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Old 12-17-2015, 10:16 AM
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Re: The photo-realist as craftsman

craftsmanship:
craftsman:
noun, plural craftsmen.
1.
a person who practices or is highly skilled in a craft; artisan.
2.
an artist.


profession
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aptitude
artistry
dexterity
expertise
facility
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ingenuity
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knack
know-how
knowledge
mastery
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Last edited by snoball : 12-17-2015 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 12-17-2015, 10:52 AM
olive.oyl olive.oyl is offline
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Re: The photo-realist as craftsman

This thread reminds me of the doc I just finished watching about Wolfgang Beltracchi. I'm not sure I can be coherent about what the link is here so pardon...as I babble and try to get there.

Now I don't use the word "genius" that often but I think he really WAS some kind of crazy genius. He didn't have formal art training and yet somehow, he knew how to get "beneath the skin" of the artists he was copying and the paint "flowed" as if he was channeling their spirit or something. He knew where the gaps in their catalog were and targeted the work that might have fallen in those "missing" periods. He knew enough about them personally, and knew what was happening in their lives at the time to tap into believable subject matter. He also knew what was happening in the world (their world) at that time and what materials were being used or not used, and how. He knew how to not only copy their work, and well enough to fool the experts, but knew how to actually expand upon their work with his own "touches" so that in the end, they were often labeled as a "masterpiece." That was all the crazy genius part I think, but equally fascinating was the "craft" part - his craftiness? He collected dust and would sprinkle and pack it down along the inside frame because he said you can "feel" the dirt beneath the surface of an old canvas right there. If he was doing a canvas from 1920, he would search for an old frame from that same period. He'd remove the old paint but if there were splotches or bits he couldn't remove, he'd incorporate them into the work so they'd disappear. He mixed his own paints and used colors that were of the "proper" period. He'd bake (heat) the paintings to speed the drying process, iron the backside, and make sure they had no smell (important, apparently). And then on top of all that, he'd create some believable story of provenance, using props and backdrops and the actual artwork, from photos he would take (and age) himself. All this attention to meticulous detail was pretty impressive.

But then...he eventually gets caught and goes to prison. The actual crime was: if the real artist as well as their real life was not really connected to the work, then it was stripped of any real meaning. It was suddenly no longer considered a real masterpiece but a simple piece of fake decoration. A major downgrade. Today, there might be a market for a Beltracchi (as himself) or as a "Beltracchi-Ernst" (the forgery) but maybe more as a curiosity. It seems his own work is going to forever pale in comparison. And it does I think because he's totally detached from the creative process in terms of digging down to get to something deep and meaningful. There might not be anything there. He admits to this and to his own "pragmatic" nature. It seems he considers his work nothing but a bunch of cynically selected and carefully placed marks that he hopes will appeal to the highest bidder. He won't sell for less than $25K and considereing the tens of millions he made as a forger, and the fact he lost all his assets, he'll have to "settle" for that. And that's about as deep as it goes with him.

So I think I'm saying something about what sits on the surface and what's hidden beneath and the meaning of both. But I have to go on Pinterest now so I can't think any deeper!
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Old 12-17-2015, 02:24 PM
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Re: The photo-realist as craftsman

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dcam
Jim: You're so Crafty.

Understood fritzie.
another example: I make my own frames for my paintings. If my miter cuts are off just a hair, I get a bad frame. Even if I get fancy with my molding, the craft of making that frame is always paramount.
is fine craftsmanship attention to detail? hmmmmm.

Yes fine craftsmanship is attention to detail, but some of us see attention to detail in drip paintings and abstract expressionism. It is not the same detail as photo-realism, and if a non-physical concept is the subject (Alchemy), only the artist can judge if they got the detail correct, because everyone's vision of that concept is unique. The attention to detail can be the balance of the elements, the choice of colours, the contrast of shapes, all of which must be decided by the artist entirely in abstract expressionist work, it is not necessarily in the precise application of paint.
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Old 12-17-2015, 02:49 PM
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Re: The photo-realist as craftsman

Yes: I understand RC. as you know; Pollock let the universe do his painting as he was in a trance-like state. He actually said that often he did not know what he was doing.
I don't see the "craft" there.

We might all be stretching the word craft ?
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Old 12-17-2015, 03:13 PM
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Re: The photo-realist as craftsman

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dcam
Yes: I understand RC. as you know; Pollock let the universe do his painting as he was in a trance-like state. He actually said that often he did not know what he was doing.
I don't see the "craft" there.

Just because someone is in a trance-like state, or doesn't know what they're doing, doesn't mean they're not paying attention to details. It means they're in the moment, acting and reacting.
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Old 12-17-2015, 03:46 PM
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Re: The photo-realist as craftsman

Sno: thanks for your definition.
Olive: good stuff.

Derek
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Old 12-17-2015, 05:50 PM
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Re: The photo-realist as craftsman

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dcam
Yes: I understand RC. as you know; Pollock let the universe do his painting as he was in a trance-like state. He actually said that often he did not know what he was doing.
I don't see the "craft" there.

We might all be stretching the word craft ?

I am not saying the application of paint is always precise, I am saying that precise application of paint is not necessarily the detail an artist pays attention to. Attention can be paid to detail after an element of random apllication, or "trance like" state, and that attention might be judging how well that part worked, deciding where to pour from next, or planning to work flat and pour housepaint onto huge surfaces in the first place.

