What Do You Think of Abstract Art? - Page 2
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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetpack42 View Post
    The problem with "abstract" art is that it's difficult, if not impossible, to communicate visually. As somebody mentioned, all art is an abstraction. Problem is, we experience the world in a mostly wordless place. People, facial expressions, landscapes, body language, objects.. How can you convey a certain message to somebody, visually, if you're not speaking in a language they understand?

    So, since purpley squigglies and jagged spirally mazes might be the way one person looks at the world, it's hardly universal. Whereas, a sad face is pretty universal in it's expression of sadness. The color red can mean many things to many people (shopping, anger, bullfighting, a target, blood), whereas a person getting stabbed reads instantly. If abstract art is such a powerful communication, why is there always paragraphs next to it; some gibberish about what it's supposed to mean, what the artist intended, the history of some such thing.. If VISUAL ART requires any words to describe it, the description is "ability to communicate visually has failed".

    You just have to ask yourself how powerfully you want to communicate. If you want to be able to communicate powerfully, you have to be articulate, visually.

    If you don't give a rip about saying anything meaningful, by all means, abstract away.

    Edit: I would like to add, another function of Art is that it assigns value. When somebody paints a portrait, landscape, still life, or even a dream, (or writes a poem, sings a song, cooks some sort of food) they are saying "You should look at this. You should contemplate this. You should experience this." Why???? It has VALUE! People have value! The earth has value! Life is worth living! What is the value of a bunch of random squiggly lines??? If it doesn't look like anything I can recognize, how can it have any real value?

    It's impossible to have much of a discussion without discussing what Art is, which is a difficult task in a nearly philosophy-less world. I've also heard it argued that Art is just a reflection of a philosophy, in that sense abstract art is valid. It represents chaos, for example. Well, how many people are enjoying living through the financial chaos we are in right now? So why would we celebrate an artist who is all about chaos?

    This is not to say abstract art can't have a neat design, interesting composition, striking colors... etc. But are those things "Art"? I would say no. (My definition of Art is: To communicate the human experience). So, abstract art is either nonsense (measured on it's ability to communicate) or horrible philosophy.

    Rational thought destroys abstract art, as it does many irrational things; smoking, being grossly obese, yet people make the choice to do those things as well, just as people will continue to smoke or weigh 500lbs.
    Another great post, thanks.

    I see what you're saying and agree to a point. I do believe realism is needed. But I also think abstract is needed.

    Realism is a CLEAR message word-picture. Most of the interpretation was done by the artist who did the work. A viewer simply looks and sees/hears the message. It's kind of like going to church to hear a sermon.

    There is thinking and personal reflection in realism to a certain extent but the nature of the work greatly limits this.

    If the truth were known; most people in the world greatly prefer realism. It's easy and leads quickly into invoking some emotion or experience from the past. The artist, if really good at his craft, will almost always accomplish this result via his painted illusion (all paintings are mere illusions).

    In abstract work we're drawing out of the viewer what is inside of him or her in a more effective way. Instead of cramming a message down the viewer’s throat, the abstract artist says: "What do you see?"

    True abstract paintings are not just scribbles and wiggles on canvas. A good abstract painter considers the whole canvas before doing the work. He has some idea of his goal before painting. Just as Jackson Pollock did before he painted. However, even Pollock said that sometimes he "lost a painting." He might not sign it and throw it away. It didn't communicate what he wanted it to communicate.

    Abstract art done right does very powerfully communicate. But its message is not "one size fits all." Colors, patterns, etc., these all draw out of us what's inside. How exactly it accomplishes this is a mystery even to this day.

    Those specialists who deal with the severely mentally challenged often have them draw what they feel. These drawings are studied and while most unlearned persons would say they mean nothing--they can mean a great deal to those with knowledge. In fact several years ago a book (I forget the title) was done on this very subject.

    The point being that even what looks like scribbling to some can mean something. Is it easy to receive? Maybe not. But certain colors and patterns have a strange way of drawing out what is hidden deep within. I’ve seen this happen to people who said they hated abstract art. Some of these eventually become its greatest defenders.

