Art

What is art? What is beauty?

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commonsense
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Art

Post by commonsense »

Laypersons have been known to say, “I don’t know what good art is, but I know it when I see it.”

Can this be true? Can the untrained eye recognize fine art? Can the ordinary viewer tell more than what he likes or dislikes?
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Terrapin Station
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Re: Art

Post by Terrapin Station »

commonsense wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:55 pm Laypersons have been known to say, “I don’t know what good art is, but I know it when I see it.”

Can this be true? Can the untrained eye recognize fine art? Can the ordinary viewer tell more than what he likes or dislikes?
What makes good art is that one likes it. That's not a simple off/on thing, by the way. There are many different aspects to it, and one might like some aspects but not others, there are variable weightings to the aspects, and so on. Nevertheless, any aspect(s) that one says are good are aspects that one likes.
Skepdick
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Re: Art

Post by Skepdick »

commonsense wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:55 pm Laypersons have been known to say, “I don’t know what good art is, but I know it when I see it.”

Can this be true? Can the untrained eye recognize fine art? Can the ordinary viewer tell more than what he likes or dislikes?
All goodness exhibits this property. Man is the measure of all things, after all.

Laypeople constantly appreciate art; and good wine; and philosophy; and <insert any snobbish endeavour reserved for the ivory tower>. Laypeople simply lack the vocabulary, sophistication and conceptual framework to express why you like it. They lack the vocabulary to express their experiences, feelings and emotions.

EQ.
Skip
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Re: Art

Post by Skip »

commonsense wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:55 pm Laypersons have been known to say, “I don’t know what good art is, but I know it when I see it.”
I haven't known any to say that. I think you've amalgamated two different memes. "I don't know what I want, but I'll know it when I see it." and "I don't know about art, I just know what I like."
Can the untrained eye recognize fine art?
Individually, some can, some can't, some don't care, some don't ever get the opportunity.
Statistically, yes. Fine art tends to have staying power beyond a fashion fad, beyond a period, crossing generations and even cultures.
Can the ordinary viewer tell more than what he likes or dislikes?
Sure. Given half a chance, he can tell you why he likes or dislikes it, and every one of his reasons is valid. But he often lacks the specialized terminology of a critic or art dealer and he often lacks the confidence to express what effect an art-work has on him.
He often lacks the confidence to say "This is crap", even when it is, or "This is beautiful," especially when it is.

anecdote - On an art tour one time (BC), we visited the studio of a painter whose work I I didn't like at all, though the artist herself was a likeable person. When asked for an opinion of the most recent work - unfortunately, an oversized abstract in greys, reds and muddy pinks - I was nevertheless able to say enough about technique, medium, shapes, proportion and mood to obliterate the visceral response. Without the vocabulary and goodwill, my answer would have been "Yuk!" which never makes anyone happy.
tillingborn
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Re: Art

Post by tillingborn »

commonsense wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:55 pm Laypersons have been known to say, “I don’t know what good art is, but I know it when I see it.”

Can this be true? Can the untrained eye recognize fine art? Can the ordinary viewer tell more than what he likes or dislikes?
I think people generally have a closer connection with music that visual art. Most people will confidently identify several broad genres of music and will probably have a favourite. Within their preferred genre, they might have artists they like, and songs that particularly move them. If they are passionate about music, they will have opinions about why one guitarist or composer is better than another, who to people without their special interest are barely distinguishable. If you buy any of that, then I think the same applies to visual art and in fact any other field of human experience.
Skip
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Re: Art

Post by Skip »

That's not due to the nature of the medium, so much as their presence in the environment.
People in today's 'advanced' societies are bombarded with sensory input, especially visual images, every waking moment.
A modern western baby is surrounded by mobiles, toys, wall-art, fabrics and light fixtures in overwhelming profusion, ubiquity, colours and shapes, from the moment it comes home from the [restful, green-tinted] hospital. The child has no opportunity to develop any discernment or comprehension: the graphics just coming at him, moving or still, lit-op, flashing, painted, strobing, overlapping, alternating, with and without sound-track.
All. The. Time.
The advantage of music is ear-phones: you can hear it in solitude and relative peace.
Walker
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Re: Art

Post by Walker »

Objective art?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvJAgrUBF4w

- It's created by natural forces.
- It's easily repeatable.
- It's universally recognized as organized.
- It can be interpreted in various languages: words, math.
- It can stimulate the intellect via implications, which in turn affects emotions.
Walker
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Re: Art

Post by Walker »

Skip wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:37 pm That's not due to the nature of the medium, so much as their presence in the environment.
People in today's 'advanced' societies are bombarded with sensory input, especially visual images, every waking moment.
A modern western baby is surrounded by mobiles, toys, wall-art, fabrics and light fixtures in overwhelming profusion, ubiquity, colours and shapes, from the moment it comes home from the [restful, green-tinted] hospital. The child has no opportunity to develop any discernment or comprehension: the graphics just coming at him, moving or still, lit-op, flashing, painted, strobing, overlapping, alternating, with and without sound-track.
All. The. Time.
The advantage of music is ear-phones: you can hear it in solitude and relative peace.
The stillness at the center of the hurricane is the unconditional, undistracted ticket to peace-of-mind.
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bahman
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Re: Art

Post by bahman »

commonsense wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:55 pm Laypersons have been known to say, “I don’t know what good art is, but I know it when I see it.”

Can this be true? Can the untrained eye recognize fine art? Can the ordinary viewer tell more than what he likes or dislikes?
I mostly enjoy pop music. Perhaps that is because of my exposure in childhood only to pop music.
Skip
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Re: Art

Post by Skip »

I used to enjoy popular music when it consisted of songs with a melody and lyrics.
Not a fan of the mass market product I hear now.
Fortunately recording media have been around long enough to preserve the vintage stuff.
Walker
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Re: Art

Post by Walker »

Actually, I don’t listen to music except for here, although I’ve heard and remember a lot and with youtube so close on the machine it’s easy to listen to what appears in memory, and to see memory's associations with the present. The listening might lead to some exploration, some new-to-me stuff and I might listen. The point of no return for anything new found on the machine takes about five seconds to reach. For quite awhile now, actually decades, auto rides have been silent unless someone requests music. Silence is the default. Hints of musical rhythms and melodies can be heard in the sounds of the world, the beat of a melting snow drip, the voices of emotion and play, sometimes wet tires swishing, rain pattering on windows, a chorus of wind sighing in the tall pines I planted long ago ... the frequencies. The other day some little voices singing along with a broadcast they found, expressions of another generation, the music from the machine sounded AI generated but the real voices following behind are the treasure, one has perfect pitch and the others gravitate towards* that.


* Fowler's has a tidy explanation of towards, and toward. I find "towards" to be more aesthetically pleasing.

(Edited down to principle)
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