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

What is art? What is beauty?

Moderators: AMod, iMod

Does altering a work of art:

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

User avatar
Greta
Posts: 4389
Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2015 8:10 am

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

Post by Greta » Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:18 pm

Skip wrote: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.
It's already been happening for some time (and not always respectfully), with a constant stream of digitised remakes, samples and plagiarism of prior generations' work.

Yes, it's dull, and I'd rather that people thought up their own stuff but it seems that in many areas, most major ideas have already been thought of. Where to for music? Seemingly it is increasingly being subsumed by multimedia. Still art will also increasingly become dated, superseded by the greater realism and impact of moving pictures and sound. I like the relative understatement of old art but small nuances are not so popular today, the details lost and trivialised in modernity's noise.

Dubious
Posts: 2209
Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 7:40 am

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

Post by Dubious » Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:48 pm

Not invariably but usually that would be like adding vinegar do a Dom Perignon...which I never had the pleasure of.

Skip
Posts: 2553
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:34 pm

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

Post by Skip » Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:46 am

Greta wrote:
Skip wrote: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.
It's already been happening for some time (and not always respectfully), with a constant stream of digitised remakes, samples and plagiarism of prior generations' work.
So, you're still not acknowledging the world of difference between making some kind of imitation, facsimile or copy and defacing an original?
PhilX's example was of the latter kind. It doesn't matter if Sister Randi is a good or bad artist, once she's worked her magic on the walls of an Egyptian tomb - yes, even if the perspective is ever so much more accurate - that mural is gone forever.
In the given example, a mediocre but authentic work has been turned into fake crap.
Do you maintain that's a reasonable fate for all of antiquity?

User avatar
Greta
Posts: 4389
Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2015 8:10 am

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

Post by Greta » Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:58 am

Skip wrote:
Greta wrote:
Skip wrote: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.
It's already been happening for some time (and not always respectfully), with a constant stream of digitised remakes, samples and plagiarism of prior generations' work.
So, you're still not acknowledging the world of difference between making some kind of imitation, facsimile or copy and defacing an original?
Skip, it would help if you actually read and acknowledged what others say. Just two days ago I wrote:
My bad. I was thinking that Veggie's bizarre example was a copy, not vandalisation. That's equivalent to knocking down an elegant heritage building and building a Burger King in its stead.

Skip
Posts: 2553
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:34 pm

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

Post by Skip » Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:05 am

Exactly! I did read that. And so, I figured, when you saw the distinction, you would stop arguing for modern versions of old art, or any kind of non-consensual (as when one participant is dead and cannot be consulted) collaboration.

Yes, I mentioned that copies, imitations and plagiarism are also bad,
but the central question was about "improving" the actual original work,
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.
PhilX
which is inexcusable.

User avatar
Greta
Posts: 4389
Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2015 8:10 am

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

Post by Greta » Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:20 am

Skip wrote:Exactly! I did read that. And so, I figured, when you saw the distinction, you would stop arguing for modern versions of old art, or any kind of non-consensual (as when one participant is dead and cannot be consulted) collaboration.

Yes, I mentioned that copies, imitations and plagiarism are also bad,
but the central question was about "improving" the actual original work,
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.
PhilX
which is inexcusable.
I figure that once a stance is put forward - in this case, don't bugger up original artworks or mess with their reputation (contentious) - then all subsequent statements refer to copying and the issues around that, bound by the prior, broader position.

Is Phil talking about materials conservation in museums or about changing the artwork to something a but different?

Philosophy Explorer
Posts: 5621
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:39 am

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

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:26 am

Greta wrote:
Skip wrote:Exactly! I did read that. And so, I figured, when you saw the distinction, you would stop arguing for modern versions of old art, or any kind of non-consensual (as when one participant is dead and cannot be consulted) collaboration.

Yes, I mentioned that copies, imitations and plagiarism are also bad,
but the central question was about "improving" the actual original work,
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.
PhilX
which is inexcusable.
I figure that once a stance is put forward - in this case, don't bugger up original artworks or mess with their reputation (contentious) - then all subsequent statements refer to copying and the issues around that, bound by the prior, broader position.

Is Phil talking about materials conservation in museums or about changing the artwork to something a but different?
The second one Greta.

PhilX

User avatar
Greta
Posts: 4389
Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2015 8:10 am

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

Post by Greta » Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:18 am

Philosophy Explorer wrote:
Greta wrote:
Skip wrote:Exactly! I did read that. And so, I figured, when you saw the distinction, you would stop arguing for modern versions of old art, or any kind of non-consensual (as when one participant is dead and cannot be consulted) collaboration.

Yes, I mentioned that copies, imitations and plagiarism are also bad,
but the central question was about "improving" the actual original work,

which is inexcusable.
I figure that once a stance is put forward - in this case, don't bugger up original artworks or mess with their reputation (contentious) - then all subsequent statements refer to copying and the issues around that, bound by the prior, broader position.

Is Phil talking about materials conservation in museums or about changing the artwork to something a but different?
The second one Greta.
Okay. Then I don't agree. Make copies (transparently) or variations but if the original is altered then we are only left with copies and over time there would be growing lack of clarity about the origin of the concept.

