How important should an ART EDUCATION be?

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by stoopidgerl, Nov 15, 2005.

  1. So I got into this debate yesterday with a couple of my photo geek
    friends. We were debating over whether or not an art education is a
    crucial element to a career (or life) of art-making.
    And then I brought up the issue of outsider-art. My friends dismiss it
    as art because there was no art education to back up the artist's
    intentions.<br>
    <br>
    I don't think that an art education and strong background in art
    history should be a pre-requisite or be relevent to the process and
    production of art.<br>
    <br>
    How do you feel about this?
     
  2. art education and creating art are not correlated. you do not need education in art education to create art. go tell your friends this: well if you say so, then it must be true, to you.
     
  3. Jeff Wall
     
  4. All education is important.

    If you want to work with art it is good to know what art is, and what you can
    use art too. Any education gives you a platform to develop from, if it will give
    you an career or life of art-making is a difrent thing, but to learn is not bad.

    And a art school / education, gives you a net-work and and in-sighter
    knowledge that is good to have in the art world as well.

    And it looks good on paper.........

    www.micbach.dk...................."Photography workshops in Spain"
     
  5. "My friends dismiss it as art because there was no art education to back up the artist's intentions"

    The artist's intentions are irrelevant, as is everything else to do with their state of mind - education, drug addiction, ..whatever. If that were not the case works of art could suddenly acquire greater artistic value if it became known that the artist was more 'educated' than was previously thought. The value of a work of art must lie in and of itself.

    That is not to say that education doesn't make an artist into a better arist, but the value of what they produce is in the artefacts themselves not in their mind when they produced it. Otherwise one is saying that only part of the value of any work of art lies in the work itself, and the rest lies in some assessment of the skills/knowledge/intention of the artist.
     
  6. The artist's intentions are irrelevant?

    While it's fairly easy to say such things in visual art, how well does that statement hold up in other art forms? How irrelevant is the artist's intention in a novel, a sonnet, or a play? How irrelevant was Holst's intentions in Die Planets?
     
  7. Hmmm... Did Leonardo Da Vinci go to art school? I always thought he was largely self-taught. Did Ansel Adams take a photography class? Piano lessons maybe... ;-)
     
  8. " I don't think that an art education and strong background in art history should be a pre-requisite or be relevent to the process and production of art."

    Context is a horrible thing to waste..... unless you like stumbling around in the dark. And then again, when ignorant, one has the pleasure of not knowing they're stumbling around in the dark cause they're protected by their ego, vanity and ignorance:)

    Of the two roads, ignorance and intelligence, the hardest road to walk, is the one of intelligence. Why? Because that road requires a continuing effort:)
     
  9. Opened-mind is really needed to "product" art. Don't think education is necessary. Can be helpfull but can also catch your mind in one way if this education is not "large" and objective enough.
     
  10. The artists intention may govern the novel that they write; but it is the novel that they write (regardless of their intention) which should be judged as a work of art. For example, Joseph Heller may have intended to write the definitive novel on the futility and insanity of war across the ages as manifested in one particular arena, or he may have intended to write a witty novel about some airman in Italy. I don't know. I don't care. It doesn't matter. He wrote a novel and that's what should be judged. Drawing inferences about what he intended is pointless, the question is: what did he say?. Inferring the artists intention may be interesting, but is ultimately likely to be futile. what counts is what is on the page.
     
  11. Art education is only important if you want to buy/resell art. To create art you dont need any. For selling art are your marketing skills more important than your art education. For most galleries, it is more important that you already demonstrated your marketing skills in form of a few sold art pieces than whether your art piece is art. If your art sells, then the gallery will figure out why it is also good from art history point of view -- gallery people have after all mostly some art education.<p>
    Art education is necessary if you want to teach -- unless your are a well known artist, in which case it is better for the school to have you because you help to sell their education programs that are executed by people who teach because they couldnt sell a single art piece that they created.
     
  12. great... keep them coming!
    and THANKS!
     
  13. " I don't think that an art education and strong background in art history should be a pre-requisite or be relevent to the process and production of art.

    How do you feel about this?"

    ---------------------------------

    To explore this question a bit further, let's turn the question into a generalized question then.

    Does anybody really need an education? I mean by trial and error, I'm sure one could become a very fine brain surgeon, with enough "practice" or course. Who wants to be the first? :) When does it become necessary to require a shingle.

    How comfortable would you be with someone working on your car, no education? Do you think a shade tree mechanic should be allowed to charge for their efforts? Where's the line between hack and professional?

    Much of what I read has to do with disrespect towards the arts cause in real terms, sans an acceptable definition, one doesn't "really" need an "education" to be an artist. The less respect one has, the less education one requires of the performer. Sadly, the more educated I become in the photographic arts, the more respectful I become. Why sadly, cause disrespectful is easy:)

    Do you require a "blow-and-go" guy to be educated in order to mow your lawn? Nope? Okay, then when in your life do you feel an education is required and why? Are you willing to pay a person what they're worth if they're licensed, bonded, insured and pay all their taxes in order to be a "blow-and-go" guy? What are your professional standards and what is your character; responsibility?

    "We were debating over whether or not an art education is a crucial element to a career (or life) of art-making."

    No, an "artist" (artisan) doesn't need an education in order to create "wares" that they can make a living at by selling to the generalized public at "Arts and Crafts" (wares) fairs. But in my case, the more educated I am, the more satisfied my efforts become for me.

    A question for your "photo geek friends;" what sort of "art" are they creating; calender (cliche) art, "Art and Wine" "art" (wares) to hang on a wall gathering dust somewhere or "art" which transends commercial calender, decorative art that's been embued with content?

    How will they know what they're creating or is this a case of arrogance in that they don't care; disrespect?

    Does one need an education in order to know what they're doing or does it only matter if it's your ox that's being gored? :)
     
  14. It looks to me that to many it is so easy to say I want to make "Art", or, mom from now on I am artist... Whatever they make it is art ("... well it is my art").
    I know a guy he once did repear on his car himself: is he top engineer?
    A=B and B=C now A=C am I Platon?
    And it is very common case with photographers. Just buy used Canon camera.
    To be artist is veeeery difficult and hard work, and nearly always do not get expected return, at least while alive. So many nice artists cannot read this just because they cannot afford a computer (or no time) and cannot pay hydro bill.

    Any education is not established to be a must. But if you know where you go education will enlighten your way. Otherwise you will be stumbling around in the darkness.
    When you go to REAL (not two weeks) Academy of art you will learn so many rules, years, applying in some specific discipline of art. And just when happy picking up diploma getting to the door leads outside the academy building, your favorite professor says lifting his right arm: ?hey you, there is no rule, there is no such things as art, there are only artists. You will find no help outside there, you are alone from now on and do not forget rules I gave you " That moment your eyes will squeeze and you will push wrinkled diploma into your pocket. But to really understand it, a long way is in front.

    Yes some guys did not go into school to learn.... but they are not common guys. Jesus Christ did not have an Leather Oxford Bible but he quoted it (... it is written...). Ansel did not learn in school about the zone system, and so on. Well the school is to teach what they did. And their brain works in a little different way that in common guys. If you are like that rare guy I tell you do not loose time learning from someone knows less that you.
    So why some still go with art if it so difficult. Simple: call of wild. It is a way of thinking it is a way of acceptance. And it so amazing thing to watch artist at work.
     
  15. I have to add and this part:
    Getting diploma from the best state's Academy of art do not guaranty you are artist. I have to say that I saw bad work of soo many promising guys completing top education in art, and I saw nice work of guys without such education. But there is some (statistical) data who are producing the best work, beside artists. It is usually high educated guy, like doctors, engineers, lawers,? Why, I newer studied such a think.
     
  16. " I don't think that an art education and strong background in art history should be a pre-requisite or be relevent to the process and production of art."

    I think the missing part of this stement might be "In all cases"

    Such as:
    I don't think in all cases that an art education and strong background in art history should be a pre-requisite or be relevent to the process and production of art.

    If your argument for being able to produce anything is that an education and a background in the "history of" is necessary, then nothing new can ever be invented, created or made because in order to do it you would have to have an education that hadn't been invented yet. Weird logic but solid.

    Does it help? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. And I agree with the previous poster that it's not a gaurantee.

    There's also some confusion in the statement between formal education and informal education. As most of us know, when you start down the path of photgraphy for almost any aim (art, profession, hobby), at least an informal education begins and quite often more formal training is sought.
     
  17. Formal art education should be more important than it is right now.
    To set the cards straight, that's coming from someone who doesn't have a formal art education. I don't think this should be discussed further.
     
  18. "I don't think this should be discussed further."

    Aaaaaah, isn't that up to others who wish to post here?
     
  19. Define education.
    The more time I've spent in school (and it's been such a very long time) the more I question the basic value of a formal education in just about anything. There are a few fields (brain surgery, particle physics) that are so complex that formal education is the only real option, but art certainly doesn't fall into that category. But education doesn't necessarily equate to formal education.
    I don't think this should be discussed further.
    Tough.
     
  20. I find art and filosofi to be the to most complex professions of all. And I think
    that the base in the to, is method and dialog. You ned a working method to
    make art / work, and you ned to put you work / art in to a dialog. To develop a
    method you ned som kind of education and to have a dialog you ned a
    educated audience.

    www.micbach.dk.............."Art Photography workshops in Spain"
     
  21. art is not a profession.

    art is not a science.

    art is different to each person... like religion. you can study art you can attempt to make art.

    to me art is anything you put a lot of effort into making beautiful. self expression is a side effect. like a bmw can be art or a very well maintained garden, or a very well done reef aquarium. old cars are art, but did the maker intend for them to be? and did they go to art school?

    so no, education is NOT a pre-requisite for creating art. and personally I think people who think otherwise are trying for an elitist view to help themselves feel important. people who give themselves to the study of art should be admired, though. Not because they received a few classes but for what they create... if they create anything.
     
  22. also as a side note for education in general:

    education is not a necessary thing for anything to be done, but it is a way of learning a bunch of stuff in a compressed period of time from poeple who ideally already know what you are trying to learn. it saves time from learning via trial and error over an extended period of time.

    so for art if you plan to make a career of it and make it your life then education can certainly help a lot.
     
  23. I think ocean physics doesn't require formal education.
     
  24. I think education is ESSENTIAL to do anything well - it doesn't matter if it's brain-surgery, carpentry or painting. Art education doesn't have to be FORMAL education - you can learn a lot in a library or online - but you DO have to be educated.
    Almost all the greatest artists in past history - by which I mean artists who could create art that stood the test of time and spoke to people outside their own meilieu - were extensively educated in it - some in school, some at the feet of masters or as apprentices.
    Some artists today achieve notoriety with controversy or sheer wackiness. And "outsider art" usually refers to the art of people who are not just outside the academy, but outside of the world of the fully rational - people who suffer various kinds of personality or social disorders that they express through their art. Self-taught artists who paint in a classical style and exhibit in conventional galleries are not usually referred-to as outsider artists.
    Look at today's artists. How many of them will still be remembered in a few centuries the way we (well, at least those of us who have an art ducation) remember Vermeer, Velasquez, Rubens, etc? I'll bet the ones that produce work well enough to get remembered are the educated ones.
     
  25. but that is more a correlation between people who are intellegent and have interest in art that happen to take measures to learn to improve. not a fixed this has to be, before that.

    in the ideal you don't NEED and education before you are an 'artist'... but as you pointed out it does help and you are more likely to be successful. but that raises the question are the people who become educated in these things good naturally or where they only good After they received their education? and if they hadn't been educated would they have ever reached the same level of greatness?

    also education in the basic sense of the word covers anything you learn that isn't instinctual. so in that sense, 'education' is required before you can do ANY art. so to clarify I speak of education in the formal sense .. school, apprenticeship,, etc.
     
  26. Unfortunately we live in a beaurocratic world in which peices of paper with silly writing on them; like diplomas, mean more to people than a portfolio. For instance I went to an art school which many people preceive to be a very very good school... however my actual experience there was rather disappointing. Aside from having the oppurtunity to do nothing but art for 4 years and being around other artists I consider myself to be largely a self-taught artist.

    As far as art history and validating your art through some house of cards stack of relating yourself to some other artist... remember... Art historians invented this concept, not artists. It means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING whether your work was inspired by picasso or monet... in fact I think art history steals alot of the soul and the mystery of art by attempting to make it seem like a linear progression when it in fact never has been. And for people who think that dropping names makes them a good artist... would you call someone who thought more about the history of automobiles than working on them a mechanic? Leave the interpretation and BS to the historians and just do what you love to do.... make great art!
     
  27. P.S. a formal education in art should be more about techniques than spouting BS. My primary dissappointment with college was the utter lack of interest in teaching actual techniques by professors. We sat around argueing about the validity of peoples ideas and not their technique... as if ANYONE can tell you that your idea isnt valid!!! what a crock. How many billions of people are there in the world? Everyones artistic ideas should be valid in someway.... certainly if the wackjobs they feature in art magazines are being given validity than everything should be accepted. I guess the real problem is that the concern of most artists today is to make something which is marketable... which really should have nothing to do with the production of art... ever. But hey, im a wacky idealist. :p
     
  28. 'But hey, im a wacky idealist"

    That's very clear from your poor spelling and grammar.

    To properly understand art you need to be educated in art.

    Yes, that's elitist.

    So what?
     
  29. Since when did spelling and grammer have anything to do with art? hahahahaha! Im just saying that art education needs to be about MAKING art, not how to talk a line of BS, thats for lawyers and politicians.
     
  30. It's not really a debate about "spelling and grammar"... what the debate was really about was ART EDUCATION... art history, learning techniques, etc...
     
  31. I think that "outsider artists" have really proven that an art education is not essential in creating eye-catching, fabulous art. There are a lot of outsider artists who have no formal education and much of their art blows away many people who have spent many tedious years studying art history, the great masters, etc.
    And as far as photography goes... I think that some people can pick up a camera and learn photography without a formal education. You can learn by doing, and you can create great photos from life and from the heart, without being inspired by the masters.
     
  32. It looks that educated guys say: yes it is necessary.
    It looks that not educated guys say: no it is not necessary.
    (with some exceptions, of cause)
    And to Kim
    Artist is not one producing some great pictures. You can produce and 10 pictures that will flip over the world but it dos not means absolutely anything if next 50 are bad (I do not count bracketing of guys in past when lightmeter was rare). Artist consistently produce great pictures, and just some are not great (reason =?..). Many "nice" pictures are produced because the guy was in right time at the rigth spot and had a camera ready. To artist it is even not necessary to take a picture, it is enough for him to see "it", and he see what many do not see, and sometimes he take his camera (sometimes he takes his pencil, sometimes his canvas).
    Honestly, if someone shows me his pictures (and many times happened), I nearly always ask him, in some way through conversation, about his education. When you get health trouble would you like to visit self taught "doctor"? Easy to say yes/no as long as it happen. Hex, wait here, word art is not reserved just for visual art. It extends into just any kind of human's work.
    Do not take me wrong, and you will not if read my post here just above this one. This is just a comment on -some good photographs-.
    And never forget: to artist his photographs are nothing special. They are special just to non artist.
     
  33. That's not true, Daniel. Consistency counts for little; it's only the "best" that is remembered, at the end of the day.
     
  34. And for education to add
    bull in school bull out of school.
     
  35. proficiency with your tools or methods has little to do with the vision or possible output of an artist in creating art. with a camera, the 'artist' can shoot pictures however they like, (ie, bracketing, setting them up and taking hours to get it just right, or spray and pray..), it doesn't matter, as long as at the end of the day they have a product (assuming that was their goal).

    if I labeled myself as an 'artist' (which I don't because I believe the it would be pretentious) would you say I was less of an artist.. or not an artist at all because I didn't have any experience in a darkroom or I didn't know method of how to paint or have classes on color theory?

    creating art is one thing. being and 'artist' is a whole different thing. to create art you just need to do it. and if you happen to create something beautiful and whatever, then you have created art... there is nothing more to it. it isn't NOT art because you didn't have an education to learn who rembrant was, it isn't NOT art because you didn't take classes learning method to create art, it isn't NOT art because you aren't a member of the country club. even if it is the only thing you ever create it is still art.

    to me, to be an 'artist' is to try to make a living or dedicate your life to the creation of art, it implies that art is what you do. this is a whole different thing than the art hobbiest, because it requires proficiency in art creation in order for the artist to be success. because of this need for proficiency, education becomes near necessary. to try to become an 'artist' via trial and error can (with some types of art) take a lifetime.

    If I knew a self taught doctor who had over several lifetimes (lets assume the guy is really old) aquired all the knowledge necessary to be labeled as a 'doctor' then I would get treatment from him.

    I don't ask 'artists' if they have education, I don't need some guy to have a paper signed by a bunch of yahoos to validate my liking a peice of art. If I like it I like and am willing to obtain it. in fact, I would likely value the art from an uneducated artist much more than I would the poster from the highly educated graphic artist (who would have also taken marketing classes hopefully, and will have that same poster in the Mal-mart near you).

    btw, I think a good way to define art is to ask 'is it decorative'. if you or anybody can say 'yes' (and honestly mean it) then I would classify it as 'art'. (I just thought I would throw that in as food for ... you know the rest of the story)
     
  36. "it's only the "best" that is remembered, at the end of the day."

    -Or is it just the lucky enough to become known? In any feild theres bound to be millions of geniouses who remain unknown. Fame has nothing to do with greatness. Great "unknown masters" are discovered all the time in all kinds of fields. Since they are unknown no-one can ever ask them where they got educated or if they received a formal education at all. Art historians often go to the excess of assuming that unknown artists must have studied directly under the tutelage of a great master because of a similarity in style... despite the fact that theres no way to verify this. What can be said is that through whatever means available to them, they created great works of art... shouldnt that be all that matters?

    I dont think a formal education matters much at all because i think if you are dedicated to learn there are tons of books and you can always find an artist and ask for some kind of personal instruction. What a formal education provides in art is primarily the oppurtunity to be surrounded by people insterested in art and access to libraries and studios and other resources which are otherwise expensive and hard to find. My recommendation for anyone interested in learning about art is to move to a town with an art school and make friends with the students... not to "steal" their education, but for the inspiration of being around other people producing art, that in itself is an intoxicating and wonderful feeling. I have a very good friend who is a completely self-taught photographer. This doesnt mean hes ignorant, on the contrary hes read tons of references and spend hundreds of hours shooting film. And despite my "advantage" of having a formal art education, I feel like I'm a tourist-snap-shot-photographer when I look at his work. There is no lack of witty cultural references and dynamic symobilsm in his work... its all there, everything you would expect from an "educated" artist... minus the art-historical self-reference and inside jokes which seem to dominate alot of the works of educated artists. (Which in comparison to real personal genious just seems kind of cheap and boring to me.)

    Self-taught musicians tend to have a more free-spirited style and are often innovators... Im not fond of Eddie Van Halen personally, but you have to admit the guy was a genious guitarist. No one can teach genious or masterful accomplishment, that is entirely up to the individual... and regardless of the "level" or form of education, requires passion and a personal dedication. Tens of thousands of people graduate every year with art degrees, but amoung them I think you wouldnt find any higher percentage of geniouses than amoung self-taught artists. Just my opinion.

