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  #26  
Old 11-06-2006, 10:49 PM
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jOe~ jOe~ is offline
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Re: The Role of the Artist

Hey fritchie, I can see that you're struggling with this one. In the scheme of things its not that important, but if you really want to get into it I'll give it a go, but it will take a while...and not all of it tonight. Perhaps Cantab will help. He's extremely good at expressing ideas.

In a nutshell, its about looking at things, reality, and not taking anything for granted, ie., knowing that there are an infinite number of ways of perceiving and understanding and responding to anything..."simultaneous realities"...."fictions"(to those who don't share your point of view).. The personal realities of most people are held dearly. They are fictions in the sense that all people don't share the same interpretation, values, understandings, responses. David Smith: "An object of interest is always completed by the viewer and is never seen the same by any two persons". Part of what Amis is saying incorporates this concept and the idea expressed by Balzac in the quote: "Few people have the imagination for reality"(its usually taken too literally--as a "fact")

Hope this helps. As the Brits say, "don't get knickers in a twist over this".

jOe~
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  #27  
Old 11-07-2006, 03:07 AM
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Re: The Role of the Artist

Hi Fritchie/Joe

Joe's summed this up for me, but I'll add the following notes:

What part of contemporary life is fiction? I think the quote by Amis refers to a sense we have that any particular social status quo is ‘invented’ by us - just as men wore tights in the 17th century, and business suits today, and just as cars fill the roads today instead of children playing football (I remember that!). All social orders are our inventions. Even democracy as a political system has only existed, in Europe, for a limited period of time, and only existed in other parts of the world sporadically and, often, unsuccessfully. Amis, in this quote, appeals to the part in me that looks out on a world that could be, well, quite different. We created this! And it’s all absurd! And perhaps there really is no logical justification for any particular social structure and its component parts.

I’m not quite sure what your point about language is. But the varieties of visual languages (‘primitive’ African; 5th century Greek; medieval; Renaissance mannerism; Cubist; Surrealist, etc) remind us that there are no absolutes here either. Imagine what Michelangelo would have made of Cubism or Damien Hirst’s work?! Different worlds! Different languages! Everything can be completely different!

Which random structures are ‘improper’? If any moment in history could be completely different (if our choices had been different and a different fiction created) then perhaps we can also make judgements about some fictions being better than others. Perhaps. I use the cars, the planes and the trains, but I am always conscious, in an Amis sense, of the absurdity of all this AND the self-indulgence that underpins this behaviour in Western/American societies. I suspect, though, that global warming will drive us all back to a better sense of self discipline eventually, when we are forced to live more simply. Human beings ARE the most entropic creatures on the planet. But in my carving workshop, I feel I am pursuing a valuable activity, an aesthetic activity with some good underpinning principles, and I feel that all artists are doing this. It’s in the nature of art itself. However, our creativity can be put to destructive purposes. Let’s design more stuff to fulfil the shallowest of human desires! Let’s encourage the world to SHOP itself into happiness! Nah, artists know better than this. Mind you, I often think that I use art as a kind of escape. I catch myself not particularly liking human nature at times, and have come to agree with another statement by Amis, when he referred to “this nail bomb of a planet”. And this applies to human motivations too. Art, however, is anti-nail bombs, and that is good. Cars? Nail bombs, I suspect.

Last edited by Cantab : 11-07-2006 at 03:28 AM.
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  #28  
Old 11-07-2006, 09:28 AM
ironman ironman is offline
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Re: The Role of the Artist

Hi, Lets stop all this BS! The roll of the artist is to find his or her own path to the making of his or her own artistic expression and to follow it.
Each and every one of us is unique and so is the "role" that we take on.
Art is all about the journey!
Have a great day,
Jeff
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  #29  
Old 11-07-2006, 09:51 AM
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Re: The Role of the Artist

