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Thread: What's with modern art?

  1. #1

    What's with modern art?

    <begin rant>
    I was shanghai'ed into seeing some modern art today. Most of it was horrible.

    There was a wire sculpture that looked like a 6 year old twisted 2 wire clothes hangers together and added a 6 inch piece of red insulated wire just for color. Some rich lady donated it. (I figure she got drunk at an art show, bought it, woke up the next day, uttered an expletive, and then donated it to the museum to get a tax deduction.)

    There was another piece that looked like the dude came home from work, took off his sweaty T-shirt and hung it on a nail in the wall. I kid you not. And it was on display, like this was some brilliant breakthrough.

    There was a regular old farm tractor. The "artist" glued sea shells to the tires, then painted the whole thing white. This was on display as "art".

    But the craziest one was 3 frames that were each about 5 ft square. There was no painting in any of the three. No image. No kidding. Just a frame around a big white piece of paper or canvas. (There was no hidden image, no "white on white" image, no texture, no nothing. The canvas was blank.) It was commissioned by the National Endowment for the Arts.

    I never saw so much ugly stuff in one place in my life. It made my head hurt.
    <end rant>

    Do people really like this stuff? Or are they just pretending?
    Fred

    [Edit. Yes, I realize I probably sound like a Jeff Foxworthy CD, but man it was awful.]
    Last edited by Frederick Skelly; 08-25-2022 at 9:03 PM.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  2. #2
    Not just modern art....take a look at a Jackson Pollock painting!!!!!!!

  3. #3
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    For many years I attended the annual Siggraph Convention (Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics) and watched the evolution, or devolution, of art over time. The showcase for animators and schools from all over the world was always displayed on a huge screen with an audience of several thousand. There were both high end "professional" and amateur entries concerning things like new modeling and rendering techniques, technical and scientific visualization (my field), humor, education, academic advances, storytelling, and art.

    Over the years I could tell by the reactions of those seated near me how what they thought of specific clips changed. Often some of the "art" was met with grunts/groans or more telling, silence from the dozens of people around me. The worst came from the big art schools, where I suspect students were rewarded by how far they were from anything in collective memory, apparently the more jarring and chaotic the better, esthetics not needed. Plenty of random throwing digital paint and surfaces at the electronic canvas. I, and I expect I wasn't the only one, started asking aloud "Is it art or is it stupid?"

    I wish I could give some particularly memorable examples but apparently I've successfully purged them from memory. I can imagine that some really liked much of what I didn't, but there's no accounting for taste in things like art, just as with music. As for the serious followers of the nonsense I can't help but be reminded of The Emperor's New Clothes. I personally prefer elegance, beauty, and harmony.

    The Siggraph convention itself was always amazing, held in different cities around the country and always in a huge hall with lots of lecture rooms, the big industry and studio names and little guys, the latest products, the evolving technologies (motion capture, 3d scanning, printing, vr, etc), and a strong community of some amazing people, some of them famous pioneers in the field.

    JKJ

    Quote Originally Posted by Frederick Skelly View Post
    <begin rant>
    I was shanghai'ed into seeing some modern art today. Most of it was horrible.

    There was a wire sculpture that looked like a 6 year old twisted 2 wire clothes hangers together and added a 6 inch piece of red insulated wire just for color. Some rich lady donated it. (I figure she got drunk at an art show, bought it, woke up the next day, uttered an expletive, and then donated it to the museum to get a tax deduction.)

    There was another piece that looked like the dude came home from work, took off his sweaty T-shirt and hung it on a nail in the wall. I kid you not. And it was on display, like this was some brilliant breakthrough.

    There was a farm tractor. The "artist" glued sea shells to the tires, then painted the whole thing white. This was on display as "art".

    But the craziest one was 3 frames that were each about 5 ft square. There was no painting in any of the three. No image. No kidding. Just a frame around a big white piece of paper or canvas. (There was no hidden image, no "white on white" image, no texture, no nothing. The canvas was blank.) It was commissioned by the National Endowment for the Arts.