    Now if you want to get a job doing graphic design for a large firm... then yes an art degree is probably necessary and possibly a hiring requirement.
     
  37. speaking of self taught successful artists.. look at Yanni :)
     
  38. ...and Vangelis. I believe he could not read standard notation for quite some time.
    My recommendation for anyone interested in learning about art is to move to a town with an art school and make friends with the students... not to "steal" their education, but for the inspiration of being around other people producing art, that in itself is an intoxicating and wonderful feeling.​
    Conversely, you might not go to school to avoid people who are less motivated than yourself. I keep saying it: If you are capable of seeing your mistakes, then there's no education like a self education. You go at your own pace, and gain a real sense of accomplishment when you do achieve something.
     
  39. " I believe the it would be pretentious) would you say I was less of an artist.."

    No, maybe a scared bunny. :) Who fed you that pretentious ego numbing nonsense and clipped you? :) Only the weak in the mind are afraid of what they are. :) Snap out of it! :) (Note the smiley faces.) (Happy, happy, happy.)

    Rant on:

    If I were to teach a photographic "art" class, the first thing I would do is tell everyone in my class that they're an artist and if they're not, they shouldn't be in my class as I'm here to teach them to be artists, not politicians.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=Art

    http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=Artisan

    Be proud that you're an artist; don't be scared of the truth. You can be a crummy artist and you can be the cat's meow but if you're an artisan, then you're an artist; like it or not.

    Being an artist is not some mythical mystic mantle worn only by those annointed by some super secret, nobody ever sees them sect, from on high. Why? Cause it's a down to earth, stupid, plain Jane descriptor for what one does, create skilled pieces of wares; an artisan.

    "Art" is short for artisan and nothing more but to make people feel good about themselves (special) and make them feel like they're something more than "just" a craftsperson, somebody, I don't know who, probably long dead and laughing while spinning in their grave, elevated the term "artist" to some psuedo mystical level of awe that only those in high places are allowed to let you enter and use and this person, who no one remembers is having a good laugh at all the dummy's expense who think the term is something "special." "It's a descriptor people, not an award.":)

    What a juvenile crock of egocentric nonsense.

    Let me ask a stupid question; Who goes to art institutes if not "ar-tists"..... budding politicians maybe? :) And when one has a one person show, educated or ignorant, what exactly is being exhibited..... someone's tax papers? So let me understand this, one has a show and shows their wares but they're not an artist and their effort isn't art cause they're a scared little bunny that's too humble to call themselves an artist? Just checking:) (Note the smiley face?)

    Think about it the next time you decide to flash your effort about to those who can't run fast enough; the unsuspecting:)

    Headlines; "Bad Artist Starts Stampede" :)

    Rant off:)
     
  40. Yanni's music is boring and repetitive, showing his lack of compositional skills (Mix Yanni soundtracks with some known composers..Stravinsky and Copeland and you will notice the issue, even if you're NOT a composer like me) and Leonardo da Vinci, while highly skilled, also served as an apprentice and received quite a bit of training. He also happened to live in a community that was dynamic and had a demand for his skills. Contrast this with taggers who paint railroad boxcars and neighborhood walls and insist that they're artists. The difference is education and a bigger mental toolbox.
     
  41. -- Let me ask a stupid question; Who goes to art institutes if not "ar-tists". --

    People who have nothing better to do with their lives?
     
  42. -- The difference is education and a bigger mental toolbox. --

    Elitism rules - ipso facto
     
  43. I don't think that an art education and strong background in art history should be a pre-requisite or be relevent to the process and production of art.

    Double edged sword.

    Sort of follow the leader and close your mind... Art Education. Yes, street is about HCB...and on and on....more Formal and Conservative the better...train the masses...create an a elite who judge because they have pockets full of money.

    Education in any chosen subject is all important...for the sad it's called follow the leader...lots of sad.

    The way of the world.
     
  44. Kim, why don't you give us at least a couple of names of successful outsider artists..now: I don't mean those who are popular for about 3 weeks, but some who have lasting popularity and success...
     
  45. True outsider artists dont get "success" the galleries who represent them do...
     
  46. People who don't think art education, formal or not, is essential
    live on the internet.
     
  47. Hey its cold outside, and it beats watching the boob tube. ;)
     
  48. How does someone live on the internet? Do they camp out in little tents pitched on top of DSL interchanges? Naw, can't see it.
     
  49. check out the artists on:
    http://www.rawvision.com/
     
  50. After that, I'd prefer to be the color of "stupid." :)

    Is it possible for a Connecticut Yankee to make it in King Arthur's court?

    http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/railton/yankee/cyhompg.html
     
  51. Kim, very good netsite and a mix of trained and untrained artists. But: it also shows an issue: Those on the netsite who have had some kind of education / training are showing a different kind of "art" And what I'm specifically after are 2 main items: a sense of "depth" or "space" in their products and the ability to generate faces or features that are more than just lines progressing in the X and Y spaces. i.e. flat faces which I call smudge art. (but considered art nonetheless which is fine with me) As a result MANY of the works generated by the folks on that netsite have a boring similarity to each other, because regardless of color or composition, they are all trapped in the same space...having a sense of the 3rd dimension is a critical jump some artists never make. Interestingly one of the parties, who has a technical background, makes the images with the 3rd dimension and a sense of depth but....ALL of them are repeats of each other with details replaced by other details, as if it is some kind of parts bin in a garage. Is there creativity and art on the netsite? I would say certainly, fer sure, fer sure. But nothing really radically new or different from what I see locally over and over again that would motivate me to purchase one of these items to hang up for display in my house, or offer up for sale in an Art Gallery in which I briefly partnered.
     
  52. I don't want to consider myself an artist, and not because I think it is some mystical anything. also I don't think I would take your class. I have taken plenty of classes to be an 'engineer'. I don't take photos with the intention of being an 'artist'. to put it in perspective: If I wrote a poem, I wouldn't just call myself a poet. same with photography, I take pictures a lot, but most of them are for myself,, friends and family, weekend trips. or maybe I take those 'artsy pictures for fun... like the one below I took while dropping the kids off at the pool while I was at work.. or number 2 to some poeple. :) I am going to call it cell phone picture art, and I can be an artist now. ... no education. :)
    00EFgg-26582984.JPG
     
  53. "I have taken plenty of classes to be an 'engineer'."

    Fair enough but are you trying to say that the Mackinac bridge isn't art and the designer, Dr. David B. Steinman wasn't an artist?

    http://en.structurae.de/persons/data/index.cfm?id=d000035

    http://www.mackinacbridge.org/
     
  54. no, but now that you bring it up I wouldn't call him an artist. but I would call that bridge artistic.

    but that is just me.
     
  55. And you're trying to say that his solutions for the winds weren't poetic?
     
  56. An art education really messed me up as I was quite happy being ignorant.

    One day I decided to educate myself and I've been messed up ever since.

    I was happy making superficial, pretty, formulaic pictures with no content other than "Gee golly wow Batman, ain't that cool." But no, I had to go and screw it up by getting an education:O Making pretty calender pictures is easy, infusing them with content is hard. How hard can it be I thought, cause it looked easy.

    " I don't think that an art education and strong background in art history should be a pre-requisite or be relevent to the process and production of art."

    It's never been a "pre-requisite but unfortunately, one can't know where they stand in the scheme of things unless they know where they stand and only the stupid can be happy not knowing where they stand.

    When you think about it, being artistically ignorant is much like being kicked out of a plane, unknowingly, on the other side of the equator, after an unknown number of hours of flying, no map or compass in which to give you a clue where you're at once you land and the person throwing you out of the plane yelling over the din of the plane's engines, "BE HAPPY!" Boot!

    Ignorance is both convenient and blissful. Convenient cause you don't have to try and blissful cause you don't have to know. But once you become dissatisfied with your ignorance, there's only one solution and once you solve your ignorance, you'll eternally be dissatisfied because the result is never good enough.

    It's one thing to be ignorant but you can never fix stupid:)
     
  57. well My interpretation of the question was a whether Formal education in the arts is necessary for anybody to create art. Personally I don't think it is necessary.

    However, an informal education, at the very least, is probably necessary to appreciate much art in existence, and I don't intend to debate that because I am not uneducated enough to know what it is like to view art and not know what I am looking at. I have at least some education in the arts (not formal, books, tv, more books, art museums, more books... unless you count high school art classes formal) and it helps me to appreciate much art that I would otherwise not care about... like the ninja turtles. I still think though, that even an informal education isn't necessary to create any art unless you are speaking of an education on the creation process.

    if I found art created by some un-educated fool, however ignorant he/she may be, that I liked, I would still call it art and I wouldn't invalidate it just because the guy is ignorant of the Mona lisa, or who Rembrandt was. I have seen too many people with 'art' degrees create crap by just painting a canvas all black or spashing paint on a canvas that is the size of a house get famous doing something that any common 4yr old could probably do better, to take an 'art' degree seriously, because the fools who buy the results think it is valid art just because the maker took a class. yea call the bridge art if you like, it is impressive and really, it reminds me of galloping Girdy across the Tacoma Narrows. but even if you call it 'art' it requires education way beyond 'historic art appreciation' on MWF 1:30 to 3:30 in so and so building in room 7638.

    to state my position clearly, I DO think a Formal education in art would be helpful, if not necessary if one were planning to persue a life or career in art. but I DON'T think it is necessary for the creation of art.

    as an aside about the bridge you mention. the solution for the winds isn't poetic unless you have a lot of education in math and structures, and wind dynamics. It is very likely (I don't know this) that Steinman used a lot of already learned stuff from previous scientists and researchers, as well as analytical reviews of the failure of the tacoma narrows bridge, to come up with his 'solution' for negative dampening. you could call it poetic but I bet he wasn't thinking 'oh this poem is gonna be great' when he came up with it.
     
