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  #1  
Old 10-10-2012, 12:28 PM
MDKSquared MDKSquared is offline
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How does minimalist art sell for so much money?

I mainly refer to stuff like

http://www.moma.org/collection/objec...ject_id=109750

or a lot of the works by

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piet_Mondrian
Example: http://www.christies.com/Lotfinder/l...jectID=4277071

or stuff like this by Lee Ufan (whose art was featured at the Guggenheim not too long ago. As an example one of his vertical blue-line pieces sold for $410,000):

http://seaofgray.files.wordpress.com...ture-aspx.jpeg

Call me ignorant but I just do not see how this stuff gets valued so highly. I don't understand what sets this stuff apart from art anyone else makes. Why can't I make a painting that's just a shade of red and sell it for millions? What is the differentiating factor that makes some art successful/valuable and others not?

Last edited by MDKSquared; 10-10-2012 at 12:33 PM..
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  #2  
Old 10-10-2012, 12:43 PM
MDKSquared MDKSquared is offline
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Colbert makes fun of this a bit, too:

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-col...e-martin-pt--1

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-col...e-martin-pt--2
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  #3  
Old 10-10-2012, 12:48 PM
Sicks Ate Sicks Ate is offline
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We're just going to be told that we don't understand...you know that, right?

I suspect that there's a moneyed class that likes to think they understand. Through successful marketing, connections, whathaveyou, an artist catches the attention of this class.

They start talking about him/throwing money at him. Next think you know, art critics and others in the art community have to start taking the artist seriously in order to be taken seriously themselves.

The monster feeds itself. It creates value where there is none.

Last edited by Sicks Ate; 10-10-2012 at 12:50 PM..
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  #4  
Old 10-10-2012, 01:34 PM
Cheesesteak Cheesesteak is offline
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Originally Posted by MDKSquared View Post
What is the differentiating factor that makes some art successful/valuable and others not?
They did it first.

These are folks who were well known to be skilled artists, and turned that skill towards a different style of art than anyone else was doing.

It's not like these guys were sitting around wishing they knew enough about painting to do a nice landscape, or paint fruit in a bowl. That shit was just old and boring, they decided to make something artistic, something that evokes emotion without sticking to the bland old idea of representational art. That is a bold concept when it's new, and takes more than just the ability to paint straight lines.


Contemporary art is harder to deal with, I think, because the frontier has been broken already. Where else do you go when "anything goes" was the rage 75 years ago? Wow, a crucifix in a jar of pee... it's ok, I guess, but it's not nearly as good as that placenta art we saw before.
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  #5  
Old 10-10-2012, 01:36 PM
running coach running coach is online now
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It's 10 bucks for the canvas and materials. 5 million for the artist knowing where not to put the paint.
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  #6  
Old 10-10-2012, 01:37 PM
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Because the world is full of suckers?
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  #7  
Old 10-10-2012, 02:20 PM
The Hamster King The Hamster King is online now
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Whee! It's time for the latest round of the SDMB's biannual "modern art is a scam" discussion!

A lot of abstract pieces don't work well as tiny images on a computer screen. Actually, neither do a lot of realist pieces, but with a realist painting you can at least say "oh, hey, it's a boat", even if you can't appreciate the nuances of the physical paint on the canvas. So unless you've actually seen some of these works in person, its hard to have any sort of meaningful opinion about them.

Secondly, another hurdle people have a hard time getting over is the idea that pictures are supposed to mean things. They look at piece of abstract art and say "What's that supposed to mean?" like the picture was a puzzle with some deep secret they're supposed to figure out. Or they decide the meaning of the painting is something vacuous like "Look at me, I'm an artistic rebel!"

What they're missing is that it's possible to look at something without imposing a fixed meaning on it. Why this is such a radical idea is confusing to me, since we listen to music that way all the time. No one expects there to be some hidden message inside the structure of a Bach cantata. The structure of the notes in time isn't about anything other than itself.

