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Forum Post: Beautiful And Powerful PostModern Art Inspired by Occupy

Posted 3 years ago on Nov. 23, 2011, 4:43 p.m. EST by Glaucon (296)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

When I first laid eyes on the photo these artworks are based on, my first thought was that it would become the staple photo of the Occupy movement; much like the famous photo of the running naked Vietnamese girl was for the Vietnam war.

The police officer stands out in a striking way. It almost looks like he was hand painted over the shot. His position is extremely relaxed and this creates a huge contradiction with the violent act he is committing. His non-chalance is deafening and all powerful. In addition, his duotone coloring adds a drastic effect. His dark blue uniform is menacing, while his orange mustache matches perfectly with the orange spray. The blood red can sticks out beautifully.

The only problem is that the perfect layout and esthetics of the policeman are not paralleled by the rest of the photo which is rather usual and bland. There's also a problem on the right side where part of protester stands close to the camera and obstructs the shot.

The artworks fix this annoyance by pulling out the policeman and re-contextualizing him inside famous Victorian paintings. This serves to balance the esthetics and render the image much more powerful. The message could not be more direct. The protesters are represented by Victorians minding there own business in the most casual and peaceful of settings. The grace of the policeman and the grace of the subjects make it seem like this is a perfectly ordinary everyday occurrence. Absolutely shattering imagery.

If the Vietnamese girl served to portray the extreme violence of the war to fuel peace protests, the policeman collages serve to out police violence in the most peaceful and commanding way possible; and that's exactly what Occupy needs at this time. This is a major improvement over the dark and violent images found on some of Occupy's posters. And, finally, the core of the image is directly linked to the American occupations instead of being pulled from other protests like those of Tiananmen Square. This hits home where the heart is.

I'm convinced these beautiful and powerful postmodern works will be remembered for years to come and will define a major element of what Occupy is all about.

(The policeman in this photo and artworks has had his life ruined. This is a big price to pay for his action and the other policemen will be taking note. This might help Occupy protesters in a big way.)

63 Comments

63 Comments


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[-] 1 points by NLake72 (510) 2 years ago

I thought I was done on this string, but I have to tell you, it has really made me angry, which has forced me to think-- and on a lot of different levels. It drove me crazy, really, right to the edge of my sanity, and I've learned a lot this holiday. The art you see above is really quite interesting, when you consider the artist's intent. It is a political statement, yes, and it looks childish and crude. It is ugly, and cheap. It is not beautiful in the classical sense, But-- it makes you think “I could do better than that, and maybe I will... I almost have to.” The same can hold true for our sense of political system as a whole. Democracy is do-it-yourself government. It requires people to think, to look for a better solution, and to better for ourselves. The alternative is to accept something far less than what our country could, and should be. It also made me angry. I don't trust the person who made this post-- I thought "he's trying to make the movement as a whole look shabby and childish by presenting this as “beautiful” art." I highly suspected he missed the point entirely. But, I am pretty sure I was wrong-- he might be THE mad genius himself, playing the foil in the movement of ideas. Other questions arise... I'm not even sure the creator was trying to motivate people to start thinking and acting in their own best interests. Was he really egging us all to find a better solution to the corruption in our system? Wheels within wheels within wheels-- and, who's turning the gears, and for what purpose? It's an enigma, and I love it. Consider this: at this moment of time, art is a concept first and foremost. Aesthetic beauty, materials, and quality are of secondary concern to the thoughts they convey, the questions they make you ask, the intent of the work itself. The risk is, the audience brings their own experiences to the subject matter, and they have to interpret it for themselves, and they may miss the point entirely. That's why conceptual art doesn't come with written instructions, and it forces no specific conclusions down our throats. I'm still not entirely sure how sophisticated the artist was who made this, or how deeply they had thought this through. But, for me, I'd like to hope that there really is a mad genius behind all this, and if so? Man... I want to dip my cookies in your milk. Either way, this art has made me think a great deal on a great many levels. For me, this whole thread has been thought provoking (edit: it will for a long time to come...) It has made me consider the source and the message of all the imagery in our lives. ALL of this has really really got under my skin, and that's precisely what art is supposed to do. I change my grade to an A+, because in life's classroom, we all have to admit our mistakes, and learn from them, and decide we can do better, learn, and try again. And again. And again. :) Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and what I'm thankful for this year is that we live in a society that says it doesn't force any stale concepts down our throats, but we can't just accept that freedom to think and then turn off our brains. This movement is about entirely new ideas... And, I mean really thinking hard about what we think we know about everything we hold so deeply as “the way life is.” Glaucon, I keep wondering who's side you're really on, maybe (probably) you are THE mad genius among us. Maybe. If so, you secretly love conceptual art, and performance art as much as I do, and you feel the threat of closed minded thinking. And, buddy... We need a guy like you to piss off guys like me, to make guys like me, who think we're so smart, afraid.. and make us think hard about what we automatically know... about EVERYTHING we thought we knew. We can't accept anything at a glance. If I'm right in my suspicions... If I'm not chasing a ghost in the machine? Mannn... I'm truly blessed to be a part of this moment in time, and I happily wipe the egg off my face. Or? He's just a troll, but we should listen to his words because they deserve to be spoken and listened to, if only to present both sides of an argument. Genius? Wow.. quite possibly. I have to hope so.

[-] 1 points by NLake72 (510) 2 years ago

Folks, I obviously posted a rough draft earlier, first drafts are the ugliest, I was in a rush... 'nuff said. I saved it all, I'll fix it and present it, or... make a cool paper airplane out of it. Sorry Glaucon, you'll have to wait for another time :)

[-] 1 points by Glaucon (296) 2 years ago

It's OK. I saved your romantic long winded rant. I'm going to post it on my blog. Don't worry, I'm giving you full credit. It's in an article about Occupy's anti-troll superheroes. If you have more rants coming up, please let me know. I find them quite entertaining.

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[-] 1 points by Glaucon (296) 2 years ago

"I gave Glaucon an offering of PEACE, because we all carry love in our hearts, and he's gotta have a chance to pursue his own happiness too."

I didn't even know we were at war!

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[-] 1 points by Glaucon (296) 2 years ago

"He's got one last chance to reform his wayward ways and stop trying to spin the OWS into something it's not."

Or what? Is that some kind of threat?

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[-] 1 points by Glaucon (296) 2 years ago

"Because he's the only guy on the whole forum who wants to talk to me about my family instead of our government."

Where is this nonsense coming from?

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[-] 1 points by NLake72 (510) 2 years ago

See below for the complete thread, here's the highlights...

Glaucon says, and provides us a link... This is important, you need to watch it... It is another version of the pepper spray incident.

"If you're interested by the pepper spray incident, you must absolutely watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WO4406KJQMc

This comment was deleted D: [-] Glaucon 1 points 1 day ago

THIS IS HIS SPIN... (you know, the story he wants to tell us... )

I'm not a troll and I don't post spam. The video is very interesting. It's on youtube. If you don't trust my link, go to youtube directly and seach for "UC Davis Pepper Spray Incident, Four Perspectives". It's well worth it. It shows how the students were complicit in the whole thing. It was almost staged. It looks like a performance. You like performance art right?"

[-] 1 points by NLake72 (510) 2 years ago

Yes, Glaucon, I LOVE performance art. I hate spinning though... Let the media push the lies on us, you're a hack.

[-] 0 points by Glaucon (296) 2 years ago

Can you keep writing long rants. I find them highly entertaining and we should really keep bumping this thread. Give me more. I love it! The Captain America bit was gold.

[-] 1 points by NLake72 (510) 2 years ago

I'm AM a superhero. My mission is to save the world from fascist political plants like yourself.

[-] 1 points by Glaucon (296) 2 years ago

It does indeed look like performance art, and I do suggest people watch the video.

Off the record. How old are you and have you ever been diagnosed with some kind of mental illness? I ask in all seriousness. Your long winded rants are very strange. You sound like your full of repressed anger.

[-] 1 points by Glaucon (296) 2 years ago

Is that the end of your overly romantic and every repeating rant of ad hominems? Are you going to start using arguments one day?

[-] 1 points by NLake72 (510) 2 years ago

Glaucon-- And Thrasymaque (you are the same little troll... )

Before you ask why I deleted my comments, I will tell you. First, I assumed you had made these yourself, they look like a little kid made them. I tried to teach you something about art. Put them in your portfolio, I still give you an A-, for effort, an incomplete grade until you finish your work. There is much better work being created, but perhaps you wouldn't recognize the difference.

Second, I totally disagree that the incident looked staged. I think that the mass media has tried to spin this incident, to make it look as though this country is on the edge of tearing itself apart. I compare your link to what I see on t.v. and I see only one thing: Spin. Spin perpetrated by the mass media to cast fear into our hearts. Camera angles matter, I totally agree. I see these kids willingly getting fogged down with mace, and I see the incident staged for cameras, so that the media can have a more shocking story to tell, and I see these kids as willing martyrs. You say this police officer had his life ruined? I am willing to bet he already has a better job in the private sector doing the exact same thing.

Your time is ending. Read my thanksgiving post, it was partly written for you... I have offered you a chance at PEACE (*see below) and friendship. That offer still stands, because I won't taint my soul with your blood (edit: or your lies). But, you will have to go wrap yourself in a blanket and sit in the closet until you are ready to play nicely and learn to share. A new way of thinking is dawning. This is a post post post modern movement, born of fresh ideas and energy among the people...and it requires new thinking, and little bit of the old thoughts-- using the tactics we have learned from people like you, against you. Life has moved on, and the days of your fascist agenda are OVER! Cut and paste, sit and spin, it's a great toy for children with small minds.

