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  #31   Report Bad Post  
Old 03-08-2012, 06:45 PM
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Keith Russell Keith Russell is offline
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Re: Low-brow art

Quote:
Originally Posted by olive oyl
What I want from “my” art is that it “engages” me (as I always say). There’s no place for me (as the viewer/audience person) to “meet” the artist when the surface is so controlled and perfect. It suffocates. Where and how do I “get in?” I need some air, space, mystery, confusion, sloppiness. I like seeing the art stuff – the brushwork, gestures, pure color, expressive lines, blocks of form, constructed composition. I don’t just want a visual experience, but an emotional and intellectual one as well. I like ALL of those parts to be there and for me--

But, they're not all there, if an artist must sacrifice technical skill (good composition, good drawing, and/or good painting) for you to feel that (now) you are (what...?) "free" to have an "emotional" or "intellectual" experience.

(Besides the fact that how something is painted contributes to its meaning. Further, how can more detail--more information--lead to less of a reaction?)

"Modernism" certainly agreed (past tense) with you. But, Modernism is long gone...

Modern "purity" ("art for art's sake") was what Guston was reacting against.



Quote:
--looking at lowbrow art, it’s the visual that overwhelms. Honestly, I’ve never understood what “art for art’s sake” means, but maybe I like art for art sake? Do I?

IMO, this art is not on a Philip Guston level of art work, who I REALLY love.
So I’m downgrading my lowbrow love to lowbrow like.
For those of you scoring along at home.

Last edited by Keith Russell : 03-08-2012 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 03-08-2012, 06:50 PM
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Keith Russell Keith Russell is offline
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Re: Low-brow art

Surrealism (capital "S") was an international (though predominantly European) movement in the arts (painting, sculpture, design, and literature) that arose after WWI, and was pretty much over by 1941. The Surrealists were heavily influenced by psychoanalytic theory, especially Freudian theory, and believed that the unconscious minds possessed valuable insights that could not be accessed or understood through rational means.

Surrealism was based on the desire to the attempt to tap into these subconscious insights by circumventing rational processes by means of random chance, or seemingly irrational juxtapositions of imagery, context, and/or syntax, etc.
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Old 03-08-2012, 09:40 PM
olive oyl
 
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Re: Low-brow art

Keith: Sorry, I can’t respond to you as well so I’ll agree to whatever you say, and call it a day. We can "argue" some other time. But SLG, after editing out MOST of my usual snotty sarcasm, I'm left with the following. It's as "nice" as I’m able to be, way too obnoxiously long and will bore everyone to tears, so don't say I never gave you anything.

"...how much value should be afforded to your opinions…" and “It all comes down to the fact that some opinions are better than others.” Disagree! I don't read people's posts here as judgmentally as you do and I don’t place “values” on their opinions. Here’s something I read recently, had marked the page and maybe shows why we butt heads. “Importance and value have a way of trumping curiosity and openness. To be curious is to go forward and explore. To judge and value is to look back and assess. It’s very hard to maintain curiosity and openness while being told something’s value. Curiosity and appreciation entail different cognitive processes because in order to appreciate something you are first trying to measure it against an existing yardstick of its own importance.” I’m betting you would say you have the ability to look openly and with curiosity at art, while still being able to critically access whether something is good or not. YOU can do it ALL, but others around here…? Maybe not so much.

I want to know why you feel the way you do.” I thought in the two paragraphs I wrote, I HAD explained what I don’t like about “tightly rendered” art and had “admitted” this “bias” right up front. What did you not hear that you wanted to? Also know that I’m NEVER interested in a “debate,” about anything, and especially about the "merits of a given body of work." See cognitive quote-thing above and remember too, I’m a yoga person. Debates are about winning points, persuading/convincing somebody that you’re right, and/or proving how smart you are. I have a big fat ego too (whoops, was I implying you do?), but it doesn’t tend to want to bother with that particular kind of ego stroking.