When I look at abstract art, I don't think about what it means. I just enjoy the process of looking. Some arrangements of paint on canvas are interesting to look at in and of themselves, not because they contain some sooper-secret sophisticated message about the meaning of life. If an artist is particularly good at arranging paint in such a way that a lot of people find it interesting to look at, then his paintings sell for more.

I realize that some people have a hard time understanding that other people might honestly like things that they don't. There's a tendency to think that if someone likes something that's obviously crap to us they must be doing it as a scam or a put-on: "You like Thomas Kinkade paintings? Seriously? You're kidding, right?" But the thing is, people like what they like. And while its possible that sometimes people might pretend to like something to gain status, it's hard to believe that abstract art could keep chugging along for decades if everyone involved was just engaged in a massive act of self-delusion. So, rather than acting like a snob and insisting that everyone must conform to your own aesthetic tastes, it's generally better to shrug your shoulders and say "Eh ... it doesn't work for me, but clearly it does for you. Different strokes."
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  #8  
Old 10-10-2012, 03:14 PM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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The Emperor can't very well walk around naked, now, can he?
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  #9  
Old 10-10-2012, 03:39 PM
Inner Stickler Inner Stickler is offline
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Originally Posted by MDKSquared View Post
Call me ignorant but I just do not see how this stuff gets valued so highly. I don't understand what sets this stuff apart from art anyone else makes. Why can't I make a painting that's just a shade of red and sell it for millions? What is the differentiating factor that makes some art successful/valuable and others not?
Well, first of all, have you tried? Until you've tried, I don't see why you should assume that you can't do it.

Sometimes works require a lot more technical skill than you'd think. Mondriaan is pretty easy but Pollack takes a lot of work to not end up just looking muddy.

But the big thing is mainly that people are willing to pay that amount of money for it. Some would say that once you've paid some millions of dollars for a painting, you're loathe to admit if you think you got taken but really, do we care what other people do with their money?

You might be interested in learning a little bit about art history. For so long art was how we saw places. Most people never moved more than 50 miles from their birthplace. If you lived in farm country, art was the only way you'd ever see mountains or the sea. Artists who could evocatively and accurately reproduce landscapes and people were lauded because they were the best at capturing visual information. But then we invented photography and the art world epxerienced an extreme period of introspection. If I can take a perfectly accurate picture of a bowl of fruit, why should I paint it? If my betrothed's father can take a picture of her to send to me, why waste time with a portrait? So people started breaking art down to see if they could find what its purpose was and along the way they came up with a variety of new modes of artistic expression including minimalism which is an attempt to see just how minute one can go and still evoke something.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with not liking art or a particular style of art, by the way. My university had some buildings done in a particularly soviet sort of way. I believe the style is referred to as Brutalist. My art major friends always raved about it. I thought and still do that they look like concrete ass.
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Old 10-10-2012, 03:41 PM
Palo Verde Palo Verde is offline
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Here is a lesson I tell my kids all the time: Things are worth no more and no less than people are willing to pay for them. That glass a water is worth everything you have if you are dying of thirst. It is worth nothing at all if you aren't thirsty. That painting is worth that much because someone is willing to pay that much for it. That's the only reason.
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  #11  
Old 10-10-2012, 03:42 PM
StusBlues StusBlues is offline
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Honestly, that Uffan piece looks pretty darned cool.
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  #12  
Old 10-10-2012, 03:42 PM
Sicks Ate Sicks Ate is offline
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Originally Posted by The Hamster King View Post
Whee! It's time for the latest round of the SDMB's biannual "modern art is a scam" discussion!

A lot of abstract pieces don't work well as tiny images on a computer screen. Actually, neither do a lot of realist pieces, but with a realist painting you can at least say "oh, hey, it's a boat", even if you can't appreciate the nuances of the physical paint on the canvas. So unless you've actually seen some of these works in person, its hard to have any sort of meaningful opinion about them.

Secondly, another hurdle people have a hard time getting over is the idea that pictures are supposed to mean things. They look at piece of abstract art and say "What's that supposed to mean?" like the picture was a puzzle with some deep secret they're supposed to figure out. Or they decide the meaning of the painting is something vacuous like "Look at me, I'm an artistic rebel!"