Folks, the truth is in your hearts. Fear, Confusion, Division... LIES...They are going to have to come and break my fingers before I stop urging you to get out and claim your country back from these sick and lousy fascists. Nothing you see on t.v. is real. Go out and see for yourself what is going on. Use your eyes, they are linked directly to your brain. Hope is among the people, but you have to go out and claim your democracy, or you will continue to live in a world of lies, and you will always feel the FEAR that seeks to control you. I only hope it's not too late to reform the system from within... I sometimes have my doubts. Don't take my word for it, don't worship me, don't ask me what to do. Listen to my words, but don't stop there. YOU HAVE TO FREE YOUR OWN MIND.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, but NEVER take your eye off the ball...

http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-first-thanksgiving-was-a-time-for-all-men-to-c/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/please-calm-down-and-forward-the-99percent-declara/

*PEACE is a reference to a private conversation we shared, not violence.

[-] 1 points by NLake72 (510) 2 years ago

I shamelessly bump myself, because I'm willing to break all the rules. People, you have to get out and march, you have to demand your representation. Then, go see what it looks like on t.v. It will probably not look like it felt. Trust your gut instincts, look for the truth. Hope is among the people, but hope is hardly enough.

[-] 0 points by Glaucon (296) 2 years ago

Superheroes stick up for what they say, they don't delete half the things they write. Be proud, be courageous. Why did you delete all your bests posts here? Are you afraid of your own words? You came here, spent time reading comments, spent time writing replies, then you deleted half of what you wrote? Why waste time like that? Crazy! Be a superhero, stick up for what you write, don't delete it!

[-] 0 points by Glaucon (296) 2 years ago

I never said these "artworks" were mine. I thought it was clear they weren't because I assumed everyone saw them. They are all over Facebook and on the Internet. I think it's great for OWS.

We can agree to disagree, but I bring arguments in my discussion. I don't go around and troll like you protesters think. I don't think the event was officially staged, but if you look at the video it's obvious the students knew the pepper spray was coming. The cops ask them at the start of the video if it's OK with them and they say yes. They chose to stay there and play martyr for OWS.

Does that mean the cop should have sprayed them? Of course not. I never said it did. It was horrible. They were simply sitting peacefully and he sprayed them right in their faces; point blank range.

This cop will have is career ruined and he deserves it. I never said he didn't and I have no idea why you think I would assume that. He is already on paid leave and will most likely get a court case against him.

If you want more insight on the incident here is a well researched article that talks about the policing problem in US:

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/11/why-i-feel-bad-for-the-pepper-spraying-policeman-lt-john-pike/248772/

I have no idea why you freak out and go in a rant. I am not at war with anyone and I am not looking to make friends or enemies on this forum. I simply post arguments for my point of view. You can agree or disagree. You can provide counter-arguments, or not. It's your choice. I don't care if you want to be my friend. My friends are on Facebook not here.

I also don't care if people call me a troll. Whatever you like. I just post my point of view. You don't have to read it.

A big problem with OWS supporters is that you judge all criticism as trollish. Because you have labeled me a "troll", you don't read what I write and make all kinds of logical fallacies and false assumptions. For example, it's not because I say that the cop's life is ruined that I don't think that's good and that he deserved it. You're reading between the lines and adding your interpretation because you think I'm a troll. That's lame.

You can delete any post you want. That's fine. They are your posts. You don't need to provide a reason. Just delete them. I don't see the point of your rant at all. It's absolutely worthless.

[-] 0 points by NLake72 (510) 2 years ago

You are a tool... Who are you working for? No matter... You are a forked tongue snake. You speak only lies, and you are the evil we all have decided not to fear. You're going to have to send your boys to my house, you're going to have to come and get me in person before I stop telling the people to WAKE UP! NO MORE LIES! No more apathy... Use your love, save your children from these sick freaks, before it is too late.

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[-] -1 points by Glaucon (296) 2 years ago

You can believe what you want. It's fine by me. I don't work for anybody and I just express my viewpoints using arguments. You're just using logical fallacies one after the other. What's the point? Now you're using an appeal to motive. It makes you look weak.

Are you a teenager or something? You sound like you're under 25.

[-] 1 points by NLake72 (510) 2 years ago

Read my links if you think I'm 25. You know exactly how old I am, because I post under my real name, and I've certainly drawn attention from your boss. Whatever it is. The republican party is working my street today, I told them not to bother stopping at my house... Nobody wants to be bothered on a holiday. I'm bothered though. I'm bothered enough to fight fascism to the bitter end. We can be loving, we can be kind, but there is no alternative than to get out there, and get active, and turn it on.. This country belongs to the people, all they have to do is wake up and smell the fried... balogne.

[-] -1 points by Glaucon (296) 2 years ago

My boss? Lol! I wish someone was paying me to write here. I definitely could use the money right now. I hate republicans. I hate conservatives. I'm from French Canada. I'm into socialism.

I won't respond again if you're only here to use logical fallacies to insult others. Your appeal to motive is fruitless. If you want to debate with arguments fine. If not, then you're the one doing the trolling. Not I.

You do understand that this kind of behavior from OWS protesters makes you look bad right? When someone criticizes something about OWS you jump into rants using fallacy after fallacy then start calling your critiques trolls. How lame is that and what's the point? It's not a defense. It makes you look like a child who can't discuss matters seriously, and resorts to uncreative insults in an attempt to shame his older brother. It just doesn't work that way with adults.

I do hope the American people wake up. The country is in quite a mess. If I could zap all the Christian Conservatives off the planet I would. Religion is one of the major problems in your country. How many other developed nations still believe there's an invisible sky daddy?