Now here’s something that might make you sick. When you posted the Maxfield Parrish pic with the white painting underneath, I immediately thought, “Wow, that’s pretty.” Now, all I know about Cy Twombly is that he died recently, and his work consists of little squiggly writing-like marks. So last night I was reading a book called, “Encounters: New Art from Old” and there (coincidently!) was a few pages about Twombly working in relation to HIS master, Turner. They also showed “Empire of Flora” which looks like part of the same (Ferragosto?) series. The writer describes this work using words like: blunt directness, openness, gestural, lightness, ease – all good to me. They were painted in Italy and captured some of the “rich cultural life of the Mediterranean” and with this series they “reached a climax of hot color and erotic frenzy.” Hello? What’s not to like here? That’s sensuous. But “the exciting, seemingly improvisational scatter of brightly colored daubing, doodle and scrawled words against rich creamy grounds” (especially the creaminess) is what made me think, “Wow, that’s pretty.” I would much rather have this painting hanging on my wall than the Parrish and it interested me in ways the Parrish didn’t. I want to now know more about him. And, what is so unbelievably preposterous about THAT?

I want you to make an effort to convince me of your opinion.” Ugh, you can leave the bossy male teacher voice out of any posts directed to me. Let me just "spout" an opinion (like Moby) and try not to evaluate my words with your teacher's red marking pen, and then make me stand in front of the class to explain myself. I was hoping this thread would just die but it’s like you dangle bait. You bring me modern art words and pretty pictures and I get hooked. My fault.

Don't you have anyone else to play with around here, Captain Ahab?
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:47 PM
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stlukesguild stlukesguild is offline
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Re: Low-brow art

"...how much value should be afforded to your opinions…" and “It all comes down to the fact that some opinions are better than others.” Disagree! I don't read people's posts here as judgmentally as you do and I don’t place “values” on their opinions.

Taking such an Egalitarian view of opinions must surely make life challenging. I personally turn to my physician when I am feeling ill for the simple reason that I feel her opinions as to the proper course of treatment holds more value than that of a poll of the man on the street... but hey, that's just me.

I don't read people's posts here as judgmentally as you do and I don’t place “values” on their opinions.

While I fully admit that whether it is here, or in the art periodicals, I most certainly weigh the opinions of others. There are critics who I have found have a good eye, and are repeatedly capable of offering up enlightening interpretations of the works of art which they are exploring. There are others whom I find to be far less enlightening.

Here’s something I read recently, had marked the page and maybe shows why we butt heads. “Importance and value have a way of trumping curiosity and openness. To be curious is to go forward and explore. To judge and value is to look back and assess. It’s very hard to maintain curiosity and openness while being told something’s value. Curiosity and appreciation entail different cognitive processes because in order to appreciate something you are first trying to measure it against an existing yardstick of its own importance.” I’m betting you would say you have the ability to look openly and with curiosity at art, while still being able to critically access whether something is good or not. YOU can do it ALL, but others around here…? Maybe not so much.

Personally, I find the quote to present a false dichotomy... the notion that one can only either assess and value or be curious and explore. This is the same false dichotomy that has shown up here on WC! again and again with those who imagine that an artist cannot employ both a sense of logic and analysis as well as emotion and spontaneity. Surely you, yourself don't really believe this. You have offered opinions on artworks posted here and these opinions involved assessment and valuing. Yet has this prevented you from remaining curious... from still seeking out the new (or unknown) in either your own work or that of others?

“I want to know why you feel the way you do.” I thought in the two paragraphs I wrote, I HAD explained what I don’t like about “tightly rendered” art and had “admitted” this “bias” right up front. What did you not hear that you wanted to? Also know that I’m NEVER interested in a “debate,” about anything, and especially about the "merits of a given body of work." See cognitive quote-thing above and remember too, I’m a yoga person. Debates are about winning points, persuading/convincing somebody that you’re right, and/or proving how smart you are. I have a big fat ego too (whoops, was I implying you do?), but it doesn’t tend to want to bother with that particular kind of ego stroking.

I don't see debates... or dialog concerning art in the same way. "Winning points" seems a rather futile goal unless I can trade these in for cash. In some instances I will admit that my posts are but pedantic... that's the teacher in me eager to answer all questions. But when it comes to debate, it would seem to me that the goal is more often related to clarifying my own thoughts... often digging deep in order to come to some idea as to just why I think a certain way... while remaining open to the other person(s)' opinions and the possibility of altering my own thoughts in response to such.