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The roll of the artist is to find his or her own path to the making of his or her own artistic expression and to follow it.
Yup, absolutely right.
Quote:
Lets stop all this BS!
Nope, absolutely wrong. Art in the last century has taken many different directions and means of expression. The last 50 years or so has seen the changes accelerate. You may not like it, but that is what is happening. Visit any major venue. So the discussion may help some to understand what is going on. Oh yeah, now we get into the old argument about having to "understand" art. Well I'd hope that was put to rest at the turn of the last century when art started having "movements" but it hasn't. Picasso wasn't for everyone and still isn't. Who knows how current art will be treated in the future? But, it doesn't hurt to try to learn something about it.

jOe~
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  #30  
Old 11-07-2006, 12:13 PM
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Re: The Role of the Artist

Iron Man I agree with you accept for the BS part, for me art forums are a major source of reads concerning art, in fact I really wish they wouldn’t edit them. the thing I have to keep reminding myself is the opinions here may represent but a fraction of the art community, daze been some very interesting and some very flaky stuff posted…enjoy it.

duck
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  #31  
Old 11-07-2006, 03:14 PM
Daytripper Daytripper is offline
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Re: The Role of the Artist

I think theres any number of variations of artist's rolls. Theres hard rolls with a crisp crust like those found in round, French and caroway seed, and theres a wide variety of sweet rolls like cinnamon rolls, twists, pecan rolls etc. my personal favorite, bear claws...

Oh, wait, did you say artist roles? In the words of Rosanna Rosanna Dana "Nevermind!"
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  #32  
Old 11-07-2006, 07:59 PM
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Re: The Role of the Artist

Joe: “Hey fritchie, I can see that you're struggling with this one. In the scheme of things its not that important, but if you really want to get into it I'll give it a go, but it will take a while...and not all of it tonight. Perhaps Cantab will help. He's extremely good at expressing ideas.

In a nutshell, its about looking at things, reality, and not taking anything for granted, i.e., knowing that there are an infinite number of ways of perceiving and understanding and responding to anything..."simultaneous realities"...."fictions"(to those who don't share your point of view)..”

This particular idea is so obvious, why bother to say it? What might be interesting is to see how other intelligent (self-aware) creatures perceive existence. The BBC Science website had a post yesterday about researchers proving that elephants are self-aware creatures. Given a mirror large enough for them to relate to, they look behind it to find “the other elephant” and shortly begin to prune like some humans. Of course, chimpanzees have long been known to show a degree of self-awareness, and dolphins also.

Cantab: “All social orders are our inventions. Even democracy as a political system has only existed, in Europe, for a limited period of time, and only existed in other parts of the world sporadically and, often, unsuccessfully.” Amen to democracy, and to the early Greeks who formalized it on a regional scale. Should we look for something better? Yes, but does any individual have the resources- inclination, time and energy? Not many, and certainly not me.

Cantab..: “I’m not quite sure what your point about language is.” Amis seems to be saying we should throw away all of civilization and start over. I consider verbal language probably the single most important invention of humanity, and was asking just how far he wants to go in recreating social conventions and structures, such as verbal language.

This will do for a start. And, on Cantab..’s view of entropy and global warming, I take the position of “wait and see”. Nature alone has transgressed our current reality so many times and by so great a degree, that I don’t think we should get into a tit about the current situation.

[Personal to Cantab..: My computer (ir)regularly inserts those extra dots behind your nom de plume. Sometimes I can take them out, and sometimes not. It seems to consider "tab" as a command.]
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  #33  
Old 11-08-2006, 03:42 AM
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Re: The Role of the Artist

Hi Fritchie. Perhaps it’s because I have spent too many years in my own company, but you seem to take my views more seriously that I do.

But I can’t go for your complacency here. “Let’s wait and see”? You can wait all you want, but it’s your children that will SEE (the consequences of the multiple self-indulgent worlds we currently insist on maintaining and extending).