I agree with others here about art belonging to the descendants, not to the world. In terms of law, which I find reasonable, art is a potentially money-making asset whose ownership only reverts to the public after the period of a lifetime, or if a relevant will does not specify another beneficiary. Even then, most members of the public would probably prefer that great original art not be tampered with.

Philosophy Explorer
Posts: 5621
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:39 am

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

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:32 am

Greta wrote:
Philosophy Explorer wrote:
Greta wrote: I figure that once a stance is put forward - in this case, don't bugger up original artworks or mess with their reputation (contentious) - then all subsequent statements refer to copying and the issues around that, bound by the prior, broader position.

Is Phil talking about materials conservation in museums or about changing the artwork to something a but different?
The second one Greta.
Okay. Then I don't agree. Make copies (transparently) or variations but if the original is altered then we are only left with copies and over time there would be growing lack of clarity about the origin of the concept.

I agree with others here about art belonging to the descendants, not to the world. In terms of law, which I find reasonable, art is a potentially money-making asset whose ownership only reverts to the public after the period of a lifetime, or if a relevant will does not specify another beneficiary. Even then, most members of the public would probably prefer that great original art not be tampered with.
Here's a hypothetical for you Greta. Suppose an artwork were destroyed. Would you be opposed to its reconstruction? Or say a painting was fading. Would you be opposed to its reconstruction as well?

PhilX

User avatar
Greta
Posts: 4389
Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2015 8:10 am

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

Post by Greta » Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:36 am

Philosophy Explorer wrote:Here's a hypothetical for you Greta. Suppose an artwork were destroyed. Would you be opposed to its reconstruction? Or say a painting was fading. Would you be opposed to its reconstruction as well?
The second example is easier - modern curators are getting better at preserving originals https://theconversation.com/how-we-rest ... them-35245

Re: the first example, whatever any of us may think of it, there'd probably be multiple attempts at recreation. It may even become competitive as regards the most "authentic" copy.

Skip
Posts: 2553
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:34 pm

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

Post by Skip » Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:33 pm

Art never belongs to "the world" - there is no such person. It belongs, legally, to the heirs or estate of the artist, to a gallery, church or private collector who has come by it through a recognized channels. Once those ownerships have become moot through a break in the chain of legal provenance or change of legal structure - e.g. The Third Reich is defeated; its looted treasures returned to their countries of origin, but the legal owners have departed by one means or another - then it reverts to the national treasury: a Ministry of Culture, Department of Antiquities or whatever government bureau guards such assets. That usually means it's kept in a museum or archive, under the auspices of expert curators.
What happens to it then is not determined by fashion or mass appeal.
It does not become available for random street artists to try their hand at improving. If restoration is to be done, the decision is made with great trepidation and carried out by experts in that speciality. A restorer's job is not to improve, update or modernize; it is to put the work back as close as possible to its original condition.

Pluto
Posts: 1856
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 9:26 pm
Location: Belgium

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

Post by Pluto » Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:21 pm

Walker wrote:
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.
Yes Duchamp was part of a group calling itself DADA which (according to Wikipedia): "Developed in reaction to World War I, the Dada movement consisted of artists who rejected the logic, reason, and aestheticism of modern capitalist society, instead expressing nonsense, irrationality, and anti-bourgeois protest in their works" - Duchamp came to be known for his 'found objects' which were just that, the artist CHOSE rather than created the work. This opened up the field of art in ways which are radical - in that everything on the planet could be used or called upon in the service of art. Nowadays found objects are ten-a-penny in the art world. The work Urinal turned everything into potential art. Art became synonymous with the untold potentialities and interpretations of Life itself.
Last edited by Pluto on Sat Mar 18, 2017 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Pluto
Posts: 1856
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 9:26 pm
Location: Belgium

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

Post by Pluto » Sun Mar 19, 2017 9:08 am

To answer the question

Changing a work of art to suit public taste would make it worse under the current system (context)

uwot
Posts: 4400
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:21 am

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

Post by uwot » Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:20 am

Skip wrote:Art never belongs to "the world" - there is no such person. It belongs, legally, to the heirs or estate of the artist, to a gallery, church or private collector who has come by it through a recognized channels.
Well yeah, but in that case, if it is the opinion of the Louvre that the Mona Lisa would look better with a moustache, it is theirs to paint a moustache on.

Skip
Posts: 2553
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:34 pm

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

Post by Skip » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:48 am

uwot wrote:
Skip wrote:Art never belongs to "the world" - there is no such person. It belongs, legally, to the heirs or estate of the artist, to a gallery, church or private collector who has come by it through a recognized channels.
Well yeah, but in that case, if it is the opinion of the Louvre that the Mona Lisa would look better with a moustache, it is theirs to paint a moustache on.
The Louvre doesn't have an opinion; it is a repository.
Its curatorial staff are not owners, but guardians.
The owner is France, and to make that kind of change, they would have to hold a referendum. I'm pretty sure most people would veto the moustache. And even if they approved it, a dedicated curator would rather steal it, smuggle it out of the country and hide it in a cave in the Negev...
or set fire to it.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests