As an artist, you're constantly in the line of being criticized by others. You steel yourself to be prepared for the worst - it's simply part of the activity of what you do - taking the hit when it comes, but marching on regardless. But what happens when it's you who becomes the critic? Isn't criticism a question of honesty, clarity, and courage? If so, how come there's so little of it here at ap? Frequently we come across a barbed comment that not everyone here is an artist, that many are just profiting by the free site (even though it's admittedly not of the best quality), and they're uploading their stuff to muscle in on the online presence. Yet no specific examples of this are ever mentioned. How come? Are we afraid to voice our opinions in public? As artists, aren't we bound to seek truth, and to speak our minds exactly for this purpose, even though it might put us individually in the spotlight, and risk the ridicule of all? In this context, I have to voice my respect for Hanjo Schmidt who in the past has risked being controversial, has bared himself to be the brunt of other artist's scorn, who has pinpointed artwork he is in disagreement with, and put himself out there to be the possible archetypal object of the antagonism of all. In my mind, ap is about that. It's not of showcasing high-dimension images (as previously mentioned other sites do that better). It's simply about people who say they're artists facing up to each other. In order to raise the quality we have to challenge each other, and anyone who is serious about the job will readily (if not willingly at first) respond to that challenge. Personally, I would like ap to mean "The Artist Challenged". I would love that an artist thinks twice before uploading her/his work on the site - for fear of the *quality* of opinions in response. But in order to achieve that, we need many Hanjo's who are willing (and able to back their statements with their own work) to come out and tell others their *real* opinion - what's really on their mind. It's too simple to ask the site administrator to remove the work of those other guys who aren't serious artists - I would respond with why don't you challenge those guys yourself directly? What are you afraid of? If you want to be part of a site of art of quality, it's not up to the site admin, but up to you artist participants yourselves. Artprocess is yours for the making. If there's a possibility that it becomes different and more meaningful than the other better quality artsites out there, it's up to you to realize that with basic, clear, bold, honest speaking. After all, that's why you're artists in the first place.
I don’t think anyone asked for anyone to be removed. That would be asking for the administrator to play the judge and the need for a judge was not thought of at any time. My point was that if there were a place where studio images are mainly shown and discussion on the process of each artist’s project were carried out, among people who are interested in it, those who I call “Sunday painters” or people who are not artists and just have nothing to do all day but to play about with the internet, would be discouraged to enter. Here of course, you are right in saying that it is us who will make this place of interaction real. And yes, there should be more talk on what we do not like as well. Actually I think that some of the silences we have had here are also because of people being tired of the same old compliments and politeness some of us have pointed the finger at in the past. Maybe time has shown that Hillel was right in his outburst on LINK and I was wrong.
But no, I, for one, will not go out there and tell tens of others I think that what they have uploaded has no place in an artist’s site, for the simple reason that I don’t have time to waste. And I don’t care to inform them of what I think of them (many don’t ever even answer), because I have more important things to say to the people that interest me here and hardly enough time to do so. However, and since you made a good point here, I promise to get to work and challenge at least the people who are serious about it. Of course I expect to be challenged as well because the hope of something good coming out of mutual pushing and pocking has been the reason for being here for the past three years.
It should be noted and Maria is quite right to say that nobody (that's me "nobody")said or asked for anybody to be be kicked off the site based on their qualities or lack of qualities and I'm sorry for my "dilettante" remark, it's just a word I've always wanted to use. Now that I've looked it up I'm not aware of anyone here it would apply to but then again I'm not too familiar with a lot of the work anymore, there's too much stuff to look at and I'm tired of looking and ferreting out images on all these sites.
My point was that by limiting the portfolios and just stressing the SLOGS (I know what it means now) there would be a certain amount of attrition. In the beginning I started loading up everything I could, thinking AP could be useful as a personal web address. Now as I said before there are better sites for that purpose You JP once gave me some technical explanation about keeping the site streamlined so it wouldn't take too long to load in countries without broadband, I'm not sure if that still holds true. But that was the reason I suggested limiting the size of the portfolios if it would help facilitate a more interactive studio log section. Saatchi's Your Gallery only allows an upload of nine images.