  58. His solution was to place in the center of the roadbed a two lane wide grating allowing the wind to pass through the roadbed reducing the sail effect.

    Up to the time of the bridge placement, the highest winds were recorded at some 76-79 MPH, since, winds have been clocked at over a hundred. The bridge is designed up to 600 MPH. Time will tell on that one:)
     
  59. Thomas: some engineers are true creative artists. Others use data without questioning its validity. Luckily artists usually can't kill people with their product. Engineers can: here's a sample http://filebox.vt.edu/users/aschaeff/tay/tay.html
     
  60. I would hope, considering the nature/art of engineering and that over a hundred years have transpired since the occurance of the failure, steps have been put in place to keep these sorts of tragedies from taking place. Failure will occur but it will not stop.

    To bring up the negative fails to mar the artistic nature of mechanical engineering and their poetic solutions to the seemingly insurmountable problems that lay in their path.

    I don't understand how this or other structural failures negates the creation of these marvels from being declared art and prevents the designers from being called artists in their own right.
     
  61. really I don't see how bringing up bridges as art in the first place has anything to do with the original question. they are beautiful structures IMO but they require years of education and experience and working with teams of other people with the same, to design. and art degrees aren't necessary to design them. it doesn't really support or show evidence against whether you need education to create art.
     
  62. ""I have taken plenty of classes to be an 'engineer'.""

    "Fair enough but are you trying to say that the Mackinac bridge isn't art and the designer, Dr. David B. Steinman wasn't an artist?"

    The point was that engineers, such as you lay claim to being, also make art and taking art classes can broaden one's engineering vision as opposed to being simple utilitarian pieces of equipment with no visionary design.

    "Hey, it's a stupid bridge/building, it doesn't have to look good."

    Can you say Frank Lloyd Wright, architechtural/landscape design, Palace of Versailles or iPod? Engineers are more then just pencil to paper, mechanical designers of no aesthetic vision.
     
  63. Take a look at any peice of mechanical equiptment manufactured during the early 1900s and tell me those arent functional sculptures!
    <br><br>
    <img src="http://www.tractorshed.com/photoads/upload/36856.jpg">
    <br><br>
     
  64. The Artful spokes were there for a reason: To avoid cracking when the object cooled off after being poured in a mold.
     
  65. And what about all the flywheels that were cast with straight spokes that we see which were cast in the same time period? What kept them from cracking?
     
  66. Better Casting and you never see the broken ones...
     
  67. Boy, that's a none answer if I ever read one. Didn't answer the question as to what kept them from cracking.

    I'm to believe that all the straight spoke'd flywheels which cracked were just recast and the foundries continued in this flawed process, wasting valuable manufacturing time in the process?

    I don't think so. :)
     
  68. And yes I caught the "Better Casting" comment.
     
  69. What is 'art education'?

    I'd have thought that most people with an interest in art -- any art -- would be interested in its history and techniques and want to learn about them.

    I'm also reasonably confident that art school isn't the best place to learn either. One of the best art historians/technicians I know is entirely self taught.

    When I had a choice of law school or art school, I chose law school. I figured I could always pick up the photography later (preferably working as an assistant in a photographic studio, which is what I did), while a law degree would allow me to out-BS the art-school BS artists. I have seen nothing to change my opinion of that in 30+ years since.

    All right, you can dismiss me as a 'tecchie' but I do sell the occasional picture and a surprising number of people (it surprises me) like my photography very much. I strongly suspect that if I had had a formal art education it would have made zero difference to my abilities as a photographer and I'd probably be even poorer than I am now.

    Also bear in mind that I am now one of those who provides the education: I really felt I'd joined the pantheon when I was invited to contribute to the Oxford Companion to the Photograph, which has just come out. What price art education at this point?

    Cheers,

    Roger (www.rogerandfrances.com)
     
  70. Ok, I haven't read all the messages - somebody's probably said this already:<br>
    - It is said that you should first master the classic way (golden means, color circle, compositions etc.) before you can credibly break the classic rules. Makes sense, but may there can be exceptions?<br>
    - Education makes your technique better. Makes perfect sense!<br>
    - It is possible to self-educate, but it is seldom as efficient as being taught by a master - which is like a short cut.<p>
    Conclusion: Education seldom does harm. Theoretically it may decrease originality, but it also increses credibility.
     
  71. Dear Juha,

    HOW does it increase credibility? And what is 'credibility' in art? This smacks of Tom Wolfe's book The Painted Word (or is it Tom Wolf? I can never remember if there's an 'e' or not).

    Surely a work of art must stand or fall on its own merits: there is no other credibility. Indeed, only a poor artist needs to fall back on 'credibility'.

    Learning from a master, yes, but that's more like an apprenticeship. Very few of the lecturers at art schools are great masters. And from all I have heard from friends who did go to art school (as I said above, I chose law school instead), the 'art history' is largely a history of schools of painting and 'isms', and very little about the history of how to paint. Let alone the history of photography.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  72. Roger.

    Thank you for opening this can of unsightly worms in your last; intentional or unintended.

    Few here have taken the time or feel there's a need to learn about and understand the politics of photographic history and sans an understanding the history of photographic politics, one will "never" truly understand photographic history let alone the why of contemporary photographic history; since abount 1965-1970.

    Many here who are supporting of the photographic arts, in their comments, intentionally or otherwise, leave out the true genesis of noted photographic art; art politics. Why because it will commonize the process as the "fraternizing" little secrets are let out of who's zooming who. In short, the devil is in the political details; power structure. I don't know if one could call the details pretty cause that's a subjective view point but the history is quite laughably interesting but again this too is subjective. Irrespective on how one perceives photographic art, one needs to take the time, care or not, to learn the historical politics behind the scenes which foisted the noted's to the front in order to really understand why an image is heralded as noted photographic art.

    Sans the process of photographic politics, it's not photographic art and sans understanding the process, one can't understand the why of photographic art. In short, what makes it photographic art; surviving the crucible of photographic politics.
     
  73. Dear Thomas,

    Not intended, but I wish I had thought of it, because I feel VERY strongly about the politics of painting since about 1880, the rise of the '-isms'. Since WW2 they have been even more interesting; one of my friends holds the theory that abstract expressionism was a determined attempt to remove art from the realms of conventional politics and create a (non-threatening, to non-artists) political forum of its own.

    In photography we saw the same rise of '-isms' and movements, and to a considerable extent since the 1960s it has been very much 'the painted word', or rather, the word as substitute for photograph. Then, of course, 'credibility' is all you need -- not talent or ability, at least in photography, though writing ability helps.

    Cheers,

    Roger (www.rogerandfrances.com)
     
  74. "Not intended, but I wish I had thought of it, because I feel VERY strongly about the politics of painting since about 1880, the rise of the '-isms'."

    Ramble on.

    I take the split in painterly arts, first, back to the Renaissance, where the art world sidestepped religion, embracing humanism; the "Ancients;" Greece and Rome. But everything, because of religious political persecution by the misguided religious authorities, usurping the teachings of Jesus due to their terroristic, dogmatic and dictatorial government sponsored rule, this philosophical split was kept on the QT otherwise the Iron Maiden might become your next encounter.

    The next poignant painterly schism ferreted out was in 1824 with the intellectual/spiritual/philosophical battle between the political conservative Ingles (Romanticism) associated w/classicizing or the then academic arts and Delacroix (Moderns or Progressive Humanists) as the representative of intellectuals, of revolution, of artistic anarchy.

    The next schism was in the form of Dadaism 1915-1916 with the emergence of Postmodernism which was catapulted forward by Andre Breton and the introduction of Surrealism, the breaking from the real.

    None of the above painterly politics had anything to do with photographic politics as the politics of photographic art was in the hands of others who had yet to embrace the Progressive-Humanist thought process. The Romantic/Impressionism split in photography came about at the time of Breton's Surrealism (freeing of the painterly real due to the superior ability of photography to render the real) as photographic politics developed parallel to painterly art on a differing timeline and yet somehow, survived within the same artistic crucible.

    In my search to put a popsicle stick in it all, in overly simplistic terms, I see Stieglitz as the last of the noted Photographic Impressionist, a schism taking place in and about 1915 with Steichen's "Milk Bottle," as photographic art developed in a split intellectually between Paris/New York and the US West Coast; f/64.

    I see Progressive-Humanists peaking in the form of Lisette Model and company who mentored Diane Arbus which I see as the "first" Postmodern photographic artist (the real Vs intellectual content) but it was because of her association/influence with/by others within the power structure which helped both form her think and bring her unique efforts to the forefront of notoriety.

    The rest, shall we say, is history:)

    Ramble off.

    God how I love this stuff:)
     
  75. Mr. Hicks

    Yes many get paper on Academy but there is no word on it as ?warranty?. Many comes but just a few will pass.

    One can learn himself yes, and many do. But so many small details will be missed. It is one systematic learning. No one learn by education itself. Once got outside one have good foundation to learn further. He is directed and knows good literature to develop further. One attending good Academy develops his way of thinking and acceptance. Art do not accept missing of details. No missing my dear. No I am ?sorry.? No I will make it better next time. Why? Because artist do not make art for it does not exist. Art make other people looking at his work.

    It is possible to one to learn all that stuff himself. But what afford? What time he needs to learn himself. To learn from who, which book to select? And so on. Life is too short. And learning himself is learning in chaotically way.

