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Is Abstract Art Staging a Big Comeback?

 
 
Algis Kemezys
 
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Reply Wed 17 Sep, 2003 09:14 pm
I too have over the years rediscovered where i might have gotten the original idea when creating something.Sometimes it├Ęs 10 to 20 years later. Its a really funny conumdrum thats always a surprise to rediscover. Sometimes you might have even disdaned someones art, yet hense the form in the art rereserects itself through what seems natural directions.
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ossobuco
 
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Reply Wed 17 Sep, 2003 10:36 pm
lost a long post, sigh (not a2k's fault). Hi, everybody, especially Algis, long time no see...
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Thu 18 Sep, 2003 11:59 am
And then some artists begin copying themselves!
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JLNobody
 
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Reply Thu 18 Sep, 2003 02:45 pm
art
LW, you raise an interesting question: whether taste is innate (nature) or acquired (nurture). I tried fruitlessly some time ago in another thread to discuss the possibility of some kind of deep aesthetic disposition as an aspect of personality, i.e., aesthetic temperament. You refer to taste as an "innate ability to place an aesthetic value on certain imagery that may be lying there in our subconscious." I agree that taste and much artistic activity emanates from the "subconscious" mind, a set of predispositions not quite in awareness, at least not conscious until they are ex-pressed in artistic production and appreciation of others' work. Art is such a mysterious process; its less than conscious aspects is part of its mystery, and part of its curative value. It talks to us at the level of the "whole" (conscious and subconscious) being.
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2003 07:42 am
Taste is a part of how a person is wired but it is also their priorities -- if how they look (grooming), how their home environment looks is a low priority, there's obviously no evidence of an innate or natural aesthetic sensitivity. There are those who are hopelessly tasteless even to the point of being slobs and perhaps low self-esteem issues are the reason (although I suspect some are happy that way -- ignorance is bliss). Many can't find the way to tap into a healthy personal vanity, for instance. Too many obviously have a desire to create but can tap into the emotional motivation but not into the intellectual aspects of creativity. That's why when someone tells me they'd like to create art, I ask them what training they've had. If they've had none, I advise them to take classes in at least the basics. I always believe that too much concentration on taking class after class of art training can stifle rather than fullfill creativity. Abstract art is very dependent on an emotional outpouring of ideas but they have to be rooted in an intellectual awareness of the basics of painting.
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JLNobody
 
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Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2003 01:27 pm
art
Good points, LW. You say that "taste" has to do with, in addition to innate predispositions, the individual's priorities. They may have been exposed to "good" taste all their lives but nevertheless show no care for their grooming or the aesthetics of their home environment. I have often perceived that such people (and I'm not talking about the aesthetically deprived, those who have no experience with beauty) are depressed. And that once they enter into a program of treatment (chemical or talk) for their depression, they reveal "good taste" in their lives, i.e., show care in their home decoration and personal grooming). But the taste revealed in art production or appreciation is a bit of a mystery to me. I sometimes think the motivation behind and mood of one's artistic production reflects an overflow of joy, but I also see how it can reflect depression, consider Van Gogh and Munch. Ideas, anyone?
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2003 06:00 pm
Taste cannot be an all inclusive word for the meaning of art, of course. There are intellectual considerations in the interpretation of art. I look at a painting and I will likely get different feelings and messages from the image that you will. It may be that I consider the work bad art which is where my developed taste comes in (well, and other factors based on my own training). I consider that a person's psychological makeup is part of the process and that studies are showing that depression is much more of a problem than ever considered before. Van Gogh was most definitely depressed and also was likely suffering from acute tenitus (that could depress anyone!) It often showed up in his images but many of them transcended his own psychological state. That is, like you say, difficult to pin down -- it's as abstract as love. Actually, they go hand in hand in many cases as one can fall in love with a work of art. Ayn Rand in "The Fountainhead" brought that out clearly and the scene remained in the film even though I'm sure many in the audience didn't recept the message. It's when she throws the sculpture from the window to watch it shatter in a hundred pieces below. A powerful image and it has a lot to do with the abstract ideas we're discussing here. Any wonder why abstract art should not be so difficult to comprehend? But, we're still left with the unfortunate reality that there are levels of taste and some people just will never realize that what they like is basically mediocrity.
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Merry Andrew
 
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Reply Sun 21 Sep, 2003 04:48 am
You'll get no argument from me, LW. The problem is that in a democratic society the de gustibus argument achieves the stature of a kind of self-evident truth and the free exercise of bad taste is held to be a scrosanct right. Most Americans don't seem to understand that the expression "I may not know what is good art but I know what I like" is meant in a derisive sense. And, know something? I don't think that the mainstream art critics offer much help.
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Sun 21 Sep, 2003 11:59 am
Robert Hughes is one of the few art critics and historians who has created a voice for the understanding and appreciation of serious art (I wish he'd do a series on Romantic Art through Impressionism). I think he has been able to get beyond preaching to the choir and reached a broader audience through public television especially. But it certainly won't turn by my experience more than 10% of the art buying public away from "collecting" commercial decorative art.
I'm not surprised that most of this is disposable -- people are constantly calling to try and sell their art and most of the are now resigned to the fact that they will not only make any money but will only recoup maybe on a average of 20% of their investment. Most of them elect to keep the art or give it to their kids (if the kids like it). On the few more collectible artists in this manufactured art, they are a little astonished that maybe one image out a hundred has a secondary market value that may be as much or more than what they originally spent on the piece.

It is the goal of the manufactured art industry to get people interested in owning something like an abstract because they do want to encourage them to replace old taste with new taste. What is the difference between that marketing and the new car market? Answer: nothing.
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JLNobody
 
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Reply Sun 21 Sep, 2003 04:40 pm
art
And your argument is that the marketing styles SHOULD be different? I agree, but let me ask you why?
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Wed 24 Sep, 2003 06:33 pm
Marketing policy is fairly complex but the sales technique is really dependent on the individual sales person. The corporate owned galleries do include some sales training in their policy, the chain galleries especially, but it's still open to the salesperson's individual sales style or technique. Fine art, even the commercial print, should be sold based on its integrity and defining what the client wants takes more in depth qualifying than with other products. However, not always -- high end furniture or even automobiles are often sold using a more refined sales technique.

I was a little puzzled about your term "marketing style" as I was sure you meant selling style. Marketing is something encompassing the whole, like target marketing going after a specific audience. Let's say the sales (marketing) "Generals" concoct the plan and the sales personnel "Soldiers" carry it out. That is really not an unsual prototype analogy for organizing a marketing plan, retail or otherwise.
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JLNobody
 
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Reply Wed 24 Sep, 2003 09:48 pm
art
LW, thanks. And I appreciate the differentiation between marketing and sales. I did confound them.
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Thu 25 Sep, 2003 08:50 am
Well, of course, marketing and sales are intertwined. It depends if the marketing department wants to train a bunch of sales robots. Suggestions are certainly in order and it's ultimately the figures a salesperson brings in. Reality, however, is that one is only as good as their last sale.

I would say that selling abstract art is very different than selling objective art -- there's really only the color one can actually focus on as determining the desire of the client. I'm afraid in most cases that is the primary motive to purchase, particularly in the commercial area. Wouldn't that mean the artist would have the tendency to paint in the current fashionable colors? Actually, DeKooning began his career painting for interior decorators.
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JLNobody
 
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Reply Thu 25 Sep, 2003 10:50 am
art
Gasp!
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Thu 25 Sep, 2003 11:40 am
Gasp is right -- but the commercial objective art is pretty much handled in the same way. The artists are painting specifically for a target market.
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