As far as criticism goes, I certainly don't mind receiving it but would be very wary of dishing it out when there are so many divergent sensibilities and approaches. The so called group of four were only comfortable enough to voice come critical comments because beyond apparent differences there was some thread of commonality but mainly there were some mutual pats on the back and as Maria says that too becomes tiresome.
You would think that just by virtue of being artists there would be some underlying commonality no matter the differences in sensibility but it's simply not the case and people are only interested for the most part in work that touches upon something they're dealing with or aspiring to.
JP, I know you have your idea for an alternate site which you can be sure I am very patiently waiting for. And one last but very important point you made that I strongly agree with is about Maria's tremendous artistic progress as shown in her SLOG.
Voicing an opinion,hmmmmm Naively in the past when I truly believed that there was something helpful I could say to younger people usually I did and the criticism was not well recieved.When I asked friends -artists for their truthful opinion they looked as if I had just landed from Mars. In my other life as a teacher I often very carefully tried to warn parents of dangers concerning their kids,and it was my agony that drove me to dare do that,but faced stone walls. In our lives how often and to whom do we express our true thoughts? Maybe to do so we need ,at least I need ,some sort of steady groung to stand or land on before I speak my mind. Silence and indifference of course can be as harsh as words can.And as far as work which in my opinion is not interesting as Maria said ,it is better to be left without comment. Just one person in my life has been brutally honest about my work ,to the point of pain,and he has been the one who has helped me move along .Although I have suffered many migraines after our sessions I will always appreciate and love him for what he did for me.
I have a person like that too, Fotini. They are precious. It took great balls to show him work a second time. But I owe him and his sincere critisism a great deal. Now, after I survived the first blow, I enjoy calling him every time I feel I have done something worth showing and I know that if I get possitive reaction it is for real.
Don't be ridiculous! You all know the truth, but just afraid to admit it. To be entirely honest - Art is no more. Even Malevich said, that He had finished the development of art with his "Black Square". And in the 20 century art completely exhausted itself. John-Paul, Maria, Hillel, Fotini, Hanjo Schmidt and Others! you, I presume, all know the history of 20th century art. Try to peer at your artworks as if they were made by anybody unknown to you. In the past, even in recent past you'll find the same art but much better. Nothing new in style, nothing new conceptually, no new personal feelings. There are energy, professional qualities in your art.. But the substance of your art is some sort of game in rebus (Guess what is depicted), some sort of art about nothing, some sort of indifferent unspiritual Entertainment
Of course, I do not demand that everyone must be a brilliant revolutionary in art as Pablo Picasso and K. Malevich. But GOD no longer speaks with artists. There is no longer the artist as a mission! At present there is HANDICRAFT insteade of art, there is professionals insteade of artists.
I hope you do not take it for insult. I just try to talk over more intresting subjects than asking for anyone to be removed from this site. And mostly my hope is to encounter someone having unconventional brains.
I think that you write like a critic, not like an artist. First you say “ you all know the truth,..”…hmm, what truth? , Your truth? What is the truth of someone who works on something he himself believes is dead? It has no sense or value for me. If I were you, I would dedicate myself to computers for example, certainly not to paint little Russian villages in a pseudo-early- Kandinsky’s way. How can you say “ The substance of your art is some sort of game in rebus (guess what is depicted),some sort of art about nothing?????, some sort of indifferent unspiritual entertainment”, “indifferent unspiritual entertainment” man , measure your words, if you really understand what you are writing. Not few of the people that paint, and show their work here, have dedicated their life and efforts, to something that from the start promised to have no economical reward. And even so, they continued doing it, paying the consequences all their lives. Believing in it, pouring themselves in it, and fighting for it. So to start with , it is not an “indifferent unspiritual entertainment” if this is what your art means to you, don’t extend your feelings to others. I never admit truths that others want to impose upon me, let alone art critics, or superficial know-it-alls, and many artists had this same attitude in their time when their contemporaries, critics and art-gurus stated without a doubt what was art, and what wasn’t and thanks to this opposition to “imposed criteria and truths” the art kept on moving. The critics proved to be wrong, or let’s say, time and history proved they were wrong. “Newness” isn’t a value for itself. Not everything that is new is worth even looking at, let alone being considered art. And luckily what Malevich wrote is history, and after him we have had all kinds of great painters. I believe in dedicating time, and experiences (ours and those of previous painters) and inner feelings on our art, whatever the way one paints abstract, figurative, whatever the market asks for, hope that what one tries to express has some kind of substance, and not only the style or newness we are constantly asked for. Look at it with optimism, you can write in magazines and art journals, be another Greenberg and create or destroy artists you like or dislike, wouldn’t that be fun ! don’t waste more time with something that is “ not new in style, is not new conceptually, and has no new personal feelings “, there are lots of us already doing this, you know, with a slight difference.. we are honest and believe in our work. So then who is being ridiculous??
