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Thread: Help Me Appreciate ART!

  1. #21
    JR.
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    I firmly believe that nobody actually likes art, they just say they do so they can hang with the folks that are too cool for the room. Then they can make snotty remarks about everyone else.


    Or, what Newfherder said.

  2. #22
    Go Donny! Gutmutter's Avatar
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    I was an art major in college and it's like anything else, the more you study and know, the more you understand and appreciate. Sometimes knowing the history, time period, what was happening in the art world at the time, and what the artist was trying to do makes you appreciate a piece that at first glance you don't connect with. Poetry is like that for me. When I took a poetry class in grad school, I would read a poem and get nothing out of it, but then when the prof. took us through it and pointed out all the techniques, metaphors, etc. it took on a whole new meaning.
    Count your blessings!

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    Gutmutter, you said it much better (and more concisely ) than I did! I find that, even if I don't particularly like the work, I still have a greater appreciation for the art when I learn more about it and the artist. ITA about poetry I'm envious of those people who LOVE to read poetry. There are very few poets whose work I can read and feel a connection to right off the bat. I usually need some explanation first.
    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. #24
    An innocent bystander nlmcp's Avatar
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    I just know I like what I like. (while dogs playing poker is meaningful, unicorns on velvet really touches me)

    I do love going to the Detroit Institue of Art and just enjoying the paintings, I notice I don't care as much for the contempary but I do enjoy the classical styled and the Impressionist. (even when it doesn't go with the furniture)

    I also like photographs. Lately I'm really into photos of archutecture of Detroit, ruined and otherwise.

    It may be walking around the city has hightened my knowledge of what is out there and that knowledge has lead to a great liking of the photos. The same may be with the paintings I like, I don't know.
    I could go east, I could go west, it was all up to me to decide. Just then I saw a young hawk flyin' and my soul began to rise. ~Bob Seger

  5. #25
    Miz Smarty Britches queenb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miss Filangi View Post
    Do most art lovers find they appreciate a work more when they have some sort of background on it?
    To some extent it's important to know the background, and I agree that the more reading you do, the more understanding you will have, and also that actual, real artwork is a lot different from a reproduction of it in a book!
    It's a lot like music; many people never give classical music a chance because they find it difficult to listen to. They prefer simpler or more repetitive tunes that are easily learned. With art, many people simply prefer very realistic painting , because it's so easy to understand. Many of the works that people don't understand, or find ugly are important historically because they represent a turning point in the development of styles.
    Critical... save yourself while you can, don't waste your life like I did and major in art!
    I have found the Truth and it doesn't make sense.

  6. #26
    MRD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miss Filangi View Post
    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?
    Don't feel alone, I can't see those 3D things either.

    I have been to the Ringling Museum in Sarasota many times. Most of the art there I do not like, but they have 4 paintings by Peter Paul Ruebens. They are INCREDIBLE. They are HUGE, HUGE, HUGE canvases. I just sit there in awe and look at them because there is so much to see. It's almost like the hidden pictures within a picture because there is so much included. The colors he used, the subjects, the shear size of the art just touches me. But that's about it.
    I have seen "The David" in person. AGain, just the shear size of it and thinking how someone can "see" that in a huge chunk of marble and carve it out is amazing.
    I guess for me, Art is about size!

    Seriously tho, after the Impressionists, I was lost. Once Picasso and other moderns came on the scene, I have no interest. And I think Warhol is just nuts. I hate everything I've seen by him.

    So my theory is like most others: art is in the eye of the beholder. I've seen things my 14 year old has done in school that I like better than "known" artists.

    Art is like Wine. Some of the people that know so much about both can be pretentious and not make a lot of sense. So if I like that 5.99 a bottle supermarket special wine, so what, I'm not inviting any wine snobs over to drink it, same with art. If the guy selling paintings out of the back of his van for $25 bucks has something you like, then go for it. It doesn't have to have a famous name attached to it to be something you like.
    Que me amat, amet et canem meum
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  7. #27
    Go Donny! Gutmutter's Avatar
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    Or better yet, find a local gallery and support an up-and-coming artist. I remember once I saw a really well-painted picture of a broom closet with mops, cleaners, ironing board, etc. and I thought, "Who would want a picture of a broom closet, no matter how well it is painted?"
    Count your blessings!

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gutmutter View Post
    Sometimes knowing the history, time period, what was happening in the art world at the time, and what the artist was trying to do makes you appreciate a piece that at first glance you don't connect with.
    Good way to word it.

    I spent many years with art as a central focus of my life from grade school to college as an art major. One of the most interesting classes I took went beyond the canvas and that was the art history class. I gained such a new appreciation for some of the "old masters" work because I finally gained some insight behind their life, their emotions, the turmoil some of them went through etc. Prior to that, I looked at someone like Dali or Van Gogh and their work was too bizarre or simplistic to me at times, but to finally understand what they were going through during the periods of their paintings made me appreciate it much more...not that their style of painting would ever be "my taste", it's just something I learned to "understand".