[-] 1 points by NLake72 (510) 2 years ago

Buddy, if you think this forum looks bad, it's because of political operatives like you making life hard for the common man. People come here looking for a direction, solid information. They get spammed with spin like you are perpetrating right now. Thanks for the bumps on this thread, I want my words to be read loud and clear. DON'T TRUST GLAUCON or THRASYMAQUE... he is evil incarnate, he speaks only lies.

It's a new day for this country, people, filled with new and beautiful ideas about what we can do to reform our system. Those in power will stop at nothing to keep from losing their grip on our political system, our financial system, and our hearts and souls. Don't give into fear, don't give into fate. Join together before it's too late. Use your own eyes, do your own homework. Greedy people will stop at nothing to keep taking everything away from us, everything we hold dear. They will lie, they will cheat, they will use images and words against us. They are our tools too, but you have to listen to the message, and see what it really has to say. Glaucon is pure evil, take my word for it.

[-] 1 points by NLake72 (510) 2 years ago

Glaucon, I have offered you your one and only chance at PEACE. You would be wise to go crawl into your closet and wrap yourself in a blanket... Fascism WILL NOT STAND.

[-] -1 points by Glaucon (296) 2 years ago

You should start your own post that explains just how the Thrasymaque/Glaucon combo is evil. Your friends and yourself could then keep bumping it. You can continue to bump this post, that's not a problem. However, if you want users to be protected from my "spin", then it makes little sense to bump a post that I wrote. After all, you should be keeping people away from my words. It's up to you. You can use both tactics at once too. That might be even better.

[-] 1 points by NLake72 (510) 2 years ago

I have posted this thread to my facebook list, just in case I meet with an "accident."

[-] 0 points by Glaucon (296) 2 years ago

An "accident"? Why would you meet with an "accident"? Are implying that I'm a terrorist now? You're really too much. Honestly ask yourself: Who is trolling and how will my behavior be interpreted by others? If you're using your real name, be careful. You're associating yourself with these posts. It might not be the best idea for your reputation, especially if you plan on playing a positive leadership role in Occupy at some point. When people start getting heard, others suddenly start being very nit-picky about what these people have written in the past. Accusing others of being potential terrorist without a shred of evidence is not the wisest move. It doesn't bother me, and it just shows that you debate using logical fallacies. You're just hurting yourself.

[-] 1 points by NLake72 (510) 2 years ago

Duly noted. I have no interest in joining a political party, even one I support. I am a dangerous brain all by myself, and I'm arming myself with the ugly truth. I'll go down swinging, and there are others, with a sum total of hundreds of years worth of education, who will see me fall-- and they will feel my lost love and that will only multiply their numbers and efforts. Fascism dies on THIS battlefield. There will be no surrender. We gave up in the 60's because the common man was afraid of what would happen to this country... They watched too much t.v. Son... Ideas never die, truth is always out there, and it will spread if I have anything to say about it.

[-] 0 points by Glaucon (296) 2 years ago

A postmodern doggerel calling for violence by alluding to "going down swinging" and "dying on the battlefield"?

I don't agree with your position. I think Occupy must remain peaceful or it will lose the support of the American public. Using violence is not the way. Iv'e been warning about this problem for a while now, and it's for a good reason. You can never win with violence.

[-] 1 points by NLake72 (510) 2 years ago

Non violence. This battle is against fascism. Information, spreading knowledge, getting people to both think for themselves, and to stand up for progressive reform are the way we win this fight. And believe me, I won't styop bringing the power of knowledge to the people. Fear is our enemy, but I'm committed to this battle. The people will stand up this time. They will open their eyes, and they will say NO! To the people who think our legislation can be bought and sold. Sadly, they have to turn off their televisions and start thinking for themselves. People with spin like yours do nothing but confuse people. Folks, we are being turned against ourselves by the people in control of the media, in control of the money, in control of our government. We have to snap out of it! Democracy isn't punching a card every two or four years, it requires you to consider everything you think you really know, because the sad fact is... Most of your information is just spin. There is nothing to fear but the people behind the scenes, and yes... they are very busy these days. Ignore the fear. Click the link that says "what list am I going to get on if I go there?" Ask yourself: Who am I afraid of? What are they? Folks, don't just let your government get boiled down to what's on t.v. tonight. We need to reform the system using the protocols provided in the Constitution. And, for the love of all that's holy... Think for yourselves, don't take MY word for anything.

[-] 0 points by Glaucon (296) 2 years ago

Good post. We need more like this.

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[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 3 years ago

I like your take, and you're right the famous paintings could be replaced with the ideas you suggested or all kinds of other situations. The artist go definitely push this much deeper and create an almost endless series.

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[-] 0 points by Glaucon (296) 3 years ago

To be clear, I didn't make these works. The guy who made them is anonymous as far as I know. These works are all over the Net right now, so I thought it was obvious they weren't mine. I agree they are more like sketches then finished works. He probably wanted to release them as fast as possible since the moment was hot. It became an Internet meme and many people are doing new versions. Perhaps it should be critiqued as a social piece more than a simple collage.