“Amen to democracy, and to the early Greeks who formalized it on a regional scale. Should we look for something better?” The ecosystem may not give you this choice (Democracy is a high entropy political system. Without self-discipline it creates hugh amounts of waste and mess - the ecosystem may have to reject it eventually).

“Amis seems to be saying we should throw away all of civilization and start over.” I’m not sure that he is that naïve, but I’d say go for it.

My point, in the end, is that the role of the artist is a constructive use of our creative energies, and making more brightly-coloured varieties of lip gloss is a c**p way of using our creative energies. Ah, perhaps this particular idea is so obvious, why bother saying it?

Last edited by Cantab : 11-08-2006 at 05:05 AM.
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  #34  
Old 11-08-2006, 10:05 AM
ironman ironman is offline
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Re: The Role of the Artist

Hi, When I said "let's stop all this BS", I didn't mean that we should not try to learn from these posts. I thoroughly enjoy Jason Gillespie, Cantab and Joe more than most. There posts are well thought out and intelligently written. There are, however, some people here who go on and on and don't (to me) say very much. My point is, "get to the point"!
The role of the artist is to make the best damn art they can make, while remaining true to themselves. Whether or not they have an intellectual understanding of Picasso, David Smith or any other artist or art movement is of no consequence to that role.
"We do not imitate nature.
We are not the mirror of the external world, that is the camera.
We are not even the illusionistic mirror.
We are not the sweetness or light mirror.
We are not the mirror of art historians, or art critics or art philosophers,
nor the collectors to glorify there own taste, or the museums to complete the chronology of their collections.
If we mirror at all, it is our own personal vision.
With a statement that the artist is unique and individual, dedicated and growing; and this work reflecting his creative power is the best of his vision, but with the promise and always the promise."
quote from David Smith by David Smith.
Have a great day,
Jeff
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  #35  
Old 11-08-2006, 10:27 AM
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Re: The Role of the Artist

Quote:
Originally Posted by ironman
Hi, When I said "let's stop all this BS", I didn't mean that we should not try to learn from these posts. I thoroughly enjoy Jason Gillespie, Cantab and Joe more than most. There posts are well thought out and intelligently written. There are, however, some people here who go on and on and don't (to me) say very much. My point is, "get to the point"!
The role of the artist is to make the best damn art they can make, while remaining true to themselves. Whether or not they have an intellectual understanding of Picasso, David Smith or any other artist or art movement is of no consequence to that role.
"We do not imitate nature.
We are not the mirror of the external world, that is the camera.
We are not even the illusionistic mirror.
We are not the sweetness or light mirror.
We are not the mirror of art historians, or art critics or art philosophers,
nor the collectors to glorify there own taste, or the museums to complete the chronology of their collections.
If we mirror at all, it is our own personal vision.
With a statement that the artist is unique and individual, dedicated and growing; and this work reflecting his creative power is the best of his vision, but with the promise and always the promise."
quote from David Smith by David Smith.
Have a great day,
Jeff
This may not be relevant to this topic, but what do you guys mean by the phrase “true to themselves”

thanks,

duck
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  #36  
Old 11-08-2006, 11:09 AM
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Re: The Role of the Artist

I"ve been a huge fan of David Smith for a long time and probably quoted him more than any other artist. But, Ironman, I don't like that quote. Its too utopian, idealistic, heroic, romantic, and dated, Meaningful art has been made which contradicts all the "we"'s he listed. Any time a definitive statement is made..."are not", "do not", should, must, etc., there will be artists who create against those barriers. Smith changed sculpture in a big way. However, art and sculpture have changed in a bigger way since he died. If he were alive today, would he have expanded his understandings, or would he have closed the door to future ways of making art? The role of the artist is not the same as it was in Smith's time. Thats a fact. It can't be any other way.

jOe~
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  #37  
Old 11-08-2006, 12:52 PM
ironman ironman is offline
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Re: The Role of the Artist

