pieces.
<br>
And Rodin wasn't the first---we have examples from the classical Greeks and from the Romans of "old peasant woman at market"
Also: one of my favorite classic pieces, "the Laocoon group" would not normally be considered to be beautiful, but as re a previous posting it is most arresting.
Reply With Quote
  #63  
Old 01-01-2004, 09:27 PM
fritchie's Avatar
fritchie fritchie is offline
Sculptor
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: New Orleans, LA
Posts: 3,456
Re: Art ... Craft Ugliness; Laocoon

Quote:
Originally Posted by sculptor
Agreed: Beauty transcends a "buff young bod" That's just the way I like to do some of the pieces.
<br>
And Rodin wasn't the first---we have examples from the classical Greeks and from the Romans of "old peasant woman at market"
Also: one of my favorite classic pieces, "the Laocoon group" would not normally be considered to be beautiful, but as re a previous posting it is most arresting.
You're right about the early Greeks and Romans. I don't think I am familiar with this one, but there are examples of grotesqueries in that early art. Those pieces, however, seem to my eye at least to show irony or self-satisfaction on the part of the commissioner.

As far as Laocoon, (see attachment), I always have considered it awkward and strained, though I find your comment about it not being considered beautiful odd. Most commentary I have seen is highly laudatory. The difference may be in the way various people define “beauty”, just as we are discussing.

And, of course, it was incomplete when dug up near Rome about the time of Michelangelo. I believe some people consider that the raised arm of the main figure originally might have been bent overhead. To my mind, such a more circular motion rather than the straight line presently in the figure offers chance of a better composition.

Generally speaking, I find Hellenistic art (such as Laocoon) and Baroque art, which followed Classical Greek and High Renaissance respectively, to be weaker derivative forms. In my eye, later sculptors couldn’t meet the earlier standards of composition and modeling, and they turned to exaggeration, which always is easier.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Lao2zR.jpg
Views:	333
Size:	48.1 KB
ID:	297  

Last edited by fritchie : 01-01-2004 at 09:32 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #64  
Old 01-02-2004, 03:39 AM
Stephen Casey Stephen Casey is offline
Level 6 user
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Lakewood (South of Tacoma) WA USA
Posts: 116
Re: Art contrasted with Craft

Thank you Fritchie for posting that image of Laocoon! I was just the other day regretting not marking down the peices name and possibly who did it. It was referanced as a very inspirational influence on Michelangelo in a DVD on him. And as I will be studying all of his work in particular the Sistene Chapel. I wanted to study the Laocoon. I find this work quite instructive. I wasn't aware of contriversy perttaining to the raised arm. But given the idea I agree that it would add a great deal to the tension of the whole piece if it was bent back. The hand of the raised fugure on the left seems dispreportionatly long to my eyes. And this makes me wonder if the arm had not been changed at the same time as the central figure?
Reply With Quote
  #65  
Old 01-02-2004, 04:28 PM
sculptor's Avatar
sculptor sculptor is offline
Level 10 user
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: IOWA
Posts: 1,493
Re: Art contrasted with Craft

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Casey
Thank you Fritchie for posting that image of Laocoon! I was just the other day regretting not marking down the peices name and possibly who did it. It was referanced as a very inspirational influence on Michelangelo in a DVD on him. And as I will be studying all of his work in particular the Sistene Chapel. I wanted to study the Laocoon. I find this work quite instructive. I wasn't aware of contriversy perttaining to the raised arm. But given the idea I agree that it would add a great deal to the tension of the whole piece if it was bent back. The hand of the raised fugure on the left seems dispreportionatly long to my eyes. And this makes me wonder if the arm had not been changed at the same time as the central figure?
Artists of Laocoon group= Aegisander, Athenadoris, and Polydoris.
(wild guess) the younger son is reaching up to his father's arm for comfort and help, so the arm should be placed accordingly, while the older son is attempting to distance himself from his father and the punishment which they are suffering due to his actions. Who has raised children and not seen these phases in their developement? The Greeks portrayed psychology through the visual arts and storytelling.