Victor, thanks for your words and for going to all the trouble of sending them to my private mailbox as well, just in case I might miss them here. Obviously the message you're conveying seems to be aimed at a few people on this site. Your complaint being that they are not major artists who have altered the course of art history and their work derivative. This is of course huge news for me as I've always held myself and my status in the art world to be quite large and my revolutionary approach to the making of art itself an accepted fact that has charted new courses, changing art and indeed culture forevermore.
Although at first it was hard to confront the possible truth of your words I began to realize how right you are. I am not an original trailblazer but just another humble, non original artist pilfering bits and pieces from this one and that one to create my unoriginal, uninspired works. Thanks to you I've now seen the light and it feels great to unshackle myself from the burden of greatness and be just another Joe Shmoe artist, it's a greatly liberating feeling. So once again I thank you as do I'm sure my fellow AP peers whom you've singled out, I'm sure they've benefited from your words as well. All, that is except JP, there's just no reasoning with him, the man has an enormous ego!
Alright all kidding aside Victor does raise a good point. Why keep repeating what's been done already? A psychiatrist friend of mine once told me that there is only one difference between neurotics and artists. Neurotics by definition repeatedly create and act out a personal drama or scenario in an attempt to understand their behavior and hope for some kind of different outcome. While artists do likewise, the difference is that artists end up with something tangible like perhaps an artwork that might give enjoyment to their own selves or other people and neurotics end up back where they started from with no productive result and nothing changed, doomed to repeat the whole process again and again.
So what do you do if your personal bent is to find pleasure in the art process knowing you're no genius and how futile the whole thing is, everything having been done before. Do you just give up and then what? Maybe swallow a bottle of sleeping pills and chase it with a bottle of rubbing alcohol. Hey, that sounds pretty good to me.
Actually I don't think there's anything wrong with some sort of indifferent, nonspiritual (I'm never sure what people mean when they use the word "spiritual" so I tend to avoid it) entertainment as people need to do something with the time they have between birth and death. And there is always the neurotic hope of a different outcome. In fact I think Karen is quite right in just about everything she's said and having viewed your portfolio Victor, I think your words about some sort of game in rebus are applicable to yourself and your own dilemma, the only escape from which is either to carry on or quit and find some other way to occupy your time.
Sorry for "indifferent unspiritual Entertainment" and the other funny statements. Almost always any personal criticism leads to nothing and is ridiculous. it was just a ploy to provoke the candor. And to write like "If I were you, I would...." leads nowhere as well. Special thanks to Hillel for the sense of humor. As all the stupidities in this world are done with a serious face.
Well, I'd like to continue all that stuff not like an artcritic nor like an artist but like "the poor in spirit" (although, I don't think I deserve "the Kingdom of Heaven") or a CHILD which all adults cheat.
