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Thread: Help Me Appreciate ART!

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    Evil Slash Crazy Miss Filangi's Avatar
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    Help Me Appreciate ART!

    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?
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  2. #2
    Wait, what? ArchieComic Fan's Avatar
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    The great thing about art is that it is subjective and truly in the eyes of the beholder. You don't have to like another person's favorite piece because art is how it makes you feel.

    It's funny how some people will hop on a bandwagon of a particular artist and say how great their work is and how that artist understands form, light, lines, color, etc. just because they hear other people say it. There was a news special once where art was displayed at a popular gallery and the paintings were really done by children but the gallery patrons weren't told that. Some of the patrons went on and on about how great a piece was and how talented the artist was and then had mud in their face when they found out a 5 year old did it!

    I came to appreciate art when I took Art Appreciation during my first semester in college. I even kept the book because there are some pieces in it that I love. The same thing happened when I took Music Appreciation - I love classical music now because I was exposed to music I wouldn't go out of my way to listen to initially.

    I find that some of the "greats" have paintings and sculptures that I like and some of their stuff I find not so good. For me, the way I appreciate a piece is tied to my mood, thoughts, feelings, desires. However that piece touches me and makes me feel is what makes it so special. For example, at my local small-scale art museum there is a HUGE painting of a man called the Black Prince. To me it is a truly remarkable painting. I was just in awe of it when I saw it. It's that kind of feeling that you take with you that is "art." It means different things to different people.

    I suggest going to the library and checking out a few books to see if there's anything that will help you or just surf the web. Sometimes when you read why someone painted or sculpted something it changes how you look at it. I read about some of Picasso's work and the hidden meanings behind it and then I looked again at it and was like "yes" now I get it.

    Guernica by Picasso (http://www.artchive.com/artchive/p/picasso/guernica.jpg) is one of those pieces. If you don't know why he painted it, you might think it's just some bizarre painting.(http://www.zum.de/Faecher/Materialie.../guernica.html)
    Last edited by ArchieComic Fan; 03-29-2006 at 05:15 PM.

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    Wonky snarkmistress Lucy's Avatar
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    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.
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  4. #4
    Wait, what? ArchieComic Fan's Avatar
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    Some of my favorite stuff is photographs. Not manipulated ones (although some of those are pretty good) but those that catch the sunset at just the right moment with just that right combination of colors, and other examples like that.

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    Can They Do It?? mrdobolina's Avatar
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    I'm just like you, Miss F. Art usually escapes me. I also agree with Archiecomic in that sometimes a peice of art just hits me and I can fully appreciate it.

    My favorite art form is photography. Black and White photography to be specific. B/W photos just grab me emotionally way more than color ones do.
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    Courtesy and Goodwill Mantenna's Avatar
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    Everything I learned about art I learned from Amanda. This . . . this is art:


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    Retired! hepcat's Avatar
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    For me, I appreciate an artist that can really invoke an emotional response out of me. Also, the medium or technique shouldn't get in the way. It's subjective, and I admit a lot of modern art doesn't really grab me.

    Once I went to a modern art exhibit in San Francisco. Someone had made a wedding dress out of men's underwear and hung it on a mannequin. When you looked a little closer, you realized it was used and unlaundered men's underwear. Skidmarks should have no place in the art world. Yeah, I get what the artist was trying to say but it didn't speak to my soul. I did recoil in disgust, though.
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  8. #8
    Courtesy and Goodwill Mantenna's Avatar
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    Skidmarks!? Auuggggggh!!! I think it's okay if art is "dangerous," but it shouldn't be hazardous to your health!

    Actually, seriously, I obtained art appreciation from reading a lot of basic art books when I was younger. In fourth grade we had some amazing art history books for children--it was a three-book set called "A Child's History of Art" by Virgil M. Hillyer. (Anything he writes is amazing, and I owe most of my formative education to this man.)

    Also, just sample as much of it as you can. Look at works by the masters, and your opinions will begin to solidify. It's just like music or anything else, I suppose . . . a matter of familiarizing yourself and discovering what you like. Some basic art technique can help inform your opinions, because you'll know what's going on from a structural perspective, and your emotional response will take care of the rest.
    Last edited by Mantenna; 03-29-2006 at 06:16 PM.

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    Jaded Swan Song's Avatar
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    I am with you Miss Filangi. I don't get it. I have seen a lot of abstracts arts and even worked with some (both with textures i.e. rugs and paintings). Some of it just seems so mundane and yet it appealed to some. I guess whatever pleases your eye, be it a humming bird flapping its wings or a pattern brushed on sand by a wave - its as much art to me as Di Vinci. You are naive enough to buy into my cliche explanation, right?

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    Fort Member
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    Miss Filangi
    I am not sure if the art gallery in your area does it but at our state art gallery you can do a self paced tour where they give you a head set and as you walk around it tells you the meaning of the art work the inspiration and any story behind it. Sometimes knowing the story and inspiration can make you appreciate the art work better. It especially helps with the old works that I tend to find ugly, but if I hear the story behind them and what it is supposed to be portraying I appreciate it alot more
    My mother was an artist so i learned to appreciate art at an early age as every second weekend was spent at a gallery somewhere. I really like modern art and abstracts but i do have bad eyesight and sometimes with some of them i think that helps. hahaha

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