The Old Dog Asks: If It's Presented As An Art Exhibit Does That Make it Good?

in art •  2 years ago

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In my previous article I wrote about the astounding works of the 19th century sculptor Vincenzo Vela. His colossal, beautifully crafted pieces adorn the entire ground level of his spectacular villa. 

However, Vincenzo Vela wasn't the only artist to have his sculptures on display in the museum that bears his name. The entire first floor of the villa, which comprises many large and magnificent rooms, was home to an exhibit by the contemporary American artist Lawrence Caroll.


I'm not sure what to make of this. A scrap piece of plywood, poorly cut with a few screw holes and paint stains!

About The Artist

  • Born in 1954 in Melbourne Australia he was raised in California.
  • He has held many shows worldwide.
  • He taught at the IUAV University in Venice from 2004-2013

There Was One Problem With His Exhibit.....Ugly Stuff!

I didn't like his works of art but I'm willing to take the blame for it. In an attempt to broaden my horizons I'd like to raise the following questions:

  • Do I need to know more about art in order to appreciate these pieces?
  • What about these pieces make them worthy of a place in a gallery?
  • Some of these pieces appear to require no ability or talent. Am I wrong about this?
  • Do people say that this is good art because of peer pressure?

Here Are Some More Pieces From This Exhibit

The artist worked for 4 years on this exhibit spent in close contact with the space which necessitated several periods of residency. The exhibit's title "I Have Longed to Move Away" is taken from a poem by Dylan Thomas. You can see more pictures here.


Poorly cut discs of composite wood, stacked and haphazardly painted. Those are my glasses to give it scale. The pedestal on which this sculpture sits is about waist high and is placed in the middle of the room!


This "sculpture" consists of tarps which have been neatly folded, stacked and "painted". Again, this sculpture sits in the middle of the floor in room with one large painting. I wasn't sure how long to look at it before I'd begin to appreciate the "art". Apparently I didn't linger long enough! In case it helps you can see the entire room here.


There were many pieced of this nature. An old wooden crate, partially covered in canvass which is held on with staples and then painted. This could grow on you...I guess.


Some patchy canvass stapled onto a wood frame, painted and with 2 paint stained rubber shoes nailed to it. Oh, and the shoe on the left has a couple of textured balls sitting inside it.


To be fair I imagine that these might look "nice" in certain settings.

In Summary

Looking at the exhibit as a whole I can appreciate the use of texture and shading on some of the pieces but in many ways this exhibit recalls to my mind the famous short story by Hans Christian Andersen "The Emperor's New Clothes."

Here Are My Questions Again

  • Do I need to know more about art in order to appreciate these pieces?
  • What about these pieces make them worthy of a place in a gallery?
  • Some of these pieces appear to require no ability or talent. Am I wrong about this?
  • Do people say that this is good art because of peer pressure?

I hope that you enjoyed this article about an unusual art exhibit!


Until next time,


@kus-knee (The Old Dog)

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You are not alone in your musings. I am an avid fan of works from the Baroque and Renaissance periods. Every time I brave the Modern wing of a museum, it feels to be hit or miss. Some works are truly fascinating and innovative. Others, like the ones you describe above, cause me to question the judgement of curator. If we still operated where income from art only came from patrons, I wouldn't be surprised to see this type of "art" disappear as the "artist" pursues alternative employment.

Cheers!

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Once art is funded by "taxation" in a "democratic" society, or the free market is removed from a command economy, the road to mediocrity and then depravity in art has been taken.

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That is exactly how I see this exhibit. It looks to be some old banged up wooden items made to look like scraps, and then painted.

I feel like these pieces are what would be in an artists backroom. Random pieces of wood and cloth and crates, potenially covered in some paint throughout the years. If they had said the theme of this was "artist's backroom supplies" or something I can see how it would make sense, but it isnt very interesting to the masses because they probably cant imagine many thoughts for it.

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Yes and no. Certain types of art require for it to appeal to the masses (TV/film) and thus need to be mediocre-- and thus the mediocrity is created BY the (free) market...

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Thanks so much for your comment. I like your way of thinking!

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I am an art lover but I agree with you - it's not very appealing
but perhaps in the past it was :)

The pretentiousness is hard to bear.

Dire Straits - In the Gallery

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Here is the truth about modern art, and I totally agree with that.

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Watched the whole thing. Totally agree and find comfort in this video.

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That was great. Thanks!

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Thanks for the link! I love that song and it was on my mind as I was contemplating what I had seen!

This isn't art in my opinion, this is pretentious crap - if this is art then I should be the next da vinci

It reminds me of a sketch on "harry and paul" called "I saw you coming"

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I love those sketches!

I wish they were still making episodes, Harry and Paul were an amazing pairing.

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Yeah harry and paul are excellent, love the sketch in the cafe with the Polish waitresses too:)

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I tend to agree with you but how is it that this exhibit is in a historic and respected gallery. Thanks for the funny link.

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I think maybe the gallery's attempt at staying "current"? I guess art can be what ever you want it to be but whoever started the crazy idea of putting random bits of tat in the room is either an idiot or a genius.

I mean why spend hundreds of hours painting or sculpting when you can go into your garage and take the contents to the gallery instead^^

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Artist tends to work with what they have. It’s clear some of these people were starving more as an artist then others. I always find it crazy when they get a detail imagen scan of the more famous art works out there and they find it was whitewashed over a few times. With there being many paintings under them. All of which we consider today to be great work. At the very least much betters then anything in the photos here.

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That's so true about what you write about the paintings under paintings. Saving canvass and material.

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Well said!

🤔 I really liked your perspective in this article. IMHO, art is very subjective and depends on how one interprets it. Modern art is perhaps one which is open to several interpretations. Each time you stare at it, you get a different meaning out of it according to your own changing perspectives. Sometimes ambiences too make a difference. A huge posh building may become a bit boring to some after some time and when they suddenly face some very ordinary thing they would appreciate it. I’ve seen many rich tourists from developed countries visiting my country are happy to spend quite a good money for a rural tour where they would be introduced to the lifestyles of poor people, they will be accommodated in some hut with almost no facility, will be served food cooked over burning coal or woods, in earthen ware, ride a bicycle on a kaccha (unpaved) road, pulling out drinking water from a well etc. All these are very normal and ordinary chores for the poor but ultra-rich enjoy those bizarre things. Perhaps their very bizarreness & oddity drive them there. But no person who is regularly living that kind of life is enjoying it and wishes to come out of it. So, it’s a human nature to appreciate a change for a while (in any direction). But it’s not the same with everyone 🤔.

Thus most art (poems, songs, music, paintings etc.) rely heavily on the intelligence of the viewer / reader / listener and not everyone can appreciate them …in fact they are not meant for everyone.
Just as you take a guide along with you when visiting a historic monument, you should avail the services of an art-guide who can make us understand the importance of these artworks. Every art work has some story behind it, without a context it’s difficult to understand. And perhaps the first picture you posted here is incomplete without a similar artwork placed in the same room. Sometimes, their placing makes a lot of difference. E.g. when you put down your glasses for the second picture here, it enhanced that art and gave some intensity to its meaning. 😇 And you were very artistic in putting down your glasses to give some serious meaning to that art. The way you placed your glasses, it’s direction, it’s angle, it’s closeness to discs, it’s contrasting color etc. are just perfect and it can’t be done so beautifully in any other way 😇 😇. So you are an artist which the world hasn’t yet recognized.😊😊😊

And I’d like to add that you can interpret this comment of mine only if you are smart enough. Did you know anything about the etymology of art? The word “art” was derived from the word “smart”. After putting aside some mind (sm), what you were left with was “art”. And sculpting is just an extension of the word “skull” …it’s an effort to add up some meat back! So don’t make it too complicated. Art is very simple, if you know what simplicity is. 😉 😉😉😉😉


🎹 🥁 🎷 🎺 🎸 🎻 I’m trying to use a lot of emojis here to
Celebrate the World Emoji Day this week. Are you? 🎊 🎉 🎉 🎉⛄️

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You are fast becoming one of my favorite commenters. What you wrote about travelers enjoying the tough lifestyle for a short period of time really hits home.

Well done @xyzashu you deserve much success and joy here on Steemit!

Your sense of humor about my glasses is also much appreciated!

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Art is a word that can have a lot of meanings. Personally I tent to respect and appreciate the kind of art that required a good amount of ability (maybe acquired in hours of practicing) and/or a good amount of work to be done. Maybe the kind of art showed here required too a good amount of time, and has a meaning behind. But the fact that I have to question myself about it makes it really hard to appreciate.
We also have a beauty sense, that may vary a lot from one person to another.
Art is upposed to be beautiful or meaningful. But personally I will never take this as a refernce!
Moreover I remember @rtdcs wrote a funny article about an interesting museum about ugly art in Boston! Here's the link:
https://steemit.com/art/@rtdcs/this-museum-only-exhibits-ugly-arts-because-there-are-things-so-ugly-that-they-can-not-be-ignored

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Thanks for your comments from the perspective of an artist. I also think of art as something that should be beautiful which you rightly say is relative. I have read comments here that art doesn't need to be beautiful but to provoke a response. That seems more likely to me to be this artist's goal. My respnse...it's ugly!

Thanks for the link. I checked it out and I prefer those pieces!

I wonder what the artist wanted to say to the world with this piece:

Some modern art is just trash. Literally.

Funny thing is that there are people that buy this kinda 'artwork'.

Now let's compare it to something like his:

Or this:

I don't know man. I'm no art connoisseur but I kinda find it insulting to put Mona Lisa in the same category (art) with a toilet or a piece of poorly cut plywood.

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What did the artist have to say? I get the impression he was an alcoholic who spent most of his time over a toilet; thus, created what he knows best.

I do know some hoarders who would just love that seconded one! Why it would fit right in if they found the room for it.

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Great points and thanks for the photos!

I guess some people consider this art too....

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That's hilarious

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I guess to some people it's comedy but for some people it's not funny and it's not art

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I have heard about this. The mental health system is needing a major overhaul!

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Pretty scary stuff!

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and if enough people say its art, it is to them
.but I'm with u, that shits ugly

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Since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, a dissolute and depraved eye is going to find some real crap to be "beautyful."

On the other hand, I have seen some really magnificent works commissioned by some very cruel and depraved people (the Meidicis for instance) and the relationship between art and suffering is tenuous, complex, and hard to define, but very real.

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Art never has to look great. For me its more about the emotion it projects than anything else. I find some of the more “beautiful” pieces of art work out there rather boring, and filled with emptiness like the soul of the artist was sucked out .

Good questions !
Frankly speaking I do not see much of a work of art in those pieces of wood but this exact questions came to my mind many time so far when visiting museums. A lot of work of art did not seemed to be as being really that great but I always thought that I need more education into art to understand some of the paintings and objects that were so much appreciated by others. Going further for example, the wood frame, painted and with 2 paint stained rubber shoes nailed seems quite expressive to me and this looks really as a piece of valuable work of art. Anyway, what I think is that the value of a piece of art is given by the specialists in relation not only to its look and appearance, but also in relation to the artists reputation and career. Having that said, I think there are a few more other things that are considered and we might not know about them, like for instance the size of artist's market and his overall quality.
Art is way much complicated than we can imagine, and sometimes maybe only some of us have the gifts to understand it. In any case, this was a great article and I am going to follow you for more. Keep them coming !

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Thanks so much for your very fine comment. You bring up some good points and ideas which I will explore further.

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Thank you ! We'll keep in touch then.

I´m an art historian and I´d say the same about this "art": ugly stuff ;-)
In former times art was real handicraft, today it´s mostly marketing...

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Same with music.

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I assume that the artist featured here could produce what you and I consider "real" art but that he chooses to this style. I'm trying to understand why and who on earth likes it.

HAHHAHAHHA it may be art but doesn't mean its awesome.
Beauty IS in the eye of the beholder but I do not behold this as beauty!

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Give me something by @everlove and you folks down at the Garden!

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Give you what "something". A little more clarity as to what "something" is would help u s provide it!

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Sorry I meant it as "I'd take something from @everlove and the folks down at the Garden over this stuff anyday!"

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oh ahhahahahahaa yes I totally agreee!
@everlove is just such an inspirational and loving creative being.
Appreciate the acknowledgment!

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Do any of these project any emotion to you?

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Not really....Maybe disappointment?

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Shock? Disbelief?

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Yea.....Maybe.....Now that you mention it I could agree to that....Disbelief that so much time, money and resources could be put into something so un interesting.
If that is the point though, in a way it would be "creative" to use the not creative to be creative hahaha

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@kus-knee
Meep can now be classified as an emotional feeling. This is the most we have learned so far about the word “meep.” Is meep a synonym for “wubalubadubdub?”

