Unpopular Art Opinions

Artyczar

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Do you have any unpopular opinions on art? I know I do. These may or may not be unpopular, depending on who you are:

  • Any art in the right context is art if the artist says it is. This includes a crusty booger sitting in the middle of the gallery.
  • There shouldn't be censorship in art, ever, even if you disagree or find it disgusting. (You don't have to look at it!)
  • Great artists suffer, even if they make it all look easy.
  • I do not like elitists that think realism is the only kind of “true” art.
  • I think people who hate abstract art just don’t understand anything about it and don’t know their art history, especially post WWII contemporary movements. (How’s that for elitist?)
  • People who trace references are not “cheating!” Norman Rockwell, Disney, and everyone else you think is impressive did the same thing.
  • People who steal other people’s art should serve jail time.
  • Sometimes, the emotional effect, beauty, and/or impact of art is way more important than technical skill or craftsmanship.
  • Artists should be helped and encouraged and never discouraged, even if they suck.
  • Artists are born, not made, but if you don’t work hard, you probably can’t be a great one.
  • Bad art exists when you have nothing left to give anyone.
  • Without art, people would cease to be civilized.
  • There is no such thing as time.
 
Those are some ideas you have there. I don't agree with some of them, but everyone has a right to their opinion.
 
It's funny...I am having a debate (I hate debates) with someone on a different forum (not WC) about pricing art, which is another unpopular opinion of mine. I can be overly opinionated about that stuff, but he was being really discouraging to young artists about selling their work and I can't stand that. He was saying they should only charge $20 for portraits and they would be lucky to even get that. Grrrr!
 
People are suspicious of work that's priced too low. I always charged twice as much as I thought my stuff was really worth and got away with it every time. That being said, people will buy anything if it's cheap enough.
 
There shouldn't be censorship in art, ever, even if you disagree or find it disgusting. (You don't have to look at it!)

Of course, you knew I would agree. Unfortunately, I think that more often than not it is the artist who is censoring himself/herself out of fear of not fitting into the mold of whatever tradition/market he/she sees himself/herself... or fear of offending... (or not offending?)

Great artists suffer, even if they make it all look easy.

There's a Robert Hughes quote that I quite like: "The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize."

I do not like elitists that think realism is the only kind of “true” art.
I think people who hate abstract art just don’t understand anything about it and don’t know their art history, especially post WWII contemporary movements. (How’s that for elitist?)


I certainly agree. I was frustrated by a recent post making the rounds in social media offering a list of 100 great figurative painters. Almost every last one was a realist in the tradition of 19th century academic tonalism. I was as if Post-Impressionism, Expressionism, and even Pop Art had never existed. Many of the realist snobs sadly cannot discern why Vermeer or Velazquez are better painters than the French Academics... let alone truly appreciate Giotto or Simone Martini except as historical predecessors.

But there are those champions of Modernism/Abstraction who are just as closed-minded to most any form of realism and older art. How can you not look at Simone Martini or Botticelli and appreciate the expressive distortions... abstractions? How can you not look at a few square inches of Vermeer or Ingres and not recognize the most exquisite abstract passages? I posted this painting by Raphael over on WC:

BeFunky_03velata.600.jpg


I have always thought it was an absolutely delicious portrait... yet at the same time, that sleeve alone is a true masterpiece of swirling and undulating abstract line and form.

People who trace references are not “cheating!” Norman Rockwell, Disney, and everyone else you think is impressive did the same thing.

There are many who strive to prove that Vermeer employed some means of projection in his paintings. While optics were making a great leap at the time and Vermeer certainly was aware of the camera obscura without an electric means of projecting an image I don't think he could have used such for more than a source of inspiration. Even if such were possible... the accuracy of the drawing alone is not what makes a painting good... or great. I've used a projector over the last few years as a means of rapidly establishing proportions on a very tall surface. Where I used to take weeks at times repeatedly raising and lowering my paper just to get the proportions right, with a projector I could rough-in this in 10 minutes and then spend all my time on the actual drawing and painting.

Sometimes, the emotional effect, beauty, and/or impact of art is way more important than technical skill or craftsmanship.

This may be true... the emotions... the beauty... are something brought to the work of art by the audience. What moves me... what I find beautiful... may not match your experience at all. Every viewer brings their own life experiences, art experiences, prejudices, biases, likes and dislikes, etc... to bear upon a work of art.

I would also add to this that contrary to the belief of some, technical skill and craftsmanship are never deficiencies.

Bad art exists...

I'll leave your quote there... because that part of the statement alone: "Bad Art Exists..." seems to be an unpopular opinion with more than a few artists who I have encountered.
 