And: I believe that the picture posted is not of the original, but of a poorly executed copy------most likely the one currently in Florence.

Here is an old pix-o the original---again the positioning of the right arm remains ambiguous.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Laocoon640.jpg
Views:	346
Size:	65.2 KB
ID:	299  

Last edited by sculptor : 01-02-2004 at 04:40 PM. Reason: add pix
Reply With Quote
  #66  
Old 01-02-2004, 09:25 PM
fritchie's Avatar
fritchie fritchie is offline
Sculptor
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: New Orleans, LA
Posts: 3,456
Re: Art contrasted - Craft; Laocoon

Quote:
Originally Posted by sculptor
Artists of Laocoon group= Aegisander, Athenadoris, and Polydoris.
..... etc. .....
And: I believe that the picture posted is not of the original, but of a poorly executed copy------most likely the one currently in Florence.

Here is an old pix-o the original---again the positioning of the right arm remains ambiguous.
Thanks for posting this image. I'm not sure I've ever seen it, and it IS much better that the one I found in an older book. I have a memory of one in which the snake near the father's head flairs into the air before arcing back. Possibly that is another copy, with a different restored pose.

And, Stephen was right about the younger son’s arm being a replacement also. It DOES help to pool resources like this.
Reply With Quote
  #67  
Old 01-03-2004, 11:21 PM
sculptor's Avatar
sculptor sculptor is offline
Level 10 user
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: IOWA
Posts: 1,493
Re: Art contrasted with Craft

digging through the files-----I found another Laocoon --different angle

This view more clearly shows the right arm. I think the controversy of the arm started when the arm was "found" several years after the main piece----there seems to have been a rumor that the arm needed a bit of chiseling to attach it to the shoulder. From my perusal of the pix, I'm not even shure that the webbing left between the wrist and shoulder muscle(deltoidus) could really be part of the serpent------(anyone wanna pop for a trip to rome? We could check it out together)---------all is idle speculation.

It is easy to see the cleaner and better proportioned modeling on these pix-o the original as compared with the "copy"----------sloppy copyist have neither craft nor art------(as though I was actually gonna stay on topic)

as/re FRitchie's
"I believe some people consider that the raised arm of the main figure originally might have been bent overhead. To my mind, such a more circular motion rather than the straight line presently in the figure offers chance of a better composition."

gotta be bent
Also : This piece was likely designed to be viewed from the front, and likely originally sat in a recess between 2 collumns --viewed from overhead the 2 boys are frontal to the priest(Laocoon) giving the sculpture an overall semicircular structure-----ergo----the farther and son's missing right arms could as readily have been tending more forward than shown---(justaguess)

OK?
What's your eye say?

This is one of my early favorites
It is an important part of my autodidactic figurative sculpture developement.
The age differentiated modeling, the strength in the torso, the varied facial expressions, the theme, spacing, and interaction all sing for me.
Laocoon's facial expression is almost identical to one from a (?)parthenon freize, depicting a battle between the (?) giants and amazons---so either one was borrowed from the other, or it is a stylized emotion(not surprising considering the use of such masks in their theatre)
I have slightly higher res pix than I can load here------if you ask, I'll email them.
rod(sculptor)
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	laocoon2.67.7k.jpg
Views:	781
Size:	38.2 KB
ID:	302  

Last edited by sculptor : 01-03-2004 at 11:25 PM. Reason: (sp) and add a thought
Reply With Quote
  #68  
Old 01-04-2004, 10:45 PM
fritchie's Avatar
fritchie fritchie is offline
Sculptor
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: New Orleans, LA
Posts: 3,456
Re: Art contrasted, Craft; Laocoon

Quote:
Originally Posted by sculptor
digging through the files-----I found another Laocoon --different angle
Various deletions .....
This view more clearly shows the right arm. I think the controversy of the arm started when the arm was "found" several years after the main piece----there seems to have been a rumor that the arm needed a bit of chiseling to attach it to the shoulder.
OK?
What's your eye say?

rod(sculptor)
Unfortunately, I have bad news for all these analyses, and my apologies to everyone. According to the book which was my source, my B/W picture IS of the Rome (Vatican ) original. I looked very carefully at the two images, side by side on my screen before deciding that they were different, and the rather oddly shaped (pointed) nose on the older son was one of the deciding factors, in addition to the apparently more exaggerated musculature in the main figure.

