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  #26  
Old 01-11-2010, 06:35 PM
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GlennT GlennT is offline
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

[quote=rika;86266]My point is up until the impressionists--excluding a select few-- artists didn't really have a big say in what and how to create, the church and their patrons made crucial decisions for them. Had they have more choice, I've no doubt there would be less "beauty" as he refers to it.

QUOTE]

I don't know how a person who has studied history can say this. In the Greek period look at the transition from archaic to classical to Hellenistic. Look at the transition from the Gothic era figures to the Renaissance, and then to the Baroque. Look at the transition from Neoclassical to the 19th century realism.

Are you saying that the church or other patrons, and not the artists, were responsible for these major shifts in how the human figure was perceived and rendered?

I don't think you have had works that were commissioned, because you don't seem to understand the dynamic involved. Most often the patron has the sketchiest of notions about what they want, and it is left to the artist to come up with a compelling idea to fill the space. Let us say that the subject is absolutely restricted to a specific individual, say Joan D'arc. Look at how many different interpretations have been made of her, not because the church dictated the way of it, but because the artist ran with the chance to make his or her Joan D'arc express that artist's vision of the saint. the only "crucial decision" made by the patron was selecting the specific space where the statue was to go, and who was to be depicted. (And fortunately, how it was to be paid for.) These are not decisions about art, as evaldart would tell you. Although, he would also tell you that the artifact was not the art either, so maybe I should cite someone else here for back-up!

The point is that these artists were not represssed uglophiles forced into a straightjacket of beauty. It is only the relatively recent phenomena of changes in thinking (perhaps due to LSD in the water supply) leading to an unleashing of creative energy into concepts were beauty is not applicable, possibly due to lack of attainment on the part of artists not willing to discipline themselves enough to learn from nature's harmonies, and also from the notion that the hodgepodge of human nonsense is worth flinging on canvas and fhrompling together with fragments flung from frappe of factory debris. Suddenly anyone can be an artist, if they do something, anything, and call it art. That is a heck of a lot easier than just about any other scam, so there it is.

If beauty is back in voque, it is not because people are dumbing down, it is because they are smarting up.

Last edited by GlennT : 01-11-2010 at 07:34 PM. Reason: clarification
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  #27  
Old 01-11-2010, 07:18 PM
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

Glenn, what I'm trying to say, artists had to adhere to certain standards accepted by long tradition. I'm not saying they didn't have room to do their best artistically. But the subject was given. And yes, their patrons, the pope, the king etc. had a say, and if they didn't liked what they saw, they hired someone else, didn't they. So if you were an artist, you had to keep that in mind. I do admire Michelangelo and Velazquez and all the others that they were able to produce such beautiful works of art under such conditions. I just played with the idea what if they had the same freedom today's artists have. Would their works been any different?
Think of Rembrandt and his realism. An early exception to the rule. What if he stayed successful and well off and would have had rich patrons? Would he even painted self-portraits? Wouldn't be a shame if those portraits of human struggle and pain were never painted?
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  #28  
Old 01-11-2010, 07:31 PM
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

If these past artists didn't produce works in a different direction than their commissions, it was because they weren't motivated to do so, not because their opportunities were repressed. Not every work in an artist's oevre has to come from a commission. Benini, for example, when he temporarily fell out of favor, created "Time Unveiling Truth". It was a large work, and unfinished. Also, not as impressive as his other works. Great commissions actually help to focus the mind and can pull out the best from artists. I just don't see the commissions as anything burdensome. Quite the opposite, it can be a vehicle for liberating genius.
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  #29  
Old 01-11-2010, 08:23 PM
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

Way back in the olden times, Since it became known that "Art" and artmaking were things of the greatest possible value to human development, there have been imposters, masqueraders, jokers, con-men, fast-talkers, wannabes and frauds pretending to know their way around the concepts of art and beauty (many of them were indeed skilled and had things to "say"). There also have been elevated individuals actually making Art all the while, despite the compromising position they were put-in with the nature of commission based Art.