What they're missing is that it's possible to look at something without imposing a fixed meaning on it. Why this is such a radical idea is confusing to me, since we listen to music that way all the time. No one expects there to be some hidden message inside the structure of a Bach cantata. The structure of the notes in time isn't about anything other than itself.

When I look at abstract art, I don't think about what it means. I just enjoy the process of looking. Some arrangements of paint on canvas are interesting to look at in and of themselves, not because they contain some sooper-secret sophisticated message about the meaning of life. If an artist is particularly good at arranging paint in such a way that a lot of people find it interesting to look at, then his paintings sell for more.

I realize that some people have a hard time understanding that other people might honestly like things that they don't. There's a tendency to think that if someone likes something that's obviously crap to us they must be doing it as a scam or a put-on: "You like Thomas Kinkade paintings? Seriously? You're kidding, right?" But the thing is, people like what they like. And while its possible that sometimes people might pretend to like something to gain status, it's hard to believe that abstract art could keep chugging along for decades if everyone involved was just engaged in a massive act of self-delusion. So, rather than acting like a snob and insisting that everyone must conform to your own aesthetic tastes, it's generally better to shrug your shoulders and say "Eh ... it doesn't work for me, but clearly it does for you. Different strokes."
I think we have two discussions going, though.

I think the question of 'why does it sell for so much money' is pretty subjective, and doesn't really have to do with whether I like it or not. It sells for a lot of money because people have decided they will pay that. And I believe, though I have no proof, that the end result of that process is 'it's expensive because we want art to be expensive'.

The second questions, whether I like it, is getting muddled in the discussion. I like plenty of modern art. Because I like looking at it. Same reason that I enjoy going to a museum to look at many different forms of art. I have little knowledge of the history or even many of the methods used, but as you say, I like looking.

Show me a canvas covered in uniform green, or a few black likes with a few colored boxes, maybe I'm interested maybe I'm not. But you will have an extremely hard time convincing me that there's something intrinsic to the work that makes it worth millions of dollars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StusBlues View Post
Honestly, that Uffan piece looks pretty darned cool.
Yeah, I totally agree with you. That's one that would be fun to stand in front of.

Last edited by Sicks Ate; 10-10-2012 at 03:45 PM..
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  #13  
Old 10-10-2012, 04:29 PM
iamthewalrus(:3= iamthewalrus(:3= is online now
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Conspicuous consumption + marketing + social pressure.

We spend a lot of resources on things that are expensive because they are expensive and demonstrating that we can buy expensive things has social value. And, in turn, people spend a lot of time cultivating the idea that something is rare and valuable to get people to spend lots of money on it.

Why do people pay extra for diamonds over other clear crystals when it takes a professional with a loupe to tell the difference? Why is a reproduction of art worth less than the original if it has in fact passed as original for decades? Clearly in both cases there's no intrinsic difference in the experience. And note that the latter is not limited to modern art or to a particular style. If you believe there is any painting that is worth $millions, I assure you that unless you're well-trained in the detection of art forgery, there are plenty of people out there who can make a copy that'll fool you for much less.
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  #14  
Old 10-10-2012, 05:04 PM
Frylock Frylock is offline
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Isn't the answer exactly the same as the answer to the question "Why do people spend millions of dollars on stock certificates"?
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  #15  
Old 10-10-2012, 05:19 PM
suranyi suranyi is offline
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Originally Posted by MDKSquared View Post
I mainly refer to stuff like

http://www.moma.org/collection/objec...ject_id=109750

or a lot of the works by

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piet_Mondrian
Example: http://www.christies.com/Lotfinder/l...jectID=4277071

or stuff like this by Lee Ufan (whose art was featured at the Guggenheim not too long ago. As an example one of his vertical blue-line pieces sold for $410,000):

http://seaofgray.files.wordpress.com...ture-aspx.jpeg

Call me ignorant but I just do not see how this stuff gets valued so highly. I don't understand what sets this stuff apart from art anyone else makes. Why can't I make a painting that's just a shade of red and sell it for millions? What is the differentiating factor that makes some art successful/valuable and others not?
People's tastes differ. I don't like all modern art, but I love Mondrian. I think his paintings are really cool.