It appears that the differences are due to the harsher lighting in the earlier image(both in time, before restorations were removed, and in the thread), plus a rotation of about twenty or so degrees in the B/W image relative to the first color post. (Notice the base to compare.) I now realize that the details in nose shape of the B/W image may have been caused by painting of the dark background in my image (just guessing, but that may have been done, it is so uniform.)

It is amazing what changes harsh or gentle lighting will make in perception, not to mention the difference between B/W and color. That’s one reason beauty photographers use soft, warm light, and commonly also soft focus. But, photographs of sculpture should try to be faithful. Unfortunately, art books commonly engage in retouching, and not only of background.

On the arm, it looked and still looks to me as though the B/W image shows less flesh, as though, in other words, that it really is different. This, too, must be a result of the different angle.

And, I stick by my first evaluation, made on the spot when I first visited about 45 years ago. This piece is crude in comparison with Michelangelo both in modeling and in design, and to my eye it also is inferior to the Classical pieces.

As far as possible influence, the Parthenon should be about 200 years older than Laocoon, but I’m not sure of Laocoon’s date.

Last edited by fritchie : 01-04-2004 at 10:54 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #69  
Old 01-05-2004, 12:11 AM
sculptor's Avatar
sculptor sculptor is offline
Level 10 user
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: IOWA
Posts: 1,493
Re: Art contrasted, Craft; Laocoon

Quote:
Originally Posted by fritchie
Unfortunately, I have bad news for all these analyses, and my apologies to everyone. According to the book which was my source, my B/W picture IS of the Rome (Vatican ) original.
.............
As far as possible influence, the Parthenon should be about 200 years older than Laocoon, but I’m not sure of Laocoon’s date.

OK--i went to the bookshelves and--The head I was refering to was actually on a frieze at the alter of ZEUS at pergamon circa 200-120 bc, while the Laocoon group is nominally dated 175-150 bc----ergo Laocoon's anguished expression could have been the original or a copy--the more questions one asks the more questions one has

Here is a linkto more laocoon pix:

and laocoon

at vatican at vatican museums

the 1st link shows modeling closer to the b&w---------
this is confusing
Reply With Quote
  #70  
Old 01-05-2004, 03:07 AM
Stephen Casey Stephen Casey is offline
Level 6 user
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Lakewood (South of Tacoma) WA USA
Posts: 116
Re: Art contrasted with Craft

Thank you very much gentlemen. All these images and perspectives will be most helpful when I give this work the attention I feel it needs. Passion is tightly linked to the usefulness in art as I experience it. This is not neccasarily so for others. But exclusively so in my needs for expression. And seeing as my education and language skills or limited I am glad I find the human form is most present in the images I wish to share. For there is an endless vocabulary available to us there.
Reply With Quote
  #71  
Old 01-05-2004, 03:09 AM
Stephen Casey Stephen Casey is offline
Level 6 user
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Lakewood (South of Tacoma) WA USA
Posts: 116
Re: Art contrasted with Craft

Sculptor if you have any higher res images than you have pointed to here please feel free to e-mail them to me.
stephen_tacoma_wa@msn.com
Reply With Quote
  #72  
Old 01-16-2004, 12:49 PM
ExNihiloStudio's Avatar
ExNihiloStudio ExNihiloStudio is offline
Level 6 user
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 105
Re: Art contrasted with Craft

