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  #21  
Old 11 October 2018, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
Makes two of us. The original work was only a simple drawing, which most of us could do without too much trouble. How it was considered to be valuable is a mystery to me.
That’s how I have come to understand the “What is Art” definition, if it produces a subjective, non concensus response then it falls into the category of “Art”
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  #22  
Old 11 October 2018, 09:22 PM
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The original work was only a simple drawing, which most of us could do without too much trouble.
It's actually stencilled using spray paint, rather than a drawing.

I don't think I would be able to do it, even if I'd had the idea for that specific piece, but I've not tried graffiti or stencilling as a medium so who knows...
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  #23  
Old 11 October 2018, 09:58 PM
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I discovered, once I went to some museums, that some pieces had an entirely different impact when I was looking at the actual work than they did when I was only looking at a photo of the work.

Whether I would have thought this is one of them I have no idea. (And I'm certainly not going to find out now -- )
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  #24  
Old 11 October 2018, 10:29 PM
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I've always been a fan of Starry Night, but when I came across it unexpectedly at a museum it took my breath away. Not art does this to me, but some definitely does.
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  #25  
Old 11 October 2018, 10:43 PM
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At the Museum of Modern Art in New York, I take it. I saw it there a few years ago, myself, although for me the experience was a negative one. It had nothing to do with the painting itself, though, just that the room where it was located was extremely crowded because of course everyone wants to see the famous Van Gogh painting. I find crowds like that extremely stressful, so I took a quick look at it and got out of there as quickly as possible.
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  #26  
Old 11 October 2018, 11:04 PM
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I saw it at the Chicago Institute of Art, at a Van Gogh exhibit. I didn't know it was going to be there. I came around a corner and there I was in the same room with it. It was not crowded which probably made for a much better experience.
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  #27  
Old 11 October 2018, 11:57 PM
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Makes two of us. The original work was only a simple drawing, which most of us could do without too much trouble. How it was considered to be valuable is a mystery to me.
There's a big difference between run of the mill art and the extreme high value items by famous artists like this. At a certain point it's hardly even about the image itself. It's a rare collector's item. It's no different than any other rare collectible. But this high end market is only a miniscule fraction of the total "art" out there in the world (by total number of works, perhaps not by total value). The actual artistic merit of the work rather than its provenance are something that come into play a lot more at a much lower end of the market.

People like to be the one to have something noteworthy, that people are talking about, so that they can be the one to become part of that discussion. Some of those collectors who want to possess unique works of art are billionaires, so if 2 or more billionaires want something and only 1 exists, then the price is going to get crazy. Some of the collectors are only millionaires, but they calculate (often correctly) that if they hold on to it for a while they can sell it to another rich person for a profit, and in the meantime they can feel special.

There's no real sense of proportion or inherent value there, just raw economics. Some people get worked up about the high values being wasteful, but it's actually not that bad. It's just one rich person writing a check to another, with minimal consumption of tangible resources. The art and money still exist, just in different hands.
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  #28  
Old 12 October 2018, 12:59 AM
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Right. This is no different than Barry Bond's record-breaking home run ball selling for $750,000 while the ball he fouled into the stands after that is worth $7.50.
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  #29  
Old 12 October 2018, 01:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Errata View Post
There's no real sense of proportion or inherent value there, just raw economics. Some people get worked up about the high values being wasteful, but it's actually not that bad. It's just one rich person writing a check to another, with minimal consumption of tangible resources. The art and money still exist, just in different hands.
Now the half-time air was sweet perfume
While sergeants played a marching tune
We all got up to dance
Oh, but we never got the chance

'Cause the players tried to take the field
The marching band refused to yield
Do you recall what was revealed
The day the music died?

By which I mean, other artists are denied the opportunity to break out while famous artists are rewarded for stenciling spray paint onto canvas with a built-in shredder (or whatever).
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  #30  
Old 12 October 2018, 03:39 AM
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By which I mean, other artists are denied the opportunity to break out while famous artists are rewarded for stenciling spray paint onto canvas with a built-in shredder (or whatever).
99.9% of buyers can't afford this type of painting anyway, so they're mostly buying stuff from non-famous artists if they have any interest in acquiring art. And if it's just about appreciating their art rather than buying it, then how much very rich people spend on famous people's art is pretty irrelevant. If rich people weren't spending millions on famous paintings, it's not like they'd go out and buy thousands of thousand dollar paintings from unknown artists instead. One person only needs so much art, no matter how rich they are. Broadening the market has to come from the masses who can't afford those famous artists anyway.

New artists do not emerge into greater recognition through having people bid millions of dollars for their paintings out of nowhere. They work their way up, building their skills and reputation locally, then among a wider circle of people knowledgeable about art. The ultra high value end of the art market has basically nothing to do with how lesser known artists are discovered.
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  #31  
Old 12 October 2018, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
The original work was only a simple drawing, which most of us could do without too much trouble.
This is one of my pet peeves. Even if it were true (and it almost never is because it's usually someone who hasn't ever made something similar making the comment*), what does it have to do with anything? If the difficulty of making something is a major criteria then I have to wonder if you've experienced it at all. I mean, it's just a lazy and equally fallacial reversal of Ebert's fallacy: "You have no right to criticize it if you can't make it." Neither is it true, that is, that 'anyone' being able to make something is a meaningful criticism.