THE HONESTY and the sincerity of an artist with himself, that is the most significant and fascinating thing to find out. Why not discard any fear and discuss that subject. (John-Paul, let's "Criticism and Honesty" go to hell). The acute sense of lie and his honesty with himself , for example, helped Jackson Pollock to throw out all his artworks that were just variations of the past and helped him to find the new value, new concept in art. That is why he is the artist, the one in the world history of art, the one who is not indifferent to the civilization. I have an insane guess that maybe only about 300 artists could be called the artists during the entire history of mankind. Critics named them "the greats". But I name them ' the honest artists". As all the artists of 2010, like me and you, are not the artists, Let at least anyone of us be honest "human being". An Intesting thing F. Dostoevsky once said: There are things in which it is difficult to confess to in public, there are things in which it is difficult to confess to among friends, there are things in which it is difficult to confess to youself, and there is something in you what you're not suspect. We may be disturbed or comforted by the fact of being nothing for the art. Or we may change and continue find yourself in art. Or we may try to surpass all our art teachers. Plenty of choise.... I don't know the real ways to being the artist (the great artist). Perhaps - being honest to the most abysmal depths. Actually I don't know whether the art is dead or it's still alive. I don't know the truth! But as I travel different countries I met art people a lot. I often saw all this arrogance and blind pride of the fact the ones were artists. That was hidden even in deeps of professionals' mind. And now like a deceived child I can feel lie, whether ingenious or unconscious. I do respect Gautama Buddha saying: reject all your faiths and beliefs to find the truth.
karen ! "I believe in dedicating time..." - could it be self-delusion ? If not, please, make it clear what it could be. XXS ! "I think the world would be much worse if their paintings did not exist" - Don't you think a grandiloquent statement can be false. The falsehood needs beautiful appearance to be liked by.
And finally and sadly we must admit that at present, after Malevich, only new can be the art (part of history of art in future, only someone who realize any artistic concept can be the artist. Personally I am not glad of the fact that dedicating one's life and efforts, any inner feelings, spiritual and whether substance and so on ... can remain only (high professional or skilful) HANDICRAFT. Even high technologies (computer or whether) can not help. The artistic concept are product of human brains. I've just remembered a thing about THE HONESTY. You may know that Leo Tolstoy at the end of lifetime refused and cursed all his creativity and works. What a overwhelming honesty ! ! ! It was new and awesome. The real artistic act, a performance, it must be called!
I expect you don't take all this for preaching and "The voice of one crying in the wilderness". It's a call for help and an attempt to be honest. If really believe in something, could you share it? Just could you say where from goes your belief, how it works, and what results of it you have . Hillel ! Everybody has his own neurotic and psychotic things. Only the deads are sane in mind !
Victor, discúlpame por escribir en español pero la pintura se seca demasiado rápido. Gracias otra vez por mostrarnos la verdad a los ciegos y sordos.
Dices que eres curioso, pero parece que tú ya lo sabes todo. Dices que eres un niño, pero no lo eres en ese sentido en que hablaba Nietzsche de Zarathustra: “Tus ojos son puros, y en los rasgos de tu boca no hay expresión de asco. No parece sino que vienes bailando. Zarathustra ha cambiado, se ha hecho niño.”
Eres un viejo, tan viejo como la historia de este continente lleno de clarividentes, predicadores y salvadores, conocedores de una Verdad que ha traído más dolor, muerte y destrucción que cualquier “ridícula ignorancia”.
Dices que mis palabras son falsas y grandilocuentes. Tienes derecho a pensar así. No es mi intención convencer a nadie de nada. Pero tu discurso está más lleno que el mío de palabras grandilocuentes. Lo que es peor, de sinceridad dogmática.
No conozco a ese “ser humano” del que hablas, no quiero formar parte de “la historia” del arte de ninguna humanidad, ni a civilización alguna, ni pertenecer al club de “los grandes artistas” de todos los tiempos –que tú conoces en su cifra exacta, sin decimales-. Ni siquiera quiero ser “artista”. Sí quiero ser honesto, pero la honestidad no se puede medir ni conocer más que por uno mismo.
Lamento la decepción que existe en el fondo de tus palabras. Pero yo sólo quiero pintar y que me dejen hacerlo, y confiar en poder “tocar” con mi pintura a alguien, alguna vez, en algún lugar. Y escuchar lo que tienen que decir aquellos que yo elijo que sienten la misma pasión que yo, y expresar de vez en cuando la mía.
Predica todo lo que quieras, en el desierto o en los púlpitos. Con discursos propios o prestados por todos esos carroñeros que, paradógicamente, viven de hablar de un arte que dicen que está muerto.
Si estamos muertos dejadnos morir en paz. (Grandilocuente, pero muy sincero).