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These things are just plain rubbish. I agree with your assessment of each one. I don't think you can claim these are any good unless succumbing to peer pressure!

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It definitely an enigma. The re-touched photos that you use in your articles...now that's art! I really do enjoy them!

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Why thank you old dog!! I will keep it up! :O)

Once art is funded by "taxation" in a "democratic" society, or the free market is removed from a command economy, the road to mediocrity and then depravity in art has been taken.. By indomin

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That was quite the quote was it not? I also enjoyed the video about modern art!

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This comment has received a sweet gift of Dank Amps in the flavor of 1.74 % upvote from @lovejuice thanks to: @qasimwaqar. Vote for Aggroed!

There is something very bleak that is beyond the obvious about these works and i think they are very succesful in that. It is not a pleasant feeling and probably not something many are comfortable experiencing, but i think they are quite beautiful from that perspective.

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You are correct about them leaving you with a bleak feeling. The colours seem especially successful in evoking that response.

I think that the problem is what the conception of art is - not your conception, but that of the 'artistic community'. They have lost sight of what art is. So have many art aficionados. If some kid putting glasses on the floor can fool them (http://thechive.com/2016/05/27/glasses-on-floor-mistaken-for-art-7-photos/), then it speaks volumes for their ability to judge what art is.

There is a difference between what you have seen and this:

Splashed-ink Landscape by Japanese master Sesshū Tōyō

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I checked the link in your comment and it says a lot about the situation. I also enjoyed the art by the Japanese master.

In my opinion this is not art from any angle. Art is something that provoke thoughts in a unique way. How can we call something a piece of art when looking at that thing just makes you feel nonsense.
True art is the one that touches your heart and urges you to admire the hard work done in its making.

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Your feeling of nonsense was also felt by me as regards most of the pieces. In some of them I could see some beauty if I looked very hard!

Can't say they do much for me. I think art is a combination of ideas and technique. It needs to have a good dose of at least one of those. I see some art as like a one-line joke, e.g. Damien Hurst's shark and sheep. I tend to prefer art that has some craft behind it.

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I finally checked your reference to "Damien Hurst's shark and sheep". Thanks for that!

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I was always taught to do things well. The cut piece of wood in the first image cannot meet that criteria!

this is the very reason why I've never been a fan of art, it's very subjective but more often people lose the objective. It's like if you keep telling the same lie over and over again, it become the truth. Someone called this art, the person gained reputation and then people wouldn't dare question the caliber of this art.
Much better art out there which is way underappreciated! Kind of like what happens on steemit sometimes - if it's trending does that make it good?.

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"if it's trending does that make it good?"
Well said!

Modern art almost always goes above my head. Maybe it could be all about selling anything which looks different from the normal at a higher price in the name of something special. So basically, a speciality in sale, rather than art. But I did find something in the very first pic. The instant I saw it, I got a human face in my mind. I guess the first pic looks like a human face. What do you think?

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Oddly enough I though that it looked like a toilet seat! hahaha

I liked the exhibition! Simple and refined things! Travel @kus-knee with me in Lvov Palace Count Pototsky!

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I think that it would be lovely!

*No need to know more about art, because it's just a shit, not art.
*The artist must be famous, therefore everything he creates should be "art".
*You are perfectly right!
*Art historians are sure, especially the liberal ones.

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You make some good points!

Why great artist always live in poverty?

Ah la ricerca artistica.....! Il cammino dell'arte dallo scultore Vela a questi moderni è davvero tanto. Io amo tutti e due però....
(NB. Vela nella mia città ha lasciato un bel busto che si trova la museo....)

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I would like to educate myself. What in particular do you like about the above pieces? The piece itself or the emotion that it evokes?

I keep scrolling back and forth, looking at these pictures. I've concluded that I cannot answer your posted questions because I find myself asking them too. I have wood scrapes and folded tarps in my garage that I'm sure no one would care to see. Nothing I'd consider art gallery worthy.

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I hear you!

Thx for sharing.. sometimes a song is just art see this one from our dutch band... and they are still on stage..

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I remember that song as a hit when I was a teenager. I had no idea that they were Dutch.

