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Art - Is it all that ?


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I’ll be honest. Art confuses me.

 A classic like Constable’s Haywain (been there) or Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire (done the jigsaw) I can see, even if it doesn’t excite me. 
But the work of people like Dali is incomprehensible to me. I always thought that noses were better off on the face.

Now street artist Banksy seems to have confused some TfL employee more than even me !

Banksy Tube graffiti: Cleaners 'unaware it was by artist' https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-53415832

This just sums up art in my humble opinion. 

Edited by RailwayRowdy

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Art is very often in the eye of the beholder but I suppose originality has a lot to do with why some artists achieve more fame and fortune than others.

I'm not a fan of Dali either although Picasso has grown on me.

My favourite artist is Van Gogh. The bright colours in his later works are something special but then the light in Provence has inspired many a great canvas.

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I like Dali. I went to an exhibition at the National Gallery a few years ago called “Seeing Salvation”. It was a journey through religious paintings. At one point you turned a corner in the gallery and right in front of you was an enormous canvas by Dali. It was incredible. 
 

 

238E06A0-8AD4-40C6-86CC-68C21CBDB78F.jpeg

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For me, it’s not actually the art itself that bugs me, more so the circus which surrounds it.

Art collectors will pay millions for a painting, but when they find out it was a forgery by Stafford’s finest John Myatt, it becomes worthless.

Now if the forgery is that good that no officienado can tell the difference from the original, why isn’t the copy an equally fine piece ?

I get that it’s worthless because it wasn’t painted by the maestro himself, but that then means that the only value of the painting is in who produced it rather than the quality of the end product. 

Then we have the likes of the odious Brian Sewell pontificating about what a genius Van Gogh was with his magical brushwork etc, yet it was painted by some bum in a Hackney back street.

A while back me and Mrs RR had a day out at the Lowry Museum at Salford Quays which, surprisingly, I quite enjoyed. Now there was a troubled soul. Lawrence Stephen that is, not Mrs RR you understand.

Although, come to mention it.... 

 

 

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The National Gallery in London is free (amazingly) and if you pick and choose what you want to see (if you can navigate the labyrinthe of corridors, stairs and dead ends!) it's a brilliant place to while away time. I saw a Cezanne exhibition there last year and enjoyed it, though they do charge quite a lot for these special displays where they collect paintings from all round the world for a one-off exhibition.

Madrid has 3-4 wonderful art galleries. The Prado is the main attraction. But don't miss Picasso's Guernica in the Reina Sofia, perhaps the most famous painting of the twentieth century. He refused to allow Spain to display his picture until Franco had departed the scene. The story around it is fascinating.

https://www.pablopicasso.org/guernica.jsp

Have a gander at work by the late Sid Kirkham, the Potteries Lowry. He painted a lot of football related stuff, Port Vale included, but his works are hard to come by nowadays. They sold for up to £1000 or more in the past and went very rapidly.

http://www.thepotteries.org/theartbay/010.htm

 

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On 15/07/2020 at 16:25, RailwayRowdy said:

I’ll be honest. Art confuses me.

 

You are not alone...and, to the artist, it is so frustrating!

Don't try to understand art...to "get it"? Like it, dislike it or be totally neutral to it and move on. If you don't like it, that's fine - no harm done. The Dali painting on this thread - to me - is majestic. And, to be able to paint the altered perspectives and elongated animals, etc, he had to be a decent painter to begin with? 

Constable? I would say was a very accomplished painter...but, after his wife died, his work became more passionate and angrier. Feel privileged to be in the presence of a Michelangelo (if you're so lucky), or the draughtsmanship of a Canaletto? But, don't kid yourself that some of the artists who command the huge money, do so because their work is of a quality above - they're often the right person, in the right place, at the right time, saying the right things to the right person!! If you don't believe me, go and see some local exhibitions - yes...you might find dozens of works by hobbyists, who will be selling their works cheaply. But, there may be the new graduate, who has superb vision and craftsmanship...but can't command decent prices because they haven't got a "name"...and you can usually only get that name by exhibiting, long and often! Or the seasoned local pro, whose work might run into 4 figures. I guarantee you don't need to see a "celebrity" artist's work to find art that appeals to you? 

Somebody mentioned Mr Myatt? I'm fairly sure that, far from being valueless, his own work runs into 5 figures? he just happened to have the knack of being an expert copier, rather than concentrate on his own work. And, as for making work of your own? - just enjoy doing it!!!  "But, I can't draw a straight line!!" - that's fine...draw a curve...a squiggle! Just throw some paint around on a canvas or piece of board? Art is for enjoying - not understanding! Rant over! (You wouldn't believe how often I hear that opening statement!)