Hi Duck, What I mean (I can't speak for anyone else) is that you try to find your own true creative voice, regardless of any outward ego strokes (money, praise, etc.) and do that work which is IN YOU!
Now, none of us lives in a vacuum, and as an artist you do look at and read about art (at least I would hope so) and so it is a long hard journey to get out from under those influences and to that place that is your own.. Actually, that journey is what it's all about.
Joe~, Smith was all of those things that you mentioned and MORE! I think he was open to new ideas and would be today. If you really think about it, art hasn't changed all that much. We're still making objects aren't we? We're still expressing ourselves in one way or another. Let's take Serra, as an example of a major sculptor of today, how much different than Smith is he? Sure the work looks different, but the deep down core, the nitty gritty of artistic intent is the same, self expression on ones own terms.
Have a great day,
Jeff
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  #38  
Old 11-08-2006, 01:25 PM
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Re: The Role of the Artist

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If you really think about it, art hasn't changed all that much.
It seems to me it has. Folks on the forum sure get their "knickers in a twist" over much of what has been considered cutting edge for the last 40 years or so.
Quote:
We're still making objects
Yeah, but the attitudes, meanings, presentation and materials are I think different and new. Its not all bronze and stone is it? What about installations, video, environmental art, performance art, etc.?

thanks Jeff, I am having a great day!

jOe~
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  #39  
Old 11-08-2006, 02:11 PM
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Re: The Role of the Artist

I view art as a language. The larger your vocabulary the better you can express yourself. The role of the artist is to speak clearly in a way easy to comprehend by any and all who view their work.

Thatch
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  #40  
Old 11-08-2006, 06:52 PM
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Re: The Role of the Artist

I posted this in a different thread
...
pondering the roll of the artist in society.

Perhaps it is to see beyond the common constructs and behold the wonders of creation in all their beautifully intricate complexities.
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  #41  
Old 11-08-2006, 07:15 PM
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Re: The Role of the Artist

Cantab..: “But I can’t go for your complacency here. “Let’s wait and see”? You can wait all you want, but it’s your children that will SEE (the consequences of the multiple self-indulgent worlds we currently insist on maintaining and extending).”

Part of my curiosity as a scientist has been to learn as much as I can about the physical universe and about the nature and quality of theories attempting to explain or rationalize the data. It’s really a bit off-topic to go into science and geology here, but to stay on the global-warming idea for just a bit longer, the geological and fossil record shows that Earth has been visited by something like half a dozen global catastrophes which resulted in extinction of 50 to 90 % of all living species. In one of these, in fact, the problem is that the Earth got too COLD for life to exist almost anywhere - it was frozen solid essentially (as best can be proved) from pole to pole. Knowing experts hypothesize that all surface life died, except primitive organisms in localized Yellowstone-like hot springs, or similar ones within rock cracks deep below the surface, where the Earth retained its central heat.

The most recent major extinction pretty much has been proved to result from a meteor strike on the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico. This one killed off most dinosaurs and allowed mammals to grow from tiny shrew-like creatures into the variety we have today, including man.

I could go on, but the point is, I don’t think it is at all conclusive that humanity is responsible for the current, very tiny rise in global temperatures. Much wider swings, over shorter time intervals, have been traced in hundred-thousand year long ice cores from Greenland. I consider it egotistical to think humanity is responsible for a trend that barely can be measured in any event. To get back to current news sources, BBC Online had an article yesterday saying that one of the leading British climate experts is accusing ecological zealots of trying to convert the warming issue from one of science into one of propaganda. I’ve thought that all along, from the sidelines, but as I say, I consider the whole matter minor in any case.


This has gotten pretty long, but I can’t skip another part of Cantab..’s post: “ 'Amen to democracy, and to the early Greeks who formalized it on a regional scale. Should we look for something better?' (my earlier statement in single quotes) The ecosystem may not give you this choice (Democracy is a high entropy political system. Without self-discipline it creates hugh amounts of waste and mess - the ecosystem may have to reject it eventually).”