I sayd several timse here ..... i like musik , i like painting , i like art ........... but i do not undarstend it some time !

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Good point and I agree with you!

I don't get it.

I have made my own furniture before, when I was done I knew it was not perfect, but I made it!

Would I have charged money for it? No, but then some people would.

The pieces you have photos of do not make me believe the artist was trying to convey a message. I kinda feel that they are taking the mickey here.

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Yes I am still struggling to understand what is behind it all!

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I’m sure that’s why most artist I assume these kind feel they are “miss understood” Some of these I’m still having trouble trying make any sense out of. Then again that is sometimes the point there was no reason or thought behind it.

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How do you distinguish between the true artist and the charlatan?

I can't so I am sceptical whenever I see stuff like that.

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Do I know for sure this artist is a charlatan or not? Nope, and it does not matter to me. I did not have to pay anything for it. I did get to learn from it and explore it in a fun challenging way. Most people in the comments on this blog would feel the way you do. Naturally I thought it was rubbish when I first looked at it. Art for me is about having fun in what you can see in it, not always how the artiest sees it or a critic.

Best comparison I can make is an artist in gallery vs a blogger on Steemit. What do charlatans do in both instances? They plagiarized, they make so much “fast” work it’s to the point it’s disingenuous like spamming “gratz, yay, welcome” all over Steemit and self upvoting the spam.

All we know for sure is this exhibit taken 4 years to create. We do not know how many man hours it took; unless, its stated in more detail, and I am just too lazy to go and look. For all we know that second image took a hundred tries to get right. Like a blogger who rewriters what they wrote over and over trying finalize it. Then again, it could be done in one try after 10 minutes of work.

There can be really bad art like there can be really bad blogs. The person making really bad art or a blog does not make then any less of artist or blogger. However, whatever they get out of it will centrally determine if they choose to remain doing something like that. If someone is spamming art like this to get rich quick then a lot of people will notice and not buy or pay to have such a thing commissioned. Like people spamming out a lot of noise on Steemit were we upvote.

A real charlatan at the end of the day in both instance disappears when the “big” money dries up. The real ones have a bigger takeaway than money like: engagement, learning, teaching, making a new friend, being respected, inspiriting others to make a change in their life, creating happiness, creating something original.

🤔...I do not know anything about art but I do not like it at all!
Your photos are well done, but the subjects are not so much...No offense to the artist is clear..

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Yes of course. My intent was not to offend but to seek to understand!

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Your intent was very clear in the blog... there was not offense at all!

Art is kind of like decentralization - no censorship. Thus, you can think art sucks if you think it sucks :-)

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Your right about that!

Upvoted and RESTEEMED!

That stuff is not worthy of an exhibit, in my humble opinion.

Trust your gut. This is CRAP and yes there is peer pressure to bend over, smell it and say it smells good and explain why. This is the degeneration of our modern society.

This is art because it is no art!!

Art is left up to everyone's interpretation. And no, you are not required to like or enjoy pieces that are not to your taste ☺️

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Pretentious crap is possibly the best description for this kind of nonsense.

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Good description.

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You're right!

It all depends. For someone it is garbage, while for someone else it may be the most beautiful craftsmanship

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True but in most of the examples I don't see craftsmanship. I'm searching for an explanation as to how it is worthy of a prestigious art gallery.

beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder
but for some it is just crap

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I hear you!

Once went to TATE modern in London-- there was a box making fart noises, which was considered art... it took up a FULL ROOM!

Sometimes it is not art, just who you know ;)

Sad.

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I read a blog someone wrote a few weeks back about going to an exhibit. It was a room filled with just dirt. Nothing else. An entire giant room filled with –dirt. Even I who can find something out of each of the photos in this blog have a hard time feeling “anything” for a pile of dirt.

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Amazing, funny and disgusting!

So conclusion is that any piece of sh...work can be called art if you can convince everyone around you.
It's already an achievement if someone managed to manipulate people's mind that shoes on the wall is art.

But yeah. Coh, coh... beautiful!

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Yes we need our minds manipulated to appreciate it!

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But it's still funny. You come to an exhibition and there is a freaking shoe on the wall lol.
It was unexpected post, i enjoyed it a lot man!)