So can totally see how someone else could like a painting that I don't like.

I don't understand why some people get so upset about it.

Last edited by suranyi; 10-10-2012 at 05:20 PM..
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  #16  
Old 10-10-2012, 05:20 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Originally Posted by The Hamster King View Post
Whee! It's time for the latest round of the SDMB's biannual "modern art is a scam" discussion!

Yeah. Really. Who cares? Art is worth what people think it's worth. Let the market decide. I personally am not a fan of minimalism and have mixed feeling about Piet Mondrian (who I don't quite think of as "minimalist"), but I am a fan of expressionism, like Kandinsky and Pollack, etc., who folks like to classify as hacks or charlatans or whatever, and who I think are absolute geniuses. Full stop. Why worry about it? If somebody wants to pay a few million dollars for another version of white on white, who gives a fuck?
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:23 PM
Yllaria Yllaria is online now
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I'm guessing that the really big bucks are paid when people decide: this isn't just art, it's history, too. In its most basic form, the artist is dead, but has influenced a number of subsequent artists. There are now a finite number of 'influential works' that represent the way that artist changed the way people make art.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:02 PM
Docta G Docta G is offline
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Because some people like it and are willing to pay a lot of money for it.

Next silly question.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:39 PM
Tapioca Dextrin Tapioca Dextrin is offline
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Why does Tiger Woods get paid to hit a ball with a stick?

Why do people pay money to watch a bunch of seventy year old men play music from the 1960s?
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:38 PM
Weeping Wyvern Weeping Wyvern is offline
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Why does Tiger Woods get paid to hit a ball with a stick?
I hate professional sports and modern art with an equal loathing, but in all fairness it must be said that playing sports well does require a certain amount of talent. Whereas pouring paint on a canvas to create random splotches does not require any talent at all.
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:43 PM
running coach running coach is online now
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I hate professional sports and modern art with an equal loathing, but in all fairness it must be said that playing sports well does require a certain amount of talent. Whereas pouring paint on a canvas to create random splotches does not require any talent at all.
What you fail to realize is that the splotches of paint are carefully planned and placed to create the illusion of randomness.

Last edited by running coach; 10-10-2012 at 08:44 PM..
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  #22  
Old 10-10-2012, 10:44 PM
Swords to Plowshares Swords to Plowshares is offline
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Many works of art are not just art for the sake of it. They are deliberate messages to other artists, critics, and groups of people. And if you aren't the intended audience, then you might not pick up the message.
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  #23  
Old 10-10-2012, 10:45 PM
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What you fail to realize is that the splotches of paint are carefully planned and placed to create the illusion of randomness.
So are my golf shots.
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  #24  
Old 10-10-2012, 11:58 PM
suranyi suranyi is offline
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I hate professional sports and modern art with an equal loathing, but in all fairness it must be said that playing sports well does require a certain amount of talent. Whereas pouring paint on a canvas to create random splotches does not require any talent at all.
Minimalist art isn't random. It isn't even intended to look random.
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:30 AM
GreasyJack GreasyJack is online now
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I'm guessing that the really big bucks are paid when people decide: this isn't just art, it's history, too. In its most basic form, the artist is dead, but has influenced a number of subsequent artists. There are now a finite number of 'influential works' that represent the way that artist changed the way people make art.
Yeah, I would agree with this. People will pay millions for an original piece of modern art for the same reason why they'll pay big bucks for an original Magna Carta or George Washington's toothbrush or something. Even though they don't really transmit any information that a copy does not, they create an intangible link to the past. It's maybe not entirely rational, but enough people seem to believe in it to create reliably high prices.
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:56 AM
Malden Capell Malden Capell is online now
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Yeah, I'm not a fan of modern art, either.