If you're interested by the pepper spray incident, you must absolutely watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WO4406KJQMc

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[-] 0 points by Glaucon (296) 3 years ago

I'm not a troll and I don't post spam. The video is very interesting. It's on youtube. If you don't trust my link, go to youtube directly and seach for "UC Davis Pepper Spray Incident, Four Perspectives". It's well worth it. It shows how the students were complicit in the whole thing. It was almost staged. It looks like a performance. You like performance art right?

[-] 1 points by CrossingtheDivided (357) from Santa Ysabel, CA 3 years ago

I don't see the comparison. Memorable, striking realism vs. a lazy "post-modern" photoshop techniques?

Bringing up Duchamps only makes it more apparent that there is nothing particularly profound or clever about the above examples of "post-modernism" . . .

But who am I to say whether or not it will be as memorable?... (after all, the famed Iwo Jima flag-raising was re-staged for the photo-op, and that went like gangbusters and remains an iconic image.) Well, I don't know who I am, but these won't be memorable s'far as I can tell.

[-] -1 points by Glaucon (296) 3 years ago

They are deeply profound and will be remembered for years to come. These works have nothing to do with the great Duchamps; he lived almost a hundred years ago. We are in different times now. If you want to compare them with the works of someone from our generation, you should compare them with the works of Mark Ryden who also revisits famous paintings of the Victorian and Renaissance eras.

There's no reason to use quotes around the word postmodern. Occupy is postmodern and these works are perfect to represent the movement.

[-] 1 points by CrossingtheDivided (357) from Santa Ysabel, CA 3 years ago

"Occupy is postmodern."

I'll use quotes where ever the fuck I want. Now stop being silly.

[-] -1 points by Glaucon (296) 3 years ago

Are you saying you haven't noticed how postmodern Occupy is? The core idea of the movement is the re-contextualization of a zillion other protests. Nothing could be more postmodern.

[-] 0 points by airplaneradio (50) 3 years ago

I think its postmodern in the Baudrillardian way. In that they are just synthetic protests that bear no resemblance to reality itself or any original form of 'protest'. Like a grossly negligent and grotesque mutation of what protests usually represented.

[-] 1 points by CrossingtheDivided (357) from Santa Ysabel, CA 3 years ago

"postmodern in the Baudrillardian way..."<

Man, you guys talk like you've never cracked open a book for yourselves. Just meaningless stringing-together of words that sound important.

[-] 0 points by airplaneradio (50) 3 years ago

Actually it was Baudrillard who pointed out this mental masturbation which is why I like him. He even went to war against academic 'theory' and sociology. I am definitely not trying to sound important. I despise what postmodernism has brought to light.

[-] -1 points by Glaucon (296) 3 years ago

It's like a patchwork of influences instead of a digested re-contextualization of other protests. A tad of Egypt there, some "Days of Rages" here, add a pinch of Spanish anarchy, a hint of Syrian protests, etc... The problem is there's no deeper level than that, and a deeper reading and meaning is what is needed for a postmodern work to really shine. It's like the work of a first year student who wants to mix as many influences as possible into one work but fails to understand why. It just seems cool. Ironically, there's almost nothing American about it. That's why I think these images will speak so loudly. They are amongst the first to show something American at their core. An American police officer spraying his pepper all over places where it shouldn't be sprayed at all. It's very ironic.

[-] 1 points by professorzed (308) from Hamilton, ON 3 years ago

I think this is great satire.

Ever since Marcel Duchamps, I don't know how someone can say for sure if something is art or if it isn't.

[-] 0 points by Glaucon (296) 3 years ago

Nah, I think it's possible to come up with rather objective criteria to determine what is and what isn't art. There's no question this is strong postmodern art. It's way past Duchamps's toilets and fluxus conceptual art. (Note: I consider Duchamps's toilets and fluxus conceptual art as great art, but those periods are long gone.)

[-] 1 points by professorzed (308) from Hamilton, ON 3 years ago

Hmm, yes you are right. Post Modern art in the vein of Andy Warhol perhaps.

These works remind me of one of the surrealists (??), who took a reproduction of the Mona Lisa and wrote 'L.O.O.H.Q". In French this is a common graffitti acronym for "She's got a hot ass." This was a comical reference to the rumour that the Mona Lisa was actually Leonardo Da Vinci's self-portrait in drag. Actually, that might have been Duchamps.

Actually, I did some 'Occupy Wall Street' art myself. It's hanging in the art gallery right now. Maybe I should post it.

[-] 0 points by Glaucon (296) 3 years ago

Do you have links? What art was it for? Posters?

For some reason, these works make me think of René Magritte, Mark Ryden, and some of Jeff Koons's banner works all mixed up together.

[-] 1 points by professorzed (308) from Hamilton, ON 3 years ago

Oh, it was a painting for a gallery. An acrylic painting. I didn't get a photo of it until after it was hanging though. I have to upload it.

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[-] 0 points by raines (699) 3 years ago

beautiful and powerful art? Garbarge? yes. Art? No.

