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What constitues GOOD art?

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What constitues GOOD art?

Postby BAReam » Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:25 pm

Well folks, Nona has posited the question "what is GOOD art" and I, being me had to run with it :o Well,... we being artists, and not being Clement Greenberg should have some definitions as to what GOOD art is, or is not. I, myself have some opinions as to what good art is, but will defer for awhile until we get some dialogue going. Go for it kids :D

all the best... Bruce
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Art?

Postby pehiatt » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:04 pm

Any human effort that intentionally modifies reality is art. The question as to what is good art however is not an easy one.

My standard opinion is that good art makes an emotional connection between the artist and the audience (viewer). This connection is not always beautiful or pleasing and artistic skill, while admirable, is not always the key to making something good.

Good is subjective and needs to be taken in context. Look at the refrigerator door in most homes with children.
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Postby BAReam » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:14 pm

Thanks for your opinion Pehiatt... will defer a bit.
be well.
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Postby william » Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:48 pm

Ahhhh, what is good art?

We all know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so I think it's a matter of relevance. If you are a representational painter, "good" is going to be differ a bit from the oppinion of an abstract sculptor.....some people think good art should represent the world, others think art should be purely creative and subjective.. and still others think art is as good as the skills of the artist.

I think good narrows down to 3 common things:
1. Is the composition good?
2. Did you relate the message or feeling you wanted?
3. Did you catch the eyes of viewers?

If you say yes to all 3, then you may have "good" art.. With the diversity of style and media, good is always going to be relative. I could probably keep going but should let someone else say something.....
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Postby Erika Takacs » Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:04 pm

Good art to me is something I want to see over and over again and never get tired of it. Or best even, one that keeps growing and getting better with time. like good wine.
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Postby nonarom » Wed Aug 20, 2008 5:40 am

Ooh, so beautiful Erika...I also liked the Pehiatt's thing with "refrigerator door"... It seems that the GOOD evaluation depends on the eye of the viewer. Still, there are some trends in art sometimes - Bruce had presented a duplex of beautiful works and DLKeur evaluated them as EXTREMELY GOOD and "sellable". I also liked them very much, but I can't explain why...May be DLKeur would tell us a few words...
Also, the people who evaluate the works in contests could tell us something about their criteria...
Please don't take it as a challenge, don't make comments if you don't want to, I am just curious and I want to LEARN.
Thank you Bruce for opening this topic.
Cordially,
Nona
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Postby BAReam » Wed Aug 20, 2008 9:07 pm

Well I guess I'll chime in. Thanks Nona for your reference... I'm glad you liked them.
I have a few criteria that I generally go by:
A) does the work have visual impact? Does it capture your attention enough to draw you into the work and make you want to decipher or understand it; or does it make you stand back and say Ooooooh, Aaaaah!

B) does the work have a point of view or message.. beyond being just a pretty or pleasant painting/sculpture etc. . Does the piece show intellectual activity on the part of the artist by posing a question or does it show in some way the artist is personally vested in the work?

C) does the work show artistic mastery of his/her medium? Is the composition good, and I'm not referring strictly to classical--Golden Triangle composition, but rather a visual sense of balance and harmony. This applies to both color and form.

I guess these are pretty formal criteria... but then that is the way I was trained, or more accurately, how I trained myself. When all is said and done, I ask myself "does this piece have AURA" which is in itself subjective and difficult to define. " Aura " might be a topic in itself.

I too enjoyed John's reference to the fridge door :D as children;s drawings tend to show simplicity, personal investment, sponainaity with little regard for correctness in either color or form... a purely direct response. I've evaluated children's drawings {draw a house /person and tree} to detect abuse etc., etc.. The results are all telling to say the least.
I'm getting off on a tangent so will dumby-up awhile.

be well... Bruce
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Postby william » Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:08 am

Well said Bruce, the concept of good art, I think, comes down to those general rules, no matter what you're making, that most of us are trained to follow. And it does center on do you capture you're viewer's attention with a well executed piece that conveys a specific message or ellicits an emotional responce.

Good or bad, the concept is very subjective to the viewer.
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Postby DLKeur » Thu Aug 21, 2008 10:01 am

Good art evokes...a response in the observer at a fundamental level, engaging their perception of what is. This doesn't have to be a "good" or "bad" reaction, neither one. They can love it or hate it.

But "good" art also depends upon the observer owning the capability to respond to a work; they cannot be inured to stimulus or addicted to certain types and levels of stimulus.
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Postby BAReam » Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:09 am

DLKeur wrote:Good art evokes...a response in the observer at a fundamental level, engaging their perception of what is. This doesn't have to be a "good" or "bad" reaction, neither one. They can love it or hate it.

But "good" art also depends upon the observer owning the capability to respond to a work; they cannot be inured to stimulus or addicted to certain types and levels of stimulus.


Well said Dawn, and we all have experienced the viewer with such a myopic viewpoint that art falling outside their narrow definition of art that all else is without merit. Unfortunately it seems that group of people tend to be the most vocal in their opinions.

And yes, we all filter our perceptions through personal experience, much of which tends to distort our perceptions; for better or worse.

Bruce
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Postby BAReam » Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:24 am

william wrote:Well said Bruce, the concept of good art, I think, comes down to those general rules, no matter what you're making, that most of us are trained to follow. And it does center on do you capture you're viewer's attention with a well executed piece that conveys a specific message or ellicits an emotional responce.

Good or bad, the concept is very subjective to the viewer.


Thanks William. The fun really begins when you attempt
eaking the rules and still ending up with something of merit :o I feel it is akin to walking a tightrope..., their is always the risk of failure e.g., falling on your arse.

