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The Fine Arts - What Genres Do You Include

 
 
Reply Sun 10 Nov, 2002 05:07 pm
Do you exclude and art forms and what are they and why?
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Nov, 2002 05:40 pm
Fine art is any art created by the artist's hand and for no commercial purposes other than selling the work itself. There is no genre I can exclude. I would exclude limited edition prints which are produced in studios by other artists and the creator of the work only signs and numbers them. That's a signed reproduction and therefore has a utility -- wall decor.
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firenze pensaforte
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Nov, 2002 02:31 am
(paraphrase) Does art exclude any genre?
No - and in today's world, any production that an artist calls art, IS art.
One may quibble about the liberality of the definition,, preferring to be more exclusive, but the issue
is quality, not genre or "is it art?".
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Tommy
 
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Reply Mon 11 Nov, 2002 03:32 am
Anyone familiar with the art of Tracy Emin. She was a runner-up in '99 for the Turner Prize. Her entry was titled "My Bed", showing an unmade bed, rumpled sheets, vodka bottles, contraceptives, soiled underwear, cigarette packs and slippers. For London critics "My Bed" exemplified Emin's sluttish personality.
I maybe a Philistine - or even stupid - but "My Bed" isn't art.
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firenze pensaforte
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Nov, 2002 03:33 am
Tommy, I don't like this kind of stuff either.
HOWEVER...the art world, which does establish these perimeters, does include this type arrangement as art.
We may call it bad art, trashy art, ugly art, shallow art, meaningless art, etc., and be right in our critical opinion, BUT, it is accepted today as art.
Again, I say, it is a matter of quality, more than bickering about the defiinition.
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Tue 12 Nov, 2002 10:10 am
Conceptual art is something one can do only once -- it's all a theme and variation of Duchamp's urinal turned upside down and Robert Rauschenberg sans the creative painting incorporated into the found junk. These artists are searching for a forum and manage to get into venues of high calibre. It is fine art by the high art establishment definition -- the discussion was regarding fine art which excludes any art for commercial purposes. Institutional art is another description being used (I know, why would you want to be in an institution?). It's not required that one appreciates the art and can hate the art but by definition it qualifies as fine art. The dictionary definition uses the word "beauty" so the art establishment has had to qualify what is fine art by what has been created that is purposefully ugly. Beauty in ugliness, if you can stretch your mind. Some classic paintings are of ugly subject matter but are beautifully painted. Going into a museum and seeing an exhibition of conceptual art is rewarding to me as far as its being provocative but, of course, none of this art is meant to be displayed in a home. I think that is the criteria of so many museum/gallery visitors -- I can't hang this piece over my sofa so therefore it's bad art.
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Tue 12 Nov, 2002 10:12 am
And -- Welcome, firenze!
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blatham
 
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Reply Tue 12 Nov, 2002 10:16 am
Labels, such as 'fine art' are only minimally useful - rather like those Time-Life history categories such as "The Rennaissance" - one can make the mistake of thinking the categories are real, and not just shortcuts for reference.
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Tue 12 Nov, 2002 11:00 am
That could be true but I think that the label of "fine art" is misused in marketing techniques. They want you to believe that a Franklin Mint piece is "fine art" or a limited edition serigraph (silk screen print) is "fine art." In that way, the terminology is usefull in not being ripped off because the marketers use that misconception to increase the price for a commercial product. It's meaningless to try to apply it to some genres and not to others. Duchamp did say, "if I call it art, it is art." As opposed to what? To crafts -- when is something merely a craft and not really art? The design for a pattern of china is art but the actual product is a craft and a utilitarian pieces as well. It is rather amorphous and a matter of semantics. But to exclude any genres is only a personal critical assessment and will not change what is accepted as art. Cinema is accepted as art even though most of it can be construed as utilitarian, like getting the kids out of the house! Cinema is a more of a craft until it actually becomes literate and combines the art of literature in a visual statement or it is an opera recreated on the screen. There are many other examples. It still boils down to anyone being able to say "that's not art" because they don't like it. That is, in reality, what is meaningless. Child art is still art. Childlike art is still art. Art created as a hobby, like Sunday painting, is still art (unless it's paint by numbers which makes it a craft). I guess you could say there is a difficulty in seperating "arts and crafts" as well, not just genres. Fine art has to be something totally created by the mind and hand of a single individual. There's been artist in the present and past who use studios and committees (!) to "create" art -- in truth, they are manufacturing art. Peter Max is one example and Vasarely had a studio (which was called a foundation) to create and produce much of his op art imagery. There's a recent example that has not just pushed out the envelope but broken through it to try and redefine how art is created - Kostabi. He has a "factory" and, as a matter of fact, that is emulating Warhol. How much guidance is provided by the individual determines a lot. We call architecture an art which does not qualify as fine art. The building my be utilitarian but the actual concept and drawings I would say are fine art. Can anyone say that Wright's conceptual drawings aren't fine art?
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blatham
 