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    Cy Twombly.





















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  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigpanfish View Post
    Is abstract art...art? Or is it basically wallpaper?

    Obviously people buy it because some of the most expensive art today is abstract expression.

    Why do you think some people like it and others hate it?

    If a beginner were to ask you to help them learn how to do abstract work, what would you tell them?
    1. - I like abstract work and think it's art.
    2. - Because people have different tastes.
    3. - Even abstract work has a basis in reality. I would encourage them to draw from life. Or if we are strictly talking about non-representational art, then at least learn the basics of design.

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    So, would non-representational animation count as abstract?

    I find this kind'a charming, but maybe it's more plain Pomo-ish:


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  6. #35
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    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/4109664.stm

    This chimpanzee had painted better abstracts than Cy Twombly. This is not a joke.

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    Using Twombly as an example is really stacking the deck. It's like having Thomas Kinkade represent representation.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    Using Twombly as an example is really stacking the deck. It's like having Thomas Kinkade represent representation.
    According to RANDIS both of them are excellent artists because they are excellent at selling their crap to a lot of people.

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    I love abstract. took me a while to appreciate it, it was ages until I could work out what was happening in cubist paintings, but once I got there it opened up a whole new world of expression which is exciting.

    Seems to me that people buy art they don't understand (i.e abstract/modern) because of the interest of others and don't want to appear ignorant and want to join in with the scene. Artists who aren't particularly talented can be ruthless and capitalise on that, reminds me so much of Exit through the gift shop, watched it last night, so thought provoking and funny.

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    Quote Originally Posted by R a n d i s View Post
    Art comes in countless forms and all are equally valid.
    A good artist does not have to be a good painter or have any sort of understanding in anatomy, a photographer does not need to be skilled in drawing, same goes for many abstract artists. Everyone can do art and every artist comes with a different skill set.
    You can create strong visuals with meaning and emotion without having skill in painting.
    Some artists create images without painting or drawing at all, they instead make use of programing, nature and other tools but no matter how great their art is, it does not make them a great painter. . .
    Here's to equal validity!



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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamber Parrk View Post
    Here's to equal validity!
    A single picture does not represent the genre or the medium and just because all art forms are equally valid it does not mean that all artworks are.

    Manga is art but if you draw silly shit it will not put you on the same level with Mozart.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bennett View Post
    According to RANDIS both of them are excellent artists because they are excellent at selling their crap to a lot of people.
    I would say, as to Kinkade, per Randis' proposition-- "[a]rt comes in countless forms and all are equally valid," that the "form" of art that Kinkade produces, kitsch, is "equally valid," to other forms of art.

    Thus, given that Kinkade produces very sharp, realistic images of cottages with all the lights on and surrounded by exactingly rendered ornamental shrubbery, he makes some very well executed kitsch.

    In the same vein, novelty tattoos are "equally valid" kitsch. And, as long as the artist has done a good job of rendering Darth and Winnie, his "form" of art is no less "valid" than Sargent's Madame X or Ellsworth Kelly's Blue Panel:



    Last edited by Kamber Parrk; February 23rd, 2011 at 12:22 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamber Parrk View Post
    I would say, as to Kinkade, per Randis' proposition-- "[a]rt comes in countless forms and all are equally valid," that the "form" of art that Kinkade produces, kitsch, is "equally valid," to other forms of art.

    Thus, given that Kinkade produces very sharp, realistic images of cottages with all the lights on and surrounded by exactingly rendered ornamental shrubbery, he makes some very well executed kitsch.

    In the same vein, novelty tattoos are "equally valid" kitsch. And, as long as the artist has done a good job of rendering Darth and Winnie, his "form" of art is no less "valid" than Sargent's Madame X or Ellsworth Kelly's Blue Panel:

    I've no idea why I just found that...interesting.

    Seriously, I do. Must be the studying of compostion in graphic design I'm doing that makes me see it differently.

