Would altering a work of art to suit public taste improve it or make it worse?

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Does altering a work of art:

Improve it?
0
No votes
Worsen it?
3
75%
Can't decide
1
25%
 
Total votes: 4

Philosophy Explorer
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Would altering a work of art to suit public taste improve it or make it worse?

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:29 pm

I have an example in mind and you can bring up your own.

When black and white films were being colorized, there was controversy over it. Gene Siskel of Siskel and Elbert said he was opposed to the idea saying that if the producer wanted to make a colorized film, then he wouldn't have made the black and white film in the first place (admittedly when this was first done, it looked bad).

My opinion is that art belongs to the world on the bottom line so it's okay with me. Altering a work of art can preserve its character so that one can say, e.g., a Rembrandt can remain a Rembrandt with good alterations.

What do you think?

PhilX

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Re: Would altering a work of art to suit public taste improve it or make it worse?

Post by wtf » Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:54 pm

When you say art belongs to the world, are you saying you don't believe in copyright or intellectual property laws? So I can sell copies of Microsoft Windows and if MS sues me I can say, "Art belongs to the world!" Or apply the same argument to a painting, a photograph, or a novel.

Do you believe in intellectual property laws, patents, and copyright?

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Re: Would altering a work of art to suit public taste improve it or make it worse?

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:17 pm

wtf wrote:When you say art belongs to the world, are you saying you don't believe in copyright or intellectual property laws? So I can sell copies of Microsoft Windows and if MS sues me I can say, "Art belongs to the world!" Or apply the same argument to a painting, a photograph, or a novel.

Do you believe in intellectual property laws, patents, and copyright?
You may own the copyright which entitles you to compensation, but the art belongs to the world because without the world, you have no art. So I believe you're entitled to benefit from the fruits of your labor in the various ways you've mentioned.

PhilX

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Re: Would altering a work of art to suit public taste improve it or make it worse?

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:25 pm

Image

I don't agree. This picture is much better after the alterations. :)

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Re: Would altering a work of art to suit public taste improve it or make it worse?

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:34 pm

vegetariantaxidermy wrote:Image

I don't agree. This picture is much better after the alterations. :)
The before picture is way better. The after picture looks fuzzier and the gender seems different too plus it lacks a beard and it has other differences. Is this a joke?

PhilX

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Re: Would altering a work of art to suit public taste improve it or make it worse?

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:42 pm

Philosophy Explorer wrote:
vegetariantaxidermy wrote:Image

I don't agree. This picture is much better after the alterations. :)
The before picture is way better. The after picture looks fuzzier and the gender seems different too plus it lacks a beard and it has other differences. Is this a joke?

PhilX
Would I joke to you?

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Re: Would altering a work of art to suit public taste improve it or make it worse?

Post by Harbal » Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:11 pm

vegetariantaxidermy wrote:Image

I don't agree. This picture is much better after the alterations. :)
When you think about the restorer presenting the painting back to the church, you can't help but admire his nerve. :lol:

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Re: Would altering a work of art to suit public taste improve it or make it worse?

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:36 pm

Harbal wrote:
vegetariantaxidermy wrote:Image

I don't agree. This picture is much better after the alterations. :)
When you think about the restorer presenting the painting back to the church, you can't help but admire his nerve. :lol:
Possibly the funniest news story in the history of news stories.

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Re: Would altering a work of art to suit public taste improve it or make it worse?

Post by uwot » Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:36 pm

vegetariantaxidermy wrote:I don't agree. This picture is much better after the alterations. :)
You and many others. The fresco is now a tourist attraction and the church is doing very nicely out of it.
Harbal wrote:When you think about the restorer presenting the painting back to the church, you can't help but admire his nerve. :lol:
Hers, as it happens, octogenarian amateur Doña Cecilia Giménez. She didn't have to take it back, it's painted on the wall; the clergy must have seen her doing it. Still, no biggy, it wasn't a great painting in the first place; bog standard, mawkish catholic fare; but the fact, the church is now making money from it persuaded Cecilia to seek royalties. Don't think she got them.

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Re: Would altering a work of art to suit public taste improve it or make it worse?

Post by Skip » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:28 am

Make your own art, in your own time, according to your own taste.
Keep your paws off everyone else's.

Art belongs to the artist, until he sells it or dies; then it belongs to the patron or the estate or a gallery or church or whatever.
"The world" , or some defined part of the world, owns it only after your civilization has been wiped out or conquered, and lost the power to enforce its rights of ownership.
Altering art, putting it on teeshirts, or putting figleaves on it, is exactly the same as drawing on moustaches: it's vandalism.

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Re: Would altering a work of art to suit public taste improve it or make it worse?

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:30 am

Skip wrote:Make your own art, in your own time, according to your own taste.
Keep your paws off everyone else's.

Art belongs to the artist, until he sells it or dies; then it belongs to the patron or the estate or a gallery or church or whatever.
"The world" , or some defined part of the world, owns it only after your civilization has been wiped out or conquered, and lost the power to enforce its rights of ownership.
Altering art, putting it on teeshirts, or putting figleaves on it, is exactly the same as drawing on moustaches: it's vandalism.
Of course. It's not the original artist's work any more.

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Re: Would altering a work of art to suit public taste improve it or make it worse?

Post by Conde Lucanor » Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:39 am

There's no fixed answer to this question. We don't know if the original work was good or bad to start with, so any alterations could either improve it or make it worse.

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Re: Would altering a work of art to suit public taste improve it or make it worse?

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:59 am

Conde Lucanor wrote:There's no fixed answer to this question. We don't know if the original work was good or bad to start with, so any alterations could either improve it or make it worse.
I thought the term "work of art" would have given you a hint.

PhilX

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Re: Would altering a work of art to suit public taste improve it or make it worse?

Post by Skip » Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:33 am

vegetariantaxidermy wrote: Of course. It's not the original artist's work any more.
It's still got his name on it. If you own it legally, you have the right to improve it, restore it, destroy it or deface it. But then, trying to resell it as that artist's work would be fraud. Whatever alteration any owner has made is vandalism.

The quality of the work, its popularity, changes in fashion and public sensibility, its critical reception at the the time of completion or at any subsequent time; who likes and doesn't like it at any time - all these considerations are irrelevant.

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Re: Would altering a work of art to suit public taste improve it or make it worse?

Post by Conde Lucanor » Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:05 am

Philosophy Explorer wrote:
Conde Lucanor wrote:There's no fixed answer to this question. We don't know if the original work was good or bad to start with, so any alterations could either improve it or make it worse.
I thought the term "work of art" would have given you a hint.

PhilX
No, because under some definitions of "work of art", something satisfies the conditions of being art by being socially recognized as such. And it's socially recognized only for being presented as a work of art, for showing the intention, regardless of whether its properties qualify as good or bad. You hang something on the walls of an art gallery and it becomes instantly a work of art. Like an urinal.

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