[-] 0 points by Glaucon (296) 3 years ago

I guess you don't understand postmodern art. These works are very deep. I consider them as profound as works by Matthew Barney or Mark Ryden.

[-] -1 points by raines (699) 3 years ago

Seurat, pointelist, post impressionist. Manet, pivotal painter from realism to impressionism. Trumbull, colonial painter. Their works are savaged in the above pics.

[-] 0 points by Glaucon (296) 3 years ago

They are not savaged at all. They are re-contextualized which gives them a new life. It's a core concept of postmodernity. Art is not meant to 'be nice', it's meant to make one think and these works do just that.

[-] 0 points by raines (699) 3 years ago

It's all in the eye of the beholder. I deem the above cannabalized "art" to be trash. "Art is not meant to be nice"? Who ever taught or told you that? Personally , I prefer the later works of Turner. What you don't know about art is a lot.

[-] -1 points by Glaucon (296) 3 years ago

Your last claim is a logical fallacy: claim to authority. You have no idea what I do or do not know about art. Don't use logical fallacies. It's lame and uncreative. Everyone does it around here.

Turner is a wonderful artist no doubt. I love his works, but that doesn't mean other types of art can't be good also. I don't see the point in bringing him in the discussion. He uses a completely different style and rhetoric.

As for these works, you don't have much of a strong argument by saying they have "cannabelized" (sic) art to be thrash. The very works they are based on were once thought to be doing the very same thing; that is, "cannabelizing" (sic) the art styles of the past.

What's important is that they are powerful and make one think. Their imagery is striking. The fact that you are revolted by them shows this. They hit home in a strong way. That's one thing art can and should do at times. These works have a purpose and they achieve their aim perfectly.

[-] 0 points by raines (699) 3 years ago

I mentioned Turner because I enjoy looking at his paintings. The above pics are devoid of power. Why should art "hit home"?
"Guernica" is powerful," Fur Traders Descending the Missouri" is soothing, anything by Hals brings a smile, Bacon , dark and spooky, interesting to look at , not to own . I don't want art to hit hoome. I want it for pleasure.

[-] 0 points by Glaucon (296) 3 years ago

Art is not about pleasure; that's what entertainment is for. It seems we have totally different viewpoints on art. That's fine, art is not so easy to pin down.

I find these works extremely powerful because they do many things at once: 1) They bring Occupy to America; all the other Occupy imagery was taken from other protests, 2) They re-contextualize famous paintings which represent ultimate peace; Victorian people relaxing in parks and the signing of the US Constitution while contrasting this with the policeman who represents the ultimate oppression of that peace, 3) They save the awesome shot of the policeman who was unfortunately being presented on a dull background in the original photo, 4) They speak a thousand words about Occupy and are extremely modern in that they represent our times perfectly (our times viewed by Occupy at least). To say they are not powerful is ridiculous. And, if they weren't, you wouldn't be so shocked and have written a bunch of posts in this thread. But, you have a right to your opinion of course. I simply don't agree that art is about pleasure.

[-] 0 points by raines (699) 3 years ago

Who are you to declare what the purpose of art is or isn't?
My favorite painters are unknown, their works are in Pech Merle and Fond de Gaume. Why they were done, nobody knows. Those cannabalized paintings are silly, not powerful.

[-] 0 points by Glaucon (296) 3 years ago

Who are you to say they are silly and not powerful? There you go again with your logical fallacy: appeal to authority.

Again, art is not meant for pleasure, that's the job of entertainment. Art is much deeper than this. It has many goals and many aims like a complex multi-faceted diamond. It's not just meant to be hung on a wall and looked at while you sip your wine and try to achieve a pleasurable moment with a big P.

I studied arts all my life. I don't know why you think the paintings in the Fond de Gaume and Pech Merle caves aren't well known. Most people who study arts know about them. Especially francophones like myself.

If you don't agree, that's fine. But there's no need to turn aggressive with your comments.

[-] 0 points by raines (699) 3 years ago

That's my opinion, and you have yours.
What do you consider entertaiment to be? For me , it's art. You mean Francophile not Francophone.

[-] 0 points by Glaucon (296) 3 years ago

No, I mean francophone. My first language is French. I'm a francophone. I'm an Acadian from East Canada. My parents don't speak English and I never stepped in an English school in my entire life.

Entertainment is for pleasure. Period. Art is much more complex than that. There are many different types of artworks from the purely esthetic to the purely conceptual and everything in between. I can enjoy Mozart as much as Boulez. Turner as much as Kandinsky as much as Renoir as much as Barney. The only things that matter to me are the unity of the work, the strength of the message, and the historical context in which the piece finds itself. Style is of no importance as long as it plays well with the unity of the work and the historical context it finds itself in. I think the works presented in this post are particularly strong and direct, and quite effective for what they hope to achieve. I find them very powerful and memorable.

We can agree to disagree. That's the best option.

[-] 0 points by raines (699) 3 years ago

art is a complex as you want it to be. as for entertainment,....is a play art or entertainment? a movie? a book? What do you think of monet's many views of rouen cathedral? the same building in different light. if you wanted to buy one of the paintings but did not care for the colors , monet would gladly paint one in a color palette of your choosing. so much for artistic vision

[-] 0 points by Glaucon (296) 2 years ago

"Picasso's did paint the figure undeformed, his various Mother and Child paintings."

