Monday, September 30, 2013


Does music have no meaning? is it not fine art? Kant seems to believe that music is nothing more than surface beauty. I may be wrong but I believe it was said that poetry is a form of fine art. For music that has vocals, it is pretty much just poetry accompanied with a melody and instrumental reinforcement. How can adding instrumental music to poetry disqualify it from being fine art? secondly, many solo works in instrumental music seem to me to speak a language all its own. Although without words, there is still a tone and theme that come across to the audience. I personally believe music in all forms is a fine art for this reason, let me know what you guys think!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Fake and Authentic Art: Can you love both?

Why does society put so much emphasis on whether or not something is authentic?  So many people will base the significance of art on whether or not it is an original piece of work, but isn’t it possible to love a “fake” piece of art? Take these pictures for example; the painting on the right is an authentic painting, while a different artist using the same style did the other.  How is it possible to love one, but not the other if they are almost identical?  The value of the painting on the left is much greater than the other simply because it is by a famous artist.

Read this article, I found it to be a very interesting story about art forgery. Let me know what you think!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Forgeries and Fakes: still works of art?

Similar to the scenario presented in class, you see a painting done by your favorite artist. You love it, adore it, take hours to study its every form and intricacy. You know this painting better than the back of your hand. Then come to find out the work is not from your favorite artist at all, rather a forged signature by an unknown person. The painting itself has not changed at all, yet now the origin is skewed. Why is it that most become so rapidly disappointed in the work all together? In this scenario, I could not lose love for all of the things i did about that work of art. Just because it isn't authentic to your favorite artist doesn't mean it cant be beautiful. Sometimes i find the mystery behind the true artist and the intentions of the work are even more beautiful than the inspired works of a famed professional.

Am I the only one that feels this way? Comment below! :)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Shall I Take On a New Form?

There are some things that we consider to be true and therefore beautiful.  Yet, some people may find the truth to be disturbing to them.  One form of art may not resonate with one person as well as it does with another - there may also be multiple forms of one piece of art, with people preferring one option to another.

For example, William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream has a section in Act 3 with Bottom (an actor) and Titania (the fairy queen) in the forest.
Bottom: I see their knavery: this is to make an ass of me - to fright me, if they could. But I will not stir from this place, do what they can: I will walk up and down here, and I will sing, that they shall hear I am not afraid.
Titania awakes and falls in love with the young man.  Bottom tries to rebuff her affections, but Titania pushes harder.
There is also another scene between Hermia and Lysander with a similar discuss of affections.

The same scenes are combined and played out in the movie Were the World Mine with a different twist.

Some people may not find the words to be as beautiful in the movie form - either due to discomfort over the subject, or the different representation - yet the words are still the same.

Can you think of other examples where you may love something in one form, but not another?

What John Cage did with his music may be beautiful to some, and disturbing to others. Yet he is still using the same medium (music) as Beethoven or other "great composers".  While here it is words.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Art and Science Fairs

I really can't get my mind off of how art should be displayed.  While I agree with the idea that art shouldn't be displayed for the wrong reasons (fame, money, etc.), I don't like the idea of completely shoving new art off to the side and out of sight.  With all the potential that we have today to share ideas and theories, why can't we take the same approach to art?
Instead of approaching art as needing to be displayed for fame and monetary gain, maybe it should be approached more like a science fair.  A gathering of different types of art and techniques that can be shared and learned from, but can also be enjoyed by the public.  I feel that it's a win-win situation, with new art being displayed and seen without all the downsides of being displayed in a museum, but that's just my opinion.

On An Overgrown Path: How John Cage was totally wired

On An Overgrown Path: How John Cage was totally wired: The apotheosis of the first phase, however, was an extraordinary event called Pseudo Immercion. This grew out of an approach by members of t...


In class we watched a documentary about the life of John Coltrane. He was a very spiritual sax player who developed an original new sound in jazz. He has become iconic with the genre to the point that his name has almost become synonymous with jazz, like many of the greats including Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, and Charlie Parker. I realize that jazz isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I would encourage everyone to give it a try. If you already have a favorite jazz artist, who is it? My favorites are John Paul Larkin and Dizzy Gillespie.