The requirement of surviving, sustaining, and participation amongst one's kind neednt have clouded the idea of true creativity. Which is a special experience that imparts developings not attainable by any other means. Too bad.

Humans are becoming more and more aware of this. So I suppose there is more Art and beauty being accomplished now than ever before. Yet it has always taken quite the choosy viewing intellect to look past the crap that is posing in museums, galleries and history books to find the Art...to find the "beauty". But it is there, more now than ever. So you see...as a thing as limited as language treats our words, "beauty" and "Art" are more prevalent in our world than ever. The crap has always been there too and always will be...as long as Art is perceived to yield opportunity - which it indeed does - But there are different brands of opportunity. Some opportunities help you keep the water off your head and some help you negotiate the unfathomable. An individual only NEEDS some things - and Art can give him/her the things that are better than needs.

Last edited by evaldart : 01-11-2010 at 09:15 PM.
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  #30  
Old 01-11-2010, 09:05 PM
CroftonGraphics CroftonGraphics is offline
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

In reply to Glenn-

When you say "attack", do you mean criticize? Or do you mean fling sculptures from their plinths and tear up canvases with knives? If you mean "criticize", then I have three words for you, "get over it!"

Attack as in verbally attack. I do not mean criticise.
It is not something I need to 'get over', it does not bother me it is an observation.You can attack people with ones views and verbal actions, it is different to 'criticise'.


Speaking for myself, one concern about artforms that I criticize is their individual and cumlative effect on the morality and culture that we live in.

People have been saying this kind of thing all through history. I also say this sort of thing, not about art but the plastic trash on UK tv that we export such as Pop Idol etc.That worries me more, as the masses watch that and dont go to art galleries.

Your grasp of history is amazing in its lack of thought. (nothing personal) Or were ancient cultures run by nazis and communists?


I was making an example of modern regimes. My grasp on history is good, you are incorrect and it is a bit rich to try to criticise someones knowledge of history on a few lines . Ancient cultures also did questionable things I dont have to point this out. I am reading a very interesting book about the varied races of people known as the Celts. The modern fabrication of the druid is one of a kind of pastoral merlin or gandalf, that IT workers seem to play out the roles at the weekend. Whereas there is a lot of primary and secondary evidence to suggest that they practiced human sacrifice. Similar with the Greeks and the ancient Chinese?
Would you say the Greeks or Chinese were a tolerant society? I do not know this area so well.



Actually, go back a bit farther and try the ancient Greeks. Or the Chinese. It has nothing really to do with tradition, other than in today's convoluted world where common sense no longer functions, thus things that were a given in the past are now categorized as tradition. Technology in any case is not the polarity against which tradition is set.

Yes, I did not word this point correctly, I mean from the tradition of those with similar background and views to Scruton. In the UK traditional taste, ie antiques, overly decorated works etc and the anti technology standpoint, that I see Scruton and Prince Charles etc have. This is a very important factor in why the UK has problems that span to today.This is perhaps why I have a strong dislike for words 'tradition'.

I am glad you can also appreciatte the beauty in oil tankers. The port near where I live at present often has large vessels docking to refuel, they look powerful in the sunset and sunrise hours.
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  #31  
Old 01-11-2010, 10:18 PM
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

Hey, CG, you're a good sport. I do get "a bit rich" at times* when I go after ideas that hit me the wrong way.

Many of the ancient Greeks, save for the Spartans, were very tolerant, especially in Athens, but within certain accepted cultural standards. It would also depend on the specific locale and time period. And the Romans went through many different phases from a Republic to a dictatorship. US history is in danger of repeating many of their mistakes. The Chinese have such a long history that it is difficult to generalize. there was more tolerance and openess to new ideas in the T'ang and Song dynasties.

In the context of our discussion, I take "tradition" to mean an evolving path of depicting nature and the human figure in an on-going pursuit of masterful expression that has beauty in strong emphasis, along with other notions such as harmony, grace, and rhythmn.
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  #32  
Old 01-12-2010, 03:03 PM
grommet grommet is offline
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

had to read your first item in quotes twice. I couldn't believe you'd refer to yourself that way, but if the cactus shoe fits...

