Why Is Modern Art So Bad?

Discussion in 'Art, Media & Photography' started by bostjan, Apr 4, 2017.

  1. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    ^ It's strange to me that people so often associate the level of difficulty in producing or doing something to the quality of the results.
     
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  2. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    well, as I was kinda hinting at, "level of difficulty" itself is often relative.

    Also, some things might be easy to do in a superficial way, but very difficult to execute artistically. For example, flinging paint imprecisely at a canvas, or letting your guitar amp feed back. I can make my little speaker do some feedback. But it doesn't sound like when Wata from Boris does it. That chick has some magic power over electromagnetism.
     
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  3. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    ...and that's full circle back to the gist of Florczak's argument in the video.

    EDM is valid as music, as art, etc.

    In the guitar-player community, there is a huge aspect of musicianship and technique in which we take interest. But to look at guitar playing as music, or art in general, we have to take a big step back, because you can not make music equivalent to guitar playing. Maybe Freddie Mercury was not very notable as a guitar player, but he was certainly notable as a musician.

    And I think that is another way in which Florczak stumbled in his video. He's making an equivalence between being a painter and being an artist. Can you make art without painting? Can you be a notable artist without being a notable painter? What if a piece is notable art, and is a painting - does that mean it must be notable for it's mastery of conventional painting techniques? This is all rhetorical.

    The issue is further complicated by the lack of any real clear set of metrics by which to grade painting technique.

    But yeah, say I vomit on a canvas and call it art. No one would give a ...., really. If I knew the right people who got me into an art gallery, though, then maybe. If Florczak is not impressed by modern art, well, okay. Most people aren't, I think. But if he wants to rant on youtube about how modern art is just bull...., so no one should go to museums that feature modern art, then I think he's lost his mind, because the video doesn't make any difference in the grand scheme of things.
     
  4. IGC

    IGC OCDG

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    From a picasso standpoint, I can get abstract art. But some abstract art, newer/older is just a little over my head. :scratch:
     
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  5. Given To Fly

    Given To Fly Contributor

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    I probably should have phrased that differently. To be honest, the instrument I had in mind when I wrote "true" electronic instrument was Milton Babbitt's synthesizer at Princeton. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RCA_Mark_II_Sound_Synthesizer
    I like Babbitt and Stockhausen, but I am not sure if that is what people mean when they say electronic music. I value High-Modernism in classical music more than you probably want or care to know. Also, "Frets are not Buttons" invalidates the guitar as a MIDI controller more than anything else. I wrote a long paragraph about the harpsichord explaining how the mechanism that plucks the strings also creates a unique disconnect between the player and the resulting sound of..................................:coffee: It is best if I stop.
     
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  6. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I think the general idea of poking at electronic music in this thread was focused on music that uses programming and prerecorded samples. That's what I hear gripped about most by guitarists, at least.
     
  7. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    That's what I was thinking, but seeing as I know little about electronic music as a whole, I'll admit I might be misusing the word.
     
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  8. iamaom

    iamaom SS.org Regular

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    I find one of the huge problems with the video in the OP is that it seems to only look at a narrow scope of academics. Note I'm going to use mainly musical examples because I'm not familiar with art and this is a music forum.