Ephebism: Gods Among Us

In a lot of traditional cultures, care was taken to display the human form in a perfected light. Often signs of age and disease were erased from a person's face, and physical imperfections such as moles and scars   were removed. In Greek culture in particular, emphasis was placed on physical strength and vitality because the Greeks believed that the outward beauty of a person reflected their spiritual beauty as well. They even represented their gods in this same manner, creating sculptures of their deities that reflected the human form in its physical prime. Since the Western world is based heavily on Greek culture and art, we can see traces of Ephebism in our own society. In modern times, we idolize the beauty of athletes and actors, isolating them from the rest of the population and placing them on pedestals. Photo editing and make-up allows us to get rid of the physical imperfections that make celebrities human, elevating them to demigod status. If we are as progressed as we believe we are, why do we still put so much emphasis on physical perfection and not the beauty of a person's character? Are there really gods among men in this day and age?

Ancient Ideal

Modern Ideal

Monday, September 23, 2013

"We are not a-MUSED!"

Coomaraswamy argues that the best art is traditional, and he argues that this is due to it pointing toward a divine, or even having a spark of the divine. The issue that Coomaraswamy sees in Modern Art, which I am inclined to agree with, is that Modern Art shifts the focus to the artist.  There is a loss of depth when art does not transcend the individual.  I feel that any art that needs an understanding of the artist to appreciate is in many ways inferior.  Coomaraswamy argues that Traditional Art had a lack of ego, artists gave credit to some divine power for inspiration. The image immediately that comes to mind are the muses of Greek mythology who come to divinely inspire artists.  Ironically one of the worst films ever created dealt with a Muse coming to earth to divinely inspire an artist to open a roller disco.  In this 1980 Olivia Newton-John camp-fest muses glow and dance to E.L.O. in a fashion that has to be seen to be believed!  This certainly is a unique view of this typically "classical" subject matter.

The Rainbow Serpent

I felt that this was a fantastic way to better understand what the aboriginal rainbow snake means.
Without this context this art looses so much value!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Coomaraswamy, Tolkien, and faeries. Oh my!

            In preparing for the mirco-essay I spent some time considering Coomaraswamy’s work.  I must say that the more I consider what he says, the more I find it attractive, the more I think it is true. 

So why do I find his conclusion attractive?  It is very simple, it answers the “why” of art.  How can man create without a purpose?  Let me note that later in this post I will refer to specific types of art (such as theatre, literature, etc.) but the ideas are meant to be applicable to all art forms, or “Art” in general.

For a long time I have been plagued by a question that is usually posed as an application essay for theatre department scholarship grants at larger colleges.  It is; what is the purpose of theatre?  The academically acceptable answer is more or less “to put the problems of society, however ugly, on stage so that we as the audience can deal with those problems and start to drain society’s collective abscesses.”  This answer has never sat well with me.  It is far too secular, too limited, and leads to very distasteful and even hateful shows being produced.  It is also why some hail Theatre of Cruelty as genius.  So I knew I must search for a better answer.  After studying quite a bit of literature on stage magic and conjuring, which is in fact an area of serious scholarly research (see Conjuring Arts Research Centre and their scholar journal the Gibecière,) I came across a very agreeable conclusion that the purpose of theatrical performance, and art in general, is to re-enchant a disenchanted world that has been devastated by the rise of modernity.  This conclusion is a step closer to Coomaraswamy’s philosophy, for it reaches past the materialism of the modern world.  What Coomaraswamy has done is add the final piece to the puzzle with the addition of the necessity of the Divine for the purpose of art.  I can now say with confidence that the purpose of theatre and art is to make visible the invisible Divine order of the universe.

In my free time I came across a very interesting dramatic presentation of JRR Tolkien’s thoughts on myths and færie stories.  What is so interesting is that his thoughts are very nearly those of Coomaraswamy, although he is speaking about literature rather than visual art, and from a strictly Christian perspective.  Let me sum up Tolkien’s thoughts by recording a profound quote from the presentation.  “We make things by the law in which we are made.  We create because we are created.”  Think of Tolkein’s reference to myths and stories as references to “Art.”  Here is the link to the video.  In it Tolkein is speaking to CS Lewis before Lewis’ conversion.