Now here’s something that might make you sick. When you posted the Maxfield Parrish pic with the white painting underneath, I immediately thought, “Wow, that’s pretty.” Now, all I know about Cy Twombly is that he died recently, and his work consists of little squiggly writing-like marks. So last night I was reading a book called, “Encounters: New Art from Old” and there (coincidently!) was a few pages about Twombly working in relation to HIS master, Turner. They also showed “Empire of Flora” which looks like part of the same (Ferragosto?) series. The writer describes this work using words like: blunt directness, openness, gestural, lightness, ease – all good to me. They were painted in Italy and captured some of the “rich cultural life of the Mediterranean” and with this series they “reached a climax of hot color and erotic frenzy.” Hello? What’s not to like here? That’s sensuous. But “the exciting, seemingly improvisational scatter of brightly colored daubing, doodle and scrawled words against rich creamy grounds” (especially the creaminess) is what made me think, “Wow, that’s pretty.” I would much rather have this painting hanging on my wall than the Parrish and it interested me in ways the Parrish didn’t. I want to now know more about him. And, what is so unbelievably preposterous about THAT?

I will admit that Twombly does little for me. My opinion of his work is colored by having seen any number of his paintings in person, including a large scale Retrospective and having found the painting thin... and weak. The "creaminess" you speak of is simply something I have rarely seen in his handling of paint. Guston, certainly. DeKooning, without a doubt. Even Joan Mitchell... but the majority of the Twomblys I have seen were closer to vaporous (and vacuous) scribbles lacking in any substance... physical or otherwise. I remember going into the restroom in the museum where this Twombly Retrospective was being held. There on the wall was a billboard laden with graffiti... much of it of a sexual nature: boobs and penises and bad limericks and phone numbers to call for a good time... and at the bottom... some smart-a** had signed Twombly's name... and I could not help but think that this was actually more interesting than most of the paintings in the exhibition.

Obviously there are others who love Twombly as well. Most importantly, there are those with lot's of money who imagine that Cy Twombly is great (or at least they are drawn to his work because it is something the masses absolutely cannot stand and so it lends them an air of superiority). I simply don't like Twombly in spite of the fact that I do quite like a good amount of abstraction and a great deal of loose, or painterly painting. I still don't buy into the notion that there is some greater depth in the loose, sloppy, gestural art than the alternative. I quite think Keith's questions are valid:

Must sacrifice technical skill (good composition, good drawing, and/or good painting) for you to feel that (now) you are (what...?) "free" to have an "emotional" or "intellectual" experience?

How something is painted contributes to its meaning. How can more detail--more information--lead to less of a reaction?

Modernism is long gone...
you do realize that?

Ugh, you can leave the bossy male teacher voice out of any posts directed to me. Let me just "spout" an opinion (like Moby) and try not to evaluate my words with your teacher's red marking pen, and then make me stand in front of the class to explain myself. I was hoping this thread would just die but it’s like you dangle bait. You bring me modern art words and pretty pictures and I get hooked. My fault.

Then I should probably not show you this artist's work who I find deals with similar ideas to Twombly's... but with far more interesting (IMO) results:

Geneviève Seillé

Geneviève Seillé was born in France in 1951. She studied psychology at Toulouse University while working as a primary school teacher. She moved to England in 1974, where she studied art at Stafford College and Wolverhampton Polytechnic, graduating in 1981. In 1993, she gave up art education work to concentrate on her own practice. During during her early years in England, she began to evolve her own 'cosmology' or private world, partly in response to feeling isolated as a foreigner. Seillé's extraordinary, irregularly-shaped works on paper, constructions and bookworks are covered with a bold mixture of writing, numbers and images that are organised within a personal and secret geometry: her work has affinities with those artists whose work is described by Jean Dubuffet as art brut.

For Seillé, the quasi-architectural structures and symmetry in many of her drawings are her way of creating 'order out of chaos'. For her, 'words are magic', and from childhood she has been fascinated by graffiti and what she describes as 'the beauty of lines called letters'. She makes bookworks and constructions in wood, but mainly works on paper, sometime drawing with graphite or ink, more often re-cycling assorted materials into a collage as the work grows. No doubt some of her attendant explicators have already mentioned Australian Aboriginal art, which she has clearly seen, and Japanese silk kimonos, which she has probably worn. Seillé has been called an "Outsider Artist" (which she clearly is not, considering her formal art education and knowledge of art and art history. Neither is she a "Folk Artist"... and I would hesitate to term her as a "Low Brow Artist"... yet stylistically she might appear to fit into any of these categories.













