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Topic: When is Abstract Art ... Good?

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  1. #1

    When is Abstract Art ... Good?

    Just saw an article about a four-year old kid who paints abstract paintings that sell for thousands of dollars.

    http://www.marlaolmstead.com/

    and I was thinking ...

    Was it genuine genius, as in the case of Wolfgang A., or is it just regular creative kid's play?

    When such a phenomenon is possible, what does it say about the state of 20th century art ?

    Is there an objective criteria to whether an abstract work (let's say an atonal piece since we're in Garry's forum) is quality?

    Is there a 100% proof method of discovering whether a work is a joke or a serious art piece that took years of work?

    Ps. Before you get your flamethrowers primed, let me assure everybody I mean absolutely no disrespect to genuine struggling abstract / atonal artists !! Just curious.

    My very humble opinion is, that the line between joke and quality is very thin and a cause for alarm in the art world.

  2. #2

    Re: When is Abstract Art ... Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aziraphal
    Is there a 100% proof method of discovering whether a work is a joke or a serious art piece that took years of work?
    I think time alone will tell. If her work still attracts that amount of attention in 50 years or so, we'll probably be able to conclude it's genius.

    I haven't looked at her paintings yet, so I won't presume to offer an opinion.
    Dan Powers
    www.danielpowers.info

    "It's easier to be a composer than it is to compose."
    --Ray Luke (1928-2010)

  3. #3

    Re: When is Abstract Art ... Good?

    Art is art when it speaks to you. Whether a piece of art is a joke or is serious is irrelevant, aside from a potentially bruised ego or a few snickers from the "knowing." Whether or not it speaks to you should be all that matters.

    There is no foolproof test of genius or of intent, nor will there ever be. Nor does that endanger the state of art in this or any other century.

    I'm not trying to negate your question; it is a valid one. Just offering you what I believe to be true.
    - Jamie Kowalski

    All Hands Music - Kowalski on the web
    The Ear Is Always Correct - Writings on composition

  4. #4

    Re: When is Abstract Art ... Good?

    yes...it's cute. without doubt that little girl is talented.

    making money with kids can be so lucrative. a dog and a kid in your commercial and you'll win.

    abstract art? never do it before you have learned concrete art with all its handcraft. otherwise it will be empty because there is nothing that has been abstracted. btw: the same is valid for doing atonal music.

    kids doing art? well well...can be nice, cute, esthetics etc....but it can never be full with real content because a kid has no story to tell. too less experiences. a kid just is in all of its beauty and sure that can be pictured in its art...but there's nothing what's going deeper....

  5. #5

    Re: When is Abstract Art ... Good?

    I have to admit that, despite my initial skepticism, I really like her work. I am a member of MOMa here in NY, and got there a lot. There is a lot of stuff there that I would not consider art, so I am no great fan of extreme abstract art, but I think she has a great sense of color and form. While she may lack the life experience to depict the more subtle emotions, I think we all experience the big ones like anger, pain, fear, joy, sorrow, etc., pretty much from birth. We may not know what is causing them or how to deal with them, but we feel it. I think this is the kind of emotions that abstract art is best at conveying, not the subtle ones.

    Is she a genius, I agree that time will tell,but I would not be suprised. I do not agree that art always needs to convey something deep and profound.

  6. #6

    Re: When is Abstract Art ... Good?

    I have seen her work and that is art to my eye.

    I think I look for things like how much symmetry and chaos is interwoven and the artist's or composer's level of execution, to evaluate whether or not I think it's "talented' and "worthy" of being art. And the artists who really inspire (and hence become great ARTISTS) are the ones who can do it again and again.

    I think that's how I measure it. But then again mere accidents can be wonderful to look at and listen to as well.
    Steve Hanlon, guitarist/composer
    Logic 7, PowerMac DP 2.0 (8- RAM slot model), 4GB RAM, OS 10.4.11
    UAD-1 Ultra Pak
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    Apogee Rosetta 200
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  7. #7

    Re: When is Abstract Art ... Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveHanlon
    I have seen her work and that is art to my eye.
    ...
    I think I look for things like how much symmetry and chaos is interwoven and the artist's or composer's level of execution, to evaluate whether or not I think it's "talented' and "worthy" of being art.
    I too like what I saw at her site; there is symmetry, chaos, and balance to be seen there. I've noticed this same thing many times over the years at children's art shows, children's museums, etc. where you see work by someone whom you know is "untrained", but still the art looks "good". Perhaps many (maybe most?) children have a natural visual sense and willingness to experiment that gets "trained out" of them as they grow.


    Quote Originally Posted by Skysaw
    Art is art when it speaks to you. Whether a piece of art is a joke or is serious is irrelevant, aside from a potentially bruised ego or a few snickers from the "knowing." Whether or not it speaks to you should be all that matters.
    There is no foolproof test of genius or of intent, nor will there ever be.
    ...
    I think this is the crux...if it hits you in the gut somehow then, for you, it qualifies as art. And that's all that needs to be said...

    ;-)

    Jim Jarnagin - no not THAT Jim Jarnagin, the other one.

  8. #8

    Re: When is Abstract Art ... Good?

    When is abstract art good? When is any art good? When you like it!

    I think one of the biggest problems with this kind of art is that people buy it as an investment, not as something they love. When that happens, it's not about the art, but about the money. I'm certainly not saying this is always the case, I'm sure some people love this kind of art. But right when I went to the website, it said something like "did you know such and such who owns Monet and Renoir paintings owns some of these paintings?" The website seems to be designed to sell this kid's paintings.

    I don't think there's anything wrong with it if there are people out there that are stupid enough to buy that kind of stuff. How much a piece of art is worth depends on how much somebody is willing to pay for it.

    The only damage it might do is to the kid. I don't think it's healthy to make so much money so easily. It could give her a false sense of what she's accomplished.

    As it I see it, the art world has strayed away from the kind of art that needs skill long ago.
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  9. #9

    Re: When is Abstract Art ... Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by GigaLove
    yes...it's cute. without doubt that little girl is talented.
    I have great doubt as to the complete factual presentation of this work. Perhaps it's because I married an art historian. Perhaps it's because I'm keenly aware of the power of media perception.

    There may be a seed of truth to it, but there is much more artifice than actual art here. Any imagined value is based upon speculation surrounding the context of "cover story" in which it is presented. Take the same piece and attribute it to a 35 year old and it will fall flat.

    Genius? Pardon my impolite snickering.

    The marketing campaign, at the very least, is very smart. The hype spirals up and feeds on itself, preying on sensationalism and "human interest". People will think it's genius because they are told that it is genius, because they are afraid to form their own opinions about art.

    A slick website doesn't hurt, either, since you can control the perspective at which it is viewed. And everything you read on the web is true, right? Besides, kids and animals can be used to sell practically anything (q.v. "Why Cats Paint").

    Regardless of degree of veracity, this is a performance piece.

    - m
    Free MFX and other plugins: http://www.TenCrazy.com/
    Markleford's music: http://www.markleford.com/music/

  10. #10

    Re: When is Abstract Art ... Good?

    When is Abstract Art ... Good?
    When it's Salvador Dali.
    Alan Lastufka | www.BelaDMedia.com
    Producer/Artistic Design | Content Producer

    20 Things

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