    "Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."
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    When the Big Blue Panel popped up in the last discussion in this vein, another of its interesting aspects came up-- it's monumentally huge and overbearing when seen in person.

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    I've seen much much worse, as that panel is at least a bit skewed and framed and is in general more or less visually appealing. I once saw a canvas that was painted entirely in a coat of brownish-grey (all one color) that was the final project of someone's masters in fine art degree...

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    The thing is, 'abstract art' is not a 'genre of art' in the way that Pop Art or, Minimialism or figurative agit prop tatoos or Beatrix Potter illustrations, Abstract expressionism or the works of Frank Frazetta or Sargent portraits are.

    'Abstraction' is the grammer salient to all of these things. It is the graphic speach with which we express ourselves in whatever genre we find ourselves in.
    Which is to say, the more ambivalent a work (in whatever genre) the more it will be thought of in terms of 'abstract'.

    So it is unecessary and misleading to think of 'abstraction' as some form of art that needs validation. It is, in itself, the very principle, the fundamental grammar that underlies all visual works. And it whether the artist carrying out the work in whatever sphere of interest is master of this wordless language of shapes and tones in all their guises, be they smears, hard edges, scribbles, semi-transparent etc etc, that determines the strength of whatever they are doing.

    And it is precisely this that makes Helen Allingham better than Kinkade and Richard Diebenkorn better than Cy Twombly

    Last edited by Chris Bennett; February 23rd, 2011 at 06:12 AM.
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  20. #46
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    Say you are designing a logo, its for uhmm, fancy underwear for women.

    Do you need to illustrate a panty and a bra to communicate what your product is about? or can you communicate that with your typography? Can you use the same font as say Burgerking? The name alone will not speak for the qualities its selling? , maybe the shapes in your letters, the way its written , will let it know what kind of product it is, and for who is for.

    And for the ad. Can you communicate more with colors and patterns?, thinking on what kind of graphic elements your using, what kind of composition for it to read well, or just draw a bra very detailed and put it right there in the center?

    And if your making an illustration? dont you think first on the readability? the composition and disposition of elements, the focus center, the color scheme is not based on a mood? is not based on who is the picture for? If it is for a kid would you illustrate with the same thinking as if it were for a metalhead even if it is the same subject? Won`t that warrior in armour look different?.

    Would Snoopi be so much better if it where rendered as a realistic dog?

    Imo, disregarding the abstract in art, or simply separating it as something not adhered to all that your doing, even in representational illustration is nothing short of foolish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bennett View Post


    * * *

    So it is unecessary and misleading to think of 'abstraction' as some form of art that needs validation. It is, in itself, the very principle, the fundamental grammar that underlies all visual works.


    * * *
    Dang! That's a very well thought out dodge of Randis' proposition-- "Art comes in countless forms and all are equally valid."

    But, the proposition still begs the question: what makes a form of art "valid?"

    For example: Homemade Jail Tattoos.

    Per Randis, these would be one of the "countless forms" of "equally valid" art.

    So, just what is it that makes a homemade jail tattoo "valid?"

    Or, for that matter, apart from whether it's abstract or not, just what is it that makes the Blue Panel "valid?"

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    I consider personally both a jail tatto and a Kat Vod D to be equally valid as "Art".

    They are both art, if one is good and the other is bad thats something else.

    Discussing "This is valid and this is not" doesnt lead to too much imo. Just my though

    Last edited by JDSart; February 23rd, 2011 at 05:20 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReneOchoNueve View Post
    I consider personally both a jail tatto and a Kat Vod D to be equally valid as "Art".

    They are both art, if one is good and the other is bad thats something else.

    Discussing "This is valid and this is not" doesnt lead too much imo. Just my though
    OK, but what makes either of them "valid?"

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    Both the prison tattoo and the proffesional one are equally valid as art as any experimental music album , the homemade cakes the old lady from the corner makes with frosting decoration, or a Bouguereau painting.