The piece is taken from Tolkein’s lecture on Fairy-Stories from St. Andrews’ Andrew Lang Lecture series.

Why exhibit modern art?

When reading Coomaraswamy’s beliefs on why it is important to exhibit art I came to an understanding of modern artwork in comparison to historical works of art.  The purpose of exhibiting historical works of art is to provide educational opportunities.  We are able to learn from artwork by taking into consideration the circumstances under which each piece of art was created.  Coomaraswamy reminds us that the historical objects, which are displayed in museums, were not created to be analyzed by museumgoers; they were created as common objects, which could be used by anyone.  Objects are now created in bulk with a focus on sales, rather than attention to detail.   This is why I tend to agree with Coomaraswamy’s belief that artwork of living artists should rarely be exhibited because it fails to provide much historical significance.

What makes an Artist

When Scharfstein discussed the collecting of African "art/artifacts" during Imperialism, I became intrigued by the circumstances in which these pieces of art were created.  The way Scharfstein puts it, these "indigenous" peoples recognized the demand for African art in Europe and took advantage of this  demand to create counterfeit pieces which they sold to these foreigners.  Now perhaps these objects can still be considered art, as they require the same amount of skill if they are to be decent imitations of the genuine and meaningful art or artifacts.  However if a skilled person solely uses their skill for material gain, are they worthy to be called artists?  Although their creations are similar to those that are genuie, does the lack of care and thought make them less than art?

This question is still relevant today.  Prof. Langguth addressed this topic briefly and said there are studios in which an artist doesn't even touch the work that is attributed to him or her.  Below is a video that I think addresses this question directly.  If you take the time to watch it, you will notice that the sculptor has a whole team of artists who work with him.  Now although he is working with his team, does he deserve full credit for the creation of this work?  Although he may be the one with the concept and the plan, there have to be several others who were crucial to the projects success.  Shouldn't they receive recognition for their work?  At what point to you make the distinction between who is an artist and who isn't?  There is no denying that this project is a work of art, but should this work be attributed just to one man?

if your not in the mood to watch the video, it shows Pedro Reyes who is working on his third project with disassembled and destroyed weapons.  This specific project mechanizes weapon parts to create music.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Good Evening,

Our readings for today discussed Scharfstein's four symbolic images of human beauty in which he gives examples pertaining to Ephebism.  I found particularly interesting how each was rich in symbolism that was not always a physical attribute, even though that is what these symbols represented with regards to the Chinese using rocks and trees as described on pages 124 and 125 of the text.  I've always been fascinated about Chinese Art and the meaning of metaphors that are used considering that I do this as well when I am creating a painting or drawing.

For instance, take this picture.  It's actually considered photographic art in modern day China and if you notice when you look through the circular opening you will see another glass "wall" in which two artists were trying to express that even though living together, the gap that exists in modern-day families.  This picture was taken in East Beijing and supposedly the artist's are trying to get everyone to think about the changes within their society.

I'm not so sure what I truly think about this being "art" as I am mostly Neoclassical.  However, the symbolism it represents is, in my opinion, very powerful.  As the semester progresses, I hope to discover more about the use of these metaphors and.  Does anyone agree with this?

Music Isn't a Fine Art?

"Many birds...and many sea shells are beauties in themselves...So also delineation a la grecque, foliage for borders or wall-papers, mean nothing in themselves; they represent nothing...and are free beauties.  We can refer to the same music phantasies, and in fact all music without words."
-Emanual Kant, Critique of Judgement

Obviously Kant viewed music without words as a certain kind of beauty, a beauty of the senses, but a beauty without meaning.  This lead him to believe that music was not a fine art.  I believe today a few people would heartily disagree with this idea.  I actually have a friend going to DePauw university who is majoring in Music Education.  She is currently studying Elgar's Enigma Variations and the meaning, or story, that he is trying to tell in music without words.  True, music tends to evoke more emotions as opposed to critical thinking inspired by other 'fine arts', but there is still a valid thought process required to understand and make beautiful musical compositions. So, in my personal opinion, music can be considered a fine art, but maybe it's just really low on the totem pole of fine arts.