Today’s NY Times has an article by Michael Kimmelman about Chuck Close’s printmaking process that includes a few notes that support my perspective on Art vs. Craft (posted a few pages back). You can read it for free online today January 16 at http://www.nytimes.com. The paragraphs in quotes are taken directly from the article.
“Big-time printmaking today is a collaborative business. The lone artist in a garret with a woodblock, ink and spoon is a quaint notion that bears no resemblance to Mr. Close's modus operandi. His partners have included master printers like Joe Wilfer and Kathan Brown and Tadashi Toda, experts, variously, at the ins and outs of spitbite aquatints, reduction linoleum cuts, screen prints, handmade paper pulp multiples and other arcane techniques seemingly impenetrable to the uninitiated.”
So here we have Mr. Close working with a master artisan, one who possesses full command of the craft of printmaking up to its current state of development, i.e., “the initiated”.
“Mr. Close, whose work has always had so much to do with elaborate systems and processes of operation, has needed these printers as they have needed him. Achieving a balance of authority is itself part of the art of printmaking.”
Apparently Mr. Close does possess not all of the technical skills because if he did, he would probably do the printmaking himself. That’s my guess. The important point here is the balance of authority. The artist has a vision of the highest point of perfection that the tradition is leading to. The artisan simply knows what he knows, and he can help the artist but not lead the artist.
“A generous colleague but not the passive type — good artists aren't passive, generally — Mr. Close has typically erected constructive obstacles for himself and his collaborators, the conquest of which can bring about something special or new. [In my mind, advance the tradition closer to its telos, its perfect state.] To make "Keith" (1972), Mr. Close chose to take his established painting style of copying photographs via a grid and adapt it to the antique engraving technique of mezzotint, at first confounding Ms. Brown, his printer on that project. Then to make matters more difficult, he decided to make the mezzotint very large.

‘I didn't want to go to a print shop where they would have all the expertise and would act as if I didn't have any, and where they would tell me that something had to be done a certain way, just because that was the way they did it," he explained to the curator, Ms. Sultan, in a conversation in the show's catalog. "I wanted to do something that would require both Kathan and me to figure out how to do it at the same time. I love that kind of problem solving.’

Their work resulted in a milestone of contemporary printmaking, which in turn led Mr. Close to new ideas for drawings and paintings. It was the first work that explicitly displayed the incremental building blocks of the picture, the grid of marks. People sometimes assume prints are just art's poor cousins, copies of paintings or drawings, afterthoughts, but Mr. Close's prints are at the heart of his achievement.”
So there it is, it’s a question of leadership within a tradition. Establishing or denying a hierarchy of materials (e.g., bronze vs. wood vs. steel) or practices (e.g. painting vs. printmaking vs. photography) is a separate issue.
__________________
- Mark G. Taber
Ex Nihilo Studio
http://www.ExNihiloStudio.com
Reply With Quote
  #73  
Old 01-17-2004, 08:04 AM
fritchie's Avatar
fritchie fritchie is offline
Sculptor
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: New Orleans, LA
Posts: 3,456
Re: Art contrasted with Craft; printmaking

Quote:
Originally Posted by ExNihiloStudio
Today’s NY Times has an article by Michael Kimmelman about Chuck Close’s printmaking process that includes a few notes that support my perspective on Art vs. Craft (posted a few pages back). You can read it for free online today January 16 at http://www.nytimes.com. .. deletions ..
Mark - I saw that in NYT yesterday, and I’m afraid I have to say that the prints didn’t come over to me very well at all in the newspaper. Probably they work much better in person; that’s the nature of art. Newspapers, like television, are dying, even this one. We need a much better process to get across what that article is trying to say. The photograph of the lead print, said to be done with something like 137 overlays, gave me the impression it was simply a waste of time.

I was highly impressed when I first saw Chuck Close’s work. I believe I saw the paintings in life at first acquaintance, and the size alone created a fresh world. His transition into faces made of grid marks also was interesting and about equally impressive, but not really new. The first people doing computer graphics, as soon as these tools were created, circa 1970, had done essentially the same, but in black and white, of course. Lillian Schwartz, who worked as an artist-in-residence with Bell Telephone Labs in New Jersey, may have been the first.