Give me the National Portrait Gallery any day.
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:59 AM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
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I hate professional sports and modern art with an equal loathing, but in all fairness it must be said that playing sports well does require a certain amount of talent. Whereas pouring paint on a canvas to create random splotches does not require any talent at all.
That's not important. What counts is they have the talent but choose not to use it. So there.
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  #28  
Old 10-11-2012, 08:07 AM
Ludovic Ludovic is online now
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That's not important. What counts is they have the talent but choose not to use it. So there.
....but enough about Lady Gaga.
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  #29  
Old 10-11-2012, 08:38 AM
Richard Parker Richard Parker is offline
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I'd be curious to hear if the people who think modern art is all just conspicuous consumption and social pressure feel the same way about design and aesthetics generally. Is an Eames chair just an overpriced La-Z-Boy in your eyes? Is Fallingwater just a blockier prefab home?

If not, why do you appreciate the careful design and aesthetics of those things, but not modern art?
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:53 AM
Ludovic Ludovic is online now
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I'd be curious to hear if the people who think modern art is all just conspicuous consumption and social pressure feel the same way about design and aesthetics generally. Is an Eames chair just an overpriced La-Z-Boy in your eyes? Is Fallingwater just a blockier prefab home?

If not, why do you appreciate the careful design and aesthetics of those things, but not modern art?
I don't like the types of modern art referenced here, and I also don't like Fallingwater particularly. As a concept it's good but it would have been much more pleasing to me to have a more traditional home emplaced there, as the modernist concretey structure contrasts too much with the rest of the scenery.

And while a lot of the fans of modern art are influenced by social pressure and a desire for being in an elite group, I don't think very many of them do not have a genuine appreciation for the aesthetics of it. About equal to the percentage of people who listen to rap or punk just for the rebellion of it or because all their friends do. That doesn't mean it's good. In fact, it's bad enough in my opinion that fewer resources should be dedicated to it. And despite the fact that I am not a dictator, I am allowed to voice my opinions on the relative merits of art.
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:00 AM
Richard Parker Richard Parker is offline
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And despite the fact that I am not a dictator, I am allowed to voice my opinions on the relative merits of art.
Of course. But there is a huge distinction between recognizing differences in aesthetic judgment and contending that the other side is just brainwashed or spending money for the sake of spending money.

People don't talk about the emperor having no clothes when they talk about not liking country music. I don't understand why abstract art is any different. It's no easier to paint a Rothko than it is to string three chords together on a guitar and whine about my wife.
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:01 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Minimalist art isn't random. It isn't even intended to look random.
Yeah, he's describing abstract expressionism there in the vain of Jackson Pollack. Kind of the opposite of minimalism, really. I'm not going to have the nth discussion about his talent but, suffice it to say, I find him extremely talented and his work transcendent. Among my three favorite painters.
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:05 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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There's actually a lot going on i a Mondrian or a Jackson Pollock. People have done interesting analyses of them in terms of fractals and the like. I have to admit that I like both their works, and think there's more to them than meets the eye or the quick judgment.


However, I have tyo agree about Mike Rothko works, or the Ellsworth Kelly work that appears first in the OP. I'm clearly missing something.
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:13 AM
Richard Parker Richard Parker is offline
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There's actually a lot going on i a Mondrian or a Jackson Pollock. People have done interesting analyses of them in terms of fractals and the like. I have to admit that I like both their works, and think there's more to them than meets the eye or the quick judgment.


However, I have tyo agree about Mike Rothko works, or the Ellsworth Kelly work that appears first in the OP. I'm clearly missing something.
There's seems to be a sort of labor theory of value at work in your judgment here. A Pollack justifies it's worth if a lot of intellectual labor went into placing each splotch.

But putting aside the merit of that theory of value, why do you think a Rothko involves less intellectual work? Because the technique is ultimately relatively simple? Is the Old Man and the Sea worth less than Infinite Jest?

Or if your argument that complexity is just more appealing to you as a matter of aesthetics?
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:42 AM
black rabbit black rabbit is offline
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I spent a hungover afternoon walking around the Louvre earlier this year. It made me tired and bored to tears. "Oh boy, another Napoleon-as-Greek-god allegory. A countess on a horse. A crowd of rubes around the Mona Lisa. Zzzzzz..."