    It doesnt matter what they are making or who`s better at what. There were made by someone, that used tools and some action in order to achieve a response or just make an expression, simple as that, wether it is for cuteness,drama or a simbol of being somebodys bitch. If i splash some paint on a paper on the floor and call it art, its art, just because i said so, even if it doesnt communicate at all what it is exactly that i mean to express, looks bad and i mess up the floor, its still art. Not more or less art, just art. Not saying that a prison tatoo is on the same level as a Rembrant, but both can be called art just the same.

    "Art" has such a broad meaning it might as well not mean anything. If one doesnt find tattoo or graffitti or any other stuff to be a valid form of "art" then take it and roll with it as your personal definition based on subjetivity.

    But if instead the intention is to establish a parameter for naming whats art and whats not art i would suggest to anyone with such an idea to instead put a twinkie between your buttcheeks and try to give it a bite without using your hands, its just as challenging and equally pointless as an exercise (but rather more entertaining).

    Saying something is art hardly says anything about that thing at all. I have hard times understanding why people get so hung up on that especially when it doesn`t affect them or what they do.

    Last edited by JDSart; February 23rd, 2011 at 05:46 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReneOchoNueve View Post
    Both the prison tattoo and the proffesional one are equally valid as art as any experimental music album , the homemade cakes the old lady from the corner makes with frosting decoration, or a Bouguereau painting.

    It doesnt matter what they are making or who`s better at what. There were made by someone, that used tools and some action in order to achieve a response or just make an expression, simple as that, wether it is for cuteness,drama or a simbol of being somebodys bitch. If i splash some paint on a paper on the floor and call it art, its art, just because i said so, even if it doesnt communicate at all what it is exactly that i mean to express, looks bad and i mess up the floor, its still art. Not more or less art, just art. Not saying that a prison tatoo is on the same level as a Rembrant, but both can be called art just the same.

    "Art" has such a broad meaning it might as well not mean anything. If one doesnt find tattoo or graffitti or any other stuff to be a valid form of "art" then take it and roll with it as your personal definition based on subjetivity.

    But if instead the intention is to establish a parameter for naming whats art and whats not art i would suggest to anyone with such an idea to instead put a twinkie between your buttcheeks and try to give it a bite without using your hands, its just as challenging and equally pointless as an exercise (but rather more entertaining).

    Saying something is art hardly says anything about that thing at all. I have hard times understanding why people get so hung up on that especially when it doesn`t affect them or what they do.
    Heh! You just keep using the word "valid" without saying what makes any of those forms of art "valid!"

    If we can't say what makes ANY form of art "valid," then perhaps the proposition, "Art comes in countless forms and all are equally valid," is just an empty feel-good statement totally devoid of meaning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ReneOchoNueve View Post
    There were made by someone, that used tools and some action in order to achieve a response or just make an expression, simple as that
    Thats all i consider justifies calling something art. What justifies that art form is subjective. I like street art, for me its valid, but you might think its not valid (just for example) but wether you thinks its value justifies it getting done or not, its still valid to call it art, which is kind of what i meant before.

    I dont consider the value of something is given just because its art, i consider the meaning of the word to be worth jack. my opinion in a nutshell, if my english is so bad.

    Last edited by JDSart; February 23rd, 2011 at 06:43 PM.
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    "There were made by someone, that used tools and some action in order to achieve a response or just make an expression, simple as that. . ."

    OK, say I duct tape a dead 'possum to a cinder block and throw it through the window of a Starbucks to draw attention to the price of tea in China.

    I= someone
    duct tape, dead possum, cinderblock= tools
    lobbing cement and possum missile through window= some action
    calling awareness to the price of tea in China= expression

    Every bit as "valid" as a glowing cottage or a Big Blue Panel?

    But, what is "validity!?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamber Parrk View Post
    Dang! That's a very well thought out dodge of Randis' proposition-- "Art comes in countless forms and all are equally valid."

    But, the proposition still begs the question: what makes a form of art "valid?"
    RANDIS was confusing abstraction with a genre of art and in so doing brought in the whole idea of 'validation' which was completely beside the point.