JUST teasing...
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  #33  
Old 01-12-2010, 09:41 PM
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

What you all think you know about history, of any kind, is poppycock. It was all dreamed-up, with the mildly applied virtue of creativity - mind you, by historians wishing to separate themselves from their bespectacled herds by the continuous manipulation and introducing of new "facts".

Just look at the things available to your eye; it will get increasingly easy to tell what is "what" and what was the nature and priorities of the individual that produced the thing. As group efforts are considered...well, they are not that important. There is the possibility of a visual treat by those cumulative efforts, and maybe some "beauty" or a lash of shocking uniqueness; but all that will disperse quickly from your noggin just like a trip to Disneyworld (you'll recall the important things like the magnificently long and winding lines to Space Mountain and the turkey legs).
Art will ever be the stuff that bothers you in your dreams and in your sketchbooks. Find that somewhere in-between. Not beauty.
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  #34  
Old 01-12-2010, 10:28 PM
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

Well, beauty matters to me, so I'm going to stick with it until I decide otherwise.

I like learning, so I'm going to pay attention to history as well, despite any shortcomings in the abilities of the storytellers.

As for what Art is...the less said with words and the more said with Art, the better!
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  #35  
Old 01-12-2010, 10:58 PM
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

Quote:
Originally Posted by GlennT View Post
Well, beauty matters to me, so I'm going to stick with it until I decide otherwise.

I like learning, so I'm going to pay attention to history as well, despite any shortcomings in the abilities of the storytellers.

As for what Art is...the less said with words and the more said with Art, the better!

Nope Glenn, beauty doesnt matter to you. There are surface adherences that you use to execute your facade. But it is quite apparent in your Art, behind the narratives and affectations, that you really worry over more significant matters. Your all-too-traditional proclamations are inconsistent with a handiwork that betrays a nervous want for departure. There is an improvised softness and unusually roughly interpreted blurriness to your figuration that makes it unique; less realistic, less correct, less skilled than so much other stuff that rings "illustrated" and boring. In my solitary opinion, you are good not at all because you demonstrate any grasp of beauty; you are good because you have departed from it. Whether you like it or not, or know it or not, you are NOT pursuing "beauty"; you are indulging the self-directed whims of the tyrant that is your creative impulse...as it must be for advancers. Sorry, all the clasped hands and all the debate cant change it...you are irrepairably "loosed"...and "beauty" is a shallow speck of language. But then, you know all this..
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  #36  
Old 01-12-2010, 11:07 PM
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

Thus spake Zarathrusrevaldart!

While it is true that more than beauty matters to me, and a lot more than that goes into my work, I cannot deny its importance in my world either, nor feel shame in admitting so.

It is nice to be appreciated though, so I thank you for noticing things and interpreting them using a slightly different language.
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  #37  
Old 01-13-2010, 11:17 AM
CroftonGraphics CroftonGraphics is offline
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

Er 'Why HISTORY matters?'
LOL.
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  #38  
Old 01-13-2010, 11:58 AM
grommet grommet is offline
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

Quote:
Originally Posted by CroftonGraphics View Post
Er 'Why HISTORY matters?'
LOL.
but Must we continually relive it? Must I live in a hypnagogic state in perpetuity???
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  #39  
Old 01-13-2010, 12:57 PM
CroftonGraphics CroftonGraphics is offline
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

No not relive it but to build on, refer to, rebel against, be inspired, learn from.

To exist in a state without what we label as past and future, sure that would be an interesting thing, but could things hold together like that?