Thoughts? Opinions? Arguments?

Aboriginal Art Reflection

For the readings due today, I was particularly interested in what Scharfstein had to say about the Aboriginal art of Australia. After having gone there 2 summers ago, I learned a little about Aboriginal art and what the meaning was behind it. Ever since I went there, I have always been interested in the art. However, Aboriginal art is hardly touched on in my art history book. So, when I read todays readings, I already knew a little, but what I found most interesting was how Pat Mamanyjum Torres described the process and myths revolving around the development of different tribes. To sum it up, he stated that before a child is born, they have a dream of their spirit child playing with say and animal, plant, or weather element. After this dream, basically the parents interpret this dream to be what their child “belongs” to. I found this interesting because the man I have posted a picture of works as an aboriginal didgeridoo player for the museum my tour went to but had also discussed what the paint on his body symbolizes. I forget what animal he said he belonged to, but I do remember that the paint they put on their body before a song or ritual is not just a random design on their body, but an interpretation of the animal they are tied to. At the time I had not retained much information while I was there “learning” about the Aboriginal art, which makes me all the more interested in it because I hope to go back there one day and learn even more! 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Displaying works of art

I personally see nothing wrong with displaying works of art. I do believe it to be true that majority of the "art" is made during the creation of art. Art is the act of creating, it is highly artist driven and focused. With this view, art should not be shown because the hours of making art cannot be captured through the finished project. Although art does have a lot to do with the artists act of creation, others response and connection with the artwork is also another facet that makes art what it is. This is why we display works of art. I believe art is a social construct, and without anyone to share it with, it is only art to the artist with no connection to anyone else.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Evolutionary Aesthetics

So we've heard Dennis Dutton's take on the subject of Evolutionary Aesthetics. To recap, Evolutionary Aesthetics is a collection of theories suggesting that aesthetic preference played a major role in our evolutionary ancestors' (homo sapiens) survival and reproductive success. For example, we saw that arrow heads were found that were not worn down from use, suggesting that they were possibly applied as ornament rather than a tool. These ornaments could then be used to win the affection of potential mates. This is but one example of how evolution could help us better understand why we find things to be "aesthetically appealing". What do you think? Do you agree or refute these ideas?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

On An Overgrown Path: This post-digital spring feels very right

On An Overgrown Path: This post-digital spring feels very right: Modern Occidentalism is threatening to flatten out the whole world and mold it to a single rather dull pattern, throwing away all that diver...

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Uniquely You

"Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known."
Oscar Wilde

What does this quote make you think of?

What does it make you realize about your identity?

Probably nothing, and that's OK! What I want to prove to you though, is the power of your uniqueness. Just by being yourself, you put off a whole new level of confidence. By an individual, you set an example for everybody else, that it's ok to be yourself. But how does this relate to art, you may be asking.

In more ways than one, you, just a simple human being, are a beautiful work of art. Unfortunately though, in today's world, being "you" isn't supported very widely. And because of that, originality is slowly dying.

Some people use their bodies as their canvas with tattoos and piercings, others use their words. And even though you may be following the popular scheme with the way you dress or act, no matter how hard you try to "fit in" you will always be judged. It could be the way your nose is shaped, or the way you talk, YOU WILL BE JUDGED. It is a proven fact that judging people is in our blood and humanity. It is what makes us human, the constant comparing ourselves to other people. But the trick is to not let that judging get the better of you.

Even in today's pop culture, where everyone is trying to get attention and be different in their own way, they get judged just as badly, if not worse. The new obsession is Miley Cyrus. Because of her new video "Wrecking Ball" She is getting a mass amount of haters because of the way she acts in the video. Guess what?? She's just being unique in her own way!!!  And yet no one can seem to understand how important it is to keep this idea alive.