    1. The laughable graph showing a "decline" in standards. There's plenty of fine art, from video game artwork to devianart, there are plenty who are still painting in the traditional sense. We live in an age where pretty much anyone who puts enough time into it can paint like Monet or Leonardo, so naturally people will want to explore their own style and stick out from the norm. Claiming that art has somehow "declined" in an objective manner is like saying music has "declined" because Lady Gaga is a worse composer than Mozart. There's plenty of traditional music, there's plenty of jazz, there's plenty of music of all kinds available for free on the internet. Just because popular taste has changed does not mean any form of art has suddenly disappeared forever or no one is working on it.
    2. Good or bad is mainly subjective. People have paid tens of thousands of dollars for crude paintings by elephants, because they're impressive for an animal. We look back at finger paintings by cavemen in admiration, even if the local elementary school art show exhibits more advance techniques. We marvel at blind or deaf musicians, even if the piece is fairly basic or derivative.
    3. Improvement is really subjective. Did Miles Davis' "So What" improve on harmonic progression or the way we think about modes? Or was it nothing more than a lazy sheet of bare bones music that he expected his band to fill out? What is "improvement", as if there's some sort of end goal of art that is being raced towards. The Classical era of europe was seen as improvement from the garish and overly tacky displays of wealth of the Baroque, but the music and art in many ways is simpler. Did we "regress" somehow? Why is further reductionism found in much postmodern art somehow seen as a regression then? Terms like "progress" or "improvement" are never defined in the video and are words in a vaccuum.
    4. Academic artists are going to view art in a much different way than everyone else. Referring to the last point, there might be techniques that are difficult that do not produce seemingly impressive results to the casual viewer, that someone experience in the field might be very impressed by (and vice versa). For example the Mona Lisa. To me it's not that great. It's just a picture of a woman, yet I've been told my entire life that this is the GREATEST work of art ever. Everyone just accepts it, it's famous because it's famous. The same of Shakespeare or of Bach. Anyone not familiar with these mediums probably truly don't understand why they are famous and heralded, their standard is simply imitated by laymen. Someone not familiar with jazz (even a well trained classical musician) might look at Giant Steps and say it's nothing but a bunch of noise, but someone familiar with it will see it for the amazing leap in harmonic progression that it is. And on the other foot, some techniques or forms are impressive to the uninitiated even if the experience don't really view them as impressive. Look at tapping on guitar. I can impress just about anyone who doesn't play into thinking I'm some sort of guitar god with a few fret taps, while anyone here would yawn. And playing that doesn't appear or "sound" to be impressive, like one of Victor Wooten's slower songs, will blow any musician away. So any "modern art" is hard to judge if you're not into art, and not into modern art, as the "progressiveness" of it may not be immediately apparent. Like in point 2, someone whose shown a drawing that a caveman painted, but not knowing it's a caveman, probably wouldn't even give it a second glance. The prior knowledge of how the work came to be is just as important as the work itself. I don't know if that 320 ton rock in the PragerU video is truly "art" or not unless I understand the history and mindset of the people who view it as such.
    (edit: this forum's formatting sucks)
     
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  9. noise in my mind

    noise in my mind SS.org Regular

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    because of post modernism. everyone is ''right'' nobody is ''wrong''
     
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  10. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    That graph was total BS.

    I think the comparison between Baroque and Classical is on point.

    I appreciate Shakespeare quite a bit, personally, but I get the point there. There are tons of artists who were forgotten. It is reasonable imaginable that some of those forgotten artists could have been onto things that became popular much later, or these artists could have possessed technical abilities on par with famous masters. It's all a combination of doing something worthy of praise, and then being in the right place to get the right people to actually praise it.
     
  11. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    Eh, conservatives are mainly people that adapt slower than others. Might as well say, "Make Art Great Again." I think Damien Hirsts horse and shark sections are amazing, and seeing them in person is quite an experience. I also think John Cage's 4'33 is genius. But in both of those cases, I don't think all music pieces where nothing is recorded are great, and all sharks sectioned are great. They were original, unique, and made a statement. That got people to feel a certain way, and got them to have a certain emotion. For me, that's good enough to call it art.
     
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  12. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I agree 100%.

    Did I mention that the video I posted was produced by PragerU? Prager makes Trump look like a progressive.

    The big thing of it all is that there are still painters out there painting very detailed, traditional paintings. I have a lot of respect for those paintings, but I have a lot of respect for many different types of modern art as well.

    But what about the concept of objectifying art, i.e., do we try to appraise art's value objectively and universally, based on some set of concrete metrics?

    When you observe art, how do you, personally, determine whether it is good or bad?
     