    I never saw so much ugly stuff in one place in my life.
    <end rant>

    Do people really like this stuff? Or are they just pretending?
    Fred

  4. #4
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    There were similar rants when Pablo Picasso got out of his classical genre into modern art as well as Bosch, all in the 1920-1930 era, and they are now considered priceless pieces. Then there is Andy Warhol as another example.
    Regards,

    Tom

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas McCurnin View Post
    There were similar rants when Pablo Picasso got out of his classical genre into modern art as well as Bosch, all in the 1920-1930 era, and they are now considered priceless pieces. Then there is Andy Warhol as another example.
    Well, I know you're right Tom. But at his worst, Picasso never did anything as ugly as a couple of things I saw today.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  6. #6
    Frederick….not bad ,for a first rant !
    The T shirt was the one the guy , Brando …I think, wore in “A Street-car Named Shabby- Sheik Attire”.

  7. #7
    I remember reading about a rolled up abstract painting that was set down on the floor of a modern art museum by staff . The place was
    getting a re-arranging and the painters ( the big wide brush type painters) got it mixed up with one of their drop-cloths ! What I don’t
    remember is whether I read it in the news-paper, or a Playboy cartoon.

  8. #8
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    What about the one that was hung upside down for 47 days until someone noticed.
    Next thing you know people will want architects to design building with roof s that don't leak unlike almost all of frank loyd wrights stuff. Its not a leak, it's a feature.
    Bill D.

    https://news.artnet.com/art-world/mo...de-down-683900

  9. #9
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    There was a wire sculpture that looked like a 6 year old twisted 2 wire clothes hangers together and added a 6 inch piece of red insulated wire just for color.
    I have seen stuff like that at incredible prices. Maybe it is for rich people to purchase for donations for tax write offs.

    It seems some art is a statement on how foolish the people who buy it must be.

    This quote always comes to mind when the subject of art comes around:

    “A man who works with his hands is a laborer;
    a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman;
    but a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist.”

    ― Louis Nizer
    It seems some of what is called art doesn't involve the use of the brain or heart unless the brain and heart are only trying to figure the least amount of effort for the highest price.

    This seems more artistic to me than some twisted wires:

    Broken Shovel Owl.jpg

    Usually the makers of Garden Art aren't asking hundreds or thousands of dollars for their creativity.

    There are other whimsical art forms:

    Whimsical Jazz Band.jpg

    Some are made one at a time and some production line art.

    I guess it is all in the eye of the beholder. Maybe we cannot define art, but we know what it isn't when we see it.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  10. #10
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    Kind of related.

    Yesterday we visited a t-shirt shop on Vancouver Island. We did not plan visiting them but the advertisement along side the road and in front of shop attracted us enough to make a quick stop.

    It was for all intent and purposes a grand display of "creativity".

    A small selection had rock bands related stuff printed on them. They looked ok.

    A big selection had explicit phrases or images printed on them.

    Largest selection were artistic. They looked no different than how clothes look after playing Holi (a festival that includes throwing colors on each other).

    T-shirts were priced starting $15 going up to $90. Anything, that was wearable was on upper end. Ended up not buying anything.

  11. #11
    Picasso was married a bunch of times . Each wife got multiple portraits. They got uglier and more weird with each new masterpiece.
    Not the greatest painter , but dog-gone good ,talented amateur divorce lawyer .

  12. #12
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    To each his own I guess. I majored in Industrial Design in college and one of my minors was in art. I was exposed to all manner of traditional and non-traditional artworks. Modern art can be just as expressive and visually stimulating and the classics. That said, I don't have much use for most of it. While I can appreciate the visual impact and respect the reflection of the artist's creativity, it just ain't my bag. I feel the same way about Opera.

    Too often art is elevated to mythical status by pretentious devotees trying to out condescend one another. You know the type, dressed in all black with black art goggles and a perpetual sneer, rolling their eyes every time any lower form of life "doesn't get it". Whatever. I like what I like and have no apologies to offer.

    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  13. #13
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    Personally - I just laugh at it -if someone wants to throw money away on it, that's fine with me.

    I don't laugh when it's funded by tax money though. That's just wrong.
    My granddad always said, :As one door closes, another opens".
    Wonderful man, terrible cabinet maker...

  14. #14
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    Art appeal is purely subjective. Sometimes it's hard to understand at piece at first visually, but hopefully there's an accompanying explanation from the artist or gallery/event. In the end, it's perfectly fine to say "I don't like that".
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  15. #15
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    pretty sure that this sums it up.

    albert.jpg

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