I can’t name the source, but “Better to die free than live a slave.” (I really don’t believe this, but I’ll bet on democracy as a viable system of governance.)
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  #42  
Old 11-09-2006, 09:42 AM
ironman ironman is offline
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Re: The Role of the Artist

Hi Joe~, People are still getting their "knickers in a twist" over DuChamps readymades, for Christs sake!
Installation, environmental art and performance art all started in the 60's (not sure about video). Smith died in '65, and although he lived in Bolton Landing, he kept his finger on the pulse of what was going on in Manhattan.
Materials are only the means to an end. It doesn't matter whether it's bronze, stone, sharks or artists shit as long as it fulfills the function of expressing what the artist wants to say.
Attitudes, meanings, presentation? where's the difference? Floating basketballs, sharks in formaldyhyde, topiary work, all objects, no?
I think this is part of the problem today, artists are confused. Anything can be art and it can be made out of any material. As Bruce Nauman said, "We live in the age of anxiety". All of this makes it harder for artists to find their own voice when it's simply a matter of getting in the studio EVERY DAY and working. As the poet Theodore Roethke said, "I learn by going where I have to go."
Sure, I think it's a good idea to keep in touch with what's going on in todays art world, learn about different materials, different attitudes towards creating, etc. but just like Smith, we've still got to get in the studio and make stuff.
Glad you had a great day, yesterday, hope you have another, today.
Hi Thatch, I like what you said about art as a language and the larger the vocabulary the better, BUT, I don't agree with that last sentence, to me you are saying that we need to make work that is easy to understand by anyone who looks at it. I NEVER make work with that in mind, that's cow-towing to the masses, when it's them who should be making the effort to appreciate US. When you start thinking about how your work will be received by the public, you've lost yourself, traded it for money or praise.
Have a great day,
Jeff
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  #43  
Old 11-09-2006, 02:46 PM
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Re: The Role of the Artist

Quote:
Originally Posted by ironman
I think this is part of the problem today, artists are confused. Anything can be art and it can be made out As Bruce Nauman said, "We live in the age of anxiety".

[COLOR=Green
I think the above is better explained by a Dennis Prager quote, " we live in the age of stupidity". As for me, I'm neither confused nor suffering from the delusion that anything can be art.[/color]

BUT, I don't agree with that last sentence, to me you are saying that we need to make work that is easy to understand by anyone who looks at it. I NEVER make work with that in mind, that's cow-towing to the masses, when it's them who should be making the effort to appreciate US. When you start thinking about how your work will be received by the public, you've lost yourself, traded it for money or praise.

Hey Jeff; Sprada comnogene vo pidecullaty nerstryoa!
What? No comphrehendo? That's because I made up the words. If I write sentences that you cannot understand, I have lost the opportunity to communicate effectively with you. I think Thatch is saying that it is important to be able to speak our art in a language that the viewer understands. That is not cow-towing to the masses. It is remaining relevant rather than incomphrensible in the dialoque.
Note to international readers who don't get all the nuances of American jargon: cow-towing is a phrase which means being submissive to someone in a negative or weak sense.

Have a day, and color it as you will,
GlennT

Last edited by GlennT : 11-09-2006 at 06:56 PM. Reason: "Thatch" in place of "Jeff" . Left kowtow misspelled for fun
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  #44  
Old 11-09-2006, 06:08 PM
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Re: The Role of the Artist

Quote:
Originally Posted by GlennT
Note to international readers who don't get all the nuances of American jargon: cow-towing is a phrase which means being submissive to someone in a negative or weak sense.