  13. Demiurge

    Demiurge Intrepid Jackass

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    I think that modern art reflects the direction in which society is going- towards ultra-personalization. People pretend that their private lives are of public import on social media, entertainment & politics are heavily niche'd and curated, and even in some corners of religion it's like the creator of the universe is either your buddy or helicopter-parent that is invested in one's everyday life. Art that trades in non sequitur, that transfers the burden of narrative from the artist to the viewer, is totally consistent with all of that, for better or for worse.

    There are levels to it, obviously. I like having something tell me a story, but I like room for interpretation or at least not being completely led by the hand by something. I also know that, if my trip to the MoMA last year taught me anything, that sometimes a slab of pink plastic leaning against the wall maybe only deserves to be comprehended exactly as such and nothing more.
     
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  14. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    I've been trying to not dive into this thread, but here goes my 2 cents.

    I belieave that ART is/exists as long as someone besides the author recognizes it as so. Therefore, ART is not an object, but a feeling, a feeling of transcendence.

    This feeling has, by definition, lots of other small details, like "story telling" purposes or habilities, and is mostly surprising, either in a good or bad manner, that is up to the spectator.

    Having this said, ART is not to be taken seriously, but with passion and emotion and, many times also, with laughter. As to my understanding, most of the modern ART productions are to be laugh at or about, their purpose is to bring joy...
     
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  15. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoils = tr00

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    That video made me giggle, then feel a little sick and ultimately angry. That dude and his elitism really hit the spot for everything I despise not just in art but in people and politics in general. I didn't agree with a single sentence.

    That seems like a good observation. Art to me is the social exchange between the artist and the consumer, meaning the art is the sum of the intent and the reception together. Technique is then only needed to whatever extent it takes to get the viewer to fill in the blanks with their own story. That's why I think the old "This is bad because I could have painted that myself" argument is moot because I don't believe you CAN create art by yourself, it's like trying to tickle yourself. I've tried hanging my own work on my walls and no-matter how proud or impressed or happy I am with a painting I made, its artistic value for me is zero as soon as I'm done with it. I get nothing out of looking at my own art, or listening to my own music, because there's nothing left for me to discover and experience in something that came 100% from myself already. So regardless of my own level of creativity or technical skill, I have to turn to other artists to satisfy my need for art. By then the difficulty of producing said art is completely irrelevant because even a slab of pink plastic leaning against the wall gives me a level of surprise and mystique and curiosity that I could never get by being the one who put it there myself.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2017
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  16. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    Another thing I'd say on the topic is that, despite their protestations to the fact, the political right is just as much about big government and controlling citizens as the political left. If someone wants to create art, let the person. It's not anyone's job to judge it. If people like it, then the "market" has spoken. If it doesn't hurt anyone, who cares. Anyway, just my opinion. People who get all riled up about what is considered art should consider themselves lucky enough that they are able to ignore the genocide, murder, and rape going on in the rest of the world. /rant
     
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  17. Adam Of Angels

    Adam Of Angels The GAS Man Contributor

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    I can't help but insist that this is just your opinion - it's also more or less the foundation of Post-Modernist philosophy. It's not at all clear that our experience lacks objective meaning (which is effectively what you're suggesting). It may SEEM that way, but life can seem meaningful as well. There's a compelling theory or two that places universal/emergent archetypes at the heart of all Experience, and therefore all artistic impulses. Whether or not the Artist effectively communicates these ideas is a different matter, but because relativism allows for absolute absurdity, I don't really believe in it.