* Not only do I agree with Richard W but the fact that Banksy-quality stenciling is relatively rare in graffiti should be a hint that it's not that easy!
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  #32  
Old 12 October 2018, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by ChasFink View Post
The name is not coming to me right now, but there is (or was) a popular artist whose works were (are?) actually produced by a stable of unknown workers following his broad directions on how to produce "his" geometric-image paintings. This was well known, and it didn't affect the value.
Yes, it is true for many ateliers. Sometimes people make a big deal about it but I don't see the point. As you say, it doesn't seem to have any affect on the price of a Koons, Faberge, Hirst, Warhol... The list is long!
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  #33  
Old 12 October 2018, 10:45 AM
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It was true for people like Rembrandt too - a lot of the actual painting would have been done by their studio assistants.
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  #34  
Old 12 October 2018, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChasFink View Post
The name is not coming to me right now, but there is (or was) a popular artist whose works were (are?) actually produced by a stable of unknown workers following his broad directions on how to produce "his" geometric-image paintings. This was well known, and it didn't affect the value.
Like ganzfeld said, this is common. Some large scale pieces would be extremely difficult for one person to do by themselves. At the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, they have a large work (it takes up all four walls of one room) called "Odyssey" by Cai Guo-Qiang. It was made using a technique that involves sprinkling gunpowder around wood (I think it's wood?) then lighting the gunpowder.

There's a video of the process here. Honestly, I just wrote this comment to share that video. I like it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
I discovered, once I went to some museums, that some pieces had an entirely different impact when I was looking at the actual work than they did when I was only looking at a photo of the work.
I never understood the appeal of Jackson Pollock until I went to an exhibit of his work. It's just different in person.
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  #35  
Old 18 October 2018, 04:09 PM
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Apparently the painting was supposed to be shredded completely - I'd wondered about that. Some longer videos of the event and rehearsals:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-45900314
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  #36  
Old 18 October 2018, 05:25 PM
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Perhaps the battery lost some of his "umph" after a few years of sitting on the wall. Or some corrosion/dust accumulation on the shredding device.

I suspect it won't be long before someone with too much time on their hands unmasks the button pusher, if not the artist, based off what is shown of his clothes (albeit only the sleeves), his seat, and people around him. Just got to get enough footage together...
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  #37  
Old 18 October 2018, 05:31 PM
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Yes, that's the first thing I thought after watching the longer video - if Sotheby's pull up a bit of their security camera footage it's going to be quite easy for them to work out who was filming! I assume it wouldn't have been Banksy himself though.
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  #38  
Old 18 October 2018, 11:16 PM
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From that article:
Quote:
Even dear old Marcel Duchamp, who as we know started all this [...]
Huh? Don't blame Duchamp; he only set up the urinal. He didn't actually pee in it. (Also, this is about as far from a ready-made one can get, no?)
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  #39  
Old 03 November 2018, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
This is one of my pet peeves. Even if it were true (and it almost never is because it's usually someone who hasn't ever made something similar making the comment*), what does it have to do with anything? If the difficulty of making something is a major criteria then I have to wonder if you've experienced it at all. I mean, it's just a lazy and equally fallacial reversal of Ebert's fallacy: "You have no right to criticize it if you can't make it." Neither is it true, that is, that 'anyone' being able to make something is a meaningful criticism.

* Not only do I agree with Richard W but the fact that Banksy-quality stenciling is relatively rare in graffiti should be a hint that it's not that easy!
Also, even if "most of us could do" the painting itself, how many of us have the talent and skill to come up with a concept and layout that will be as pleasing and/or engaging to people? Yes, that picture looks "simple," but the subjects are instantly recognizable, and (to me, at least, and presumably others who like it) it is aesthetically pleasing and evokes a distinct emotion. It's easy to look at a finished work in a simple style and say "pssh, I could do that" (especially if you never test that hypothesis). It's a heck of a lot harder to start with an empty canvas/page/wall and decide not only what you want to depict but exactly where each of those "simple" elements needs to go to get the effect you're going for.

There are a ton of ways one could do simple, two-color picture of a girl and a balloon, and frankly, most of them will look like crap. A monochromatic image of a person like that isn't an "easy" task--eliminating the nuances of shading, etc., means that the pose needs to be well-chosen so that the final image is clear and recognizable and every shape had better be spot-on if you want it to look right.

Considering how many people I know who can't so much as lay out a Powerpoint slide in a way that's clear and understandable and well-aligned, I am highly skeptical that "most" people could re-create that painting. I suspect that a lot of people would produce something inferior in quality even if they literally had Banksy's original stencils of the girl and balloon and just had to position them on the page.
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  #40  
Old 03 November 2018, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Onyx_TKD View Post
There are a ton of ways one could do simple, two-color picture of a girl and a balloon, and frankly, most of them will look like crap. A monochromatic image of a person like that isn't an "easy" task--eliminating the nuances of shading, etc., means that the pose needs to be well-chosen so that the final image is clear and recognizable and every shape had better be spot-on if you want it to look right.
Yes, sorry to pick on Skeptic but that criticism is a bit like "For goodness sake, I've read Great Expectations and I could have written out all those words in that order!"

(Great Expectations is the first title I thought of for this post, but that may be because I've got Kathy Acker's version of it sitting by my bed waiting for me to read it, and I think she may have been making a somewhat similar point to this, at least as part of what she was doing.)
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