Learning from experience but also books, not to label things, to put in boxes, to dry up life, but to expand the wonder of life experience and existence.
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  #40  
Old 01-13-2010, 01:14 PM
grommet grommet is offline
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

Quote:
No not relive it but to build on, refer to, rebel against, be inspired, learn from.
okay, this is important.
So in "using" history, do you need to have the reference there when you finish responding to it, or is its value in its inferred existence which is intangible in the new work?
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  #41  
Old 01-13-2010, 01:44 PM
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

beauty is it a part of art?. . . im not sure how you can deny that it holds value. is there a science to beauty?. . . in this day and age everything is perceived to be a science. Are we all the same do we all believe in one origin?. . . however true it may be that we actually can digest our understanding of the universe so precisely and say we understand reality, that we understand existence. Art has and continues to make abstract truths about the world, reality, and existence. abstract in that the ideas are relative less definable ways. truth for the most part will and always be what is excepted as truth. We live in society obsessed with classifying everything into a truth so that we can feel we have control over everything. any art that we can agree to be art dose one thing and that is question what we believe to be true. Francis Bacon can be agreed to make images that have sense of beauty to many they are accepted as beautiful. What is beautiful about the work? the same as Van-Gogh maybe the color, the brush mark, the subject. everyone of us who studied art can remember the student who liked Bacon and tried to mimic his color, brush stroke, and subject. I can say that my observation of a hack painting rarely holds a beauty comparable to the original. As artist we accept our individuality and if there is beauty in you it is evident in your work. Its not a question of beauty and whats the meaning or value of it but, dose anyone see it. In the traditional understanding of a Great Artist, they empress beauty so completely that the majority sees it. beauty is one of those ideas that is only that an idea how can you discus the mattering of beauty when not one person shares the same understanding of it. beauty is not a fact. we can not have discussion about why i like roast beef i can only tell you why i like roast beef. we can't have a discussion about why roast beef is good cause some people dont like roast beef. BEAUTY, i think, IS ONE OF THE MOST WORTHLESS OF CONTEMPORARY CONCERNS IN ART. Beauty is a line in the sand for sparing . beauty is what the individual responds to as such. beauty is a human comparison to the appearance of reality. I am beautiful cause I believe in it, not because its true. I can believe what I want that dose not make it true maybe to me but I cant defend a belief I can only hope someone else may share it. Beauty has no truth it can not be seriously defined as truth the word is a word like art it only holds a value in context. a context that is subjective. it will be debated amongst humans till there are no humans. beauty matters cause how else can you define your audience if they don't see beauty in your work.

you are Beautiful Glen!
you are Beautiful Evaldart!

what value can that have if you don't believe it.
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  #42  
Old 01-13-2010, 03:59 PM
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

Those who do not learn from discussions on Sculpture net are forced to repeat them, and repeat them, and repeat them....

Beauty is not an absolute. It is SUBJECTIVE.

One mans Beauty is another mans Beat On With The Ugly Stick.

If Beauty were a universal, able to be defined, explained, and repeated, we could assign a ranking to every woman on earth- one of them would be Number 1, and one of them would be Number 4 Billion.
Imagine the havoc that would wreak- doweries would be determined based on rank, alimony amounts by your rating- sorry, you are only worth $400 a month, as you are rated below 2 billion other women...

Of course, I could easily gather a dozen men who honestly feel their wives are the most beautiful women on earth- and another dozen, who would swear they are all dogs.
All 24 of em are right, of course.

Beauty is entirely subjective, and changes across cultures, time, and place.
Some cultures adore fat women, others anorexics.

The "art history" timeline is arbitrarily cherrypicked to prove any given point- one classic example being the "realistic beauty" timeline, usually trying to prove that an area within a few hundred miles of Italy is somehow representative of all mankind for all time.
At the same time the Greeks were doing vaguely homerotic sentimental realism, the Maltese were doing huge stylized mother goddess figures that could not have been more different.

In fact, when talking about "history", how can you ignore 50,000 years of abstraction? The aboriginal art of Australia is, of course, exactly as beautiful as Rembrandt or Rubens, and is stylistically related to modern painting of the 60's and 70's.

For any given "classical" beauty, in painting or sculpture, I can find you a completely different aesthetic that was being practiced at exactly the same time somewhere else in the world, that was considered beautiful.