    Edit: that doesn't mean that an artist can't find catharsis in creating sheer chaos, and that doesn't mean others won't enjoy it. However, I'm not sure that superimposing a subjective meaning onto sheer chaos makes something "art," and at a certain point this is clearly what's happening.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2017
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  18. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoils = tr00

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    Indeed. The arguments made in the video reek of classism and censorship, and an obsession to judge. It seems like the guy's main issue with modern art is that it doesn't allow him and his work to be adored as objectively better than the art he doesn't like, and that his students that he's drilled with his nonsense aren't seen as objectively better than for example self-taught street artists. He can't win, that's the problem. He also makes a point that political or anti-christian art is ugly compared to hills with deer on them or whatever. He clearly has a distaste for the art and expression of the under privileged and the non-academic, it's not a stretch to believe he leans far right politically. To top this off he turns the whole thing into a sales pitch, saying people should buy art that he makes/likes/teaches so that these other art forms won't be made :lol: Not only is he asking art consumers to deliberately shut out the lower class from from the market, but he's so out of touch that he thinks this art is made through commercial intent and market research and wouldn't be made if it couldn't be sold for millions of dollars at an art gallery. Yeah sure bro, anti-war graffitti is all about just trying to make millions you know, you just do what sells, man, it sure can't be an honest expression that the artist is passionate about. It must be about money.
     
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  19. WintermintP

    WintermintP Lead/Rhythm Guitar, One Minute Winter

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    Ah... Prager... I've already been fed up with their antics for a very long time (call me a left-wing all you want, I still disagree with their every word).

    I can relate to this topic bigtime. See, I've actually done one of these extremely obscene pieces of art and it got a lot of acclaim for something I, really have to admit, did so quickly. My art teacher loved it to the point he wanted to buy the version he printed on a big piece of paper. I may have sold it for only $10, which sounds stupid, but at the time, I had no clue that I could sell a piece of art like that, and honestly, even the fact that I sold it for $10 and not a huge sum of money actually made me proud because I'm generally not really the greedy kind, for starters, and also because the price I set wasn't something he expected, and I happen to be this weirdo that likes to do certain things that most wouldn't do, or do certain things the way that most wouldn't do, so that was all the more reason to be happy about it.

    Looking back, I started to recall what that painting meant. It was based off of a lesson from the novel The Five People You Meet in Heaven. One of the five lessons that the main character learns in the novel was from a man known as Joseph Corvelzchik. Corvelzchik tells the protagonist that strangers are merely people he has yet to come to know, and I was trying to create a piece of art based on that (with my limited skills at the time). Now I started to realise that the lesson couldn't be any closer to the truth. An old store clerk I have met for a decade, several of my old classmates knowing several other classmates of mine from different schools, even strangers knowing the same contacts that I know of... there have been so many times when I found out that so many contacts that I thought were completely unrelated actually all knew each other.

    While we're on the subject of this weirdo doing weirdo things, the weirdo in me actually goes into my musical compositions as well. Avant-garde is the very term my musical project is based upon. I would do all I can to constantly find something new and interesting because I've been hearing the same exact same thing everywhere all the time and it started to annoy the hell out of me. The kind of music that I wanted to hear just didn't exist, and that was the reason why I wanted to write my own songs in the first place. It started with me taking typical metal riffs and then adding a bunch of guitar melodies and harmonies all the way to combining crazy elements such as trap and EDM elements and downtuning all the way to Drop G and coming up with even crazier compositions where I have a ZZ Top style riff in a melodic death metal track in Drop G and then I have a deathcore morse code chug at the end of it...

    I do see the guy's points, however. I look at many anime/manga style illustrations (and try to learn how to draw stuff like that) and the ones that I actually like are the ones that are very neat and not-edgy like the stereotypical anime characters are such as Bleach or Naruto or most other Shounen anime/manga. So I would expect a minimum threshold of realism (but that mostly has to do with the geometry). After all, even if you can draw a band of 20+ people playing together and that might look cool, if the instruments look all flabby and everything looks like something that can typically be found in memes, then it can become a problem.

    At the same time, avant-garde artwork and music exist for a reason. It may not look great, but that's not the point. The whole point of it is to understand the concept of breaking boundaries, questioning everything we were taught and told, and railing against what is considered to be the norm; in other words, becoming the outlier. This is what nu metal is all about, no less. Nu metal is considered by many to be a "thankfully dead" genre because they think it's merely a mix between hip hop and metal. That's not even what nu metal is about. This is also why one of my favourite musical piece is none other than John Cage's Water Walk. The piece itself isn't enjoyable to listen to per se, but the way he composed the piece was actually something that I truly loved. He set the standard notation aside and scored the piece in a whole new way.