Like I said, what I described was the "main line". There are countless movements that play around it. Picasso had many art phases; he tried many different approaches over many years. It's also important to note that he was like Shoenberg; born during romanticism and lived on through modernity. An artist with one foot in each period.

This is what makes art so fascinating. You can't pin down everything so easily. It's important to understand the "main line" as the core foundation, but you need to explore each artist individually to truly understand what he or she tried to do, and how he or she played around this "main line".

"What do you think of monet's many views of rouen cathedral? the same building in different light."

It's an idea that has always been important in music; the idea of theme and variation. Common examples are Bach's well tempered clavier which explores the prelude/fugue dual form through the 12 major scales and the 12 minor scales, and Mozart's countless variations on the "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" theme.

In painting, the idea was usually used more for sketch studies than for finished works. Painters would sketch a scene in many different ways before deciding which sketch would be used for the final work. Monet is interesting since he used the idea in finished works. In a sense, this is very postmodern as the idea of re-contextualizing an element in various situations is one of the trademarks of postmodernity.

The Pepper Spray Cop above is one example of that. To understand it, you have to look at more than one of the works. It's the amalgamation of the series that is interesting, and not one of the works by itself. The Pepper Spray Cop is also social art in the sense that it has become an Internet meme and many people are creating there own variations. It's very postmodern.

Some would say the idea of theme and variation is a way to break the wall of creation and move towards pro-creation. That has always been the vexing limit of artists. God creates creations that can pro-create. This is the ultimate creation. We create works that are static and cannot pro-create by themselves. Using theme and variation is a way to give this illusion of pro-creation. Of course, if you look at an artist's works one after the other, you do see a type of evolution so pro-creation is always there in a sense.

"In the beginning ( "Impression ,Sunrise") Monet's paintings were uniformly ridiculed by the art establishment. Where they anarchistic? Turner died before Monet's Sunrise was painted. What does make Turner?"

Works are not anarchic because they are accepted or refused by the critics of their time. When I said that modern works were anarchic I wasn't making a qualitative statement saying this was good or bad. I only mean the concern was too equalize the elements and give them each the same worth or power. Anarchy means without leader. It means everything in on the same plane of importance. Kandinsky and Shoenberg were the first artists in western art to push this idea of an anarchic structure. Interestingly, Mozart had the idea in his youth and wrote a very short piece using a method of 12 note alternation similar to Shoenberg's, some 200~ years before, but his father punished him for it and told him never to do it again because it would ruin his reputation and never earn him a dime.

It's normal that new artists are rejected by the critic. Artists are always ahead of their critics. They are the ones that come up with new ideas and the critics must play catch up to understand. When Stravinsky's Rite of Spring was first played, even famous musicians like Debussy were outraged and thought it barbaric and without artistic qualities. At that point, only Stravinsky understood the significance of what he was doing. He was the one that came up with the idea! With time, the critics catch up and by looking at other artists and historical context they can start to understand if an artist is significant or not. There is always a period of misunderstanding with new art. This is what makes it so exciting! There's a lot of crap at new music concerts, there are also some beautiful pieces, and then there are those pieces which we can't make up our mind on the first time around because we don't yet understand what is going on. I think it's important not to dismiss an artist or his works until you really have a good grasp of what he is doing and how he or she relates to his peers and the historical context.

I'd love to go in more depth, but I don't have much time right now. I have some computer programming chores to take care of. If art interests you I suggest you read books and search for information on the Internet. There is a lot to explore. I also suggest you read Adorno. He has some excellent books on music and talks a lot about the difference between art and entertainment.

[-] 0 points by Glaucon (296) 2 years ago

It's interesting you bring up Arshile Gorky. His works are related to OWS in the sense that they seek to understand anarchic principles in art. The main pillars of this idea come from Kandinsky in painting and Shoenberg in music. They broke away from romanticism and started modernity. Not only that, but they broke away from all the art that preceded them. It's the biggest break in the history of the arts.

Until that time, paintings were always hierarchic. That is, there was a subject "au premier plan" and a background. Various techniques like perspective were used to create an hierarchic structure between the elements. In music, hierarchy was created by using modes and scales. When Mozart writes a piece in C major, C is the "mother note", G would be the second in importance, then F, etc...

Kandinsky and Shoengerg sought to eliminate these forms of hierarchy. Kandinsky wrote theoretical articles on how this could be achieved and created paintings to put his ideas into practice. One of his main ideas was to eliminate the use of any figurative element like the representation of a horse, or a person. The point was that these elements were too strong and would convey a sense of hierarchy to the viewer. This led to what is called abstract art. The only known forms he used were basic shapes which don't have hierarchic significance. This idea is anarchic in that each of the elements of the painting are theoretically equal in importance.

Shoenberg solved the problem in music be eliminating scales and replacing them with what we call a serial system or dodecaphonic system. Each of the 12 piano notes much be played one after the other and all must be played before an already played note can be repeated. The idea is to distribute the weight and strength between each note equally.