On the other hand, I spent a hungover morning wandering around MOMA a few years earlier, and I stumbled across the gallery where Franz Kline's Painting Number 2 hangs. It had been one of my favorite paintings going back to art history class in high school, because of the way it evokes both Japanese minimalism and industrial brutalism at the same time, and I had never seen it in the flesh. I totally forgot that it was at MOMA, so I was utterly gobsmacked when I ran across it for the first time. I spent a good twenty minutes just staring at it, seeing details in the physicality of the thing that I had never seen in photos, and letting a mix of emotions wash over me.

Granted, a lot of abstract expressionist stuff is utter garbage, but then again, a lot of figurative stuff is derivative twaddle. If pure technical execution were the standard by which we judged all art, then Yngwie Malmsteen would be "better" than Jimi Hendrix.
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  #36  
Old 10-11-2012, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Tapioca Dextrin View Post
Why does Tiger Woods get paid to hit a ball with a stick?
Tiger Wood's skill is not subjective. It's evidenced by score sheets.

But on the general topic, I don't categorically dislike any particular school of art. My favorite artist is Salvador Dali, but there is an abstract painting by Franz Kline called Accent Grave that hangs in the Cleveland Museum of Art that I have always liked for reasons that I cannot possibly explain.

However, sometimes when I stroll through galleries and come across something like that all-green canvas, or sometimes even an all-white canvas, I can't help imagining the pitch that was made to some museum's board of acquisition:

"Notice the purity of expression.." or some such.

So, yeah, on some things I call "bullshit". Actually, I usually refer to them as "con jobs". And I'm aware that people buying these things don't care about my opinion.
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:49 AM
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We should hang out.
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:18 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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There's seems to be a sort of labor theory of value at work in your judgment here. A Pollack justifies it's worth if a lot of intellectual labor went into placing each splotch.

But putting aside the merit of that theory of value, why do you think a Rothko involves less intellectual work? Because the technique is ultimately relatively simple? Is the Old Man and the Sea worth less than Infinite Jest?

Or if your argument that complexity is just more appealing to you as a matter of aesthetics?
It's not a work theory. It's a matter of whether or not I like it and it engages me. The Pollocks and Mondrians do. For the life of me, though, I don't see what you get out of looking at a Kelly.


The reason that I like loking at the others, though, seems to be due to the creative work and, at least at an instinctual level, the labor, that gioes into it. So it's not unrelated. But my valuing the painting is directly do to its effect on me, which rests, in turn, on that merit.


As far as simplicity -- I get as much enjoyment out of reading a simply-told story as out of a complex bit of self-referential wordplay. Often more, in fact. So the comparison isn't apt.
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  #39  
Old 10-11-2012, 10:18 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Of course. But there is a huge distinction between recognizing differences in aesthetic judgment and contending that the other side is just brainwashed or spending money for the sake of spending money.

People don't talk about the emperor having no clothes when they talk about not liking country music. I don't understand why abstract art is any different. It's no easier to paint a Rothko than it is to string three chords together on a guitar and whine about my wife.
Painting a Rothko (who is not a minimalist, either) is infinitely harder, in my opinion. I can string three chords together and write a song any time. But to paint something as luminiscent as a Rothko? I really don't know exactly how he does it, how he achieves that glow. It must be in his technique of laying down the paints and the washes and the kinds of paint he uses, because I sure as shit can't paint anything that resembles and feels like a Rothko. Same with Pollack. I wish I could do abstract expressionism. I can't. I can draw a face that looks like the person it's supposed to be a portrait of, but I can't make an abstract expressionist style painting that works and makes sense to me.

Last edited by pulykamell; 10-11-2012 at 10:19 AM..
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:40 AM
Evil Captor Evil Captor is online now
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Tom Wolfe described the EXACT MECHANISM by which minimism evolved in The Painted Word.

SPOILER:
It's all about the money, baby!
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  #41  
Old 10-11-2012, 12:54 PM
Simple Linctus Simple Linctus is offline
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I'd be curious to hear if the people who think modern art is all just conspicuous consumption and social pressure feel the same way about design and aesthetics generally. Is an Eames chair just an overpriced La-Z-Boy in your eyes? Is Fallingwater just a blockier prefab home?

