General Question

TROLL's avatar

Is Abstract art, childs play?

Asked by TROLL (378points) May 20th, 2009

I personally don’t get it,are there any art buffs among us who could enlighten me?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

25 Answers

Les's avatar

Art doesn’t have to look like “something” to be art. Abstract art evokes a feeling in the viewer; it is an attempt to allow the viewer to develop his/her own impression of what the piece of art is conveying. Just look at some of my favorite abstract artist’s work, Wassily Kandinsky His abstract images flow the way a musical score does. They are crazy, multifaceted works which allow the viewers to feel the painting, more than see it.

IBERnineD's avatar

Abstract art challenges the norm and while some people will claim that they could easily throw paint on a canvas like Jackson Pollack, no one could use is color theory, he uses each color evenly throughout the canvas. Piet Mondrian painted all his blocks of color by hand and with the precision of a machine. Tony Smith found a way to incorporate the audiences and environments in which his work was encountered.
Basically all abstract artists found and created new ways to look and experience things. Traditional realistic art just recreates the world around you, while abstract art allows you to explore a place you never thought of.

ubersiren's avatar

There’s some abstract art that I think looks like crap (like something they sell at Value City furniture), and some that I think is amazing. A point of view I hear from a lot of art students is that there are standards that qualify a piece as art or not, but I don’t really agree. I think if the artist deems it art, then it’s art to them, and if you think it’s crap, then it’s crap to you. Art is highly subjective to me. It’s meant to be interpreted and interpretive. If you don’t get it, maybe someone else will.

wundayatta's avatar

Abstract art is not about telling standard stories. Rather, it is a kind of meta-art or art about art. It is an examination of specific issues, such as color or shape, and many other things. So, to a person expecting a pretty picture or a standard story, it won’t mean much. However, if you see things a little more inclusively, then you can see stories about paint or shape, or texture.

Often these stories have a lot of theory behind them. So it becomes an experiment in the way the various elements of art work. Sometimes these stories can be understandable just by looking, being open, and feeling. Sometimes you need to understand the concept in order to get what the artist was going after.

While it can look like child’s play, it’s really adult play. Kids may be trying to make pictures that make sense to them. An adult is messing with your head—sometimes pleasantly, and other times not so much.

ubersiren's avatar

@bob_ : I love that!

RareDenver's avatar


That’s fucking ace!

IBERnineD's avatar

@daloon perfect answer!

Blondesjon's avatar

Modern art is like poetry. Anyone can throw a bunch of shit together but it takes an artist to make others comment on how much it smells like a rose.

Linda_Owl's avatar

There are very few abstract paintings that appeal to me, I prefer realism. However, to create abstract art is not ‘child’s play’. The artist has an idea that they are presenting & it may be clear to you, or it may not – but the underlying idea is there for the spectator to figure out.

Dansedescygnes's avatar

I tend to agree with @Linda_Owl. Abstract art really does not tend to appeal to me as I prefer realism. Because I’m a photographer, art that resembles photography greatly appeals to me, especially art that displays extreme talent.

And I do acknowledge that abstract art can be “deep” and the artist may have an intended meaning for a particular abstract piece. However, I’d be willing to bet that there are some artists out there who really don’t have any idea what they’re presenting. For example, there’s a song called “White Winter Hymnal” by Fleet Foxes. The lyrics are very strange and mysterious and numerous people discuss what the lyrics might mean. It was later revealed the writers of the song had no meaning in mind for the lyrics. The meanings were completely created by people listening to it rather than the people who created it. This is what I feel a lot of what goes in literature classes is: the author didn’t think of something, but the people reading it came up with something from it. I don’t really consider that a problem, I was just pointing out that I don’t think the artist necessarily always has an intended meaning; it may just be random and people are creating their own interpretation of it.

I kind of disagree with @daloon, I don’t think either form of art is child’s play. However, there is a certain difference in talent that can be seen in some works. It’s a lot easier to paint a red square than it is to paint a landscape.

simpleD's avatar

I’m a photographer as well, and I prefer abstract painting over the hyperreal style. When I look at a realistically crafted painting, I wonder “why didn’t they just use a camera?” Were they trying to show us how talented they are? I can look out my window and see the same view. But if a well conceived and executed abstract work resonates with me, I can be involved with it at a much deeper level. What was the artist thinking? What was she feeling? Who were his influences? What does this make me think and feel? What does it remind me of? It’s the difference between poetry and prose.

Dansedescygnes's avatar

I am impressed by talent. When I see a realistic painting I like to look at every single detail that they’ve thrown in there. It takes a lot more work than taking a picture. The reason why I prefer realistic art is simply because it looks better to me. I’m not saying it’s deeper or anything, just that for me it is more aesthetically pleasing. When I want abstract, I usually turn to abstract literature or music. I am not judging a work of art’s “value” or “worth”, I am simply saying what I prefer. And just a photograph can have plenty of meaning, so can a realistic work of art.

I happen to think this is beautiful: I don’t care if it looks like a photograph. If it were a photograph, it would still be beautiful. The fact that it is a painting makes it even more interesting to me.

wundayatta's avatar

@Dansedescygnes Funny, you said you disagreed, and yet your statement indicated you agreed with me. We both appear to think that abstract art is not child’s play. Perhaps you just glanced at my post and misunderstood it.

Also, you referred to “either form of art” in you post, and I’m wondering what you’re talking about. I’m only talking about abstract painting. What is the other form of art you are talking about?

Dansedescygnes's avatar


Realistic painting. You said “kids make pictures that make sense to them”. Was that not referring to realistic art implying that it’s childish?

wundayatta's avatar

Nope. Reading too much into it. I meant what I said. Kids make pictures that make sense to them. I was not passing a negative judgement on their art. I also wouldn’t call it realism, either. Kids, in my experience, are generally pretty abstract.

Stick figures, for example, are highly symbolic, and are much closer to abstraction than they are to realism, at least, as I look at it.

_bob's avatar

@daloon “Stick figures, for example, are highly symbolic, and are much closer to abstraction than they are to realism, at least, as I look at it.”


Dansedescygnes's avatar


Aight. Just checkin’.


Your avatar is so cute. :)

Blondesjon's avatar

@bob_…I agree. You’re avatar is, indeed, the shit.

did you make it or find it?

_bob's avatar

@Dansedescygnes Well, I like to think it’s a representation of me ;)

@Blondesjon It’s from Cyanide and Happiness.

IBERnineD's avatar

@bob_ I love Cyanide and Happiness!!!

_bob's avatar

@IBERnineD You must have great taste ;)

YARNLADY's avatar

In the evaluation of art, you have the “experts” that supposedly judge on the basis of experience and background, yet in a blind art show, they could not tell the difference between animal generated paintings and human generated paintings.

Personally, I belong to the “I know what I like” group, and that’s what I base my purchases on.

susanc's avatar

This is so depressing.

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