Because we are art in our way,  hand crafted by whatever God you believe in, we must be proud of what we look and act like. No one else can be like us, so remember that the next time you look in the mirror. Being yourself is more powerful than you think.

Is there any art that is truly ugly or aesthetically displeasing?

As an art major I have seen my fair share of art, whether it be a famous painting out of an art history book or museum, or a drawing one of my classmates did in class. However, to answer my question above I do believe there are some ugly pieces in art, but only if the artist did not put any effort into their piece. For example, if the artist did not put forth the effort into their piece, I would call it an unsuccessful piece of art. But, there are also artist that do pieces that are very simplistic and look as if they didn’t try, but they probably thought long and hard about their choice of composition, subject matter, colors, the list goes on. Otherwise, if one believes that the piece is displeasing to the eye, I would recommend looking at the bigger picture and actually finding out more about the artist, their inspiration, and their goal for that specific piece. After looking into all that information you may look differently about that piece of art. I actually had a lecture today in my color theory class about the exact same thing I am telling all of you.

For this blog post I decided to look up “aesthetically pleasing paintings” on google and if you do the same your initial reaction will be very similar to what mine was. My reaction was that 1) On the whole first page, I did not witness any of the paintings we discussed in previous lectures. 2) Literally all of the pieces that were shown on google were nowhere near similar! This means that the perspective of aesthetics is completely personal and all the more confusing to figure out. So really there is no right way and wrong way to perceive art. If it is aesthetically beautiful to one person, it might be seen as “junk” to another. However, before actually clarifying it as junk, I ask you to at least do your research before giving any piece of artwork that title!  

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tradition and the Art of India

Today we discussed, more fully, the traditions which all of us have with regards to ceremonies.  We did watch a short video regarding the Dogon of Mali.  I don't recall if this was the "sigi" in which they performed, but as I sat and watched I marveled at how intricate each mask was and how much time it must have taken to prepare the beaded chest pieces and the colorful strands of straw-like material with which each wore on their bodies.  Scharfstein describes this ceremony as more than art in its usual sense because it is both the expression and the mainstay of social and individual life (93).

I certainly agree with that statement because thinking about our own culture in America, our lives are ripe with tradition and these ceremonies even though not quite as intricate.  The professor mentioned Scharfstein's three senses of authenticity relating to the genuineness of art.  I posed an interesting question when he had mentioned the decommission of some of Rembrandt's work, on the basis that there were too many of his works to possibly be genuine.  I asked why is it that one work of art is valued more than, say a Dogon Mask, and regarded more highly? Is it not still art? We both would like to know the answer to this question and I think that it would make for an interesting research paper.

I believe that what is most important for those who have made posts to this blog, is that art comes in many forms and should be regarded thoughtfully as art simply for the sake of "itself." The Dogon believe in this as well and I think it important that we be reminded of this.  When I create art, not only is it "original" but it is an expression of myself and how I view what is around me.  It certainly will never be a Rembrandt (unless I die tragically and in an untimely manner) but is still valuable because it is my creation and no one else's.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Art with a capital "A"

Throughout our learning, so far, Scharfstein has maintained that artistic preferences are subjective to the individual.  As many of us have agreed, there is not a set standard for what can be considered art and what is not.  Yet can it be agreed that some art is "higher"or more representative of a body of art than others?  Not that any art is necessarily considered less or more than another work of art, but that some pieces have a more lasting impact on art as a whole, because of originality in style, composition, subject matter, and among other characteristics of art.

In the academic world, there is what is known as a Literary Canon.  It classifies Literature into literature with a lowercase "l" and Literature with an uppercase "L."  "Literature" is any work that has a lasting impact on society.  This work's style, theme, and/or originality have set standards or are valuable testaments to the expression of the language in which it is written. On the other hand, "literature" is a work, that while may be enjoyable, it's effects on the realm of Literature and society are limited or very minute, if there are any contributions at all.  Its what determines what authors and literary works I read in class.  In simpler terms, I may enjoy reading Harry Potter, however, Shakespeare's unique utilization of the English language creates a more vivid expression of the richness of our language.  And so far, the novels I have studied, delivered very clear messages and details about the thoughts of the author and insight into a time period in which I have limited knowledge.  They also generally epitomize the Literary style and movement of the time.  Sometimes it encompasses the components of several Literary movements and styles.  In simpler terms, I may enjoy reading Harry Potter, however, Shakespeare's unique utilization of the English language creates a more vital expression of the richness of our language.

