Is the art independent of the artist?
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21-12-2010, 06:14 PM
Is the art independent of the artist?
I brought this up in a class a year or so ago and I'm still mulling it over. I defended the side that art is a separate entity, unaffected by who made it or their lifestyle. Such as: regardless of what Michael Jackson did or didn't do, his music still remains the same quality, same as with Elton John. Much to the disappointment of the homophobes, being gay does not make your music any less complex or beautiful. It is what it is. This all sounds correct until you try to defend the counterparts.

Example being the paintings done by Hitler. Few people will openly admit that Hitler's paintings were a work of art or beautiful. But I believe that his paintings are still the same quality as if done by any other artist. However we as a society choose to reject to acknowledge the quality, thus denying artistic satisfaction to a person deemed morally corrupt. The art quality still remains the same, but we simply turn a blind eye in the spirit of rewarding only those who deserve it.

But this thinking doesn't seem to work on the flip side. If the story or artist behind the painting is positive or intriguing, the painting seems to become "better" in terms of art. Would Guernica have received so much attention if it wasn't backed by a name like Picasso? Or if a terrible painting of a flower rivaling that of a four year old was discovered, only it was signed Jesus of Nazareth and was dated roughly 1950 years ago... suddenly this piece of crap would be considered the most perfect painting ever created.

Anyways, thoughts? Painting and artist separate with benefits or intermingled by the very nature of art?

"Ain't got no last words to say, yellow streak right up my spine. The gun in my mouth was real and the taste blew my mind."

"We see you cry. We turn your head. Then we slap your face. We see you try. We see you fail. Some things never change."
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22-12-2010, 12:27 AM
RE: Is the art independent of the artist?
Art, whether it be paintings, music sculptures, movies, etc, are rediculously subjective to taste based on the opinions of the observer. The talent is less important than the perception of talent. You are right, the quality of the art is not appreciated according to the level of talent, in most cases.

As for Hitler's art, I would prefer to have him remembered as the evil megalomaniac that he was and not bother crediting him for his artwork because crediting evil people for good things makes them seem less bad and less of a threat. We need to remember that there are evil megalomaniacs out there so we can keep them out of power and crediting people like Hitler as an accomplished amature artist may make that harder.

When I find myself in times of trouble, Richard Dawkins comes to me, speaking words of reason, now I see, now I see.
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22-12-2010, 01:35 AM
RE: Is the art independent of the artist?
I realize art is purely subjective. You could show the same artwork to 10 different "art experts" and get 10 extremely different evaluations. As for Hitler, that's what I was getting at; it's not that the art itself is any better or worse in terms of quality, just that we, as a culture, have decided not to give merit or recognition to the artist, since he is not deserving of such praise. The paintings are independent of the painter.

"Ain't got no last words to say, yellow streak right up my spine. The gun in my mouth was real and the taste blew my mind."

"We see you cry. We turn your head. Then we slap your face. We see you try. We see you fail. Some things never change."
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22-12-2010, 06:43 PM
RE: Is the art independent of the artist?
I think the art is separate from the artist but I won't patronize certain things because of who the artist is. For example, Woody Allen, Mel Gibson and Roman Polanski will never, ever see a penny of my money, I don't care how artistic or good the film may be. All 3 can rot in hell as far as I'm concerned.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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22-12-2010, 10:57 PM
RE: Is the art independent of the artist?
(22-12-2010 06:43 PM)BnW Wrote:  For example, Woody Allen, Mel Gibson and Roman Polanski will never, ever see a penny of my money, I don't care how artistic or good the film may be. All 3 can rot in hell as far as I'm concerned.

Now, I understand the other two, but what's wrong with Woody Allen?

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23-12-2010, 09:52 AM
RE: Is the art independent of the artist?
While Woody Allen was with Mia Farrow, he had an affair with (and later married) Farrow's adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn. While Allen had no legal relationship with her, he was basically a father figure to her from the time she was like 11. I found it absolutely immoral that he would basically take advantage of that relationship and have sex with a girl who was, for all intent and purposes, his daughter.

There was nothing illegal about it, but it was disgusting enough that I put Allen on my own "all time scumbag list".

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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23-12-2010, 11:36 AM
RE: Is the art independent of the artist?
See I never knew that about him, makes sense now Tongue Now would you say that's better or worse than Ben Franklin's behavior? Tongue

I believe art needs to be separate from the artist in order to have relevance. The magic thing about art be it music, paint, film, or photography is that it can move many people in many different ways. A painting can have many different interpretations and some might click more, resonate better, than others with certain people. When you rely on a connection with the artist you also implicate the artist's intention as being the authority, thereby diminishing the role of the consumer (whether you're literally buying a print or just looking at a gallery in a museum).

Additionally, Hitler's paintings are just bad... Nobody wanted to buy them or enjoyed them BEFORE he was a fascist dictator, this wasn't a post-Nazi product. Hitler was a terrible artist and his art is awful as well, this wasn't socially constructed after the fact.

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24-12-2010, 11:25 AM
 
RE: Is the art independent of the artist?
Speaking of Hitler's paintings, I just researched for a few seconds and found this viewpoint of the "legendary" work of Hitler.

http://www.artmany.com/adolf-hitlers-bea...tings.html
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24-12-2010, 05:15 PM
RE: Is the art independent of the artist?
He should have stayed a painter. I believe that I remember a documentary that included his owning of an art store and most of his customers were Jews. How darkly ironic can life get?

When I find myself in times of trouble, Richard Dawkins comes to me, speaking words of reason, now I see, now I see.
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26-12-2010, 05:23 PM
RE: Is the art independent of the artist?
May I call myself in as evidence of this?

This is how I grew up:
http://threeminutethoughts.files.wordpre.../chavs.jpg

This is one of my all time favorite songs:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9hAPo9o-6w

This is what I drew:
http://d.facdn.net/art/cetaceaphile/1289...._copy.png

I'd say that art is art, the artist is the artist.

[Image: sigone_zps207cf92c.png]
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