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Reply Tue 12 Nov, 2002 12:08 pm
LW

It's quite appropriate, I think, to give a nod (such as you've done in your first post) to the main sense in which this term has come to be used, and also, in pointing to the ways in which the term's real applications are neither consistent nor coherent. The comparison with 'crafts' is particularly astute.
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JoanneDorel
 
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Reply Tue 12 Nov, 2002 01:38 pm
LW you are so right and I love you distinctions. I have a funny re collectibles and limited additions I just need to share with everyone. My father-in-law started collecting limited edition plates Laughing, the ones that are advertised in the Parade supplement to most news papers, I cannot remember right now what the company name is right now. Any way he collected them for years and years and years, he had over 500. Finally, he decided to sell them and of course he could not even get half the price he paid. Well on bad advice from his CPA he tried to deduct the loss he was taking in selling them through the company’s web site off of his federal income tax Crying or Very sad, of course it was disallowed (he was not an antique dealer) and he not only owed an additional $800.00 for 1998 but there were penalties and interest. In the end, after his death in 1999 we sold most them at a garage sale. Actually we got pretty good prices considering. Very Happy

Talking about antiques, recently I have noticed that most so called antique stores are selling junk from the 60s and 70s at outrageous prices! It seems weird to me. When I see the junk I got as wedding presents on sale, stuff I threw away years ago. But I guess some folks will buy anything if they think it is and antique or a collectible or as LW says they are told it is fine art. Shocked
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Tue 12 Nov, 2002 02:45 pm
Crafts and what's considered collectibles mix up the stew considerably but doesn't change the definition of what is fine art. It's the qualification of "fine" that throws people off as we all have opinions as to the quality of the art. Collectibles have everwhere from twenty to one hundred years before they show any signs of appreciation. Less than twenty years is really sketchy and any art, antique or other kind of dealer who makes any promises about something you're interested in is basiccally lying to you to make a sale. You can be almost guaranteed of this even though the laws are really stiffined up in this regard (but not enough, in my opinion).
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cobalt
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Nov, 2002 03:56 pm
Interesting Comments - fine art and what it is.

Hmmmm, I know waaaaay too many people who would argue the definition if it did not include limited edition prints. In fact, the term the marketers use is "limited, fine art edition prints" in many cases.

As far as decorators - limited edition art that is signed is considered in general "fine art", but "posters" are not.

As far as collectibles, "fine art" may be about anything.

For me, I draw a distinction between art and artisan. "Fine art craft" is another term that is hard to define. Whereas whittling of fine duck decoys MAY be an artisan craft / art, it often is a 'craft'. And as an art form, it seems to call up "a body of work" so that it can be judged in the context of a larger whole.

I know that most academically-trained artists want to confer a very narrow definition - but I am a teacher of the folks, so I see also what "ordinary people" say. Thus, it is very hard to separate out work in such terms as fine art, craft, fine art craft, etc.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Nov, 2002 06:28 pm
The vast majority of limited edition prints are not produced by the artist. The oil painting or whatever is used as a maquette (master) is scanned and/or black-and-white negatives and generated by artisans, one who may be a master printer. In a serigraph, these negatives are used for each color way to produce a screen by photomechanical means. Recently, it's been the giclee which is a computer scanned and computer spray printer product. The artist has little to nothing to do with the reproduction process other than okaying a BAF or master printer's proof. They then sign and number the prints. This is not fine art, it is just a method of printing that is more complex than offset lithography which is used for posters. These are reproductions, not in any way fine art original prints. They actually refer to them on some certificates of authenticity as "fine art prints." They are not fine art prints. They are reproductions. If the artist were to sign a print in an art book that was his own work, it's basically the same thing. The instrinsic value of these prints are no more than twice what it costs to print which is between $100.00 and $150.00. Even the most well known artist's signature like Eyvind Earle (the Disney artist who has produced thousands of these reproduced images) are worth less than $25.00. The majority are worth about $5.00 to $10.00 which is what they are usually paid for signing an edition for each print. That makes the instrinsic value of these prints (and there are now literally millions of them) are around $150.00.

They are sold for $1,000 to 1,500 and some olders titles if the publisher is controlling the market are listed at more than $1,500.00 on up. A Neiman print is supposedly listed at $6,000. It's not worth $6,000. It's worth about $1,000 and he's one of a the handful of artists whose limited edition prints were able to reach that price level.

This is, may I use the word, a scam that the U.S. laws are very lax in controlling. You can't sell them in Europe - but you can sell them in Japan.
The market dropped out in the late 80's on these prints but American consumers have a short memory and a younger generation who has made money are buying these prints with the same notion that they are investment quality. Buy dirt (I, of course, mean a vacant lot) and you'd have a better investment.