    Art to me is basically an " expression" of how one perceives the world around them. It can be a moment in time, a landscape, a person, an object, a message of raw emotion...but an artist is able to transform their impressions into their version that conveys their thoughts. You can certainly appreciate something better that doesn't make sense on the surface at first if you gain insight to what the artist was trying to tell you.

    Also beautiful, is when an artist has the power to move you to a new way of looking at the world around you... We take for granted a lot of the beauty that surrounds us every day as we race through our life and a good painting has the power to make you stop and see things differently. Even if it seems obscure, when you go into art with an open mind, you can really enjoy it.
    A Bachelor fan til it dies a slow death and oddly enough, A Rock of Love fan...finest hair extensions from Europe and all. ;-)

  9. #29
    FORT Fogey lambikins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miss Filangi View Post
    I'll admit it, I don't get art. Specifically paintings and sculptures.

    I saw a program on TV the other day that took place in a gallery. The person being interviewed was going on and on about this particular painting and how wonderful it was. I didn't see it and I didn't know what in the world she was talking about.

    Now, I can understand that something like Starry Night is a great painting. I like the looks of it, but I can't tell you why it's great.

    Does anyone with a greater appreciation and understanding of art want to share with me what I'm missing?

    Miss Filangi: You don't say whether the art that was featured in the gallery was Modern or Traditional, so I'm not sure if that was part of the problem you perceive with not "getting" art. However, I wouldn't feel bad or worry about not understanding art; I'm sure that you have other areas that you excell in, such as music or cooking, which involve other senses.

    For the life of me, I can't understand music. I can listen to it, I can have it explained to me, but I can't tell you if something is "sharp/flat/pitchy" or ANYTHING concerning music. I have 3 music fiends living with me at the apartment, and when we watch Idol, I feel as dumb as a stump! No matter what they say, I don't understand it. And when a contestant sings a song and all of them start to name the amount of bands that have also sung or 'covered' the song, well...it's just white noise to me. This doesn't stop me from enjoying Idol at all, however. I watch/listen to it with the level of enjoyment that I can get out of it and shrug off what I don't get.

    Now, with food, for many people, it's the same thing. I'm a Foodie, and can read a recipe and know exactly what it's going to taste like. My roomie however, could be served gruel each and every day, and if there was enough sugar on it, she'd pronounce it Food Fit for a King. It doesn't mean anything bad about her, it simply means that for her, food is more about feeling "full" than an art form.

    That being said, I have a BA in Studio Art (ceramics/metal work/weaving), so you can see that art has been of mega importance in my life, for all of my life. Whether it's Modern or Traditional, art is only important if you feel something for it. Here's a true story: a fellow artist friend and I were at the back door of an outdoor shopping center, waiting for someone to come to hand off the multiple, HEAVY bags of dinnerware my friend had purchased. While we were waiting, I was walking around the air conditioning unit by the door, and found a 24" x 12" piece of distressed metal with a hole blasted into it. I was agog with the found "art" and brought it over to Lynn. She fell so much in love with it that she offered me money for it, but I just gave it to her as a gift. Doing absolutely NOTHING to the piece, she promptly brought it home, and hung it in her entryway. When friends came over, they ooo'd and awwww'd over "fantastic metal sculpture" and demanded to know who the artist was! Some of her friends, she told the truth and Lynn said, she could tell that they felt duped into appreciating the piece. After that, she told a White Lie, and told friends that it was a gift from me, and she didn't know who the artist was. More people were at peace with that informtion.

    Some of the most talented and brilliant friends that I have, have NO art on their walls. None. When I brought this up to them, they just shrugged and said that "Art isn't important to them". Their homes were beautifully decorated, they had gorgeous rugs and furniture, but nary a painting on any wall, in any room. The same goes for homes that I've been in with NO music device, whatsoever and homes with massive kitchens and there's only a bottle of Absolute Vodka in the freezer.

    So, you see, art is what is beautiful to each person, just like falling in love. Some people like tall and bald, others short and loads of hair, some like blue eyes, brown eyes or beards. Thank God for the differences, so we can all find something out there to enjoy reading, dating, eating and hanging on our walls.
    Still crazy, after all these shears

    "lambikins, put the crack pipe down and back away from the keyboard." Unklescott

    "lambikins... I have come to the conclusion that you are the Jedi Master of the Kitchen on FORT!" SuperBrat

  10. #30
    Evil Slash Crazy Miss Filangi's Avatar
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    However, I wouldn't feel bad or worry about not understanding art; I'm sure that you have other areas that you excell in, such as music or cooking, which involve other senses.
    Well, thanks for the kind words, but I'm not all that broken up about it. I don't think it makes me a lesser person, I was just curious to see what others see and everyone's been very good about sharing their opinions.

    I've been to major museums, in Toronto & Detroit, mostly at the suggestion of friends that wanted to go, and I haven't been able to stand for hours in front of paintings like some people can. I am interested in learning more about it, though, but at this stage, it's mostly a passing interest.

    It is fascinating to learn about other perspectives.
    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.


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