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

What is art? What is beauty?

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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

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

Post by thedoc » Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:37 pm

Colorizing a film is usually done because color film was not as available when the film was made, so the color was added later to bring the original film up to date. An original black and white film can be colorized to avoid the cost of reshooting the film in color film. Many times the original actors are not available, or have aged so much as to make reshooting impossible.

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

Post by Skip » Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:59 am

Sure, colorize Mickey Mouse or Hopalong Cassidy, but keep your improvements off Schindler's List and The Seventh Seal .

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

Post by Greta » Thu Mar 16, 2017 4:40 am

Skip wrote:It still wouldn't be mine anymore.
For one thing, "truly beautiful" is in the eye of the beholder. I may not share your aesthetic, or the improver's.
Secondly, suppose the intent of the original was not beauty but to elicit some negative emotion; or that it was conceived in a particular temporal and cultural context where it was emblematic; or it was part of a larger complex of works in which it had a specific meaning - altering art in such circumstances is the same as eliminating it.... except that destruction is not a personal insult to the creator.

If they can make something truly beautiful, they don't need anything inadequate of mine to start with: they should make something original, so that it's all their own, and sign it. I don't want my name on another person's work: if the work is better than my own, my signature on it would be seen as a fraud; if the work is worse than I can do, it would detract from my status as an artist. Either way, it could only hurt my reputation.

If I thought I could improve on another artist's work, I would refrain not only from acting on the impulse, but even of speaking the thought aloud.
Aside from the fact that I might be wrong, it's bad manners.
If I thought someone had improved on my creative output, with proper attributions and permissions, I'd be pleased to see the concept achieving more of its potentials (which I probably missed). I'd also be flattered that my work was chosen.

Certainly a number of people have asked to use my cartoons but needed to change the captions to suit context. Permission was granted on the nature of the changes, eg. I would not want to be associated with fascism, etc.

Re: manners, yes, proper permissions and attributions are needed.

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

Post by Skip » Thu Mar 16, 2017 4:57 am

Greta wrote: If I thought someone had improved on my creative output, with proper attributions and permissions, I'd be pleased to see the concept achieving more of its potentials (which I probably missed). I'd also be flattered that my work was chosen.
Collaboration - sure. Permissions and attributions - if you're both willing, why not?

But that's not what they're talking about, is it? They mean messing with the work of dead people who can't defend their rights, to adhere to current taste.
Last edited by Skip on Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:05 am, edited 2 times in total.

Philosophy Explorer
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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 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:02 am

Skip wrote:
Greta wrote: If I thought someone had improved on my creative output, with proper attributions and permissions, I'd be pleased to see the concept achieving more of its potentials (which I probably missed). I'd also be flattered that my work was chosen.
Collaboration - sure. Permissions and attributions - if you're both willing, why not?

But that's not what they're talking about, is it? They mean messing with the work of dead people who can't defend their rights.
Couldn't the rights of the dead people pass on to their living relatives who may act in the best interests of the deceased?

PhilX

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

Post by Skip » Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:07 am

Philosophy Explorer wrote:
Skip wrote:
Greta wrote: If I thought someone had improved on my creative output, with proper attributions and permissions, I'd be pleased to see the concept achieving more of its potentials (which I probably missed). I'd also be flattered that my work was chosen.
Collaboration - sure. Permissions and attributions - if you're both willing, why not?

But that's not what they're talking about, is it? They mean messing with the work of dead people who can't defend their rights.
Couldn't the rights of the dead people pass on to their living relatives who may act in the best interests of the deceased?

PhilX
No. The interests of an artist die with the artist; his surviving relatives have no part in it and no right to it. They can collect the royalties and make legal decisions, but the art doesn't belong to them.
Fashion passes; art ought to remain. Michelangelo's David doesn't need polka-dot shorts. If we don't protect art, we lose it.

Philosophy Explorer
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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 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:19 am

Skip wrote:
Philosophy Explorer wrote:
Skip wrote: Collaboration - sure. Permissions and attributions - if you're both willing, why not?

But that's not what they're talking about, is it? They mean messing with the work of dead people who can't defend their rights.
Couldn't the rights of the dead people pass on to their living relatives who may act in the best interests of the deceased?

PhilX
No. The interests of an artist die with the artist; his surviving relatives have no part in it and no right to it. They can collect the royalties and make legal decisions, but the art doesn't belong to them.
Fashion passes; art ought to remain. Michelangelo's David doesn't need polka-dot shorts. If we don't protect art, we lose it.
Still, the deceased can stipulate in his will what is to be done and not done with his art, otherwise whoever comes into ownership of the art can do with it as he please (unless forbidden by law).

