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Thread: Help Me Appreciate ART!

  1. #11
    FORT Fogey PGM35's Avatar
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    http://www.natureartists.com/artists...?ArtistID=1171
    http://www.kellysingleton.com/
    My sister in law to be is a great artist - the only one I've ever known personally. it's amazing that some of her paintings of wildlife look like photographs.

  2. #12
    FORT Regular Misty's Avatar
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    Miss F I am sort of with you, so I would suggest watching Mona Lisa smile maybe? hahahahaha!!!

  3. #13
    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Hey Miss F I'm a total art geek: minoring in it and being persuaded by my advisor to major in it. Who was the artist and what kind of art was it? Sometimes it's hard to appreciate modern and contemporary art, in particular because you have to know more than you do to appreciate, say, a landscape or a still life.

    I'm taking a couse right now in contemporary art and I've really found that knowing the artists' intention and meaning really makes me appreciate the work more. I took my mom to SF MoMA a few weeks ago and acted as a docent for her: explaining works and movements, etc. and she said that she really felt like she got it. She normally is not a fan of modern and contemporary art, but she actually enjoyed a lot of it and now has a new respect for the art. That being said, it's not for everyone. In my class, we just covered "Body Art," which involves performance art with women rolling around in raw meat, cutting themselves, throwing blood on things and (ick) pulling things out of their vaginas. Yeah, not really my cup of tea. I can appreciate the intention, but I don't want to look at it, thankyouverymuch

    My professor told us a story about a time when she was living in NYC. There was an exhibition of contemporary art at PS1 or a local gallery and she asked a friend to go. Her friend replied: I'm too tired for contemporary art." It makes you work for it, that's for sure.

    Here's an example (can I show even more of my geekiness here?):

    This is Fountain by Marcel Duchamp. It's one of his "readymades" and yes, it's a urinal. Duchamp was part of the Dada movement in the early 20th century. This work is a protest against war. At the time, the violence of WWI - a war that promised so much and delivered lots of death and violence and caused many to become disillusioned - was a big issue for many artists (and people in general). Duchamp bascially said that if war makes sense, then this (a urinal) is art. Maybe not for everyone, but it's important and it influenced a huge number of artists that followed, including Jasper Johns and many of the abstract expressionists of the 1950s. Okay, lecture over.

    There are some good books out there that can help you more if you're interested. I'd try Gombrich's The Story of Art, which is a really nice, comprehensive history and you can find it in most bookstores - not too expensive either (I think around $30). It doesn't have too much "modern" art, but it's a good one, nonetheless. DK just put out a good little one called Art, that is a survey of movements and the major artists of those movements. Like all DK books, it is pretty and glossy and has lots of pictures. The books that I have and use for references are huge and hugely expensive so I won't recommend them. You could also just go to the library and see what's there, if you don't want to buy anything. A good survey book should give you lots of info.

    Really though, some art you won't like. While I've studied the Impressionists and written papers on them, I hate most of the art. I think most Monets (and most Impressionist works in general) are totally boring and are the kind of thing people buy to go with the furniture (art should not match the furniture! ). No offense to those Monet lovers out there, of course

    This is all coming from a lifelong art geek, so I'm totally biased. Even if you read up on art history and how the moderns and post-moderns, etc. were influenced and what their intentions were, you may still not think it's beautiful but it might give you an understanding of it. Art and artists of the twentieth century (and beyond) were very influenced by history and by other artists, so if you know the why, it makes the result easier to understand.
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

  4. #14
    That's all folks! Unklescott's Avatar
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    IMO it all depends on the quality of velvet used for the painting. I've seen some "Dogs Playing Poker" that I wouldn't give $10 for but they were done on a poor quality velvet. It's all in the velvet. Elvis just looks better on a good velvet canvas.



    In reality, I know nothing about art. I agree with Lucy's line of thinking.

  5. #15
    Resident curmudgeon Newfherder's Avatar
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    Art is a lot easier for guys to understand and appreciate. We just look to see if there is a nekkid chick . . . or something that looks sort of like a nekkid chick . . . or part of a nekkid chick . . .
    "The road that is built in hope is more pleasant to the traveler than the road built in despair, even though they both lead to the same destination."
    --Marion Zimmer Bradley

  6. #16
    Evil Slash Crazy Miss Filangi's Avatar
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    Good to know I"m not alone.

    This is fascinating, though. I couldn't tell you the name of the artist, it looked like a pretty generic painting to me. I'll have to check out some books and read into it. I do appreciate photography a bit more, but it's the painting that people seem to oooooh and aaaahh over that confuses me. I can't see those 3D pictures where you move your face away from the picture and see something else. I think something is wrong with me.