What happened next was fascinating. Since artists no longer concentrated their main efforts on subjects, and musicians on scales, other parameters of their respective mediums were explored. Painters explored the use of color, texture, material, even the very concept of using a canvas. Musicians explored timbre, rhythm (Stravinsky), instrumentation, etc... One American composer, George Antheil, went as far as to compose music for jet plane engines.

Since then, we have moved on to postmodernity where hierarchy has returned and is often used in tandem with the anarchic ideas of the moderns. Figures are used again in paintings and modes and scales have returned to music, albeit not like before.

Of course these ideas have also influenced other art forms. James Joyce Ulysses could not have been written if Kandinsky and Shoenberg had not come before him.

That is a general outline of what happened in the last 115 years and I hope it can help you better understand Arshile Gorky and other artists. Even if you aren't pleasured by the works of Kandinsky on a visual level, perhaps this understanding can help you better comprehend why he is considered a giant in visual art, and why he has influenced so many painters since his time.

NOTE: Not all artists followed this "main line" of art. Some created or followed sub or parallel movements, but all were influenced by Kandinsky and Shoenberg in some way. For example, Picasso, much like Stravinsky, chose not to forgo figurative imagery like Kandinsky, but instead he opted to deform the figures in the hope that this would diminish hierarchy. René Margritte and the other surrealists decided to re-contextualize the figurative elements in improbable situations; also a means to destabilize the hierarchy.

There are so many fascinating ideas to explore, it's extremely sad to limit one's self to art that only pleases like entertainment. In that case, why bother? Might as well just open the TV and look for feel good entertainment. To understand and truly appreciate art one must work! It's not easy, but it's much more rewarding. It's the difference between fast food, and gourmet cuisine.

Happy Thanksgiving also. Later.

[-] 0 points by raines (699) 2 years ago

Picasso's did paint the figure undeformed, his various Mother and Child paintings. I get nothing from Malevitch or Ad Reinhardt.
In the beginning ( "Impression ,Sunrise") Monet's paintings were uniformly ridiculed by the art establishment. Where they anarchistic? Turner died before Monet's Sunrise was painted. What does make Turner?

[-] -1 points by Glaucon (296) 3 years ago

To confuse art with entertainment is to miss all the subtleties of art. It is the most simplistic and least rewarding reading one can make. It is like looking at an apple, but never daring to take a bite.

Art is not entertainment, but it sometimes includes entertainment as part of the experience. Entertainment is but one facet of the multifaceted experience that art can provide if consumed properly.

"is a play art or entertainment? a movie? a book?"

That depends on the play, movie, or book. Art is not about form, it is about the complex interaction of form and content. Art can be almost anything.

Is it still art when artists make concessions with clients like the example you give of Monet? That depends. In the case of Monet, yes. Making concessions is part of life for some artists. Everyone needs to eat. Bach and Mozart made tons of concessions. However, it is possible to make concessions wisely without loosing what it the essence of art. It is not a given that a concession will automatically bring the work down to one-dimensional entertainment. The painters of Monet's time who made concessions that did this are forgotten. Monet is remembered because he found a way to create art in the context of his reality; a context that included making concessions for clients.

I often listen to Bach for the sole purpose of entertainment, but I seldom listen to Karlheiz Stockhausen for this purpose. However, I consider both great artists with great works of art. Both go much much deeper than entertainment and their works can be comprehended in a multitude of ways. It is not because I listen to Bach more often that I consider his art superior. This is not a way to judge. Simply, Bach can be listened to superficially like entertainment permitting me to do other things while I listen; like write or code. When devotion is possible, both Bach and Stockhausen can be listened to in a serious and deep way.

It's very hard to teach someone about the differences of art and entertainment. One major difference is that entertainment is always easy, but not art; James Joyce is not easy! Sometimes art is difficult to approach and needs to be studied under various lights to be truly understood. You have to go towards art, dive in, and bite deeply into the apple. If you do, you will be rewarded a thousand times more than with entertainment which only offers a fleeting feel-good reward much like buying a new pair of shoes. Entertainment never borders the profound, but great art does.

People who consume art like entertainment usually like only certain styles and have limited tastes. People who truly appreciates art do not care about style. They only care about the strength of a work and they are open to any possibility art as to offer. They don't shy away if they don't understand at first. They take a closer look, they inspect, they read art criticism, they review their interpretation, they always keep learning. They don't look for the easy reward of pleasure, but for something much deeper. They approach art with all the curiosity in the world. They do this because once you really understand what art is and really appreciate it, you can find works that will change your entire life. Then you always look for something even stronger. You keep digging for that elusive jewel, that work which will let you take a step in heaven.

[-] 0 points by raines (699) 2 years ago

Mozart died poor, Monet was well established when he was doing Rouen Cathedral on demand. I am never disappointed by repeatedly viewing the paintings I enjoy. I do not consume art, I take pleasure from it. I understand "Broadway Boogie Woogie" but it doeen't do a thing for me. I don't "understand " the works of Arshile Gorky , but enjoy looking. Happy Thanksgiving