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  1. #1
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    Explain Abstract Art / Help Appreciate Abstract Art

    Not looking for an arguement here, Abstract Art must have some merits otherwise it wouldn't exist (well, barring a huge multi-national conspiracy).

    I plead ignorance on the matter, ignorance by indifference really. I really have little respect for Abstract Art but again I've never taken the time to look into it. Where to begin really?

    So, it would be nice if this thread could be filled with peoples thoughts about why they like Abstract Art. What do you like about it? What impact does this have? What can you tell us? Explain why, the purpose, the theories behind it, etc etc.

    Pictures, samples, articles and everything would be really appreciated. Show this monkey the best of abstract art ok?

    Last edited by Idiot Apathy; January 20th, 2006 at 05:03 PM.
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  3. #2
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    Do you like music without lyrics?


    Tristan Elwell
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  4. #3
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    Well I found these right now, by chance
    Explain Abstract Art / Help Appreciate Abstract Art

    Explain Abstract Art / Help Appreciate Abstract Art

    I was looking for movement/dance images and stumbled upon those, I kinda liked them, so I saved them.

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    I think I came up with a pretty decent analogy (for me, anyway) for the comparison between realist art and abstract art.

    First of all let me say I do enjoy many types of abstract art, and I think the reason it works well with a lot of people is because it's so open to interpretation that anyone can read their own meaning into the piece, and feel some sort of connection with it, regardless of whatever intentions the artist may have had.

    Here's my analogy - let's consider that paintings are like types of music. A huge red splattered abstract canvas is like a gong or immense cymbal - people hear a loud crash and turn to look, to see what it was that caught their attention so violently. Soon, the sound has faded away, leaving people in a pensive mood considering what it may have been that caused the crash. A mighty, if brief effort was put into making the crash, possibly with thought on how to best capture the audience's attention.

    A realistic painting, however, is more like an orchestra playing a subtle and many-layered classical melody. People may not even notice the many different elements combining to make the final sound, but chances are it will grab their attention, but in a different way to a cymbal smash. The artist has spent time weaving the melody, figuring out how all the elements fit and flow together. Now, many people may dislike classical music, and they may turn away from the sound sooner, because it holds no interest for them. Other people may stay and listen because the music is soothing or contains interesting instrumental sections.

    It makes sense to me to think of it in that way, even if it is hugely simplifying the issue. There are many areas between those polar opposites though.

    Every type of artwork attracts different people for different reasons.

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    Exactly elwell, I have this print hanging in my living room and I love it.
    Explain Abstract Art / Help Appreciate Abstract Art

    | Myspace | FLICKR The hype is real.
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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell
    Do you like music without lyrics?

    I love you more, day by day.

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  8. #7
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    Elwell, yes; but doesn't the music contain rules and guidelines as well? I think I understand your point but could you make it blatantly obvious? .

    bRØk3n_sPiRiT, I do enjoy looking at the first one; but I still can't imagine valueing something like this anywhere near say Bouguereau ya know? Second one I think shows a good composition and a lot of thought put into that. Is that what abstract art is about? The theories behind art, or to put it another way; controlling the viewer instinctually?

    Edit:

    MoP: Yeah, good analogy; but that runs both ways doesn't it? You could the big crash towards a realistic painting as well. Maybe I'm not understanding you right, I'm not sure. I've thought of abstract as more of subtleties, intangible and unexplainable. Is abstract art aimed at our instincts/subconscious perhaps? By the way, do you have any examples that you like?

    tagHeuer: Thanks for example, it's certainly nice to look at.

    Marko: He's got that special something doesn't he.

    Last edited by Idiot Apathy; January 20th, 2006 at 05:02 PM.
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  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Idiot Apathy
    I do enjoy looking at the first one
    Well, then, you could look for more stuff and see if you like any or not, which ones you like...
    I dunno, I don't think its something you have to rationalize so much, I think the first one has composition (in lines, tones and color), rhythm, and a nice flow through the page. But thats not why I like it... or maybe it is, I just know I like it and happened to see those mechanics. There's probably a bazillion things I haven't seen or considered, but the same thing could be said about anything else I guess.

    Just look for more stuff, and read/study, but only if you enjoy doing so. No one is pointing a gun to your head. Just look for stuff you like and investigate on that, no need to rationalize so much.

    Aaandd... figure this out yourself, and ask someone more qualified than me to answer, I just like looking at stuff

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  10. #9
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    Abstract art is, as Elwell said, like music without lyrics.

    The problem is that in the music biz, music without lyrics that sounds like crap that a 4 year old could bang out on a cheap toy synth gets brushed aside as the crap it is. For some reason, in the art world, the equivalent to that is glorified, which cheapens the whole abstract art movement.

    So just look at the well done abstract art and you should understand what's cool about it. Basically, it just looks sweet, at least to me.

    Last edited by dfacto; January 20th, 2006 at 05:45 PM.

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  12. #11
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    Yeah, thats really what I'm asking for; the cream of the crop in Abstract Art. So much of it is the crap that cheapens the movement.

    You've provided some good examples so far; I'll see what I can find.

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  13. #12
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    Sometimes, the difference between figurative and non figurative isn't that apparent. Here it seems they are mixed

    Explain Abstract Art / Help Appreciate Abstract Art

    Look at the spirals in the background. What are those? Would you consider this image representational or non representational?

    (Elwell is this a good example?)

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  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Idiot Apathy
    Elwell, yes; but doesn't the music contain rules and guidelines as well?
    And abstract art has rules and guidlines too. Abstract art and graphic design somewhere have common ancestors.

    For some further information you could always try this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abstract_art
    That should give you something to start. No explanation will make it more "worthy" for you or show you what it is. You must do something on your own. Just expecting some people to feed you "abstract art" won't help much (that goes for many other things). You will just absorb other people's opinions. Try to learn some bits about abstract art and how/where it fits into history/art history. That should help you to understand some parts better. A two paragraph explanation won't help you much.

    I think The Story of Art could give you a nice introduction to that and more. I never saw that book but heared some good things about it. Probably someone who has the book could add their opinion.
    Here the Amazon link for th lazy ones. (It has at least a five star rating)

    And don't stop here. Just take a look around see what you can find.

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