Friday, October 10, 2008

Eat Your Words...

A friend of mine told me a story last night about an engineering project he was working on. He and his group were making a machine that will pump water. Unlike the rest of the groups in their class, they didn't have the money they needed to buy expensive parts for their machine, so they decided to use what they had at their disposal.

The professor, upon seeing what they were making, ridiculed them for making something so "unscientific" and accusing them of making no calculations for the project. He said "This isn't the other side of campus where you can just throw things together...." He was, of course, referring to the art department and the works of art that we create.

Well, professor, you think we just "throw things together," eh? Well here is a man, who not only can perform all of the mechanical calculations that you prize so much, but can also do something you probably fail at miserably: create beautiful works of art.

Be inspired by Arthur Ganson!

Ok, thats enough videos...I just can't get enough of them!

This integration of science and art proves that the limitations in the art world are endless. Where exactly are the boundaries? I don't know, and thats why I love it! Combining the organic with with beauty...its amazing!

People, this is fantastic!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

When Street Artists Organize

These street artists in Australia decided to have a massive wheat paste art show. This stuff is crazy. I can't say I'm a fan of all of the subject matter, but altogether, its awesome nonetheless.

My ex would have loved this show. He's mindlessly obsessed with wheat pasting.

What is Art?

This question arises all too often in art school: What is art?

The proper response should be: Heck if I know!

Art is so subjective that its impossible to create a definition of "art" that everyone agrees with. Is it purely aesthetic? Does it have to communicate something? Does the message have to be recieved by the viewer? Does it require skill to be made? There are tons of questions that could be answered tons of different ways; I don't need to elaborate further.

However, even if there is no universal definition of what is "art," I can still give my own opinion. An artist without some sort of idea of what they believe they are creating is a sad sight...and one we usually make fun of in art school.

So, to me, "art" can be defined by having met several requirements and by having certain qualities:

1. It does NOT have to be purely aesthetic. Art can be musical, it can be performed, it can be written and read, or it can be looked at.

2. There should be something communicated, or there should be an intent to communicate, through the work of art. This "something" may be an idea or an emotion. For instance, a naturalistic reproduction of, lets say, a banana, just for the sake of hanging on the wall and impressing your friends when they come over, is not what I would consider "communication." I would consider it pure demonstration of skill, and therefore, would call it a "craft," not an "art." On the other hand, I would consider a painting of hundreds of bananas surrounding me, ready to attack, to be a work of art possibly attempting to communicate the idea that bananas are purely evil, or the feeling that they are driving me insane. Whether its art thats worth looking at is debatable, but so are a lot of things.

3. It does not have to be pretty. I don't care to judge whether or not something is a piece of art simply because the artist does or does not have talent. What I would really like to call in for judgment is the thought process behind the art. In other words, why does it exist?

4. The intended communication does not have to be recieved by the viewer. The fact of the matter is, most people are too thick to interpret a work of art just by what they see in front of them. I am including myself in the word "most." Some ideas are easy enough to understand, but some are riddled with metaphors, hidden well, or simply communicated badly. Does this mean the ideas or emotions aren't there? No. It just means the work of art may or may not be as successful as the artist would have hoped, or that the viewer isn't up to the task of interpreting. Success is another subject for another day.

I believe thats pretty much it. "Art" can be made of many mediums, it must intend to communicate, and it doesn't have to be pleasing to the eye or mind. Number two seems to be the most important factor in differentiating between "art" and "craft."

Please, if you have your own ideas, leave a comment.

Now the only question left to be asked about "art" is what constitutes a work of art as complete bull crap or something actually worth stopping and looking at. The world may never know.

And I leave you with a work of my own.

self portrait
charcoal on 24" x 36"

Saturday, October 4, 2008

An Art Blog....

So I have an art blog. Thanks, Ashley, for the idea!

What to post, what to post? Some art? That almost seems too predictable. I think I'll make you all wait (mostly so I can figure this thing out first).