Be well... Bruce
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Postby william » Thu Aug 21, 2008 6:36 pm

"Falling on your arse", is a risk we all take Bruce. And in that case, you have to fall so you can learn to get back up.....at least that's what I tell my boy.
And do understand, I use the term rules loosely.........

Be good.
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Postby william » Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:14 pm

Now here's a twist, we all look at the reaction of the observer, big rule....
how about how we view our own concept of good or bad....

we rely on what the observer says, how about self critique? we all hopefully have people who support us in saying we are fantastic and well skilled at our individual craft, but what about our own oppinion of our work? I think we show to others to make us realize that we are our own worst critic. (I hope I'm not the only one who feels I can achieve more in my work.) If I didn't show images I thought could still be better or were not "good", I'd have 1 in 100 pieces I'd show.

I'm rambling, but I think I'm trying to say, the concept of good art starts with us and our oppinion of what we do. How we visualize a concept , execute a piece with our media, and present it to the world.
Maybe "good" is a dance between us and the observer, what we create and present, and the reaction it provokes whether an observer loves or hates our work...( Of course if it's a critic, may he/she love our art)......

I guess in the end, when I make a painting that I think is truly as "good" as its going to get.......I'm going to take up basket weaving. (I'm only 38 and I've got a way to go).

The concept of "good" art does get to me because I look at my own work, feeling it's not good, that it lacks something.....whether it's skill or subject matter i don't know....but yet I get the reactions that some of it is in fact received quite well by those who observe it. But then again, I might be shifting and ranting off topic.
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Good Art

Postby Mike51 » Fri Aug 22, 2008 10:03 am

William, you make an excellent point about self critique. As a matter of fact, in my opinion you have all made excellent points about good art. I am wowed by by the level of thought evident by this group.
Does anyone feel the way I do about the standard convention of our training, formal or not, that rules of composition and color and perspective ect. are like traffic signals........just a suggestion? To me the goal is, as you have all stated so elligantly, making that connection to the viewer. WOW it's hard to do. Self critique is hard to do effectively. That is what I like about this site.
Of course you all have to agree that my art is good!!!!!HUH :wink:
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Postby william » Fri Aug 22, 2008 10:14 am

Mike, :lol: :lol: nice pic.

Yeah those composition rules are like signals, and like it or not, even when we
eak one set of "creative rules" we follow another set. It's inevitable, I try to
eak the rules while painting, then I turn the canvas til it looks right..... I keep even the crappiest of pieces, you never know whow will like it...... I know I'm ruined cause back in art school, a little course called colors studies
oke me.. In the words of my past instructor, "You CAN NOT make a good piece of art unless you know how to handle color" Thus you might notice i look at color in the composition a little more than other elements.. Even when I try to
eak the rules, I hear the color angel in my head whispering "use more bluuueeee...... :roll:
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Postby BAReam » Fri Aug 22, 2008 11:07 am

Color ... well open the peepers to this; my optomitrist (sp) told me once that from 10-12% of the population is color blind to some degree :shock:

Just something to ponder till I get back later... you are so lucky!
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Postby william » Fri Aug 22, 2008 5:49 pm

Well color is one of the top things we look at in a composition, then shape, balance, line, pattern, texture, value, contrast........ Most of this can come down to color......

By the way, I didn't mean any offense BAReam, just going on what I've been learning along the way. And that was a crazy course, I had to color match the color-aid swatch book with liquitex acrylics to prove I could use good color, of course, that was just the first week of class. But like I said, stuck with me, even a color blind artist to some extent is aware of color in his/her work....(if I'm wrong or too direct, you can slap me.... 8) ) .

But color use is important in creating a "good" piece.....and even I lose my way with it too.....
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Postby BAReam » Fri Aug 22, 2008 11:14 pm

william wrote:Well color is one of the top things we look at in a composition, then shape, balance, line, pattern, texture, value, contrast........ Most of this can come down to color......

By the way, I didn't mean any offense BAReam, just going on what I've been learning along the way. And that was a crazy course, I had to color match the color-aid swatch book with liquitex acrylics to prove I could use good color, of course, that was just the first week of class. But like I said, stuck with me, even a color blind artist to some extent is aware of color in his/her work....(if I'm wrong or too direct, you can slap me.... 8) ) .

But color use is important in creating a "good" piece.....and even I lose my way with it too.....


I'm absolutely livid... NOT :) No offense taken, we are in agreement. I should have been more specific about color blindness. I was thinking more about the observer of art than the artist themselves.
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Re: Good Art

Postby BAReam » Fri Aug 22, 2008 11:23 pm

Mike51 wrote:William, you make an excellent point about self critique. As a matter of fact, in my opinion you have all made excellent points about good art. I am wowed by by the level of thought evident by this group.
Does anyone feel the way I do about the standard convention of our training, formal or not, that rules of composition and color and perspective ect. are like traffic signals........just a suggestion? To me the goal is, as you have all stated so elligantly, making that connection to the viewer. WOW it's hard to do. Self critique is hard to do effectively. That is what I like about this site.
Of course you all have to agree that my art is good!!!!!HUH :wink:


Keep an eye on this character... "he appears to be a fairly dangerous man" Arlo Guthry............. the picture, where did the picture go :wink:
just a little levity/stupidity to lighten the load.
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Postby william » Sat Aug 23, 2008 9:06 am

BAReam, good, I might have taken the color blindness thing wrong, but viewer or artist it is an issue for some. Back in the school days, when I got ruined by color theory, I had a little hobby of tring to make the color blind see and comprehend the colors they are blind too..... of course that was a decade ago....
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