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How to judge artistic worth?
cocky 
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Posted 11/27/06
What do you guys think? Can it be objective or purely a subjective matter?

This can apply to any art form, feel free to discuss whatever interests you, and tell me why you like it, and what criteria you judge its artistic merit on.
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Posted 11/27/06
I recently wrote a paper on Plato an art. This is a pretty decent summery of Plato's theory:http://www.rowan.edu/philosop/clowney/Aesthetics/philos_artists_onart/plato.htm

Although his theory is clearly not popular today, it is a very important aspect in the history of the philosophy of aesthetics.

He did have an objective theory of beauty (based on he forms and so on). Differences in judgment are not merely of taste but of knowledge. He held what is known as the representational theory. Art imitations the sensory would, which imitates the forms. Thus, art tends to bring us further from knowledge. As you can read in The Republic he banished artists from his idea city. But, another interpertation can be made out of his philosophy. What if the artists can reach past the sensory world to present the forms more truly then they typically are because of divine inspiration. This idea of the artist as inspired has clearly last to this day.

Objective/Subjective is clearly a large issue. As far as art goes the main issue is defining what art is, what counts as art.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aesthetic-judgment/#1.1
http://www.iep.utm.edu/a/aestheti.htm#H8
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aesthetics

An extreem subjective viewpoint can be found is Leo Tolstoy's "what is art?." For him, art is the communication of emotion. http://www.csulb.edu/~jvancamp/361r14.html
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Posted 11/27/06
That's a though one.

I've been exposed to Art since I was a kid. My father is an artist and he has taught me how to draw, paint and sculpt. I have tried all sorts of art styles and some of the criteria I consider when I create art and evaluate art are:

1. The work conveys the feelings of the artist ( I guess I'm a little "Romantic" )
2. Displays great technical ability (although I admit this one is too wide, I tend to unconsciously use it based on my own ability)
3. I also like balance or harmony but that does not apply to all art.
4. The work also has to be enjoyable, I consider this a vital criteria. There is an "artist" who thinks getting an ear implanted into his arm is art. (I'm not kidding) But this is also a highly subjective thing
5. If the work contains some sort of moral idea, it's always a good thing.

I love Salvador Dali, Chuck Close, Escher, Frida Kahlo, and William Bouguereau.
I always try to become familiar with all the different styles, but I generally admire skill more than anything else. If you visit this website you will get and idea of my tastes

http://www.artrenewal.org/articles/2005/Reasons/museum1.asp

Overall I really don't have a favorite artist or art piece, or ism. I love art for art's sake...or something like that

I also feel bad that being an artist and loving Philosophy, Aesthetics is one of the subjects I rarely study. Oh well...


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Posted 11/27/06
this is a really question....its a valuable piece of art if the creator had a very depressing life and is now dead...sylvia plath...RIP
cocky 
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Posted 11/27/06
Heh, Plato's forms. Been a while since I studied that. Thanks for the post, some reading there, to be sure. I was always a bit cynical for Tolstoy - the whole sincerity idea? Ouch.
To me it his classification smacks of self-righteous elitism.

For now lets categorize any form of emotional expression as art. Unless you would like to argue this point of course, which by all means feel free to do.

cocky 
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Posted 11/27/06
Thanks Mauz, was hoping you would show up.

I'll do a little thinking on my own ideas while i respond to your points.

1. My first instinct was to agree, but then I realised how often I see an entirely different point or focus in a piece that was not originally intended, this can often be a case of some abtruse point making me think about things I hadn't hitherto considered. This is especially so in more abstract artwork - a type I hadn't until recently due to small-mindedness considered true art.

2. I have to agree whole-heartedly on this point, even more abstract pieces (when it comes to painting/sculpting e.t.c) if I would call them good, display a great deal of technical skill, but it is difficult for one (such as I all too often) to recognize this fact immediately, the creation of feel is just as important as the feel itself - genius cannot be expressed through mute lips.

4. I disagree, quite a few things I have witnessed I would not count as enjoyable, the film "Irreversible" for example that I watched recently was quite horrific, one scene in particular turned my stomach - however the writing, and intensely powerful way it was expressed leads me to place it at the very highest echelon of art.

5. Bit subjective for me to comment on:)
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Posted 11/27/06
Although I understand what minimalism is trying to portray, when I see something like this
I honestly do not know what to say



And I've also seen the irreversible and felt the same but I enjoyed what the piece did to me
cocky 
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Posted 11/27/06
Agreed, but then I am still trying to educate myself...

Perhaps I am missing something but I just don't know what...

You say you enjoyed what Irreversible did to you? I cannot use the word enjoy I guess, I was glad it summoned the level of emotion that it did, but what it left me to ponder upon I did not find so enjoyable - perhaps the pondering itself but not the topic.
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Posted 11/27/06
Any form of emotional expression is art? This strikes me as a poor conception. Crying as art? Cut and pasted from wikipedia: "Art is an act of or a result of human creation, when images and objects, sights and sounds, or drawings and carvings convey beauty or realize the imagination of the artist."

It may be good to draw a distinction between a work of art, and "the arts", such as poetry or theater. It seems to me for something to be an art object, it must be a certain type of thing, and/or created by a certain process.

Oh and just for fun: A famous question is, what is the difference between a brillo box in an art gallery and a brillo box in a supermarket?
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Posted 11/27/06
I guess I used the wrong word cocky we thought the same about irreversible but disagreed in language
cocky 
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Posted 11/27/06
Good point. I guess I used an umbrella term too vague in of itself.

Intent for emotional expression was perhaps more what I meant, but failed to specify.

As for the question, intent. Point made.
cocky 
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Posted 11/27/06

mauz15 wrote:

I guess I used the wrong word cocky we thought the same about irreversible but disagreed in language


Heh, the nature of language is another great topic, but we'll save that one for another day.

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Posted 11/27/06
One of my art professors said that the essence of art is Form and Content. I suppose he means Content is meaning and reaction of both the artist and the public; while Form applies to the artistic elements as well as the established principles of design/composition.
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Posted 11/27/06
i dont think there's always that much intellectualism or forethought required in art, maybe art is just an expression of the heart
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Posted 11/27/06
You love and hate art.
You just can not utter a single word for what it is.
Cause ARTS have endless meaning.
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