How did he get into a "trance like state"? Is it wildly different to what some people call praying before they paint? Does it involve drugs (except the cigarrette he always seems to have had in his mouth)?
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Old 12-17-2015, 06:49 PM
ianuk ianuk is offline
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Re: The photo-realist as craftsman

Painting whilst drunk is always useful for entering a trance like state. However, seeing that I don't care whether Pollock took drugs, drank, smoked or anything else it's hardly pertinent. He was a successful person in his work and a wreck of a man. I sometimes understand where he's coming from.
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Old 12-17-2015, 07:28 PM
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Re: The photo-realist as craftsman

Judging? Planning?
Action painting places the emphasis on the act of painting rather than the final work as an artistic object.
There is no right or wrong on "craft". It is not a holy word you need to attach to artistic endeavors. I'm not sure anyone has said that is even necessary in the actual making of a work of art. So why graft it onto all art?
Who said great art has to have "Craft"?
"It doesn't make much difference how the paint is put on as long as something has been said. Technique is just a means of arriving at a statement."
this is what Pollock said.

Just an aside: I like Pollock's work. Especially Autumn Rhythm.
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Old 12-17-2015, 10:04 PM
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Re: The photo-realist as craftsman

Quote:
Originally Posted by EnPassant
Gerhard Richter-



Aah there is nothing new under the sun.

But it isn't photorealist.
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Old 12-18-2015, 05:17 AM
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Re: The photo-realist as craftsman

Yes it is Colin, the camera was out of focus.
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Old 12-18-2015, 07:12 AM
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Re: The photo-realist as craftsman

Quote:
Judging? Planning? Action painting places the emphasis on the act of painting rather than the final work as an artistic object.

Yes, the attention to detail in some cases being put into the way the paint is applied, that would be the action of painting. In photorealism the attention to detail is in getting the right colour onto the precise location on the surface.

Quote:
There is no right or wrong on "craft". It is not a holy word you need to attach to artistic endeavors. I'm not sure anyone has said that is even necessary in the actual making of a work of art. So why graft it onto all art?

I don't think good crafting is essential to a valid work of art. I just happen to see attention to detail as present in a lot of abstarct work, it just is not attention to the same details as extremely realistic art. I don't think attention to detail is crucial to craft either, but you asked if "fine craft" was dependent on attention to detail and I do think it is key to craftwork being excellent, as opposed to ordinary.

Quote:
Who said great art has to have "Craft"?

It doesn't to me, but I do think that people are free to believe it does, in which case, I suppose they would be saying it. My opinion as to what is valid art is nothing but my opinion, everyone is allowed their own as far as I am concerned. The same principle applie to what constitutes a "great" work of art.

To me, craft is a thing is made for a practical purpose, and visual art is a thing created to communicate and serves a spiritual/mental/emotional purpose. Finely tuned skill can apply to either or not.

Quote:
"It doesn't make much difference how the paint is put on as long as something has been said. Technique is just a means of arriving at a statement." this is what Pollock said.

This appears to conflict with what you are saying about action painting being about the act of painting, is the important part the action or is it irrelevant? Attention to detail may however still apply to the issue of "Did the technique arrive at the statement?".

Another thought about this point is, was he addressing people who were questioning the validity of his art because of his technique at the time when he said this? Was he trying to explain his thinking to people who wanted to know what it was because they were intrigued by his methods, or confused by his work? If so, perhaps all he intended was to answer those points, and not to make a profound declaration about all important art. Is he actually just saying that there is room for a wide variety of techniques (of applying paint), rather than that he is pouring paint on because that is lousy technique and technique is irrelevant?

Quote:
Just an aside: I like Pollock's work. Especially Autumn Rhythm.

I have never seen any of it for real, and I find it very hard to relate to art when I have not. I would like to see his work because it means a lot to so many people and I have respect for the impact it had, but I am a bit too busy to drop everything else and get to it right now.
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Old 12-18-2015, 07:31 AM
ianuk ianuk is offline
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Re: The photo-realist as craftsman

There is craft in art and there is art in craft. Any artist just does the best they can with the materials and ability available to them. I've never looked at one genre as being better or
worse, I prefer to think of them as different, just as artists are themselves.
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Old 12-18-2015, 10:43 AM
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Re: The photo-realist as craftsman

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dcam
Judging? Planning?
Action painting places the emphasis on the act of painting rather than the final work as an artistic object.
There is no right or wrong on "craft". It is not a holy word you need to attach to artistic endeavors. I'm not sure anyone has said that is even necessary in the actual making of a work of art. So why graft it onto all art?
Who said great art has to have "Craft"?
"It doesn't make much difference how the paint is put on as long as something has been said. Technique is just a means of arriving at a statement."
this is what Pollock said.

Just an aside: I like Pollock's work. Especially Autumn Rhythm.

Except (at least for me) technique is integral to the statement. One of the interesting historical examples of this are Pissarro's and van Gogh's excursions into Pointilism, followed by returns to their own natural styles. Would Pollock have been as interesting if he had tried doing his work in egg tempera with a toothpick, after drawing it out meticulously?

Of course in the long run this all boils down to what one thinks art is all about....

Cheers;
Chris
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Old 12-18-2015, 11:05 AM
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Re: The photo-realist as craftsman

Quote:
Originally Posted by J Miller
What isn't craft these days? Cheese isn't made anymore, it's crafted. This place makes finely crafted software http://brockerhoff.net/. Coaching is even a craft http://atomic-athlete.com/the-craft-of-coaching/. Incentive prizes are a craft too. http://dupress.com/articles/the-craf...-prize-design/ I find it kind of hilarious how words change like this so people can sell more stuff.
Words are fascinating, and in English the way they are used often changes faster than the dictionary definition. "Craft" is now used for coaching and cheesemaking; "Art" is the term preferred by the sellers of lumpy hand thrown mugs and strings of Hobby-Lobby beads. It is if in the general mind "craft" has come to mean "carefully done" and "art" to meaning something more sloppy, = "arty".

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