    I just have to quote myself

    ?When you go to REAL (not two weeks) Academy of art you will learn so many rules, years, applying in some specific discipline of art. And just when happy picking up diploma getting to the door leads outside the academy building, your favorite professor says lifting his right arm: ?hey you, there is no rule, there is no such things as art, there are only artists. You will find no help outside there, you are alone from now on and do not forget rules I gave you " That moment your eyes will squeeze and you will push wrinkled diploma into your pocket. But to really understand it, a long way is in front.?

    And just recently a photog with many nice picts in bakground asked me what is wrong with his Nikon F6 for its meter differ from seconic..? How long way he have to pass to understand such a simple answer. On Academy you learn densitometry,?, and it is just a foundation for further work (after Academy). I can tell you that I can make density exposure curve in around 30 min after you hand me your film. What I need is only a camera with lightmeter, no densitometer, no darkroom. You can just wonder how stupid I am for it will deviates a lot. No my dear. And that is I made using just basic things I learned in Academy. I learned it in real way (to be there and listen live words and ask what is not clear), not myself. Learning from guys that already passed the way I want to go. Learning yourself is like watching earthquake on TV. Never get that real filling.

    Go to leica-r.com and see just one my photo. Is it art? Yes, it is. Why? But I said no such think as art exist! Iam sorry I do not have time to show many other but might be in January it will be be set somehow. I am not old guy and can recognize work that can be classified as artwork. How many years I need to achieve such degree without education if ever reach. Without education anyone can get to some level and than stop never reach into the top. I can give so many examples but my coffee is over. AGAIN: artist do not accept missings. My typing is for sure not work of art.
     
  76. Dear Daniel,

    I'd totally agree about the value of good academies. What I'd question is how many good academies there are. From all I've heard in 30+ years (and as I say, I chose law school over art school, but a lot of my friends chose art school) I suspect that there are depressingly few; almost none. I suspect that you may be from outside the UK/USA and I know that some countries teach what I might consider a more useful curriculum -- China for a start.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  77. Roger, you asked how does the education make the art more credible. Of course you are right, the work has to stand on its own feet - ideally. But if you know consiously that the maker has had an education you tend to give more credit to the maker. There may be a fully competent medical school drop out, but you wont let him treat you, right? Another argument is that, and this is often true IMO, education cleans out the naive errors.<p>
    I don't have art education nor do I think my photos are art no more than I am an artist. The legendary car photog Rene Staud said to me once that he does not think his work is art, but handwork with elements of art. I think he is right. The photo itself is only a document of a situation. The situation itself may have required quite a lot of artistic skills. But if you go and shoot a sunset where is the artistic input. It's been given by mother nature, exposure is simple, almost like truism. Compositions - they are all copies of similar shots.<p>
    I attended to a photography workshop a couple years ago. The tutor was the number one portrait shooter in Finland and certainly I learned a lot, it was a fast leap forwards.<p>
    The most important thing, by far the most important thing, is to enjoy photography. If shooting brings pleasure, the rest is irrelevant.
     
  78. Dear Thomas,

    You have thought harder and deeper about this than I; I wish I could print out JUST your response (rather than wasting 10 sheets of paper) to study it more closely. I see nothing to argue with, though I might be inclined to accord more weight to the Pre-Raphaelites (but then, I used to live in Birchington, where as you no doubt know Dante Gabriel Rosetti is buried) and I'd probably be more concerned with the Linked Ring and then later with the Adams-Mortensen divide rather after the initial formation of f/64: the difference between a beginning and a decisive split. I have to confess with head hung in shame that I have no clear recollection of Steichen's milk bottle.

    You are right, this is all fascinating. What depresses me is that no doubt we shall be the target of 'Get A Life' posts; but as JFK said, those who do not study history are condemned to repeat it.

    If we are too boring for the thread perhaps we may later correspond privately. Or (with any luck -- the internet has to be good for something) others may join in.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  79. "...I wish I could print out JUST your response (rather than wasting 10 sheets of paper) to study it more closely."

    It's simple, do a copy and paste to your e-mail screen and then do a print of the e-mail screen:D

    "I see nothing to argue with, though I might be inclined to accord more weight to the Pre-Raphaelites (but then, I used to live in Birchington, where as you no doubt know Dante Gabriel Rosetti is buried)"

    I do now:) But the Pre-Raphaelites were more just an thumb-in-the-eye of the contemporary authority, "Testing and defying all conventions of art;..." as opposed to a split of religious moral values.

    http://www.victorianweb.org/painting/prb/1.html

    "and I'd probably be more concerned with the Linked Ring..."

    Below are three links that ties everything together very nicely.

    http://www.rleggat.com/photohistory/royal_ph.htm

    http://www.rleggat.com/photohistory/history/linked_r.htm

    http://www.rleggat.com/photohistory/history/photo_se.htm

    Hence why the mention of Stieglitz because of the politics involved.

    "...and then later with the Adams-Mortensen divide rather after the initial formation of f/64: the difference between a beginning and a decisive split."

    Ya got me on the Adams-Mortensen divide. I'll have to google it up and see what I can find.

    http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/Mortensen/mortensen.html

    I see the same sort of split between Stieglitz and Weston. I have no trouble with manipulating an image as to me, it's about the final image, not the process that gets you there.

    A very illuminating photo.net thread with some inside skinny by someone who knew Will personally.

    http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=005fZU

    Nothing beats the web and a good search engine.

    "I have to confess with head hung in shame that I have no clear recollection of Steichen's milk bottle."

    It's a most obscure image, which few might recognize for it's historical importance.

    http://www.masters-of-photography.com/S/steichen/steichen_milk_bottles_full.html

    "What depresses me is that no doubt we shall be the target of 'Get A Life' posts;..."

    Not to worry as the folks here are a dichotomy of that's some pretty good stuff to the otherside of the coin, the "Prove it cause it conflicts with their bias's gang." :)

    "If we are too boring for the thread perhaps we may later correspond privately."

    I stopped by your site; Wowser's! :) I'm just a dummy by comparison.:)

    This location is the sum total of any of my philosophical outpourings as opposed to your many book writings and articles.

    FYI, my photographic efforts reflect my understanding of photographic history, should you choose to stop by. Will look forward to more of your comments here.
     
  80. "really I don't see how bringing up bridges as art in the first place has anything to do with the original question. they are beautiful structures IMO but they require years of education and experience and working with teams of other people with the same, to design. and art degrees aren't necessary to design them. it doesn't really support or show evidence against whether you need education to create art".

    I am sorry but I fill tears in my eyes from laughing. I am really sorry.

    Just to make it short. Art extends into A-N-Y human's activities. Write it down and then write down where you 'v wrote it down.

    Just could not resist.
     
  81. "And what about all the flywheels that were cast with straight spokes that we see which were cast in the same time period? What kept them from cracking?"

    THOMAS I cannot read all but is this question should point on someting else?
    Anyway I accept as direct question and answer is:

    When Cast Iron is formed it cools down to room temperature. In that way it schrinks. Rim and hub get solid first and now spokes start to silidify. The spokes are fixed to the rim and the hub and when schrink due to cooling (tends to get shorter) it induces "residual" streses inside the spoke. How big are that stresses depend of mass distribution along the rim, the spokes, and the hub. Sometimes that stress is enough that cracks spoke imidiately. Sometimes that inner stress is less than strength of the Cast Iron and just stay there. With time, due to such stress, spokes slowly stretch ("creaping") increasing stress until it crack. Curved spokes are there to accomodate for such stretching.

    "Nothing is new under the Sun".
    Sorry if it was not real meaning of your question.
     
  82. Is this Engineering class?

    "Thomas: some engineers are true creative artists. Others use data without questioning its validity. Luckily artists usually can't kill people with their product. Engineers can: here's a sample"

    That bridge, and many of other crashed due to side buckling, problem not known at the time. Now comes long story, and if you wish it I will give you the story.

    Put 1000 of people on ANY bridge in the world, let them run in phase and the bridge WILL crash. Did you see huge ship split in two due to small wave. Did you see your car antena sometimes vibrates abnormaly.
     
  83. Dear Juha,

    I don't really see the parallel. I go to a doctor and ask him to do something for me: I cannot see his expertise, so a degree is a (fairly poor) substitute. If I knew he had a hundred per cent cure rate I wouldn't care about his degree. By contrast a work of art (unless commissioned) already exists -- and if commissioned, surely you commission on the basis of previous work, regardless of education?

    As for cleaning out naive errors, I take the cynical and unkind view that a lot of teachers introduce naive errors in all sorts of fields. This is perhaps because years ago I qualified as a teacher (secondary school) and didn't have a very high opinion of maybe half my fellow teachers: "Those who can, do; those who can't, teach."

    A good teacher -- maybe 30 per cent of the teaching population -- is wonderful; but art school needs both good teachers and (as Daniel says) willing pupils. A depressing number of students at art schools are there because they couldn't think of anything else to do, or it was the next stage on the conveyor belt, or it was a soft option (these criticisms are true of other schools as well). Some of them graduate and go on to teach...

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  84. Dear Thomas,

    What a wonderful history of overreactions! I always found the Linked Ring/Photo Secession muddy; their best pictures succeeded despite their technique, not because of it, and many failed that would have been better if they had not had such a taking against techical excellence. I see absolutely what you mean about the milk bottle; thanks for the link. Most of the other information I was reasonably familiar with but there are always details to fill in and the correspondence about Mortensen was particularly illuminating.

    Then, of course, f/64 ended up setting such store by technique that once again, their best shots succeed despite technique: many are dull and derivative because, and even the best (Ansel Adams) are often sterile.