    Do most art lovers find they appreciate a work more when they have some sort of background on it?
    If you go through a lot of hammers each month, I don't think it necessarily means you're a hard worker.
    It may just mean that you have a lot to learn about proper hammer maintenance.


  7. #17
    Scrappy Spartan Broadway's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucy View Post
    I'm with you, Miss F. I can appreciate art in the sense of paintings of at least vaguely recognizable things. But I never have, and probably never will, get modern art. I can paint a red square on a white canvas too, I don't see why it's special.
    There is an entire segment of MOMA where they have this one artist that has 1) a white canvas, 2) a white canvas with a single navy stripe to the right side of the canvas, and 3) a brown canvas with white circles.

    Umm, okay.

    MissF... I think generally I do like art better when I know the story behind it. I think it's because I then try to put myself in the artist's shoes, if you will, and try to evoke his/her feeling/mood/thoughts.

    But normally I stick to Georgia O'Keeffe or photography exhibits.
    Never let the things you want make you forget about the things you have.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miss Filangi View Post
    I'll admit it, I don't get art.

    Does anyone with a greater appreciation and understanding of art want to share with me what I'm missing?
    Oh, sheesh, that's elementary, Ms. F. I have found this rule to be true: it's all about the quality of wine you are enjoying at the time you are presented with said works of art. I find a nice, light, fruity red wine works best for me when viewing art, and an open bar doesn't hurt, either. Dim lighting, along with the a light buzz, also seems to help my expertise at identifying dynamic works of art. It is also an ideal opportunity to mingle with other like-minded individuals and display your adeptness with using words far too large for casual conversation. It's about attitude. Generally, you will want to disagree with everyone around you. This makes you seem to know more than you actually do. Or they do. If they like it, you don't. If you don't like it, chances are someone else will. Try using your Word of the Day calendar on your desk - now would be a great time for usage of the word "superfluous" and "aesthetic". And if someone has the nerve to correct your mis-usage of a word, ie, "Don't you mean 'dynamic'?" just explain to them that you are certain that is not what the artist meant and walk away, preferrably to the nearest waitress for more light, fruity, red wine.

    But don't listen to me, Unk is the one who actually has it all figured out.

  9. #19
    Wait, what? ArchieComic Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mozzz View Post
    Oh, sheesh, that's elementary, Ms. F. I have found this rule to be true: it's all about the quality of wine you are enjoying at the time you are presented with said works of art. I find a nice, light, fruity red wine works best for me when viewing art, and an open bar doesn't hurt, either. Dim lighting, along with the a light buzz, also seems to help my expertise at identifying dynamic works of art. It is also an ideal opportunity to mingle with other like-minded individuals and display your adeptness with using words far too large for casual conversation. It's about attitude. Generally, you will want to disagree with everyone around you. This makes you seem to know more than you actually do. Or they do. If they like it, you don't. If you don't like it, chances are someone else will. Try using your Word of the Day calendar on your desk - now would be a great time for usage of the word "superfluous" and "aesthetic". And if someone has the nerve to correct your mis-usage of a word, ie, "Don't you mean 'dynamic'?" just explain to them that you are certain that is not what the artist meant and walk away, preferrably to the nearest waitress for more light, fruity, red wine.

    But don't listen to me, Unk is the one who actually has it all figured out.

    I'll have to try it this way sometime, sounds like fun!

  10. #20
    RESIDENT JEDI MASTER Stargazer's Avatar
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    Mozz and Unk, you're cracking me up.


    Miss Filangi (forgive me if this question seems silly ), have you just seen paintings in books or have you been able to go to see them in real life? I found that I appreciated art a great deal more after I'd been to a few fine art museums and saw them for myself. There's something about being in the presence of a great work that makes you forget all about meaning or how you should "appreciate" it. If its not your cup of tea, just move on to something else. If its your kind of art, it will touch you.

    I remember the first time I went to The Art Institute in Chicago. I was only in sixth grade and had barely been out of my hometown. I had seen paintings in books, in magazines, and on tv, but seeing them in person was amazing. Its not very original, I know, but I love the Impressionists. I love the dreamy, peaceful qualities that they possess. There's something about being able to see the texture of the paint and the colors swirled together that just leaves me awestruck sometimes.

    So, I guess my advice is to not worry about knowing anything about art. One day you'll stand in front of a work of art and just feel it. I know that sounds corny, but its true. Just worry about how paintings make you feel, not how you think they should make you feel or what you think you should know about them.
    "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."- Yoda

    "I'll just see where Providence takes me and try to look like I got there confidently." - Craig Ferguson

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