Scharfstein seems to say something similar of art. "Because all things done or made have aesthetic aspects, they can all be looked on as at least the raw material for art, or as art in a latent state.  Anything done or made that in any way prolongs or accentuates its aesthetic aspects is art at least in a weak sense.  As a term of praise, "art" is usually reserved for acts or works whose embodied aesthetic experience is especially concentrated, imaginative, or compelling" (87)

Does this mean that there is work that is more representative of a body of art (hierarchy)?  I myself am an art major, and I always find myself wondering why certain artists are considered pioneers in their realm.  Are there some works that are more deserving of a place in an art museum than others? Although I may not prefer their work, should I recognize that a piece by Picasso is higher in the artistic hierarchy than perhaps Cedric Cox, who paints colorful images inspired by Over-the-Rhine in Cincinnati, in a cubist like style?

The good thing about being able to have a hierarchy is that when looking at the body of work artists have compiled throughout the course of human history, there is such a diversity of styles, subject matter, and compositions, that we are able to recognize the diversity with which cultures and individuals express themselves through art.

Or perhaps what Scharfstein is saying is that art is what is concentrated, imaginative, or compelling to the individual.  Yet if that is so, than why are there art museums?  Im sure some very simple drawings done by young children are filled with as much emotion as a sculpture by Michelangelo.

What Do We See As Beautiful?

Everyone has heard the saying "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" but is it really? Denis Dutton said that "beauty is in the culturally conditioned eye of the beholder." Not quite what Plato said, but similar. However, Dutton seems to be more accurate because not everyone's perspectives are the same. Most of it is because of our cultures. I might think something is beautiful, but someone else might think it's hideous. For example, people from America prefer paintings of some type landscape and people from another country might prefer paintings that are abstract and look unrealistic. It all comes down to how we were raised, where we were raised and what in our culture is thought to be beautiful.

As someone else pointed out, a painting that looks like complete disaster could actually be considered beautiful in someone else's eyes because that is just what they grew up to like and that's their preference. Is it art or is it a bunch of lines? Well who are we to say that it's unappealing? Every single one of us has a preference and I'm sure that it's not all going to be the same. It might be to some extent but only because the media influences our decisions whether we think it does or not. One example of this could be a size 2 model advertising make-up. The only way that women can be beautiful is if they look this way and wear the least that's what the advertisement would be saying.

Personally, I think that beauty is determined by the culturally conditioned eye of the beholder and it always will be.

Any thoughts or comments?

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The peoples Art?

After learning about the studies performed by Komar and Melamid along with reading Art without Borders, I was really pushed to consider what art really is. Although the study was done partially as a joke, it says a lot about art. There is no such thing as a universal concept of art. Art itself is fluid, everchanging, impacted by individual people as well as the world and culture that surrounds us. If there is a universal art, then, to me, that universal drawing, painting or statue is not art. What I believe makes art... art is that it's unique, personal, and can have an impact on the individual as well as the whole. Because of this, no one piece of art can be "the peoples choice" because it simply cannot appeal to all aspects of life and portray what everyone seeks in art.

Like the title of our book states, art has no borders. It has no limits, no rules, no universal concepts dictating it. Art that is not free for the artist to choose what he or she wants to do, is not art. Art is as much about the artist's expression as it is the viewers reaction.