Have a day, and color it as you will,
GlennT
With apologies in advance to both ironman and GlennT (I think both have adequate sense of humor for this): The word is kowtow, and my dictionary says it is of Chinese origin, originally meaning "knock head", as on the floor when bowing very low. Cow-towing is something farmers and ranchers do when they drag wayward livestock back to the fold.
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  #45  
Old 11-10-2006, 09:57 AM
ironman ironman is offline
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Re: The Role of the Artist

Hey Mr. Fritchie, Whadda I know from Cow-towing or kowtowing? I'm from Brooklyn, whadda yus guys expect?
GlennT, you feeling alright? You seem to be defending your arch enemy, Thatch!
When you have as part of your agenda the specific intent of making your work comprehensible to ANYONE but yourself, you are NOT doing YOUR WORK! You might as well be producing TV sitcoms or some of that other mind numbing stuff that's out there.
In case you haven't noticed, the public is always playing catch up (or is that katsup, or catsup) to the best art that is being made at any given time.
Have a great day,
Jeff
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  #46  
Old 11-10-2006, 10:58 AM
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Re: The Role of the Artist

... reminds me of Hermann Hesse's Lament (from Magister Ludi)
No permanence is ours; we are a wave
That flows to fit whatever form it finds:
Through day or night, cathedral or the cave
We pass forever, craving form that binds.
... forgot who translated it from German... Eric
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  #47  
Old 11-10-2006, 02:44 PM
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Re: The Role of the Artist

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Originally Posted by
GlennT, you feeling alright? You seem to be defending your arch enemy, Thatch!

[COLOR=Green
I guess that makes me an equal opportunity curmuddgeon. Or is it cowmuddgeon?
I just call 'em the way I see 'em. If I don't see 'em, I make 'em up
[/color]

When you have as part of your agenda the specific intent of making your work comprehensible to ANYONE but yourself, you are NOT doing YOUR WORK!

That perspective is incomphrensible to me. At least you're doing your job in a consistent manner. Seriously, though, the specific intent is not whether to make it comprehensible to others or not, it is just to find the most effective means to communicate an idea. Some people may get it, others not. But I don't see the compromise of oneself in using a common language to express an uncommon idea.

You might as well be producing TV sitcoms or some of that other mind numbing stuff that's out there.

The analogy breaks down here, because I find most TV sitcoms to be incomprehensible.

In case you haven't noticed, the public is always playing catch up (or is that katsup, or catsup) to the best art that is being made at any given time.
Have a great day,
Jeff
In our times, some are running away from the art rather than trying to ketchup.
Thanks for the post Jeff. Disagreeing is more agreeable with a good laugh!

GlennT
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  #48  
Old 11-11-2006, 09:39 AM
ironman ironman is offline
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Re: The Role of the Artist

Hey you cowmuddgeon you, "Finding the most effective means to communicate an idea", means that you are considering the VIEWER in the creative process. And no matter what you do, some get it and some don't, so why consider the viewer at all? Why not do your own work the way you want to, that's (to me) what art is about, "self expression" not "self expression*".
*only if someone else "gets it!"
The analogy to producing TV sitcoms does NOT break down! It is lowering your creative standards to appeal to an audience which is exactly what you do when you consider the VIEWER while doing you work.
By the way, there is NO common language and certainly no uncommon idea coming out of ANY artists studio!
It has and probably always will be about life, love and the human condition and each one of us speaks about it in our own unique language.

ERIC, Love that Herman Hesse quote!

Have a great day,
Jeff
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  #49  
Old 11-11-2006, 02:15 PM
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Re: The Role of the Artist

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thatch
I view art as a language. The larger your vocabulary the better you can express yourself. The role of the artist is to speak clearly in a way easy to comprehend by any and all who view their work.

Thatch
But what happens when the only way to say something requires the use of specific words, that you know most viewers will not understand?
__________________
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  #50  
Old 11-11-2006, 09:48 PM
Todd Harry Lane Todd Harry Lane is offline
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Re: The Role of the Artist

I think that the role of an artist is to observe, reflect, interpret and depict.

http://www.toddlaneart.com
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