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makemo's avatar

Why couldn't you care less about contemporary fine art?

Asked by makemo (531points) September 13th, 2008

This is obviously a one-sided question.

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15 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

I can’t find the old question on fluther that discussed the expression “I couldn’t care less” vs. “I could care less:” But it is here somewhere. (Note to Andrew; improve search.)

However; I could care less! you might say sometime in disgust. You might just as easily have said I couldn’t care less and meant the same thing! How can this be? When taken literally, the phrase I could care less means “I care more than I might,” rather than “I don’t care at all.”

And for more:

It is a one-sided question. Why not ask, “What do you think about contemporary fine art”?

PupnTaco's avatar

Ah, Gail. :)

Why don’t I care about contemporary fine art? What I know about it strikes me as esoteric, cloistered, and pandering.

And I say that as an artist myself.

gailcalled's avatar

I don’t know much about art (altho I know what I like), Taco, but your english is admirable tonight. Pandering – swoon.

PupnTaco's avatar

I’m a sucker for the $10 Word Trifecta. ;)

makemo's avatar

I was just pondering about the fact that I went for 8 years in total, on art schools, received a master’s degree 5 years ago, and enjoyed my ‘vacation’ from art ever after.

I should have rephrased that question. I’m mostly curious to know if there are any more fine art renegades out there, who decided to take a dfferent route in their carreers (and why, etc.). I guess I was also in the mood for some bashing on the subject (although somehow I have the feeling it’s not even interesting enough to spend time bashing on).

For reference, I took a step away from art, to focus more on aesthetics (for aesthetics sake) and more allowing (in a sense) creativity – i.e. design – as opposed to the hobby-intellectualism of my fineartsy peers, which became more pretentious than fun.

gailcalled's avatar

We have a little Fine and Performing Arts Center here (pop.1600). In order to receive grants from the NYS Council on the Arts, there has to be a monthly gallery show. Once, without realizing it, I volunteered to write the press releases for the artists who were displayed.

A photographer friend and I went round to various studios (groaning under our breath). Then I had to write the most unbelievable bilge about muddy smears. I was quoted in the Boston Globe once as “Famous Columbia County Art Critic <me>, and several of painters put some of my desperate words on their web page. It did make me wonder.

And check out some of the displays at Mass MoCA in N. Adams.

PupnTaco's avatar

I studied Studio Art (same as “Fine Art”) at Cal State Long Beach. In one of my final classes, I stayed afterwards talking with the instructor, who was impressed with a particular piece I’d done. He asked what I wanted to do with my career – I told him I’d like to work as a fine-art editorial illustrator. He paused, looked me dead in the eye, and said, “don’t sell yourself short.”

Thing is, I guess the world of galleries never appealed to me even then. I’d rather have my stuff seen by everyone, not just the kind of people who go to galleries – like my relative Thomas Hart Benton, who got more out of hanging his paintings in a bar than a gallery.

Art should be for everybody – not dumbed down, but accessible. Not like Thomas Kinkade, either.

I too, took the route of design as a means to an end financially and just in the last few years have “found my voice” as an editorial illustrator, developing a singular style that’s starting to gain notice.

gailcalled's avatar

@PupnTaco; Remember Robert Rauschenberg’s “White on White” oils”?:

The Art Critic in the link is writing the usual tripe.

I am happy that you have found your own voice.

PupnTaco's avatar

Interesting. Taken out of it’s original context, Rauschenberg’s piece becomes mere decoration, the kind of thing they’d whip up to fill a wall space on HGTV.

I do like his silkscreens, though. I used to do a lot of collage (physical and later, digital) and my stuff still has that as an influence.

BronxLens's avatar

“pandering”. PupnTaco hit it smack in the middle. And unfortunately, instead of the movement (it appears to be becoming one) start waning, looks like it has begun to snowball. Just see the art seeping in these past decade from China and you’ll see.

makemo's avatar

I agree, pandering is a pretty nice summing up.

judyprays's avatar

Miranda July defines contemporary art in Me, You, and Everyone We Know in a way that changed my life – she defines it as art that could only be made NOW.

The things in contemporary art museums and the like is usually disappointing – but I think the art of now is incredibly exciting.

To me, art of now is based on interactive media and engaging the public.

For instance… Fluther.

Another good example—>

kruger_d's avatar

I think of “contemporary” as work made during the lifetime of the viewer, which could be 100+ years.
I see makemo’s point. I am frequently disappointed in what publicly-funded spaces choose to display. It seems that art is no different than literature, music, performing arts. You have to crack alot of oysters before you find a pearl. Here are a few contemporary pearls that I think transcend time and taste: Andrew Wyeth, Dale Chihuly, Chuck Close, Maya Lin, Georgia O’Keefe.
As for the questionable judgement of critics and curators, I can offer no defense. It is disheartening that a commodity with the ability to break through cultural boundries is often used to shore them up.

Steeleworks's avatar

I don’t know about your question. For me, when my art sells for about $1200 to 6K, I care a lot. Perhaps even more important, when someone comes up and says they were looking at one of my works and started to see things that are overlooked by casual observance, that is worth even more.

But then, I am an artist and this is how in part I make a living.

Judi's avatar

So you artist folks who think art should be for the masses (and I agree with you) How do you feel about the mass availability of art on cruises? Is it a good way for modern artists to get noticed? Would your opinion be influenced if Parkwest wanted to sign you? Do you respect guys like Alfred Gockel and Anatole Kraznyansky for making a living creating art or do you resent them for selling out to mass production of their work?

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