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On 16/07/2020 at 09:58, TheSage said:

The National Gallery in London is free (amazingly) and if you pick and choose what you want to see (if you can navigate the labyrinthe of corridors, stairs and dead ends!) it's a brilliant place to while away time. I saw a Cezanne exhibition there last year and enjoyed it, though they do charge quite a lot for these special displays where they collect paintings from all round the world for a one-off exhibition.

Madrid has 3-4 wonderful art galleries. The Prado is the main attraction. But don't miss Picasso's Guernica in the Reina Sofia, perhaps the most famous painting of the twentieth century. He refused to allow Spain to display his picture until Franco had departed the scene. The story around it is fascinating.

https://www.pablopicasso.org/guernica.jsp

Have a gander at work by the late Sid Kirkham, the Potteries Lowry. He painted a lot of football related stuff, Port Vale included, but his works are hard to come by nowadays. They sold for up to £1000 or more in the past and went very rapidly.

http://www.thepotteries.org/theartbay/010.htm

 

I thought the Prado was rather dark and a bit past it.  I went to the Reina Sofia and saw a class of kids sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of Guernica while their teacher spoke to them.  I had no idea what he was saying but the kids were entranced.  We also went to the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum as well where they had some Mark Rothko - now they really were weird.

 

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Spend quite a bit of time in London and a visit to the Tate Modern left me cold, some Womens excrement in a sealed tin proudly displayed in a glass cabinet left me bewildered, there was a Jackson Pollack that was colourful but there the statement ended, there are Year 6 kids who could have done it.

The arty farty brigade who get all pretentious over some old bit of tat scattered on the floor are like the Kings new clothes crowd, they darent say what they really think because they don't want to appear uneducated, when in actual fact it's all a con. I suppose at the end of the day it's all about money and who's daft enough to get conned into buying it.

The National Gallery on the other hand is a different class and well worth visiting numerous times, I could easily spend a day in there.

 

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I was of the conventional opinion that "modern" art was a load of rubbish until I went to a series of Adult Education classes on the subject and my eyes were opened. I admit I only went because I knew a certain young lady was going but it was a complete revelation to me. The tutor's particular favourite was Picasso and when it was all explained, i.e. what was actually going on, you realised how brilliant he was. It all needs to be approached with an open mind and , generally it is not.

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Very true.

I think art, like history, is something that you appreciate the older you get.

This might sound daft, but I remember my mother telling me years ago (she's been gone now for 25 years, sadly) how much she loved trees and how beautiful they were. I thought she was off her rocker back then but I've since realised she was right. Trees are beautiful, as is all nature, and we should appreciate what we've got while we are all here.

I didn't particularly enjoy the Tate Modern either. The National Gallery is better value, as you say.

The Hermitage in St Petersburg has some wonderful stuff. Apologies for name dropping but I went there in the eighties before the Wall came down and it was one of my first ever holidays abroad. I remember we were panicking because our visas only came through 48 hours before we went. They have a lot of French Impressionist stuff that I like a lot and also a couple of Da Vinci's that are surprisingly small - about six inches square!

The Uffizi in Florence is also fabulous. It isn't in the Uffizi but you must see the statue of David by Michelangelo. It takes your breath away and is probably the greatest piece of art (sculpture) that I've ever seen. It's mesmerising and worth the trip. It really is astonishing. The Uffizi has got two paintings by Botticelli - the Birth of Venus and my favourite, Spring. Lovely big paintings and very colourful. Lippi's Madonna and Child is very beautiful. 

https://www.dailyartmagazine.com/painting-of-the-week-fra-filippo-lippi-madonna-and-child-with-two-angels/

But Florence itself is a wonderful city to visit and I believe contains 40% of all Italian art. Venice and Rome (and the Vatican) are great places to visit but Florence tops them all. Easy to get there ( or it used to be). Liverpool to Pisa. Bus to Florence city centre. Find a hotel. Job done. Perhaps my favourite city in all the world (sorry SOT!)

We're getting a bit highbrow on here aren't we?!!

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1 hour ago, TheSage said:

Very true.

I think art, like history, is something that you appreciate the older you get.

This might sound daft, but I remember my mother telling me years ago (she's been gone now for 25 years, sadly) how much she loved trees and how beautiful they were. I thought she was off her rocker back then but I've since realised she was right. Trees are beautiful, as is all nature, and we should appreciate what we've got while we are all here.

I didn't particularly enjoy the Tate Modern either. The National Gallery is better value, as you say.