Minimalism was very popular in Japan hundreds of years ago, as evidenced by zen gardens- and speaks to exactly the same notions of "beauty" as Carl Andre or Sol Lewitt.

Various cultures have found all kinds of things beautiful- including abstraction, geometry, monsters, big noses, human sacrifice, mummified cats, sex in every form possible- basically, anything that you or I or anyone else finds objectionable, has been an object of veneration and beauty somewhere, sometime.

Art is about taste.
Taste is subjective.
Beauty, like taste, is in the eye of the beholder.

My wife loves brussel sprouts.
I hate em.
The brussel sprout itself is exactly the same in either case- its essential nature, its vitamins and minerals, dont change in the slightest- but one of use superimposes a man made construct of "yum" onto them, while the other doesnt.

same thing with all those endless paintings of baby jesus in Italian churches- the paintings themselves dont have "beauty" or lack thereof- it is a human emotion overlaid on them by the viewer, an ethereal thing that is composed of memories and feelings and hormones and chemical reactions in the brain.

I find Francis Bacon's paintings beautiful.
Or Goya's gods and monsters.
Or Salvador Dali's surrealist distortions.
I certainly feel humbled and awed by the beauty of Duchamps Large Glass- having seen it in person, I was uplifted, inspired, and moved.

I think there is much beauty in the work of Henry Darger, for example- mostly very naive drawings of naked 12 year old girls with penises shooting and killing during an endless war. I have seen a bunch of it in person, and it possesses a distinct beauty. It was not made to shock, or manipulate, or bamboozle- in fact, it was never shown to anyone during the artist's life- he made it simply for himself. He was following his own idea of beauty.

Or the amazing throne of the third heaven, by James Hampton- again, I saw it in person and was awed by its beauty- its made of garbage, tinfoil, and burned out lightbulbs. Hampton lived in DC, and walked by "classicly" beautiful sculpture every day, but when he created his own work, he instead plucked from his brain amazing creativity.
Simply beautiful.
http://www.fredweaver.com/throne/thronebody.html

I also find the Cloud Gate by Anish Kapoor extremely beautiful, precisely because it does not include sentiment, or romance, or political viewpoints- it allows the world to exist free of style or viewpoint.

Of course, what I think is beautiful is only important to me....
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  #43  
Old 01-13-2010, 04:51 PM
Giotto Giotto is offline
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ries View Post
Those who do not learn from discussions on Sculpture net are forced to repeat them, and repeat them, and repeat them....

Beauty is not an absolute. It is SUBJECTIVE.

One mans Beauty is another mans Beat On With The Ugly Stick.
On the contrary science is continuing to point out how the concept of beauty is objective. Hundreds of studies are giving weight to the argument that "beauty matters"

By the way have you noticed how physicists are looking more like poets these days ?

http://www.gnxp.com/MT2/archives/002687.html

http://muse.jhu.edu/login?uri=/journ.../48.1smith.pdf

G
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  #44  
Old 01-13-2010, 05:05 PM
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

your first link just says that some babies, in england, prefer symmetry.
Symmetry is not "beauty".

Jason, the slasher from the movies, is symmetrical.
As were Mayan carvings, Haida totem poles, and Jeff Koons bunnies.
For that matter, what could be more symmetrical than Damien Hirst cutting a shark into two equal halves?

The second link is too brief and vague to tell me anything- but it seems to be much more about things like proportion than abstract "beauty".
It mentions mate selection- and certainly there are species that select mates based on the color of their butts, or the smell of their body odor, heck, there are lots of humans who make mate selections based on things like that- not "beauty".

sorry, I am not convinced.
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  #45  
Old 01-13-2010, 05:26 PM
Giotto Giotto is offline
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

Quote:
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Symmetry is not "beauty".
Where your having trouble Reis is that you think I am referring to "classical western model of beauty" I am not. The beauty I am referring to and I believe Roger Scruton is...is an evolutionary perception of the world based on the laws of physics i.e. nature.......yes we seek symmetry over disarray, harmony over noise, order over chaos etc...you add all those little things together and some art work resonates with us..some doesn't. That is what I am calling beauty...you can say that we don't but that doesn't change the fact we as a species do.