Skip also said:

"No. The interests of an artist die with the artist; his surviving relatives have no part in it and no right to it. They can collect the royalties and make legal decisions, but the art doesn't belong to them."

Never heard of this, what is the basis for this?

PhilX

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

Post by Skip » Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:47 am

Philosophy Explorer wrote: Still, the deceased can stipulate in his will what is to be done and not done with his art, otherwise whoever comes into ownership of the art can do with it as he please (unless forbidden by law).
Indeed. If it says in Rubens' will that he's happy to have modern dress painted on on all his female figures once every 40 years, then someone should be found to paint such garments. If not, then the legal issue is purely about the disposal of property, not the quality of artworks.
[The interests of an artist die with the artist; his surviving relatives have no part in it and no right to it. They can collect the royalties and make legal decisions, but the art doesn't belong to them.]
Never heard of this, what is the basis for this?
Where would you expect to have heard it?
Legal rights and creativity are very different concepts.
I don't know how firm a grasp you have on legality, but I know exactly how much you understand about art.

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

Post by Skip » Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:31 am

PS When you've finished pastelizing Guernica, there's a ceiling in the Vatican where a lot of figures need their robes updated to business suits.

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

Post by Greta » Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:40 am

Skip wrote:
Greta wrote: If I thought someone had improved on my creative output, with proper attributions and permissions, I'd be pleased to see the concept achieving more of its potentials (which I probably missed). I'd also be flattered that my work was chosen.
Collaboration - sure. Permissions and attributions - if you're both willing, why not?

But that's not what they're talking about, is it? They mean messing with the work of dead people who can't defend their rights, to adhere to current taste.
Even then I see value in reworks of original artists' work, depending on how it's done. It must be respectful. At times a rework can raise interest in a relatively unknown artist which can bring pleasure to many who otherwise may have missed out.

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

Post by Walker » Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:06 pm

Pluto wrote:The public and their taste are dumbed down and stunted by design. The system doesn't want enlightened, philosophically thinking beings. A project was done by two contemporary Russian artists who did a nation-wide survey asking people of Russia what would be in the best picture of all time, in the end it was a landscape with some animals in it. The People are disfigured by a system that wants them small - therefore their tastes are actually not their own, which is interesting.
Artful design is art.

A urinal is artful design. In relation to nothing, a urinal is artful design. However, because everyone knows the purpose of a urinal, it is never in relation to nothing. Thus, to hang one in a museum as an object d’art is an act of disrespect.

Who is being disrespected? The rubes who come to gawk at art, and don’t know their ass from their elbow.

Who has this opinion of disrespect? Those who display the urinal as art, which would be artist and curator.

The purpose of displaying a urinal as art is not for the awesomeness of the design. It is to challenge the viewer’s paradigm of where what should be, although toilets displayed as art have become a bit of a cliché.

The urinal elevated to artwork status through display challenges the viewer’s epistemology, i.e., how to define art after seeing a urinal displayed. Only because it is displayed in a museum does it take on the status of conceptual art. Seen elsewhere this status is not.

For example, if seen on the top of a heap in a dump, in relation to the chaos of the dump, the urinal would be admired for the clean and artful lines of design.

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

Post by Walker » Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:45 pm

The philosophy of changing anything to suit fashion is not restricted to art.

Examples of change to suit fashion:
- Changing the Catholic mass from Latin to whatever.
- Same sex marriage.
- Ending the requirement of English proficiency for English teachers.

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

Post by Walker » Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:53 pm

Skip wrote:PS When you've finished pastelizing Guernica, there's a ceiling in the Vatican where a lot of figures need their robes updated to business suits.
:lol:

That's pretty much the last word.

ForCruxSake
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Re:'Would altering a work of art to suit public taste improve it or make it worse?'-Only opens up more questions for me

Post by ForCruxSake » Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:07 pm

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.
Is the original question about ownership of art or altering art? Surely it's all a matter of taste to the common viewer?

'Masterpieces of art' seem to depict more than just the 'what you see'. There's the artist's progression, signifiers of the time, art history contained In the one piece of art. Alter that and are you destroying the art history or simply adding to it?

If the church painting had been worked on by a better artist who's to say it may not have been an improvement?

What if Damien Hirst or Banksy, or some other renowned artist of the time had worked on the church painting, would that add to its value? Make it a better piece of art?

We attach so much importance to art antiquities, and the personalities that painted them, or constructed them, but personally I think the Mona Lisa could do with a refreshing do-up! :wink:

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

Post by Skip » Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:55 pm

Henceforth, nobody needs to create anything new.
Just go to your nearest art museum and improve - respectfully! - whatever old canvases and bronzes you find there.

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