If not, why do you appreciate the careful design and aesthetics of those things, but not modern art?
Because with almost all modern art a pretty much identical copy can be produced for way below these prices.

Certainly, there is a value in attractive design. But when you can get an indistinguishable copy for a hundredth of the price it is an irrational thing indeed to pay for the original*

*Of course I accept that you could be doing it for investment, but that's basically relying on other people's irrationality persisiting.

However I fully support the mordern art market. I see it as a way of redistributing income from boring people to creative loonies (the artists) and intelligent people (the succesful art investors), on average.
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:56 PM
Richard Parker Richard Parker is offline
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Meh. That doesn't make it any different from buying first edition books or a hundred other parts of the economy in which value cannot be measured in purely utilitarian terms.

Last edited by Richard Parker; 10-11-2012 at 12:56 PM..
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:58 PM
Simple Linctus Simple Linctus is offline
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I agree - and find all those things very silly too.
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  #44  
Old 10-11-2012, 01:00 PM
Tapioca Dextrin Tapioca Dextrin is offline
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Tiger Wood's skill is not subjective. It's evidenced by score sheets.
Jackson Pollock's skill is not subjective. It's evidenced by the number of his works hanging in the Met.

One's beloved by millions of golf fans, one is equally beloved by millions* of snooty Harvard types.


* alright dozens might be closer
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  #45  
Old 10-11-2012, 01:07 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Because with almost all modern art a pretty much identical copy can be produced for way below these prices.
Well, that's a broad statement. I would say the opposite: classical representational art is easier to create an identical copy of. (But I'm not talking minimalism here, but contemporary art in general, which spans a lot of different styles.) I'd be mighty impressed if someone can copy something like, say, Gerhardt Richters Ice 2, for instance, with all its palette scrapes, textures, etc.

Last edited by pulykamell; 10-11-2012 at 01:10 PM..
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  #46  
Old 10-11-2012, 01:16 PM
Knorf Knorf is offline
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Knorf's Law:
There's no piece of art, no movie, no book, no piece of music so beloved, that there won't be someone on the Internet who is proud of him or herself for disparaging it.
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  #47  
Old 10-11-2012, 01:25 PM
dataguy dataguy is offline
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Originally Posted by Tapioca Dextrin View Post
Jackson Pollock's skill is not subjective. It's evidenced by the number of his works hanging in the Met.

One's beloved by millions of golf fans, one is equally beloved by millions* of snooty Harvard types.


* alright dozens might be closer
We seem to have a different idea of what "subjective" means.

The world's best golfers can be identically ranked by anyone with access to their scores.

The world's best artists can be ranked by the number of paintings on display? Is that what you're suggesting?
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:29 PM
Ludovic Ludovic is online now
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The best painter in the world therefore is Thomas Kinkade.
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  #49  
Old 10-11-2012, 01:49 PM
Evil Captor Evil Captor is online now
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The best painter in the world therefore is Thomas Kinkade.
No, it's that guy who does the poker playing dogs. Or maybe the sad-eyed, big-eyed children. THAT'S artifying!

((Personally, I think Pollock does interesting things with his splatters that make them fun to look at. Mondrian's useless. Minimalism is a fraud. IMHO, YMMV, etc.)
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  #50  
Old 10-11-2012, 01:51 PM
Cheesesteak Cheesesteak is offline
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We seem to have a different idea of what "subjective" means.

The world's best golfers can be identically ranked by anyone with access to their scores.
The rules of golf are completely arbitrary, and have no particular importance. There is no objective value to being skilled at hitting a ball (of a specific but arbitrary design) with a club (of a specific but arbitrary design), on a course (of a specific but arbitrary design) under rules (of a specific but arbitrary design). Why should he make any more money than a world class Curler? Is there something about the ball and club and course design that makes it inherently more important than what you find in a Curling... thingy?

The value of golf is subjective. Its value is based on how golf makes people feel, how much of their interest (and money) is spent towards golf. So too with art, some artists draw interest more than other artists, so they get more money. Some sports draw interest more than other sports, so the participants get more money.
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