    Then it went COMPLETELY crazy after WW2... Due in large part, I think, to the rise of the 'art-school ethic' where more meant worse. When there were relatively few art schools, most who attended them really wanted to be there and most lecturers were at least fairly competent practising artists. Now it's an easy stopping-off place between school and work (and as Daniel says, useless as a passport to a job) the only possibility was to intellectualize art far beyond its capacity to be intellectualized.

    In the 70s, when I started as an assistant, my 'gaffer' (the late Colin Glanfield) regarded art school training as a handicap to be overcome, not an advantage; he would always hire someone with another background if he could, hence me (law/teaching), Jan (musician), Tim (helicopter pilot) etc.

    It's fair to say that this was commercial work (advertising) but kidding ANYONE that art school will turn them into a producer of Fine Art is a cruel deception.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     
  85. "A depressing number of students at art schools are there because they couldn't think of anything else to do"

    I studied engineering too. On the very first meting in amphitheater of the faculty, Rector came to bless students and said: "GOOD MORNING FUTURE ENGINEERS AND LAWERS". I do not joke, it is not someone's saying, it is was really like that. All laughed and he started to jump around hitting his hat against the floor. He asked one guy ?why you laugh me?. "Because no lawyer here" Then Rector started to laugh.... After 6 months meting again, and just around 20% of students was there. Rest are gone to somewhere else to study Law, quit, ...

    Very simmilar happen on Art Academy. And from that 20% just a quarter gets to final examination. End from that quarter just some are ?good.? Well it was in time around 1980 and university where I studied. Very similar is (or was) all around. So, no one should generalize education. It might helps but in most cases NOOOOOOO. Bull in school bull out. Education is PREREQUEST. Learning is to come. Well the story gets long and stupid.
     
  86. Roger, about the teachers. You are absolutely right. i always say that you can not learn charisma. Its something you either have or don't. No amount of educatino makes a charisma-less person a good teacher but a not educated craftsman with natural charisma can charm the whole audience.<p>

    Don't bypass what I said last: The most important thing is to enjoy photography. Satisfaction is the key word.
     
  87. Daniel, as an engineer I found your story extremely hilarious. Lawyers suck, engineers make.
     
  88. Good Story Daniel. I remember FORTRAN class. We started with 110 students. End of semester 10 students, including myself, were left.
     
  89. Oops: Forgot something. Local Gallery. Usually photography of the highest order and the prices to go with it. But also some good non-photo art. http://www.ethertongallery.com/
     
  90. art school training as a handicap to be overcome

    If you have talent you use it......

    If not you become a Art Teacher...sort of spread your lack of talent.

    Hey, they passed an exam.
     
  91. "If you have talent you use it...... "
    in front of the photoshop thinking you deal with Photography just because you fell that photons from the light bulb pouding you head.

    "If not you become a Art Teacher...sort of spread your lack of talent."

    and here right ABOVE you is Mr. Roger H. having no comment.
     
  92. "really I don't see how bringing up bridges as art in the first place has anything to do with the original question. they are beautiful structures IMO but they require years of education and experience and working with teams of other people with the same, to design. and art degrees aren't necessary to design them. it doesn't really support or show evidence against whether you need education to create art".

    I am sorry but I fill tears in my eyes from laughing. I am really sorry.

    Just to make it short. Art extends into A-N-Y human's activities. Write it down and then write down where you 'v wrote it down.

    Just could not resist.

    ------------------------------

    but art is not art education. read all the words. I said an art degree is not required to design a bridge. can you dispute that?
     
  93. B. Lawrence

    on Architectural faculty students learn about art hystory too, but not in extend as on Art Academy, and on Academy students learn art history but not about strength of materials as on Architectural faculty,....

    The guy made that wheel Mr. Gardiner shows on the pic: question is did he went to Academy of Art before he made it? Can you (or anyone else) answer? .... The question is also why we need an answer?

    The good cook make art work (yes), but he do not have "education". That is true. There is a big confusion about art in general, or better to say about art photography for it is all we talk about. The whole problem is that no one WANT (me too for now) to reveal definition of art photography. In that way everyone have its own definition and everyone can say my definition is better than your, and now he is Mr. Artist photographer. And it is correct. But who care for it? No one. And it is a problem making all of these discusions. Nothing wrong nothing good just go on. At all is not question can someone without Art Academy produce artwork. YES HE CAN AND HE DO. When education is in question some other kind of questions come up only education can set and answer. Might be I overreacted and it looks like panishing someone because he did not get thru Art Academy, but so what. I am sorry Mr. Lawrence.
     
  94. "The whole problem is that no one WANT (me too for now) to reveal definition of art photography."

    Someone already typing next question. It is SHOTCUT for a story, so just accept or reject.
     
  95. I made that original post to mildly state that having a debate about bridges and art being incorporated into bridges really is off the subject. it is too specialized a feild. most bridges are designed by just engineers, but you are right some of them have architects on the design team. and architects do take art classes... some might classify an architect as a form of art degree since it is for the most part a design type of discipline. but still most bridges don't have architects helping out.

    debating what art IS is also mildly off subject too. the main question at hand was a little mixed.

    1. how important should art education be?
    2. should art education or a strong background in art history be pre-requisite to the process and production of art?
    3. is an art education a crucial part of a career (or life) of art making.

    my answers simply would be 1)it Shouldn't be important at all. 2) no. 3) for bridges, no,, but for starving artist painter... maybe

    What art IS really only changes the answer because it determines what one thinks on how art is created. for example: if one thought that art was only art if it was created with intent and purpose, with a respect to art in the past. then that person might not think a grandiose bridge was art at all.,, but they might think the canvas with paint smeared on (by an artist that could only afford one tube of paint) was great art, because that artist had an education and intent.

    to clarify my stand point. I think art can be just about anything that took work and is aesthetically pleasing.. would I look at it more than twice? would I admire it's beauty? like a good pocket knife... it is a tool but if I could pull it out of my pocket and stare at it for several minutes, admiring the work,, then I would call it art.
     
  96. In the beginning of this post, I was very excited, but the energy of the
    responses drained me. Let me bare my soul: I'm trained as an art historian. I
    love to teach. And the history of art has given me more pleasure than
    anything else in the world. Yet, I do not want to teach art history. Why?
    Because 1) academics is politics and 2) too many students (particularly "art"
    students) don't feel it necessary to express themselves. When I am not sad
    about the current disdain for history or for the conversations it opens up (i.e.,
    how to see the contemporary world within a historical concept), I laugh. What
    can of worms Joseph Beuys let loose!!!!

    The post began by pointing to outsider-art. The ironic thing is: if you know to
    call it Outsider-Art, you're already in the system that defined it, rather than an
    outsider-artist. Who even made this category viable for the world to point to
    and debate? In short, the Surrealists (particularly Breton) and Dubufet. In
    French art throughout the last century, this awareness of outsider-art by other
    well-know artists (i.e., the establishment) has inspired a great deal of
    innovations in avant-garde art. But my point is, it doesn't seem correct to use
    the term or existence of outsider-art to indicate one's own ability to create art
    outside the system. As a previous post pointed out (with no response), most
    of these individuals were/are outside the cultural designation of normalcy.
    They are not a reason to dismiss the opportunities (and tribulations) of
    education.

    I don't want to teach art history within this culture or artistic climate, but I do
    want to teach. I'm good at it. So I will eventually get that MFA in order to teach
    art--not because I think it will transform my work, but because it will bring me
    closer to my goal in life (sharing, discussion, communication of thought, and
    frank criticism and even hopefully inspiration). Indeed, I can teach what I've
    learned from art history more clearly and more importantly in an art
    classroom: an artist must put themselves in an ongoing conversation.

    That may sound elitist. Indeed, it is in part. I feel comfortable saying so,
    because I don't think "elite" is an ugly word, particularly in a culture that does
    not share Joseph Beuys political ambition when he declared "Everyone is an
    artist" but, instead, uses a watered-down idea of his politics to call everything
    art. I wish to note: he was in the system. He taught. He sought to revitalize
    academic art from within, and he was highly aware of the history of German
    art, culture, and history that proceeded and dominated his life. I have met a
    number of people/artists who use their creative skills to pursue such politics
    (such as politics of identity) without artistic training--so it, of course, is done.
    I'm just noting that this concept that "everyone is an artist" and that personal
    expression is important has a historical foundation within the academic
    sphere. I would also note that Beuys not only changed art within the
    academic environment, but that he also changed how art historians view/deal
    with/discuss contemporary art. Art history isn't the bad guy here (the
    establishment of "isms"), but thoroughly wishes to learn from the artists.

    At the same time, the wish to point out that all "successful" artists participate in
    a conversation is not elitist. Making calendars, making pretty pictures
    according to technical rules is also engaging in a conversation, though that is
    the conversation of suburban tastes rather than of art-historical tastes.

    I regularly put my own photographic work into two categories: pretty pictures
    (i.e., those that are photographically equisite but do not raise cultural or
    historical connections or questions) or "artworks" (those that strive, even if
    unsuccessfully as yet, to engage in cultural/historical conversations). It is true
    that, because of my historical background (beginning at the age of 14 when I
    began studying Michelangelo), I hold the "pretty pictures" in lower estime. I
    fight myself on this daily. But, at least, I know what "conversation" I want to be
    in, whether or not I become important. Moreover, I realize that a
    "conversation" exists, which is the point of "education" to begin with.