    And honestly, I would rather see a bunch of colourfield paintings or sculptures that are geometrically perfect instead of abstract paintings like the Weeping Woman because I love the fact that a piece of art doesn't even have to be done freehand or even be a painting or a sculpture of traditional style at all. It also goes to show you that you can still be avant-garde while keeping things geometrically perfect.


    (I know this is not your context but I really need to get this out there)

    Honestly that would be me for one. Writing a good simple song is hard, yes, but in my experience I always found songs to be more likeable when they are very fast-paced, intense, and difficult to play. Simplicity can work at times to a degree, but generally speaking, the more intense and intricate the songs are, the more I can appreciate it because I can actually hear all of what makes the song really hard to write, record, and play. Maybe this is just me being a fan of hyperactivity, but that's what I like.

    That doesn't mean simple songs can't actually be great. There are several great songs I know of because of the calm and simple nature, and I love that at times. Just because I'm a metalhead it doesn't make me an outright hater of bossa nova or other calm/simple genres. I even like a few of the hip hop tracks in the world, especially the tracks where the raps are actually really intricate yet also has a very rhythmically smooth feel to it to the point it makes you feel that a slow steady beat can go a long way.

    example:


    WintermintP
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
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  20. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    @WintermintP it's refreshing the read you. I kind of feel the same way, I don't care about main stream expression or things most need to think to be part of something else.

    ART has 2 points of view: the author's and the spectator's and they rarely overlay. I've been reading here about "Modern Art" but I'm yet to read a good definition of it.

    Many say that abstract art expressions is modern art, but let me tell you that it isn't. Andrea del Castagno (1421-1457) was a Renaissance painter that explored abstract expression. It is said that this "Last Supper" is an excuse to explor abstractionism, lets face it, the marble stones in the back are visually stronger than all the last supper characters:
    [​IMG]
    Check the link and also see the Illustrous People for the Villa Carducci series, the backgrounds are abstractionism expression.

    The thing is that only in the 20th century the audience was educated enough to understand/receive abstractionism as a valid expression of one's feelings/thoughts.

    So, we take out of the way that abstractionism is modern art, what is left then? Some also say that photography lead to other expressions that gone rogue out of the descriptive character painting and sculpture had. Though it is entirely true, the fact is that it already had expression within the art world through the author's point of view, it just was absent from the public. There is a story about Turner (i do not know if it true) where someone was riding a train with him, there was a heavy storm outside and Turner stuck his head out the window to feel the storm. It is latter said that the passenger felt that storm in a Turner's painting. Turner is also a good example, for living in the 19th century he has been accused of doing abstract paintings (yes, it is said he had to defend himself in court). This was about 60 years before Picasso's Cubism (which is not abstract, but a deconstruction). The 19th century also witnessed the Salon des Refus├ęs which latter became far more important than the expected expression (at the time it was either the romanticism, naturalism or some latter neo-classical expression). This salon saw the birth of Expressionism and some consider it to be the birth of modern art, since from then many other art expressions evolved and born... sprouting like mushrooms.

    At the present moment, modern art englobes expressions as different as hyper-realism to minimalism, conceptual and post conceptual expressions. One of my preferences go to this kind of expression, for it takes the ownership of the whole place, granting an awe emotion on the spectator:
    [​IMG]
    This is NOT photoshop, it is a real painting intervention on this corridor. Other examples:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    These few examples are PURE geometric expressionism and many won't even understand it until they reach the Prince's Eye (the observer point where all gets together).

    But this isn't new, Renaissance, Mannerism, and Baroque painters did this same thing on the ceilings of churches back in the day with tromp l'oeil effects, they weren't just this geometric though.

    Then, the question remains, what is modern art?

    About the op video, a rant is a rant, it has its time and place and then it dies and from its ashes a phoenix is born.
     
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