    The whole business of what is 'valid' is, as I see it, irrelevant to this question.
    That said, you make a good point about what on earth is meant when people talk blythly about art forms being 'valid'.......I for one don't really know what is being meant by this expression.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bennett View Post
    RANDIS was confusing abstraction with a genre of art and in so doing brought in the whole idea of 'validation' which was completely beside the point.

    The whole business of what is 'valid' is, as I see it, irrelevant to this question.
    That said, you make a good point about what on earth is meant when people talk blythly about art forms being 'valid'.......I for one don't really know what is being meant by this expression.
    You are confusing things Chris.

    I clearly wrote 'all' forms of art, i did not exclude any, ergo 'all' art is valid.
    My point is about equality and not validity.
    There is no business about what is valid and what is not, i don't know what you are getting at here. Your statement is just vague at best.

    I did not say, 'everything is art', i used the term 'equally valid' because for me it is important to point out that there is no such thing as that one art form is 'more' art than others. There is no shit like true art and all people who look down on artists doing something out of the norm need to pull their heads out of their ass.

    All artworks created do belong to some art genre, sub-genre, a mix of genre, a category, you name it. All are equally valid, there are no guidelines or restrictions for art and there is no judge. Comics, Fine art, canned shit, everything is valid art.

    I am really sick of people looking down on of some of the art forms as if some artists are More artist than other artists. Art has no boundaries, rules and laws, art is simply art and is equally valid in all forms.

    Many people sadly fail to understand it, i even hear it form some university professors, how they do not see comics and concept art as a 'TRUE" art form.
    Pinheads!
    There are so many people out there who would not see pretty much most of what is posted on this website as art at all!

    All Art forms are equal!

    That being said you need to understand that being equally valid does not mean equally good, or does not stand for skill, popularity or brings you instant respect and it certainly does not apply to individual artworks.

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  32. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by R a n d i s View Post
    Art has no boundaries, rules and laws, art is simply art and is equally valid in all forms.
    Then it's formless and meaningless and must rely upon circular logic to uphold it's undefined definition.

    "Astronomy offers an aesthetic indulgence not duplicated in any other field. This is not an academic or hypothetical attraction and should require no apologies, for the beauty to be found in the skies has been universally appreciated for unrecorded centuries."
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    Sometimes I like abstract. But a lot of times I am just completely confused as to how to approach it. If a particular work doesn't immediately give me some sort of strong impression, that's when I start to wonder, "How should I interpret this? Go with my gut? Or is it symbolic in some way? Where do I even start? Uhh..." Cue blank, unmeaningful staring and walking away.

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    Randis is offline ( ゚∀゚)/ ♥♥♥ おっぱい!おっぱい! Level 13 Gladiator: Retiarius
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaW_ View Post
    Then it's formless and meaningless and must rely upon circular logic to uphold it's undefined definition.
    Having no content wise boundaries is not quiet the same as being meaningless.

    Art is everywhere, music, performance art, visual art, literature and so on.
    You can not force it in a shape.

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    Quote Originally Posted by R a n d i s View Post
    Having no content wise boundaries is not quiet the same as being meaningless.

    Art is everywhere, music, performance art, visual art, literature and so on.
    You can not force it in a shape.
    Art is art.
    All art is valid.
    All art forms are equal.
    Art has no boundaries.
    Art is everywhere.
    Art has no rules, it has no guidelines.
    Art cannot be forced into a shape.

    These are things you said. It's really late here and I'm very tired so I'm trying not to put words in your mouth. If this list is what you have said then you certainly are implying that art is meaningless.

    I am really sick of people looking down on of some of the art forms as if some artists are More artist than other artists.
    This is really what it's about isn't it? It's about conflict with authority. It's about going against norms. It's about standing up for the little man. And it's about equality between people. The concept artist is equal to the fine artist therefore what they produce must also be equal.

    "Astronomy offers an aesthetic indulgence not duplicated in any other field. This is not an academic or hypothetical attraction and should require no apologies, for the beauty to be found in the skies has been universally appreciated for unrecorded centuries."
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