     
  97. In the beginning of this post, I was very excited, but the energy of the
    responses drained me. Let me bare my soul: I'm trained as an art historian. I
    love to teach. And the history of art has given me more pleasure than
    anything else in the world. Yet, I do not want to teach art history. Why?
    Because 1) academics is politics and 2) too many students (particularly "art"
    students) don't feel it necessary to express themselves. When I am not sad
    about the current disdain for history or for the conversations it opens up (i.e.,
    how to see the contemporary world within a historical concept), I laugh. What
    can of worms Joseph Beuys let loose!!!!

    The post began by pointing to outsider-art. The ironic thing is: if you know to
    call it Outsider-Art, you're already in the system that defined it, rather than an
    outsider-artist. Who even made this category viable for the world to point to
    and debate? In short, the Surrealists (particularly Breton) and Dubufet. In
    French art throughout the last century, this awareness of outsider-art by other
    well-know artists (i.e., the establishment) has inspired a great deal of
    innovations in avant-garde art. But my point is, it doesn't seem correct to use
    the term or existence of outsider-art to indicate one's own ability to create art
    outside the system. As a previous post pointed out (with no response), most
    of these individuals were/are outside the cultural designation of normalcy.
    They are not a reason to dismiss the opportunities (and tribulations) of
    education.

    I don't want to teach art history within this culture or artistic climate, but I do
    want to teach. I'm good at it. So I will eventually get that MFA in order to teach
    art--not because I think it will transform my work, but because it will bring me
    closer to my goal in life (sharing, discussion, communication of thought, and
    frank criticism and even hopefully inspiration). Indeed, I can teach what I've
    learned from art history more clearly and more importantly in an art
    classroom: an artist must put themselves in an ongoing conversation.

    That may sound elitist. Indeed, it is in part. I feel comfortable saying so,
    because I don't think "elite" is an ugly word, particularly in a culture that does
    not share Joseph Beuys political ambition when he declared "Everyone is an
    artist" but, instead, uses a watered-down idea of his politics to call everything
    art. I wish to note: he was in the system. He taught. He sought to revitalize
    academic art from within, and he was highly aware of the history of German
    art, culture, and history that proceeded and dominated his life. I have met a
    number of people/artists who use their creative skills to pursue such politics
    (such as politics of identity) without artistic training--so it, of course, is done.
    I'm just noting that this concept that "everyone is an artist" and that personal
    expression is important has a historical foundation within the academic
    sphere. I would also note that Beuys not only changed art within the
    academic environment, but that he also changed how art historians view/deal
    with/discuss contemporary art. Art history isn't the bad guy here (the
    establishment of "isms"), but thoroughly wishes to learn from the artists.

    At the same time, the wish to point out that all "successful" artists participate in
    a conversation is not elitist. Making calendars, making pretty pictures
    according to technical rules is also engaging in a conversation, though that is
    the conversation of suburban tastes rather than of art-historical tastes.

    I regularly put my own photographic work into two categories: pretty pictures
    (i.e., those that are photographically equisite but do not raise cultural or
    historical connections or questions) or "artworks" (those that strive, even if
    unsuccessfully as yet, to engage in cultural/historical conversations). It is true
    that, because of my historical background (beginning at the age of 14 when I
    began studying Michelangelo), I hold the "pretty pictures" in lower estime. I
    fight myself on this daily. But, at least, I know what "conversation" I want to be
    in, whether or not I become important. Moreover, I realize that a
    "conversation" exists, which is the point of "education" to begin with.

     
  98. "I regularly put my own photographic work into two categories: pretty pictures (i.e., those that are photographically equisite but do not raise cultural or historical connections or questions) or "artworks" (those that strive, even if unsuccessfully as yet, to engage in cultural/historical conversations). It is true that, because of my historical background (beginning at the age of 14 when I began studying Michelangelo), I hold the "pretty pictures" in lower estime. I fight myself on this daily. But, at least, I know what "conversation" I want to be in, whether or not I become important. Moreover, I realize that a "conversation" exists, which is the point of "education" to begin with." I'm your opposite as I hold pretty pictures in high esteem but wallow in artistic conversation because pretty pictures no longer bring me satisfaction. How I wish I could turn back the hands of time and become naive again as I lament, unsuccessfully, for the artistic conversation of ignorance:) Very poignent and interesting thoughts on your part.
    00EOA3-26791184.jpg
     
  99. Dear Catherine,

    A fascinating post indeed -- but one of my art historian chums argues that art history should involve more 'experimental archaeology' (e.g. grinding your own pigments at least once) and less emphasis on '-isms'. What are your views on this?

    As for 'pretty pictures' versus 'conversation', perhaps you would care to enlarge upon this. I take it that you mean that the viewer has to contribute something to the image, i.e there must be some ambiguity. My own suspicion is that a 'pretty picture' normally succeeds because the viewer knows exactly what to contribute, and what they are being given, and to me, this may be more difficult for the artist than engaging in 'conversation'.

    'Suburban tastes' seemed to me an unnecessarily harsh and patronising view. I am cheerfully an elitist but that brought my populist hackles up. After all, where would you place Alma-Tadema? Liechtenstein? I'd say that both are major artists, though some way from the first rank, but one of my art historian chums dismisses them as being merely products of their time. Then I pointed out that most artists are...

    Two of my dearest friends are art historians and I always love discussing this sort of thing with them; I'm glad I found this thread as one lives 300 km away and the other 7000km away.

    Finally, I shall unfortunately be away for ten or twelve days and unable to respond quickly but I look forward to your further thoughts.

    Cheers,

    Roger (www.rogerandfrances.com)
     
  100. A thought today, in regard to education, the prevailing attitude it breeds (insecurity) and how this elite, educated attitude (insecurity) affects "chosen" art. Let's face it, like it or not, art has a chosen power structure.

    Often disparaging comments are left on this board as to noting educational levels and how lacking an educational level of "their" approval, this somehow impairs one's intellectual "status." I won't name board names, as they know who they are. The point, this brand of artistic intellectual elitism is prevelent here.

    "Oh, so you're a (enter your choice) farmer." As if this pronouncement reveals some intellectual flaw in the individual's character. Yet it's undeniably true there's a symbiotic relationship between these intellectually "superior" creatures, who make note of these points in regard to the another person's education level and yet while condemning, depend upon these same intellectually inferior individuals for support services and sustenance. Elitism? Hmmmmmm!

    I have seen, over the several years I've been here, a one way level of tolerance, exhibited many times on this board by many as to prejudices towards those who lack "credentials" or have "unacceptable" religious or political leanings as if this somehow makes the pronouncer of this point omniscient in matters of artistic and social judgment.

    The point, (education in art) how much of this intellectual (elitism) influence (bias) is the basis as to what's chosen to be held in high esteem and displayed by curators as contemporary's art? Which in the final, sans a democratic process, if you explore the weaning process furthervby adding the revealing light of transparency, makes noted art, in real terms, a Pavlovian response of conditioning via this intellectual (biasing) elitism.

    What say you?
     
  101. No one here makes groups by education and it is not intention, so there is no elite group. Even if a friend curator proclaims one�s work, a history will clear it, if it should. On other side anyone can have its own opinion about just anything and nothing is wrong with it. If we all think the same what we will talk about? And on very end prerequisite for artwork is bad work, that is, without bad work good work will not exist. To produce artwork no any kind of education is needed. I can say even that just anything made is artwork, just we will have good calculators and bad calculators, and calculators that so good that are of historical importance. Do you think that no one can make the same scene as Robert Frank, even better? Many make it much better, but so what. It will never ever lessen Frank�s importance.

    Again: there are top notch works from non Art Academy guys. But how many Ansels, Westons, Einsteins,�?

    Education work is same in any activity so let me make one more simple example what for is education in engineering, but the same principle is in art, law, medicine,...
    When I got my first job in design department there was a technician and engineer. Technician always get his job must faster than engineer, and all liked him.
    One day he got a job to design a machine as a set of special hammers (c. 2 lb each) that turns with 3000 revolutions per minute. If wheels of your car turns that speed the car will run 244 km/h (or 150mph). And as usually he finished the design quickly and all claped him. Then all summoned to cheers to the test. The rotor got its speed and one hammer penetrated the 1/2 inch steel plate case and on its fly removed part of head of one clapper. The reason for failure was that the rotor entered into �critical speed� that is very high amplitude vibration. Well, the designer claimed that he never knew what is �critical speed� for it is nor subject in high school nor he could learn it himself. After that all his work was questioned and reexamined, and the company hired another technician for the same position. And when one open engineering handbook with around 1000 pages that matter is presented on around a half page. Just a small detail in design work. As said before the same can (and does) happens to engineers too. And this is not investigated story.

    And all is that simple, and it is what I think.
     
  102. And more

    what less problems one see the more he produces. When you see a guy make 10 good shoots a day (in average), pretending to be good artist, forgive him for he do not know what he is doing. Do not count bracketing and bursting in past for it was a must.
    I inserted "good shoots" to separate comercial work (by markup) of the same guy.
     
  103. "How do you feel about this?"

    ----------------------------------

    "No one here makes groups by education and it is not intention, so there is no elite group."

    There are those here who do attack and are prejudiced by education.

    The more threads you read and participate in, the more you come to realize the truth of the above point.

    The point I was making didn't have to do with the prejudices of education that this board is well known for exhibiting but that it was one superficial example a participant here will, over time, readily see and via example, expose in the process what lies beneath; how this "need" or "demand" of an artistic education (creating an inner core of like minded intellectuals) influences both one's thinking (acceptability) and the bias' in which photographic art is judged as to what is considered noteworth.

    "Birds of a feather."

    I'm all for an artistic education so as to "understand" the past so as to understand the unmarked path of the future but the blatant elitism or lack of open criticism that's exhibited in conversation is very telling indeed; who's vilified and who's held in esteem?