Overall, I believe that one piece of art cannot be universally liked, due to the personal aspect that draws us towards it. Because of this, almost anything can be art. As said in class, art was defined as anything that was done "well". While this helps broaden the horizon and include much of what people tend to describe as art, I believe there is plenty to be said about things that are not done well. Sometimes the lack of "artistic ability" and the ability to do things well can end up being the most beautiful pieces of artwork. To explain this I found a story:

A father of a small girl loses his only child. The last drawing that she drew for him was a primitive doodle, shown below, saying "Daddy, I love you" with what looks like a pseudo stick figure next to the phrase. Now clearly this drawing is not what most would consider an amazing feat in art. You won't see this piece in an elaborate art museum selling for tens of thousands of dollars, But to the father of this artists work, this may very well be the most beautiful piece of art he has ever seen. So much so that he incorporated it into his own body, and had it tattooed on his forearm. This crude drawing speaks so many volumes about love, family, suffering and resolution regardless of its design. This is why anything can be art, and what this portrays grasps the true essence of art.

Agree? Disagree? Comment :)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Art or Squiggly Lines?

Everone views things differently. It doesn't matter what part of the world you are from, what language you speak, what color you are, or how you like your eggs, everyone sees things differently. So who are we to judge what is the best and worst painting in the world?

I personally think art is everwhere and everything, it just depends on how you look at it. Art doesn't have to be a painting or a poem, art is the way the trees block out the sun and create a glow, or the way the dragonflys buzz around the grass. Art is just beauty on different levels.

I feel that art is what we make of it. Even if one person thinks that a certain piece is terrible, it is still art. That certain picture could have been the anger the artist felt when he painted it, or the sadness she felt when she drew it. Art is the way a person expresses his/her deepest thoughts and desires. So to judge a painting on the colors, is like judging that artist on their feelings.

Who are we to say what is art, and what are just squiggly lines.

Comments or thoughts????? :)


Hi everybody!

      My name is Kayla Lindy, and I am a freshman at TMC. I am from the Independence, KY, and I was homeschooled my entire life. I have three siblings, and a dog and a cat. I love to play ice hockey, and hang out with friends as much as I can.

      Although this course was meant to fill my core class, I am excited to learn more about art and how we use or see it on a daily basis. I find that art and different forms of it are how we express our emotions freely, and without it, we would become a very dull human race. :)


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

What is Aesthetics?

The answer to the titular questions simply put is that which pleases the senses. Whether that be a painting seen by the eye, a composition heard by the ear, a meal tasted by the taste buds, a perfume smelled by the nose, or fabric touched by the skin, if it pleases one sense or more, then it is of the aesthetic. At least, that's what most believe. My personal beliefs are as follows: anything considered art is aesthetic, and anything that makes one think or reflect is art.

Feel free to post your opinions on the subject.

Most Wanted Comedy?

     While hearing about the most and least wanted painting study I was reminded of another study conducted in a very similar way.  The study was centered around finding the world’s funniest joke.  The reason I bring this up is that I think the study on comedy illustrates some of the flaws in the study on paintings and some of the inherent difficulties in studying that which is a matter of taste.  You will find the link to the study’s website here:

     Basically the idea of the study was to have the general public submit jokes to the website.  These would then be posted and voted on by visitors to the website.  Some demographic data would be collected while rating the joke.  The world’s funniest joke could be found from the highest ratings.  Sounds simple enough, but there were some problems with this set up, one of which was the issue of crude humor.  To get around this each of the jokes was screened by the website staff.  This way only clean jokes made it onto the web site.  I personally do not like crude humor, but many do.  In filtering the jokes to be voted on the website staff have completely done away with objectivity.  You can see the result in the winning joke.  It really isn’t very funny, in the same way that the most wanted paintings were not particularly beautiful.  In an issue of taste, can we censor that which considered bad taste without sacrificing objectivity?

     The very structure of these studies set the research teams up for failure.  Paintings cannot be boiled down to checkbox elements.  The checkboxes do not account for the infinite variety of people’s personal tastes.  The checkboxes are the reason why all the paintings look the same.  I am not a visual artist but I do know a lot more goes into painting that simply combining different iconic elements.  There is gestalt to consider, and painting style.  There is that intangible transcendent quality that separates a masterwork from other works of lesser quality and skill.

     What are your opinions?  How could these studies be changed to provide better results?  I am reminded of Isaac Asimov’s Hari Seldon.  There is power in a large sample size, but one must ask the right questions to produce meaningful data.