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Thread: Abstract and Modern Art

  1. #11
    Symbolic Herald Array
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    Feb 2010


    I'm not so well versed in philosophy or the philosophy of aesthetics. But I do enjoy many kinds of modern art and I want to share a perspective that helps me understand why response to art is so personal and varied, and why thats okay. Many people want to focus on the intention of the artist or the message or statement, but I see it as more fundamental, going deeper than even that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynda Barry
    At the center of everything we call 'the arts', and children call 'play', is something which seems somehow alive.

    It's not alive in the way you and I are alive, but it's certainly not dead.

    It's alive in the way our memory is alive.

    Alive in the way the ocean is alive and able to transport us and contain us.

    Alive in the way thinking is not, but experiencing is, made of both memory and imagination, this is the thing we mean by 'an image'
    So art for me is about getting behind images and being pulled by them. Its about images' aliveness and the aliveness that we feel when we experience them.
    It happens for the creator and the viewer. The creator isn't merely going through motions to please viewers, creativity is about giving life to ones own personal images. For me as a viewer, appreciating modern art can involve quieting my thoughtful mind and just letting the image take shape, unfold or transform how it is meant to for me. And that doesn't always happen, and I suppose thats why I prefer particular works. Its really not about trying to figure something out, evaluating or judging, or worrying about if the jokes on me. Its about the experience of trusting in a patient state of mind that allows things to reveal themselves. Things that resonate.

    But I understand the criticism, the distrust. Its very common. I wondered if this thread would reference this article which I read recently.

    “People untrained in visual art see more than they realize when looking at abstract expressionist paintings. People may say that a child could have made a work by a recognized abstract expressionist, but when forced to choose between a work by a child and one by a master such as Rothko, they are drawn to the Rothko even when the work is falsely attributed to a child or nonhuman. People see the mind behind the art.”
    I also think they see something in themselves reflected. I think thats the power of images.

  2. #12


    I have a love-hate relationship with modern art. Certain styles and themes I tend to enjoy, usually associated with "High Modernism" even though many of the underlining themes of the art form repulse me.

  3. #13
    won't be missed Array /DG/'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009


    Quote Originally Posted by Arclight View Post
    Is it an intellectual put on?

    How does one determine what artistic merit exists in modern art?

    I can produce modern/abstarct art at the drop of a dime.

    To me it seems the Art is in the name or exlaintion not the actual peice of art.
    It means what ever I tell you it means.
    To me that's a put on.

    I made this tonight.
    I call it
    The Two Minute Switch to Inertia....
    It's about the last few months of my being in emotional overdrive, then realizing I am like a deer in the headlights, and at the last second before impact, jumping back into action, and getting myself out of the way of the onrushing doom.


    Brilliant, or am I putting you on?

    What is your opinion of modern art?
    You know, I bet you someone out there in the world would pay for a painting of this.

    Whether that's a good thing or not... I don't know.

    I'd like to think that most artists don't just BS their paintings for money, but I'm sure those kinds of people exist.

    There's this one "abstract painting" in a building where I go, and It's a square of yellow next to a square of blue. What amazes me is that someone actually bought this thing. But meh... people have different tastes and view art different ways.

  4. #14
    morose bourgeoisie Array
    Join Date
    Mar 2009


    If you think it's good it is. There is no philosophy or rule system that can decide that for you.
    Once upon a time there was a man who played a form of Americal music called Jazz. He was named Duke, and he said If it sounds good, it is good.
    what else do you need to know?

  5. #15
    mod love baby... Array Lady_X's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    9w1 sx/so


    just like any art form there's some representatives of it that really speak to me...something that evokes a common emotional element usually...rather it's through intense color and movement or the lack of...i don't think the point is to interpret it. you either feel it or you don't..ya know.
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
    -Jim Morrison

  6. #16
    Patron Saint Of Smileys Array Gloriana's Avatar
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    Aug 2009


    I'm not a big fan of it on the whole, I'm innately suspicious of a lot of it. I think of Warhol as a bullshit artist, and always will. They did a recreation of one of his installations at our local Dali museum once, I think it was called "Clouds" or something, and it was just a bunch of silver mylar (BoPet) balloons in a small room. I was watching these people, all ages, bouncing the balloons around in there and cooing over how 'freeing' it all felt. The docent told me to go in with everyone else and 'interact with the clouds'. Call me a cynical shmuck, but I was like "You're shitting me, right?". I understand and appreciate his social commentary, but I only really love the idea of him pulling a fast one on the rich socialites who are always gagging to piss their money away.

    I think Pollock was/is way overrated as well. It's the story OF Pollock that sells his shit, not the work itself. That's just how I feel about it.

    I have come to appreciate Mark Rothko, though. I can only say I really like a couple of his paintings (black on maroon, red on maroon) but I'm fascinated by his opinions and ideas about art. I respect that, even if I can't get into a lot of his stuff. I was so cynical about him at first, but I've come to appreciate him very much.

    I'm all up in challenging the idea of what art SHOULD be and thinking outside the box, but rarely do I come across a modern artist who makes statements that don't seem canned and contrived to me. I'm not going to begrudge anyone who truly gets a lot out of modern art and feels passionate about it if it's really meaningful and important to them. I'd never crap on that, I respect it. I just don't go in for the pretentious motherfuckers talking out of their assholes just to hear themselves, and there surely are a lot of 'em.
    "Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get, but if you work really hard, and you're kind, amazing things will happen. I'm telling you...amazing things will happen" --Conan O'Brien

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