Victor, for what it's worth, personally I like your aggressive stance, your willingness to challenge with no pretence of pleasing, and your seemingly obvious desire for making something that has meaning, with the goal of reaching the high ground of past exemplary artists. The photo you posted of yourself tells me this guy I can relate to, and that for sure we (at artprocess) have something in common with your gritty no-nonsense approach - a hunger to eliminate pretence in order to attain some sort of truth. Nevertheless, when I look at the works you've posted, I can only admit my disappointment at what seems to be cute Russian landscapes - interesting in themselves - but hardly the sum of the stimulating invective of your verbal communication. I say this as an invitation to continue the dialogue you've begun - you're obviously after that something, that eludes each and every one of us, and of course that something we're also after too. Incredibly, you managed to irk Hillel (I view as a real accomplishment), and that amuses me immensely. If you could please succeed in pissing Hanjo off too - then we might just have a bit of fun over the next few weeks.
Victor, thanks for expressing yourself, although I'm not entirely sure what it is you're expressing. i.e "...only about 300 artists could be called artists during the entire history of mankind". Perhaps according to your "subjective" opinion, but "no doubt" they're would be thousands of historical artists who in their "subjective" opinion would probably disagree with you. By the way the critics' pronouncements of "greatness" were most often long after of the making of the art itself.)
Your premise I believe is that art must be revolutionary to have merit. And (I'm not if my understanding is correct) that an honest artist should know that in our time, art or art progress is something that is quite unachievable. (The art is dead scenario.)
(Actually I believe most of the artist on this site might actually ascribe to some aspect of that thought, except of course for JP (ego maniac that he his) who as most everyone knows, believes his work to be the cutting edge of advanced artistic thought.)
However assuming my understanding of your intent to be correct, then "the honest artist" should either cease his or her activity, or at the very least carry on, but HONESTLY declare that they have nothing new to to contribute. Have I got it right?
If that is indeed the case I, of course, being the most HUMBLE of all the artists on AP would be the FIRST to do so.
Actually, I like artworks of you, John-Paul, and artworks of HILLEL KAGAN as well. And with debris of my brains I can still realize that what I've done is only sickly-sweet sniffles versus your creativity. Why have you been discussing my petty creature??? Is not it more intresting to express your opinions relating to honesty, faith, hope and whatever eise of an artist ???
Frankly, I foollishly think that such things as the Faith, the Hope, the Love in the life are far more important than being any significant social figure, like an artist for instance. And as XXS I ,also, think - " To be good for a few is enough for me. And that’s a lot.'
I do expect any internal thoughts or any humour from the others about themselves if they take the liberty to.
Well guys, now I’m going to do art. I mean real art. Not this figurative stuff. Real art that even curators can understand and guys like say Malevich. By the way, he’s in hell now. When you come in take the left hand side at the end of the third floor in the department for Depressed Fools. There he is. Met him the other day. Well umm, I’m allowed in hell whenever I want. The devil’s a good old friend of mine. I’m even allowed to stay overnight. He’s such a nice and helpful guy. Okay, where have I been? Oh yesss Malevich. Well he’s playing chess with old Ad Reinhardt all day long and the two of them just cannot stop fighting on who’s done the best black or „ultimate“ paintings ho ho. Sometimes I don’t bother to sit down for a while and listen. I mean in the end you can learn a lot about the endles differences in black hue. Quite interesting. Wouldn’t have thought there were this much without the help of these guys.
I mean in the end Mal’s a lucky guy down there. He was supposed to go to paradise but the devil cought him just in time and saved him from that. I mean paradise is ... well, umm, how to put it ... it’s pure hell so to say he he. Imagine all this hosiannah and hallelujah stuff twentyfour hours a day seven days a week. And being bossed around by this old guy that’s so pathological after personal prestige and needs to be hailed all day long. And you are not allowed this and not allowed that and beware of this, too and let alone that . . . and don’t even think of THAT one in particular. No, no this would have certainly ruined old Malevich within days. Now he can dive into the good old depression pool together with Reinhardt or be on stage. Okay, I have to explain this. They have a little stage down there and everyone is asked to give a little show every now and then. So Mal does the revolutionary pamphletist when he’s into it. Pushes his fist into the air and declaims the old manifestos with his cracking voice. Sometimes together with Marinetti giving a manifesto duett and everyone who’s listening laughts his pants off. So there in the fools department there’s not so much difference between fascists, communists or capitalists. Pretty much the same stuff. Didn’t know that either.
