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Arts & crafts

At last! What separates Michelangelo from....

(21 Posts)
bagitha Wed 28-Mar-12 09:32:22

... the likes of Damien Hirst, is that Michelangelo was an artist. Hirst isn't. Seems people are finally catching on about contemporary 'art' cons. See this article by Julian Spalding from the Indie.

Greatnan Wed 28-Mar-12 09:38:00

Conart is a good word to describe the likes of Hirst and Emin. I always want to shout 'The Emperor is stark naked'.

GoldenGran Wed 28-Mar-12 09:41:25

I absolutely agree, it is a good article

Annobel Wed 28-Mar-12 09:45:58

Let's hope that bubble bursts soon and real artists are able to make their mark again. Luckily Hockney has never gone away, except to California.

Carol Wed 28-Mar-12 09:47:51

I love lots of abstract and contemporary art and sculpture, but Hirst and Emin leave me cold.

Mishap Wed 28-Mar-12 09:50:06

Con Art indeed - what an excellent article.
When my D was studying History of Art at uni, they had to produce some art efforts themselves, which she did and enjoyed. Hers was a series of paintings based on forms seen under the microscope.
A friend on the course was doing her work and the tutor said it was too "nice" and "bland" and that she would get a very low mark if she did not make it more interesting. So the girl thought "S** this" and produced a complete p***-take - she divided a sheet of board into squares and in each she very rapidly and crudely drew a gruesome scene - torture, beheading, rape etc. - in which the central character was a jelly baby stuck on. Needless to say she got the top mark ("a searching examination of the nature of innocence") - talk about the emperor's new clothes!

Mishap Wed 28-Mar-12 09:53:20

PS - I speak as someone who has nothing against abstract art and who has indeed made part of my living from selling abstract photos.

It is so-called conceptual art that is the problem. The only thing that matters is the concept, and no artistic talent is required. If you have no interest in (or do not cotton on to) the concept then the whole thing is pointless.

Unlike real art, where if the subject matter is not of interest to you or you do not cotton on to the iconography, you can still admire and enjoy the skill and the beauty, and take away something from it.

JessM Wed 28-Mar-12 11:03:09

There is some great recent art and a lot of silliness. Once Duchamp put up an urinal and called it "art" the statement had been made.
I am a fan of Anish Kapoor for instance.

SuzieB Fri 30-Mar-12 19:26:06

Enjoyed the article very much! I did Art Hist. at uni. and love lots of contemporary art, but so many 'con' artists don't do any of the work themselves. They come up with some idea and then get assistants to realise them. I was looking forward to going to see Gavin Turk's small tapestries but they are just his name executed by members of the terrific Cell Work. If I got some similarly talented people to embroider some wall hangings for me, based on some idea I had thought up, would the likes of Chas. Saatchi buy it? I don't think so! He has a lot to answer for, silly man.

HildaW Wed 13-Jun-12 21:59:15

I did an O.U. degree in Humanities and included some History of Art.....I too quickly decided that there was an element of 'The Emporer's New Clothes' about a lot of modern stuff. We want to say what we think but fear being ridiculed. There is much merit in art produced more recently and I can vividly recall sitting in Tate Modern being very moved by the Rothkos there. However, just using some medium to pour out real or imagined feelings does not automatically make good art. Justifying shoddy work by saying that it is emotionally honest does little for me. Mind you over intellectualising even great art can be a right old turn off too!

crimson Wed 13-Jun-12 22:16:10

Rothkos are a great example. A friend of my daughters sold her a painting that was Rothko like. But it was just a series of stripes. How Rothko could have painted the things that he did but give them feeling is beyond me. I very much wish I could have gone to the Jackson Pollock exhibition that was on in London years ago, because I wanted to find out how I felt about looking at them. I stood in front of a painting of a MadonNa and child in the Uffizi Gallery when when I was in my early twenties and just found myself crying; likewise I saw Michaelangelo's Moses, a statue that always looked very ugly to me in photos and was transfixed by the detail; the veins in the hand had me spellbound. I'll never forget a dead cow lying in a field near our village [not sure why it was there @ foot and mouth time perhaps] and an old lady I spoke to laughed and said that Damien Hirst had been out and about; that made me realise that the YBA's had somehow infiltrated the consciousness of the great British public.I don't get Tracy Emin. But I love Grayson Perry.

tattynan Wed 27-Jun-12 22:07:50

When I look at a piece of art I judge it on wether I could do that or not. If I think I could create that piece then I don't think much of it because I don't think I'm much of an artist. So I see alot of modern art as unworthy - anyone can arrange a pile of bricks on the floor. Hey may be I am a great artist.
The real art I suppose these days is getting someone to buy your shark in a tank and if people are stupid enough to do that you can't really blame the artist for producing that sort of art.

nanaej Wed 27-Jun-12 22:23:20

There are many 'great paintings' that I dislike although I can appreciate the technical skills of the artist. There are pieces that appear to be less technically difficult that I really like and appreciate far more.

The Saatchi Gallery is interesting to visit .. private collection but free to view. They often have the curators talking about the pictures /pieces and about the artist and context of the art work. I have found that useful in developing a more open view and better understanding of contemporary art..some of which I like but some leaves me cold!

crimson Wed 27-Jun-12 22:51:42

Didn't a lot of it get destroyed in a fire a few years back?

nightowl Wed 27-Jun-12 23:10:47

I am not at all knowledgeable about art, but I am certain that Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst are not artists in any sense.

I had a similar experience to crimson ie found myself crying when faced with a painting, in my case to 'The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist' by Caravaggio which I came across on holiday in Malta some years ago. I had never even heard of Caravaggio but was completely transfixed. I love the way he brings people to life so that even after so many years you feel they could step out of the painting. How can an unmade bed be considered in the same breath?

crimson Thu 28-Jun-12 14:46:43

I caught the end of a programme about the Pre Raphaelites made by Andrew Lloyd Webber last night [I think it's been on before]. Birmingham Art Gallery was full of them which is probably why I grew up loving them.

wetweekend Fri 29-Jun-12 15:19:56

Yes I find Caravaggio moving and engaging. Saw an exhib of his at the National some years ago, and it was almost overpowering. I often wonder what sort of a person he was. I know that he killed a man once and dont know how this came about. Anyone know?

nightowl Fri 29-Jun-12 16:29:27

Yes I think Caravaggio was a bit of a lad to say the least. He was on the run when he went to Malta I believe and he 'died in mysterious cicumstances' according to Wikipedia. I have seen a few of his paintings since the one in Malta and they never fail to touch me.

On a different note, I also like Georgia O'Keeffe - I took DD to see an exhibition of hers in Dublin 5 years ago and it was stunning.

crimson Fri 29-Jun-12 19:41:19

Simon Schama [sp] did a series about artists a few years ago and one of the programmes was about Caravaggio; afraid my memory isn't good enough to remember the details of his life. A good series though, and worth looking out for on dvd.

wetweekend Sat 30-Jun-12 18:31:45

I live a couple of miles from the new Turner Centre - would like to say it's in a lovely situation and worth looking out for exhibs there - free, of course. Emin is on at the moment, so I am not bothering with that one. But have seem some wonderful paintings there by Turner. Good restaurant, but expensive. I can let you know of a good but cheaper one if anybody interested.

tattynan Sun 01-Jul-12 18:47:04

I think Derek Jarmen made a film about Carravaggio with Sean Bean in it.