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Lost shoes roaming without feet going up a wall is centrally thought provoking. Definitely should call ghost busters. Sometimes things make you wonder what the person was on. Have you ever seen the melting clocks –The Persistence of Memory?

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The softness of the melting clocks and expressing a departure from the linear understanding of time (or any other weird interpretation of his painting).
I fancy Salvador's Dali peculiar works.

The Persistence of Memory.jpg

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Agreed! Lot's of skill and meaning in those paintings!

I am not sure how some of these artists become respected in the first place, but I bet his first works weren't anything this awful and pretentious. I guess once people recognize your name you can do whatever the hell you want. Sometimes these exhibits make you think that the creator just wanted to see how far they could push ridiculousness and still have people heap praise on them. Looks from your post that you stayed in that room even longer than I would have dared to ;) I did see the sculptures in your other post though, and those were magnificent! I doubt this guys' "art" will also be remembered in a few centuries haha

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You make some excellent points especially on whether or not his art will be remembered.

Just because people claim something is art, does not make it art! It is senseless junk...

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I respect your opinion.

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Thank you. It is just an opinion, but I am someone with a deep appreciation for art and culture and do not consider junk as art...

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I am also a big supporter of the arts.

I suppose art of this nature is not meant to be "pretty" or beautiful, but rather to make the viewer think in a different way. Understanding a bit about what the artist was trying to convey might make you appreciate them in a different way, but you still might not want to put them in your living room. I had a university art history lecturer once say, "You don't have to like an art piece to appreciate it." Having said all that, I'm really not sure what this artist was trying to say.

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Some of these artworks project loss of something. While others feel more about creating unity from a family or space and time. They are “different” that is for sure.

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Thanks for your persistent and meaningful contributions to this discussion!

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I really enjoyed your comment! Good food for thought. There was a brochure explaining each piece but I didn't bother to look at it. My bad!

The world has just gone strange.. After the US election and the art exhibit Spirit cooking.. I just don't know about the world anymore. I would say to each their own, but that in no way means you or I have to appreciate shit art right?! Unless it sounds like a drum when you hit it haha!!?

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Strange world indeed!

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The world has always been crazy. It’s just not until now crazy tented to stay in bed and no wonder the streets shouting out to the entire world “look at me.” About 20 years ago when I was a kid I did a “go to your parents work for the day.” In the main lobby was a “painting” it smelt like a rotting dumpster that caught on fire. It was rotting in different shades of green and disgusting colors. One of the founders of that company felt the painting “spoke” to him. So naturally he wanted to share it with the rest of the company. Or at least that was the story I was told as I was rushed past it into an elevator.

If you can copy it in ten minutes then it's not art. Try to copy Mona Lisa painting.

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I kind of like the one with the shoes

the rest....dunno

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Yes, they are interesting. Did they lose their human companion and are just wondering around. Did they escape our normal realm of physics are just decided if they can move on their own why not up a wall.

What are your thoughts?

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I stick with your interpretation

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Do you want me to investigate the sales price for the piece? HAhaha

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no worries I got my own shoes and will find some wood here anywhere also

I really like the last photo! I like the merge between modern and vintage. It keeps balance.

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I agree that it was my favorite of them all. There was a lot of work in shading of color which is hard to see in the photo.

nice post, awesome
i like it very much
good luck, upvote+follow @kus-knee

Good post, I like your post. And i will vote you
Hope you follow me and vote me @kus-knee

Strange art idea

that was very unusual stuff hahah

Modern art goes right over my head

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When I see the tarps I see many things. One of them is a family unit order by age. The father, mother, and a single child. They are alone in the middle of the room fighting the world on single handily. From the outside they seem nice and organized. As you get closer you start to see they are not so perfect with all the dirt stains and folds.

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Wow, with a mind like your yours... you are an artists dream observer!

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Was a very fun topic. Even so more finding a difference of opinion then the common conscience! A topic like this causes me to have to think a lot, and even rethink a few times over. The comments everyone left as well had me thinking. I can’t think of a better way of learning and evolving ones thought process then finding a good blog and going wild in the comments.

Was very easy for me to at first think “well that ugly why would anyone ever pay to commission that. ” This then lead me down a road of thinking and wanting to understand more.

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Well said!

love-photo-248013.jpeg

This is for you.... i love the 5th pic so much