Bad art Does exist - case in point - an embarrassingly large selection in my basement ... there's a museum of 'bad art' ... and thank g'ness for that 'cause it does a great job of reminding how good art can be. That said, it's noteworthy to remember that there's no arguing in matters of taste. Like turnips and liver.
la
 
Turnips are not nearly as bad as liver.
Okay, maybe "bad" are exists, but I can see the good and the effort in all things tried and accomplished. I still like to encourage people to get better and keep trying.
 
Of course, as do I. However, it does me and/or my student no good to note only the positives, to learn one must accept suckiness, growing pains, wretched attempts.
Predominantly positive with a side of 'but you'll need to make both eyes look in the same direction and correct the two left feet issue.;)
Abstract is hard tho, I don't know how to critique that which isn't based on any level of reality. So maybe there's no such thing as bad abstract art? Perhaps it's just too subjective to judge/critique, to me, so I don't, unless I like it.
la
 
You're right. One has to learn. There are many things to judge on abstract: balance, composition, shadow, contrast, palette, placement (which is like composition), but there is a feeling and you can portray that, with a certain finesse and various techniques, it can be learned and captured after getting an eye for what works.
 
In abs, balance works best unbalanced, but not too unbalanced, comp breaks rules, but how to do that well is freakishly tricky, palette, ugh, ALL the colours, or just two or three, contrast is the One 'easy' to apply 'rule'. I admire those who are able to do it (all) well. I am Not one of them.
I think you, Arty, found a sweet spot with your 'trailer park' series a while back, admirable work, that, imho. But it's not 'true' abstract, is it, it's abstracted reality and that's something I can wrap my head around. True abs, like pollock or whatever, I just don't get it. And that's okay.
la
 
I wouldn't say it works best unbalanced, but it can work well that way. And I agree, a limited color palette is good too, but that's getting away easy.

Thanks for your comments about my stuff. I do have a few totally abstract pieces, and I find them much harder to do, that's for sure. :)
 
There's a Robert Hughes quote that I quite like: "The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize."

Faith is a virtue.
 
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Here is a left brain/right brain thought: There are artists that plan their paintings, and there are artists that just wing it. Some artists find it a good method to do preliminary sketches, then select the most promising of these for the finished work. Others work out the design directly on the canvas.

To plan or not to plan.
Maybe it is not either or. Maybe there is a middle ground.

My compositions are planned, but painting them is all intuitive --Artyczar

I know that left/right brain theory is somewhat a bust according to recent psychological models. But just as some of us are left or right hand dominant and some are ambidextrous, there are some specialized areas of the brain that demonstrate asymmetric functionality. Broca's area and Wernicke's area, for language processing, are located on the left hemisphere of the brain in 98% of the population.

But I don’t want to discuss left brain vs right brain thinking nor Betty Edwards’ book: Drawing on the right side of the brian. I do want to discuss whether or not you plan your painting, and if you do plan, what process you usually go through in starting a new painting and if you paint in more than one genre, is the process different.

Not that I’ve stirred up a hornet’s nest, let me pour a little more petrol on the fire; How do you right handed artists manage to paint?
 
Drawing on the right side of the brian o_O

:LOL:Must be using the wrong side of the "Brian" here while typing. Ironically, our member Brian is one who hated that book.

I do want to discuss whether or not you plan your painting, and if you do plan, what process you usually go through in starting a new painting and if you paint in more than one genre, is the process different.

I always begin, as it were, with a gesture. As a painter of the human figure, it is the gesture... the internal flow of the figure that is my starting point. As a student, I was taught the approach employed by Rembrandt, the Venetians, the Impressionists, etc... of beginning with the large elements of the composition and then working the entire painting all at once in an organic manner. I broke away from this approach after spending some 5 years working exclusively in collage. In collage I would begin with a simple notion of the composition and the add one element at a time. The second element needed to harmonize with the first and each subsequent element needed to harmonize with whatever was already there. When I returned to painting... or painting/pastel I continued to work in this manner. Once I have established the gesture of the central figure(s) I begin working on the surrounding space one element at a time. Each subsequent element must harmonize with whatever is already established. I really don't know what the end painting will look like. As Arty suggested, the painting process involves a lot of intuition and thinking. I whole-heartedly agree with Picasso's adage: "Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working." The painting process, for me, is not one of rendering an idea/sketch/composition that is worked out ahead of time. The painting evolves and changes throughout the whole of the painting process.

As for "righties"... and I'll note that I began as a "lefty" and was pushed into using the "proper hand"... I suspect that while there may be more lefties within the population of artists, the overall population of artists is likely far more right-handed than left-handed.
 
Drawing on the right side of the brian o_O

:LOL:Must be using the wrong side of the "Brian" here while typing. Ironically, our member Brian is one who hated that book.

Actually, I loved the book, and that was the whole problem - it seduced me into a blind alley. :)

As for the question, when working directly from reference, I tend not to plan nearly enough. I nowadays try to discipline myself to do at least a thumbnail or two. My initial idea usually turns out to be the right one, but that way it is still easier to get it more or less right.
 
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