G
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  #46  
Old 01-13-2010, 05:36 PM
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

who is "we"?

is this some kind of majority rule thing, where if enough people like McDonalds burgers, then they are officially "good"?

Me, I prefer noise...

and usually, its disharmony, or chaos, that makes a work of art great.
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  #47  
Old 01-13-2010, 06:14 PM
grommet grommet is offline
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

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Originally Posted by Giotto View Post
Where your having trouble Reis is that you think I am referring to "classical western model of beauty" I am not. The beauty I am referring to and I believe Roger Scruton is...is an evolutionary perception of the world based on the laws of physics i.e. nature.......yes we seek symmetry over disarray, harmony over noise, order over chaos etc...you add all those little things together and some art work resonates with us..some doesn't. That is what I am calling beauty...you can say that we don't but that doesn't change the fact we as a species do.

G
I move that we discontinue the use of the word "beauty" and come up with 5 other words that cover the range of ambiguity that its current use represents.
put me down for asymmetry, with a side of dissonance, please.
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Old 01-13-2010, 06:56 PM
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

Revisiting dialogues over and over is essential to progress. Hopefully everytime you address a pertinent issue you will do so at least ever-so-slightly different than the last time. The objective is not to "learn" anything, though it happens occasionally, the objective is for your restless egg to be exposed to irregularities (which also occasionally happens). So it is in the interest of every wayward advancer here to re-address the theory within Art, beauty, truth, and spirituality as often the subjects pass before his/her awareness; even if it involves the continuous discrediting and dismissing of such things as language-damaged terminologies. Because good thinking will not stay on the same track as the damned words...and THAT is when individual progress occurs.

Ones ever-developing compositional sensibility contains all of his continually morphing value judgments. And while we compromise and conform constantly amongst our species - there are rare asides; episodes when all the menial toil and the tiresome communicating fade away, leaving you with a universe that expands infinitely out to as far as you can reach your hand (because beyond that distance there is only distraction). The intellectual training that was endured will reward you there...though the word "beauty" wont have a damned thing to do with the impulse to be exercised - the possibilities of "beauty" will be instinctually called-upon as you create (not unlike kindergarten).

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  #49  
Old 01-13-2010, 08:10 PM
Giotto Giotto is offline
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ries View Post
who is "we"?

is this some kind of majority rule thing, where if enough people like McDonalds burgers, then they are officially "good"?

Me, I prefer noise...

and usually, its disharmony, or chaos, that makes a work of art great.
Yes Reis...I mean we....including Mcdonalds

What I don't get is why i am hearing all this knee jerking...Is it because this argument is often used as a counter to "modern" art ? I am of the opinion that because "beauty " goes beyond culture... abstract art or new forms of artistic expression are possible and popular.

Here are a few more articles on the scientific bases of beauty..this is just a quick google search...if your really interested there are hundreds of papers saying essentially the same thing "we" are wired to perceive beauty.

http://notexactlyrocketscience.wordp...-in-sculpture/

http://lucidsystems.com/blog/2007/10...nce-of-beauty/

http://apu.sfn.org/index.cfm?pagename=news_111405c

As for you liking asymmetry, chaos and noise I know you would never say something like that to win an argument. :>)

G
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Old 01-13-2010, 10:14 PM
grommet grommet is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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Re: Why Beauty Matters........

I'm sorry, this golden rectangle crap is just a way to justify a bias inborn because it's a recurring proportion, something familiar, something that is a norm that helps you identify your people. Comfort in the familiar. That does not make it something to carve in stone as some sort of canon. Again, the term beauty is an enormous romantic innacuracy, grabbed unwittingly by people who don't see beyond the familiar, and don't care. You're taking the studies in the links you posted to a place the rersearchers never intended.

And yeah, their study said symmetry didn't matter to people in terms of facial appeal. As in asymmetry is a-ok.
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