The Art World - I pit thee

I remember I was showing my photography work at a gallery and I got chatting to some old man art journalist. He told me that every photograph was a piece of art. So I asked, “even my Mum’s snaps with her iPhone?” Yes, he replied before he started enthusing about some imaginary line in one of my photographs that I had never noticed or intended.

I subsequently came to realise that the art world is just a bunch of people waving their dicks around. There are entire careers and schools dedicated to teaching people how to wave their dicks, ensuring that most dick wavers aren’t even flapping them about in any original manner. Furthermore, and this is by fay the most important point, the overwhelming majority of dick wavers are waving their dicks only at the other dick wavers. No one else cares. Every now and then the general public notice an enormously big dick and it attracts some attention for a while. Occasionally someone gets an award for waving their dick in a fancy or controversial manner. That’s it. That’s the entire art world: a bunch of dicks waving their dicks.

I recommend this pitting to the house.

Edit: I may have overused a restricted word here. If I have crossed a line I apologise, but it was somewhat central to my soliloquy.

I’ve read a lot of poorly informed and ill-considered complaints about the art world, but this is both the poorest and the illest.

Clearly you care, or you wouldn’t have written this Pit thread.

I think there are a lot of people like that, but it shouldn’t be a blanket condemnation of the arts. I’m not into that much, but plenty of people are, and they aren’t all pretentious snobs waving their dicks at each other. None the less, in light of those who are, I heartily endorse this pitting. For the rest who don’t deserve it, well too bad, but you’re an artist, so you should be used to disappointment.

Wait.

You just now figured this out?

Wow!

From the above I surmise (or at least guess) that you have a definition of art in mind, and that part of that definition involves the necessary contribution of the artists’ intention to both the nature and correct interpretation of the work.

Your idea about what art is and how to interpret it is just one of several competing views. People who care a lot about art and have thought about it for all of their lives have views all across this spectrum. Most disagree with you, a few agree, and all of them have really interesting things to say in favor of their views.

I’m not sure why you see fit to refer to their thinking as “dick waving” but have a ball I guess.

An old man enthused about his interest in photgraphy, complimented your photo, and he’s a dick?

Okay.

There are many offensive, dickish things one can say in ths world. “Every photograph is a piece of art” is not, in my opinion, one of them.

Isn’t being the illest a compliment? Or did the Beasty Boys steer me wrong?

This.

But otherwise, congratulations on realizing that one more piece of ‘The World’ is a total sham illusion made up of shit people decide it should be. Now connect that thought to, oh, every other part of the world we all live in.

I don’t know how true the OP’s point of view is. Though I suspect there is at least some truth to it.

However, for a funny assed post with style I’ll give it a 10 out of 10. I LOLed.

(this comes from the “dick is always funny” school of artistic comedy)

Ummm… what about this do you disagree with? It may not be good art. It may not be particularly well thought out. But fundamentally she is engaging in the same thing you are. She is capturing an image she can then use to communicate an idea or concept.

She composes her images. She may not know the rule of thirds or other compositional concepts. But whether she knows it or not she is choosing compositions. Likewise everything else you do when you shoot an image is present when she shoots an image.

You may argue that it is her camera that is making most of those choices for her. But you do the same thing, just to a different degree. Unless you hand ground your own lenses, constructed the aperture diaphragms, and made all the other millions of choices that go into camera and lens construction, you are also relying on decisions that someone else made in advance. The shape of your bokeh for example is a decision that you have very limited control over. All you can do is hope to find that someone else has made the decision you would like in advance. Want sharp pentagram shaped diaphragm in a 10mm fixed lens at f/1? Lots of luck. I’m certainly not aware of a single lens like that (for good reason mind you, pentagram bokah sucks).

I have no argument that your photography is better art than your mum’s iPhone snaps. But her’s is still art.

Has it occurred to the OP that maybe the only people left who can truly appreciate fine art are the same ones waving their dicks?

Take the world. Now invent a term, “blakvar”, that applies to everything in the world.

So you are walking down the street and you say to your friend: “Hey, look, that is a nice example of blakvar over there”. Have you communicated in any meaningful way?

When waving your dick around, make sure to dip it in some paint and slap it against a canvas! You never know, you might become the next big dick of the art world! Don’t forget to make up some intellectual wankery about it as well. The other dicks love a good wank!

Umm… that is an idiotic comparison.

We aren’t inventing a term. We are using an existing one. “Art” is an existing term, and the root goes back thousands of years.

And we aren’t applying it everything. In this case we are applying it to a specific medium, photography. One to which it is commonly believed to properly apply. The OP was in fact sitting in a gallery which was displaying his “art” i.e. his photography. So obviously the OP believes that his photography, at least, is art.

So when I walk down the street and I say to my friend, “Hey, look, that is a nice example of art over there,” while pointing at a printed photograph, do you really think I am not communicating in a meaningful way?

Just because it may not be good art doesn’t stop making it art. A portrait is art. There are hundreds of artistic decisions that are made when a portrait is produced whether by a famous photographer or someone’s mom. The fact that the mom may not be aware that she is making those choices doesn’t invalidate it as an artistic expression. And the same goes for any type of photography you care to think of.

I have kids in elementary school. When they put pencil or paint to paper and produce a drawing or painting they are making art. They may not be as sophisticated or technically skilled as I am. They may not be consciously deciding many of the elements they choose to use (medium, hue, tone, warmth, technique), but they are are still using them. And it would be ridiculous for me to say that when I paint… it is art, but when they do it is them just messing around. And that seems to be what the OP is saying in regards to his mom.

I think there is plenty of room to have disagreement. One can argue about intent. One can argue about if there is a minimum of skill required. But the old man in the OP’s argument is not prima facie ridiculous. Certainly not in the way that the OP roundly dismissed it without consideration.

Okay, so, what is art, then?

I, for one, welcome our new dick waving overlords.

You and me both, sister.

My problem with art is, as usual, one of definition. If everything can be art, how is anything art? A word so broad as to potentially encompass literally every endeavor is completely and utterly meaningless. If my mom’s iphone photos are art, then art can fuck off, and we need a new word to describe the work of the renaissance masters.

Art isn’t an object, it’s a quality. Every object in the world has mass, but that doesn’t make mass a meaningless term.