Even the original paintings by these artists are in question -- eventually, they have to churn out originals to supply chain galleries, et al. They begin hiring artists, teaching them their style and then begin manufacturing paintings! It's kind of horrifying that people are not told of these processes and if they are, they don't understand as the majority of Americans never had any art appreciation or history classes. Many high schools have those classes but it's regional if they are compulsory. In college, it's strictly an elective. And yet these young people get degrees, begin making money and then without knowing what they are doing begin buying manufactured art without knowing what it is.

The process of these kinds of print making for commercial uses is a craft. None of what they produce is fine art. Rule of thumb. Buy a limited one of these limited edition prints by artists that are commercially marketed but have never been shown in a museum deprecitate to 20% of their value the minute you walk out the gallery door. Even original art if fairly priced by a commercial gallery is worth 50%. But it is fine art.
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JoanneDorel
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Nov, 2002 07:33 pm
LW is correct these so called limited editions are scams:

http://www.printforum.com/fakes_and_forgeries.htm

Some oils are fakes but fakes can be valuable check these links:

http://www.ipl.org/div/kelsey/

http://www.sniggle.net/artforg.php
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Nov, 2002 09:10 pm
Fakes and forgeries have been a bad problem - I was really referring to the questionably talented artists who produced basically decorative art. There's faux Monets by the hundreds alone! The laws passed in the late Eighties cracked down on the telephone solictors selling fake Dali's and Chagall's for instance. There was a gallery chain in Southern California called the Upstairs Galleries that was shut down and there were some lame prosecutions of those responsible for the fakes. Since then, chain galleries have been closed down as they were the worst offenders. However, I walked into a chain gallery in Fashion Island, Newport Beach a year ago and they had fake Picasso prints and fake Chagall paintings on the wall for sale. Eventually they'll get caught as someone will take their print or painting to an authority and find out it's not real. The authorities feel that people are stupid to buy something they know nothing about and until someone purchases something and then finds out and files a criminal complaint, nothing happens. But marketing some no name artist, promoting them like they're the next big artist is reprehensible. The artist doesn't even make nearly the money the publisher makes and the retail gallery inevitably ends up with a bulk of unsalable inventory which crushes them into bankruptcy. Or they may make what money they can and simply close down and dissapear. The laws are there but nobody is inforcing them -- it's like the copy warning on the front of a video.
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JoanneDorel
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Nov, 2002 09:16 pm
LW you know those deals the advertise on TV, go to the Holiday Inn this weekend and by your original art work. I have heard that they have art student painting those things about one every 30 minutes.

There is an upstairs gallery in Arlington, TX would you mind checking it out for me? Here is their web site www.upstairsgallery.com. I would appreciate it.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Nov, 2002 09:18 pm
Bottom line on a lot of this is, things are worth what people are willing to pay for them. If they don't want to do the research to find out what they're really buying, then I don't have a lot of concern about people paying more than what someone else thinks they're worth.

I've gone to auctions where people are literally buying books by the yard - as decorative items, not to read. I think books are worth something for the ideas they contain, not for the colour of their binding and how they'll go with the wallpaper, but if it's someone else's $$$, they get to decide the value.

Whatever the market will bear is the real value.
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JoanneDorel
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Nov, 2002 09:29 pm
That is true Betheh, in one of my bouncy bumps along this road of life I had to sell all my stuff from a four bedroom house at auction. I was movin in a hurry, hehe. Any way I took all my prints out of there frames, some wood blocks from Japan, several etchings, and some drawings. But there were a lot of books, actually hundreds and many exhibition catalogs. About 500 CDs and misc. I still have the prints though, just have not had the money to get them framed again. But I love auctions and dream about buying Indian miniatures and Indian clay miniatures at auction some day.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Wed 13 Nov, 2002 02:52 pm
That Upstairs Gallery is unrelated to the defunct California chain.

Products are priced according to demographics, targeting markets and other factors. That they are priced what the market will bear is subjective and an educated guess by marketers in the area of art marketing. It's easy to suppose that if somone will spend $1500.00 on a sofa, they'll spend $1500.00 on a framed print (actually, the cost of these items are about 1/3 for custom framing. It's not that the marketing isn't effective - by and large, it is. What it really does is dumb down the potential collectors, even though some of them eventually become educated and start collecting good art in earnest. One of the jokes in the industry is to weigh a paper print and price it according to the price of gold for that day.

Anyone interested in being a serious collector wouldn't buy anything in a mall gallery, for instance. That's obvious target marketing as they entities know it's a numbers game. For every ten people that walk in the door, there's likely only one that is wise to the game. Out of the other nine, it's a matter of qualifying the person as to whether they can afford to buy. The dorsal fins in view in these galleries is something to see, most of them with only a passing interest in art and recruited from selling at a perfume counter. These are, of course, examples only -- it's a little more complicated than this.

What I am concluding here is that in the area of the art market, retail commercial galleries, most of the work cannot be value by how much the market will bear as there is virtually no valid secondary market for the work. One is simply overpaying for a framed reproduction with an true intrinsic value of 20%.
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