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View Poll Results: Can we judge/grade art?

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  • Yes, I think there are objective principles we can use to evaluate art

    6 21.43%
  • No, the value of art is subjective and determined by the individual viewer

    6 21.43%
  • It's a combination.

    14 50.00%
  • I have some strong objections thread's premise/wording and I am going to write a long post about it.

    2 7.14%
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  1. #1
    Senior Member Pseudo's Avatar
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    Default Can we judge art?

    Art includes (but perhaps is not limited to) sights, sounds or conditions created by humans for sensory experience.

    Judging means evaluating a piece of art as either good/bad or evaluating it in comparison to other works of art as better or worse.



    Do are there objective, universal criteria or is beauty in the eye of the beholder?

  2. #2
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    I just really liked the last option and I couldn't resist picking it.

    I think it really does, ultimately, depend on the eye of the beholder. But, since we are creatures that want to do things like make a living as an artist, there has to be a form of judgment in place otherwise we'd all be 'artists' just sitting on the beach, doing nothing, and farting out a few paints on a piece of paper every time we felt like eating a nicer meal. There has to be something to strive for--to achieve.. even if you couldn't make money off of being an artist, taking things to the next level is something that I think we crave..

    So, we make standards, and draw lines, and make grading systems for students.. because we want to see students move past the current standard into something bigger. So we teach them, and judge their work, and try to mold it as best as we can without suppressing their creativity. It doesn't always balance out like that, but that's the idea.

    But. A six year old girl dancing on stage may be the only time a dude watches a ballet with genuine excitement. It might really, truly be the most beautiful thing he ever saw--his daughter dancing like that. Whereas, that daughter's dancing would probably not get her into the symphony's 'The Nutcracker' anytime soon. We can all appreciate art in its most raw form--something that does give us a sensory experience. But, since we're allowed to be picky about it, we tend to be picky.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Default

    I think its mostly subjective, but with certain objective standards, namely the technical difficulty in producing the work of art in question. For example, aesthetics and symbolism aside, I find the creation of sculptures much more impressive than, say, modern art.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Pseudo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    I think its mostly subjective, but with certain objective standards, namely the technical difficulty in producing the work of art in question. For example, aesthetics and symbolism aside, I find the creation of sculptures much more impressive than, say, modern art.

    I'm guess you referring to pre-modern sculpture? the Pieta, venus de milo the David or something similar? If I'm wrong correct me.

  5. #5
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pseudo View Post
    I'm guess you referring to pre-modern sculpture? the Pieta, venus de milo the David or something similar? If I'm wrong correct me.
    I had pre-modern sculpture in mind while typing the post, but really, I find just about any type of realistic sculpture more technically impressive than most forms of art, and realism in general more technically impressive than most abstract pieces. I don't know a lot about art, so I could be ass-wrong, but sculpting realistic images from a block of marble or granite just seems like something that's more difficult for most people to learn than painting circles and triangles.

  6. #6
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    Of course we can. Some music is more complex than others. Some art requires more skill than others. A big black blotch on a white canvas is not art, unless you can give me a 45 minute monologue on your inner pain, at which point your painting is performance art, it does not stand alone. I can't really stand completely abstract art, though, I think it's a waste, and something I associate with pretentious INTPs. I'm sorry.

    People like different kinds of art, though. I really like it when someone can capture something with a lot of detail and realism, honestly.

    If you take an art apprec class, you can learn the structural standards for what constitutes art.

  7. #7
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmotini View Post
    Of course we can. Some music is more complex than others. Some art requires more skill than others. A big black blotch on a white canvas is not art, unless you can give me a 45 minute monologue on your inner pain, at which point your painting is performance art, it does not stand alone. I can't really stand completely abstract art, though, I think it's a waste, and something I associate with pretentious INTPs. I'm sorry.


    Abstract Art is usually fine; Conceptual Art, however, is pretentious BS that has no creative value. Don't get me started on that rant, though...

    I made a blog post vaguely relating to this topic - here's the link to it (despite being rather embarrassed to engage in wankiness that is self quoting).

    I think we can judge art. Personally response (although this is of real value - it's is a subjective element that can't be measured) isn't necessary to evaluate quality or worth - effective objective evaluation is possible. What it comes back to in some part is what Marm mentioned: what constitutes art. I haven't taken an art appreciation class but I have personally reflected on the matter a bit (after the experience I related in my blog). IMO being highly successful in most/all of these categories would make a piece of art "good" in an objective sense.

    My "requirements" for something to be called art:

    - it must take a degree of skill to create it. (Not everyone should be able to do it)
    - it must take time and effort to complete it. (ie. splashing a single dob of paint on canvas isn't good enough)
    - it must be primarily aimed at an aesthetic and/or emotional response. Although this intellectual elements certainly may be part of the work, it can't fundamentally appeal to the intellect or require critical analysis to be enjoyed (ie. painting toilet seat green and claiming it's a commentary on the plight of the modern man, isn't good enough)
    - it must be created with intention, even if only subconsciously. Accidental elements are permissible but only if they are a minor part of the overall work. (ie. paintings created by elephants are extremely questionable)
    - the elements depicted/created must be primarily made, created or constructed by the artist(s). An exception to this is if these elements are significantly altered from their original form. (ie. IMO painting a Campbell Soup Can, doesn't count)
    - there must be some level of symbolism, commentary and/or storytelling involved. (without it, a landscape is just a pretty picture)

    I think I had another one or two others but that's all I could think of right now...
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  8. #8
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    @Southern Kross

    You may be correct about it being Conceptual rather than Abstract art I'm complaining about. But I may be complaining about Abstract, because I'm actually okay with Conceptual; Andy Warhol was Conceptual rather than Abstract, and I respect Warhol because he was the first person to do it.

    What makes Andy Warhol different from some random 20 year old who paints a Campbell's soup can as a still life is that he was really making a statement. His studio and people around him were called The Factory. His art mimicked mass production. He made predictions about the later 20th and early 21st century that came true. Andy Warhol's art is art because of the entire original and true and insightful conceptualism surrounding it.

    Otherwise I agree with pretty much everything else you said.

  9. #9
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmotini View Post
    @Southern Kross

    You may be correct about it being Conceptual rather than Abstract art I'm complaining about. But I may be complaining about Abstract, because I'm actually okay with Conceptual; Andy Warhol was Conceptual rather than Abstract, and I respect Warhol because he was the first person to do it.

    What makes Andy Warhol different from some random 20 year old who paints a Campbell's soup can as a still life is that he was really making a statement. His studio and people around him were called The Factory. His art mimicked mass production. He made predictions about the later 20th and early 21st century that came true. Andy Warhol's art is art because of the entire original and true and insightful conceptualism surrounding it.

    Otherwise I agree with pretty much everything else you said.
    I agree that Warhol did something different and that he had something meaningful to say, but IMO most is just interesting commentary, not art. That's just my perspective, though.

    I will say, I have much greater respect for his work than I do for most Conceptual Art - I feel like it's on the very border and it gives me the most inner conflict over the definition.
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  10. #10
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    The first criteria by which we judge art is the suspension of disbelief.

    So, does this work or art, a painting, a sculpture or a movie, suspend my disbelief?

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