The Hermitage in St Petersburg has some wonderful stuff. Apologies for name dropping but I went there in the eighties before the Wall came down and it was one of my first ever holidays abroad. I remember we were panicking because our visas only came through 48 hours before we went. They have a lot of French Impressionist stuff that I like a lot and also a couple of Da Vinci's that are surprisingly small - about six inches square!

The Uffizi in Florence is also fabulous. It isn't in the Uffizi but you must see the statue of David by Michelangelo. It takes your breath away and is probably the greatest piece of art (sculpture) that I've ever seen. It's mesmerising and worth the trip. It really is astonishing. The Uffizi has got two paintings by Botticelli - the Birth of Venus and my favourite, Spring. Lovely big paintings and very colourful. Lippi's Madonna and Child is very beautiful. 

https://www.dailyartmagazine.com/painting-of-the-week-fra-filippo-lippi-madonna-and-child-with-two-angels/

But Florence itself is a wonderful city to visit and I believe contains 40% of all Italian art. Venice and Rome (and the Vatican) are great places to visit but Florence tops them all. Easy to get there ( or it used to be). Liverpool to Pisa. Bus to Florence city centre. Find a hotel. Job done. Perhaps my favourite city in all the world (sorry SOT!)

We're getting a bit highbrow on here aren't we?!!

Agree about Florence. The art is magnificent but the leather handbags on sale at the San Lorenzo market are even better!!

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A bit closer to home, if you go to the Bowes Museum at Barnard Castle (you can test your eyes on the way) there are two Canaletto's. Stand up close you just see blobs of paint with no structure whatsoever. Stand back 20 yards from them and the scene is there in all its glory. How the hell did he do that?

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A few years ago we went to Berlin and whilst out walking we accidentally stumbled across the Bauhaus Archive.

Nothing like any of these grand museums mentioned above, but still quite interesting as it documents the history of the Bauhaus movement itself. Mrs RR was particularly taken with the furniture ! 
 

1E2BDCF4-F987-454C-8753-892CE8C39294.jpeg.b3031af9d5ae73b3830a17e8aa67a4ea.jpeg 
 
 

 

 

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I am no art enthusiast and would struggle to distinguish one masters work from another.  However, I do like pursuing picture galleries and photograph galleries.  I like some of it and I just don't get some of it.  However, I generally find Dali paintings to be mesmerising, I don't know enough about techniques, light, lines etc to know why, but they generally just grab my attention.

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22 hours ago, Mario said:

Spend quite a bit of time in London and a visit to the Tate Modern left me cold, some Womens excrement in a sealed tin proudly displayed in a glass cabinet left me bewildered, there was a Jackson Pollack that was colourful but there the statement ended, there are Year 6 kids who could have done it.

The arty farty brigade who get all pretentious over some old bit of tat scattered on the floor are like the Kings new clothes crowd, they darent say what they really think because they don't want to appear uneducated, when in actual fact it's all a con. I suppose at the end of the day it's all about money and who's daft enough to get conned into buying it.

The National Gallery on the other hand is a different class and well worth visiting numerous times, I could easily spend a day in there.

 

 

22 hours ago, Mario said:

Spend quite a bit of time in London and a visit to the Tate Modern left me cold, some Womens excrement in a sealed tin proudly displayed in a glass cabinet left me bewildered, there was a Jackson Pollack that was colourful but there the statement ended, there are Year 6 kids who could have done it.

The arty farty brigade who get all pretentious over some old bit of tat scattered on the floor are like the Kings new clothes crowd, they darent say what they really think because they don't want to appear uneducated, when in actual fact it's all a con. I suppose at the end of the day it's all about money and who's daft enough to get conned into buying it.

The National Gallery on the other hand is a different class and well worth visiting numerous times, I could easily spend a day in there.

 

Totally agree with this...and with Jacko who says the children were entranced by their teacher - children with autism and other disabilities and adults with dementia / Alzheimer's come out of their shells and live a different existence when they are allowed to paint, make art or just be shown the diverse world of artwork. It's amazing to see and so frustrating when their sessions have to end and they retreat back into the other world!

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A lot of the art in modern art is the bs description they use to justify the scribble they just framed. I know a few artists, some are good, some like the idea of being an artist and use bs to cover for lack of talent. It’s so subjective though they get away with it, and other pretentious artist wannabes just reinforce each other that there is some deep meaning in the smudged scribble. 
There is that, and the fact that it’s also widely used to launder money. 

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A few years ago we went to New York and visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  There was one painting there which I swear could have been done by my nephew's four year old lad.  It was by Jean Miro.

restrictedI took a photograph of it with my better half standing beside it doing a thumbs down.  I have a very good friend who is an Art teacher.  We used the pic to make her a birthday card with the caption, "The judge from Oakhill awards Miro nul points"!

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