    Would one here listen to what an uneducated politically conservative brick layer, plumber or dishwasher might have to say on matters of artistic consideration? Why not? Lack of a proper education? Elitism? Then, as another example, there's the clearly sanctioned disconnect with non-viewers; those who are turned off by elitist artistic choices and won't go to museums because of the choices which have been made; unmitigated, intentionally becoming exclusionary?

    Indifference? Indifference in the thought that if they don't want to learn about it and don't want to embrace artistic think, then that's their problem. And because of this exclusionary attitude, many don't feel a need to do anything to help bridge the intellectual divide, compounding this "noninclusionary, intentionally biased, elitist thinking? What's being done by the power structure to include efforts by the other half of the art world, to bring in those who "don't get it?" More elitism?

    The aforementioned behavior shows the underlying nature of how "noted" art is chosen due to this undemocratic, planar thinking process in which pieces and artists are chosen to the exclusion of those who don't think alike. The undemocratic process, seems to intentionally be ignoring all social facets other than that what is found to be "socially acceptable" by the power elite. This intentionally inflicted exclusionary process highlights elitism at it's finest. And by using this elitism as the crucible in which to judge examples of (esteem) noted "art" and "artists," more unsuspecting will be excluded in the process.

    Beethoven, Bach, Elvis, Yanni, Coltrane, The Monkees, Fleetwood Mac, Abba, Ventures or Thelonious Monk?

    The above choices are enough to bring the elitism out of any elitist:)

    One could take lessons from Diane Arbus's bio and her photographic "Freeks are Us" message.
     
  104. I think that guy used word ellitism" had intention to use it simbolicaly. Elitism is for people that win lotery and get millions instantly by some chance, so rise nose not knowing anyone anymore. I moved through one of the best Art Academy and never heard such word. People just like to contribute, like me, and do not have time, hours, for corrections and sometimes just use shortcut. Anyway there is no such term in art world. If you get one serious with a such term let him go. I know many people thinking soooo high about themself that I am frightened of theit fall, so better stay away.
     
  105. Dear Roger,

    Maybe you're back now, so I'll venture answering and prolonging this rather
    intense discussion. First, I agree with your art history friends, at least to a
    point. I think more emphasis should be placed in art history programs on art,
    especially art processes. In my PhD program, there were no requirements, for
    instance, which leads to a distance from the physical use of materials. I was
    fortunate, however, to major in Art in college, so that gave me some
    relationship to the "archeology" of art (man, i haven't used that word since
    theoretical coursework!). I was the first to do an art history concentration at
    that school, principally because I was extremely poor and couldn't afford art
    supplies--so teachers gave me books and a place to crash. In truth, I would
    have rather studied both (all capitals), but that's probably why I spend every
    minute I can on photography now. Nonetheless, at that school, the art
    historian made us work on egg tempera and all sorts of old-school techniques
    in our art history methodology courses. She--like your friends--knew that it
    was critical for the historian to understand techniques. I'm afraid that most
    PhD programs now emphasize critical thought/theory. I'd put that emphasis
    on theory and "isms" down to a pedagological failure in art history--the
    attempt to render itself a science. That's why I can't see myself teaching in a
    department--I've tried, it felt false. I hope your friends are handling more
    gracefully than I. Of course, there's hope for the discipline, with critics like
    Didi-Huberman (particularly his work on Aby Warburg, which I heard while
    attending his lectures in Paris). He wrote "The Invention of Hysteria," which is
    about photography. Also, I believe art and art history departments should
    work stronger together, be more collaborative. In this vein, I want to teach
    both photography and art history together, which I think would be easier (in
    terms of what universities expect) from a photography professorship position.

    As far as the "suburban tastes" goes--well, that's maybe harsh. I've written,
    then deleted, several responses/explanations(apologies?), but they seem to
    require too much expos頯f myself. Then I realized the simplest: I've come to
    see "suburban" as a category, because we discuss it as such within academic
    circles. Something to be examined, analyzed, etc. It's interesting that you
    bring up the Victorian Alma-Tadema. I enjoyed (and still enjoy) him. In
    undergraduate studies, I focused on Victorian art and middle-class aesthetics.
    Then, in graduate school, I saw how the discipline dismissed the middle-class
    view. Almost in order to protect my own enjoyment, I stopped "studying" the
    nineteenth-century. In fact, I took up contemporary art because it isn't (by far)
    my favorite era, thus I can be critical (i.e., science). You're right in pointing
    him and others out--the love of art is about love, enjoyment, pleasure, no
    matter the background. Still, how does Alma Tadema et al. open doors into
    another logic or realm of thought? Liechtenstien, I feel, does, at least in the
    cross-over between fine art and graphic art. So many other artists have
    proceeded to redo (refine) this opening that, maybe, we fail to see it half-a-
    century later.

    Personally, however, my resistance to creating "suburban" art comes from my
    experience in a very unimportant, rural gallery (I've not been promoting my
    work as much as I should, so this is my sole experience as of yet). In this
    gallery, in an artistic community no less, my work (according to the owner)
    commands the most conversation. But it doesn't sell that much. Why?
    Because, according to the owner, people are looking for work to match their
    sofa/etc. In truth, I probably have a lot of pictures that will do that, only I'm not
    hanging them. A small story: I was in the gallery that shows Annette
    Messager's work (my dissertation is on her oeuvre). A couple is standing
    before an installation of torn apart plush animals and photographs. As I'm
    looking at this work, I feel everything I've ever lost (or so I believe) through
    civilization and (particularly) education. The couple, however, simply say:
    Who would hang this in their living room? It was the work of Messager, one of
    the most beautiful persons I have ever known and one of the greatest French
    artists of our time. Yet they are asking about "living rooms." This also defines
    "suburban tastes" for me. I would hang it my living room--in fact, I'd devote my
    whole house to it, as Messager does, who sleeps (or did) underneath a new
    piece of "Mes Voeux" that was going off to a museum. (Please, look her up,
    she's phenomenal. She makes me believe in art.) So, yes, I guess, I'm a bit
    hostile to current suburban tastes.

    Lastly (and forgive me, everyone, for taking too long), about "conversation." In
    part, you understood me. It is about audience. Only I'm more concerning with
    engaging in a conversation with artists and art history (however vague). For
    instance, most of my artwork reflects back on the eighteenth-century, adding a
    twist to the standard tropes and (hopefully) engaging with that history. One of
    my collage works, "The Fall of Medusa in the Temple of Athena," takes a
    typical eighteenth-century trope of "Medusa" (i.e., mythological art). Instead of
    portraying the snake-headed beast, however, I show the onslaught of the
    rape that makes Athena turn her into a monster, with Athena looking passively
    on. Why does redoing the myth matter? Sexual politics, maybe. Or the idea
    that it matters how we understand these (dying?) myths. As a woman, I don't
    want a new mythology--I want to understand the layers of the ones we know.

    Roger, does this answer your questions? Whether or not you return to this
    point, it means alot to have you ask. I'm far from my friends, too, now
    scattering the states for their livelihood. I miss this form of conversation also.

     
  106. Dear Catherine,

    Thanks for your thoughtful reply. Please forgive me if I concentrate on a single aspect: it's late, I've only been back from the Pyrenees for a day, and I don't feel I have time to address all of your post.

    I think the problem lies in the concept of a single conversation. The better the art, the more the conversations. The greatest art engages with the largest number of people: art historians, 'sophisticated' buyers and, yes, suburban tastes. Rarify the conversation and you detract from the essential appeal of the art -- as your own story rather illustrates.

    Alma-Tadema engages with a rich middle-class taste, especially with his big classical canvases (only the very rich could afford the SPACE for an Alma-Tadema, but the half-rich could afford repros). He also engages with thinkers on many levels: to choose the easiest examples, those who think about inequality, sex (I didn't say they had to be profound thinkers but just look at some of those classical maidens), classicism (Britain as the New Rome, or latterly, pace Supermac, Greece to America's Rome), religion, and indeed lovers of technique: in many ways he was the Ansel Adams of late 19th century painting.

    How far was this deliberate? How far am I projecting 1965-2005 values onto A-T? (I first became aware of him in about 1965) Does it matter? Does not the conversation transcend the artist's intention, and indeed, is not an intention to create a conversation that is separate from the creation of the work of art an undertaking that is incompatible to some degree with that creation? It's the old 'If you want to send a message, call Western Union'.

    In the early 70s one of my friends used to paint pictures that he called 'wallpaper' for Heals. I don't know if you know the store but it's a furniture/decor shop for the well-to-do in London. He used to paint three at a time, in different colourways (a marketing term, not fine art) and get GBP 600-700 for the three; $2000 at the then exchange rate, from memory, a good $5,000 to 10,000 in today's money. This funded his 'real' painting. I've always admired him for that.

    Sure, there's a lot of suburban garbage, and the 19th (and early 20th) century middle class funded a lot of it, usually in repro: often, nostalgia for utopias that never existed. I can remember the paintings but not the painters: as I say, it's late, but if you get the chance, go to Birmingham City Art Gallery where there's a lot of late 19th century suburban art, mostly rubbish, some great.

    There's a lot to be said for Sturgeon's Law, too: 90 per cent of ANYTHING is garbage. The Musee Cognac in Paris has some lovely late 18th century paintings, but half of them are attractive (and well-padded) young women with few clothes on: Fragonard and his ilk. Were they bought or commissioned for the artists' command of light and shade? Or because the buyers enjoyed looking at young women with few clothes on? I suspect the latter; but they transcend the latter, or at least, I think they do (I'm a man too...)

    Further food for thought. Looking forward to your reply.

    Cheers,

    Roger
     

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