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Old 03-09-2012, 03:03 PM
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Keith Russell Keith Russell is offline
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Re: Low-brow art

Quote:
Originally Posted by olive oyl
]It all comes down to the fact that some opinions are better than others.[/color]” Disagree!

Would you "disagree" that a doctor's opinions on health matters might be "better" than talking to a taxi driver--or an artist?

If some people know more, and thus have "better" opinions, about science, medicine, engineering, chemistry, etc., why should art be different?
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Old 03-11-2012, 01:07 PM
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Re: Low-brow art

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Russell
Would you "disagree" that a doctor's opinions on health matters might be "better" than talking to a taxi driver--or an artist?

If some people know more, and thus have "better" opinions, about science, medicine, engineering, chemistry, etc., why should art be different?

this argument goes nowhere at all, unless those taking part have already agreed what the word *art* means. quite precisely.
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Old 03-11-2012, 02:52 PM
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Re: Low-brow art

Quote:
Originally Posted by lenday
this argument goes nowhere at all, unless those taking part have already agreed what the word *art* means. quite precisely.

I disagree. The argument (usually) goes nowhere at all, regardless...
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Old 03-11-2012, 03:28 PM
lenday lenday is offline
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Re: Low-brow art

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Originally Posted by Keith Russell
I disagree. The argument (usually) goes nowhere at all, regardless...
ok, kr, its more interesting to disgree. If going somewhere matters, have the argument on a train.
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Old 03-13-2012, 11:13 PM
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Re: Low-brow art

Originally Posted by lenday
this argument goes nowhere at all, unless those taking part have already agreed what the word *art* means. quite precisely.


I doubt that such an agreement is even possible.
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Old 03-31-2012, 01:31 PM
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Re: Low-brow art

I'm glad St. Luke came in and cleared up Low Brow. I just came back to these forums and saw this thread, and as I was reading through I was starting to pull my hair out. Thanks St. Luke!

Being from Cali, I will say that I will always picture Robert Williams and Ed "Big Daddy" Roth when I think of Low Brow Art. Artists like Ryden and Ray Caesar, to me, are part of that newer movement that started in the 90s of Pop Surrealists that were influences by the LowBrow artists. There are a bunch of artists, like a ton of them (take your pick) in Juxtapoz Magazine that are more or less staying true to the cartoon/comics elements of Low Brow and have given it a Surrealist twist, but not in the same way as Ryden and Caesar have - you know, with the little girls that have heads that look like they have encephalitis! And by the way -- Margaret Keane did this in the 1960s before any of these guys did. I'm digressing a bit, but the Juxtapoz type artists look a little bit more like a Sponge Bob circus than a Ryden painting - yet both styles are now considered "Pop Surrealism" and True "Low Brow" is left for the actual movement that came from the original players with R. Crumb and Williams and Roth, etc.
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Old 04-01-2012, 05:03 PM
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Re: Low-brow art

olive oyl, I like your fire and interesting comments.

OH, and here I thought I "lowbrow art" referred to the anus-squirters and vomiters of paint. Now that's what I call lowbrow. Thank you though, for introducing me to the term in a different light.
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Old 04-04-2012, 04:02 AM
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Re: Low-brow art

I always thought surrealism was literally painting the content of dreams. Seems like that could be any style you wanted as long as you were painting dream material and rendering it in that style.

But the term might be more specific and demand a style closer to Salvador Dali's, which would among other things demand training your dream imagery to follow the very personal patterns of Dali's dreams. Or just making it up and not trying to render your real dreams, resting more on the traditional imagery of Surrealism than real dream material.

Olive Oyl, thanks for the term Low Brow as relating to R. Crumb and his peers - now I get it and it's an awesome style. To me there'd be no contradiction with trying to render dream imagery using that style, it'd actually be fun and fuse well with it. Especially if I was having wet dreams.
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