The lesson I took from the article you quote is that Mr. Close is more into process at this point than into art, as I see it. That is, the technology seems more important than the result. Pushing technology is very important, as it opens doors for others, but honestly, I found the art in this article disappointing.

As I said earlier, that may be the result of a newspaper overstepping its own technology. Newspapers always have been about giving an impression of something that has happened or is happening, but this piece, for example, attempts to mimic the work itself, and as I see it, it falls flat. This work of Close’s in person may be breathtaking, but I won’t take the paper’s word for it, and I think they are unconvincing.

By contrast, I found a long article on current revivals of Franz Schubert’s music in the same issue very instructive. The difference, I think, is that the paper let words do the work of presentation.

(Much longer note than usual, but weighty topics. Bottom line is, I think this article makes Close look more like a technician than an artist.)

Last edited by fritchie : 01-17-2004 at 08:12 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #74  
Old 01-17-2004, 11:37 AM
fritchie's Avatar
fritchie fritchie is offline
Sculptor
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: New Orleans, LA
Posts: 3,456
Re: Art contrasted with Craft; Art and Philosophy

Here I am replying to my own post again, but I wanted to check what earlier stated perspective Mark, aka ExNihiloStudio, was referring to just now. I found it: the artist has a vision of a field’s goal, and the craftsman looks more at the process; but I found something even more interesting as well: Modern philosophy leaves artists with very little to do, so in order to survive we have to invent the concept of "art for art's sake". Thin gruel, as far as I'm concerned, but I suppose we have to make due..

Mark, would you elaborate on this? (We may have five more pages here, or even a separate thread.)

Last edited by fritchie : 01-17-2004 at 11:39 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #75  
Old 01-18-2004, 01:36 PM
ExNihiloStudio's Avatar
ExNihiloStudio ExNihiloStudio is offline
Level 6 user
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 105
Re: Art contrasted with Craft

fritchie –

I like some of Mr. Close’s work when I’ve seen it occasionally at galleries and museums, but I haven’t followed his career with any special interest. What prompted me to post my comments about the article is the narrow discussion of his collaboration with master printmakers. The quality Mr. Close’s work is a question of taste, and I don’t doubt yours, but my interest has been the distinction between artist and artisan in a collaborative process, and I think the article shows it succinctly. That’s what makes it relevant to this conversation. I do agree that the online reproductions are so bad that they do more harm than good.

The tradition of printmaking is a finite practice that has rules internal to it. It also has ideals specific to it. Both Mr. Close and his printmaker collaborators are initiates, but while one is limited to what he’s been taught, hence the status of artisan, the other can propel the project forward with a more imaginative vision, hence the status of artist. This article actually makes the case that Mr. Close is an artist and not simply a technician because the artist is laying out the problem that goes beyond current known practice and works alongside the artisan to find a solution. Together, their collaboration pulls the tradition along to a higher state of perfection. I think that today this attitude survives most strongly in the sciences.

Perhaps what is overlooked in this discussion is the content of the prints in question, and how that contributes to the significance of the project. I would hope the content would be worthy of the process. In my opinion, it would be beautiful in subtle and surprising ways, and it would provide delight. It would also be sophisticated enough to place demands on us above appeals to our basest instincts and to reward us in the end with some kind of reward.

The problem with modern philosophy is that it is so rabidly agnostic and iconoclastic that the only art that could adequately reflect such a system is a blank wall. The other option is advertising culture, i.e., hustling products and appeal to the lowest common denominator. I’m inspired by sculpture that reminds me of the divine within us and around us, and the amazing grace of sacrifice made for interests beyond the immediately personal. And I really want it to please me with more than a quick one liner.
__________________
- Mark G. Taber
Ex Nihilo Studio
http://www.ExNihiloStudio.com
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


Sculpture Community, Sculpture.net
International Sculpture Center, Sculpture.org
vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Russ RuBert