General Question

lloydbird's avatar

Are most of todays 'lauded' artists just a bunch of vacuous, over-promoted blaggers? If you think not, which ones do you think are not and why?

Asked by lloydbird (8740points) July 6th, 2009

Case in point – Today, Trafalgar Square, London (England): Prominent ‘Artist’ ( One hit wonder in my opinion), new ruse, all over the news, Human Statues,on a plinth, Traf. Squ., one hour each,2000 in all (I think),mmmmm….?

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13 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

I don’t understand much of the words you have used. What is a ‘blagger’, and ‘plinth’?

dalepetrie's avatar

@YARNLADY – let me translate from the Queen’s English to American English based on the few minutes of research I just did, and @lloydbird – correct me if I’m wrong.

Are today’s artists really just overrated con artists or are there any with real artistic integrity? If there are, who? For example, there’s an artist who is using an empty platform in Trafalgar Square as part of an art project…the concept is people will take turns standing there, making up the missing column. Does that seem like “art” to you?

YARNLADY's avatar

@dalepetrie thank you

There have been arguments about ‘performance art’ even since the first person ever stood up with a flower in his hair and said “look at me, I’m beautiful” It’s mostly in the mind of the artist, and if anyone else “gets it” the artist is successful.

kruger_d's avatar

1% inspiration 99%ego inflation

dalepetrie's avatar

I think this is an inherently difficult question to answer. I guess first you have to define art, which I would do by describing it as an indirect way of conveying meaning. By that definition, if an artist has a point, then if he is able to convey meaning to someone else, then it’s successful (pretty much what @YARNLADY just said). You can’t really say if it’s “good”, that’s just too subjective…there are a lot of people who don’t think Picasso was “good”, but he was successful at conveying what he wanted to convey in an indirect way…one in his case which hadn’t been done before. You could say the same about Dali, a lot wouldn’t get it, but he did get his point across. Now those two were trailblazers, but it doesn’t mean that once they did it, no other artists were successful in that same “genre” of art. But conversely, just being the first to try something only makes you a trailblazer if it has meaning to enough people and is inspirational enough to make others follow your lead. So, I would say, perhaps no one has tried exactly what’s going on in London right now, but people have been used in art pieces before, so it’s hard to say this person blazed a trail. But does he have a point to make, or is he just fashioning something interesting. I guess if time shows that people read something into it, then it’s probably successful, if it’s just like that guy in New York who draped Central Park with orange fabric, then maybe not. Bottom line, yes there is a lot of uninspired work being heralded as art, and there is probably a significant amount of real art that goes under the radar.

And one other thing to consider is the medium, or rather media these days. Art is always limited to the media available, so in the past we had painters and scultpors and musicians…but now we have film artists, web artists and a whole host of multimedia artists. And great art basically is something that outlives its creator…we may not know what today’s truly inspiring art is until after the artists are dead…that’s how it has always worked. Maybe the best art we have now is people who make movies…who’s to say that Da Vinci wouldn’t have been a Scorcese or a Tarantino if he’d had the medium of film to work with? Maybe the great art exists within animation these days, maybe the creators of animated TV series or graphic novels are today’s most talented “artists”. Certainly music is a form of art, and whereas some music is great, others…not so much. In fact, popularity, which the aforementioned piece seems to have, is not a harbinger of quality, and music illustrates this better than anything. Clearly the new Hannah Montana record is going to outsell the new Elvis Costello record, but which one is actually art, and which is commerce?

kruger_d's avatar

I was caught by your definition of art as an indirect way of conveying meaning. Do you mean less direct than language? I think there is meaning that can be more directly expressed through art or music than through language and vise versa. This may be the reason it is so hard to define in words what makes art great or not so great. Even harder when one’s only experience of the art is a brief description. I will see if I can find a link.

quasi's avatar

There are more sincere and incredibly smart artists working today than you would think.

I’ll leave it at that, as opposed to writing a book on contemporary art. I’ll admit that the issues are complicated, and not all work that is “lauded” is interesting, quite the opposite.

But don’t discount art on account of the duds that are out there.

dalepetrie's avatar

@kruger_d – by “indirect” I meant via a means other than the traditional “direct” route of verbal communication through language. Yes, I do think some meanings come off better via different methods, so perhaps “direct” isn’t exactly what I mean, perhaps I should have said “traditional”?

MrsNash's avatar

Please, PLEASE check out Chuck Close. ... I’d love to hear what anyone thinks of him.

dalepetrie's avatar

I know who Chuck Close is, very famous photographer and painter. I find it interesting that what he does is very much like a painted version of photo mosaics (though his process predates that) I understand it, he’ll take a picture, usually a portrait of a person, then divide the portrait into grids, then he’ll paint each grid…not exactly as it appears on the picture, but in a way that it sort of averages out and the net effect is sort of like impressionism. It’s an interesting technique that merges a number of media and styles…and seems as though his work has been influential to future artists. I’d say he definitely is not a vacuous, over-promoted blaggart.

kruger_d's avatar

There’s a very interesting documentary on his life, his disability, and his artistic processes. Chuck Close:Up Close.
I think his work is marvelous. It’s fascinating to see photorealism and abstraction combined in this way.

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