Okay. Talking about Mal I lost the red thread right away didn’t I. I said that I was going to make real art. Yeah that’s what I’m up to right now. So what am I going to do? Well, I have to clean up my studio. Making a heap of things I want to keep and another one with things I am supposed to throw away. I mean this is the normal way of how to do such a thing isn’t it. So I took some old paintings of mine peeled them from the stretchers and ripped them into stripes of approx. ten centimeters width. Then I took say seven of such stripes rolled them together and fixed the roll with some tape to prevent it from getting loose again. So after a while I did not only have aching hands but a nice collection of rolles too. While sipping my tea and pondering on them I got the idea of turning this into what I might call my „Dead Sea Scrolls Project“. So what I have to do now is to ripp apart all of my paintings in this way. Then build a glass cabinet, what we’re used to call a vitrine and put them all in. And then all these curators, gallerists, critics and whomever else can feast on that and make their silly theories about it and fight on who’s the most brilliant in interpretation etc. etc. I mean that’s REAL art isn’t it. Okay, I might put a photo in the studio log.
Has anyone here heard of Rudolf Steiner? He gave many new impulses in many areas. One of these areas is Art. He gave many lectures on art, he was a sculptor and painter too, among million other things. Here is a link where you can find many free books and lectures on art and other subjects: http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA276/English/AP1964/ArtMis_index.html
The easiest way to find more art books is to use the Search button on the site
Haha Flavius... nobody's come to this forum in the last 500 years! You risk awakening some old ghosts, like myself :o)
Yes I've heard of RS, but personally I tend to avoid any form of collective ideology, however exceptional it may be. Notwithstanding, the few followers of Steiner I've met were likeable, interesting, and smart young people. Two brilliant computer programmers I knew were Steiner advocates.
Rudolf himself probably has had many interesting things to say on Art, however my preference is to talk directly to artists (like you), and read what you have to say on your own work, the process of it's making, and your experience of being an artist in today's world. And if Steiner is the impetus for you to make art, naturally I'd be interested to hear your experience of why that is so.
Of course my enthusiasm for Anthroposophy is based on practical experience of Steiner's ideas and new impulses.
I studied Art and Art Therapy in the UK at a Steiner college. I also lived in a village called Forest Row, which has put many of Steiner's ideas into practice. Forest Row has quite a few initiatives, some of which are: 2 biodynamic farms, the first waldorf school in the UK called Michael Hall and Organic architecture, to name just a few...
Having studied Art and Therapy at a Steiner college, my approach to art is deeply personal, and could also be called Transpersonal (ie very personal and individual).
In the arts, Steiner's universality was an influence on artists like Kandinsky, Mondrian, Klee, Joseph Beuys, Mario Merz, Karel Malich, Giuseppe Penone, Anish Kapoor, Olafur Eliasson, Tony Cragg, Helmut Federle, Carsten Nicolai, Meris Angioletti, Jan Albers, Manuel Graf, Simon Dybbroe Møller, Gertrad Goodwin and countless others perhaps not as famous or know to the public just yet.
I don't think an artists should be removed from the site .I think the artist should have images that they remove from their page as the add more . They should be showing that they have a greater understanding of their own work by removing images. They should demonstrate that they have moved beyond some of their imagers , as they grow in their art process. The craft of the work is what makes it great . Each dialogue with the world is always personal to the artist . The viewer will come to the work from their own personal place . Artist are not dictators who control human response . They present a view . The engagement with the world is the fear and the thrill. There are no failures , there is only the next step . We have control over the materials, nothing else . That is the real challenge , can you sustain being in an undefined space with all its challenges . Can you justify your behaviour as you stand outside the social norms of work , making money . OF COURSE YOU CAN BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT YOU ARE DOING . As for fame and fortune , it has nothing to do with art , it is political , knowing the right people , playing the right games . If you want to be famous you have to treat yourself as a business person making sure your work is seen by as many people as possible. I think people should make comments about the work , the materials and how they are used by the artist .This would be a good start.