Monday, February 25, 2008

Poll #4: What form of art most captivates you?

The new poll, "What form of art most captivates you?" I wanted to delve into not what kind of art you each make, exactly, but what kind of art truly impacts you the most. Is it a painting? A sculpture? Or maybe an earth work like Spiral Jetty. If you can muster it, I would be interested to know, why each of you answered the way you did. What about that art form is most captivating? And for those of you who may have chose "other", what is your option?

Poll Results for, "When it comes to anonymous comments and commentators..."

I am one 5 (11%)
I am against them 4 (8%)
I prefer pseudonyms to prevent confusion 12 (26%)
I think they are cowards 7 (15%)
I understand the need for them, sometimes 13 (28%)
They should be banned 3 (6%)
They should remain an option 12 (26%)
I write using my actual name 14 (31%)
I tend to ignore them 4 (8%)

Total Votes: 45

It would appear by this poll, that most people, agree that anonymous comments should be allowed to participate in the conversations, but most feel it would be more beneficial to all readers that some form of pseudonym be applies if doing so in order to prevent confusion by the other readers. This is exactly as I expected and I do hope we have been able to convince a few anonymous readers to understand why names and or pseudonyms are preferred.

11 Responses to “Poll #4: What form of art most captivates you?”

Scott said...
February 25, 2008 at 11:37 AM

I guess I will start. I actually ended up choosing painting. While I understand that painting is perhaps one of the oldest forms of art and one of the most tread over art forms, I view painting in a broader field of view where painting and sculpture blur. And how painting a simple wall in an installation can effect the whole perception of the work. Painting to me is more than just paint on a canvas but even in those terms, paintings are still free to be narrative or purely aesthetic. One can get lost in a painting.

All that said, I would love to head out to head out to New York this spring to check out the survey of Olafur Eliasson's works at MOMA and PS1 title, 'Take your time'. It may be, that the kind of works he creates may impact me more than painting, but I must first experience them in person.

Scott said...
February 25, 2008 at 3:34 PM

For those who have chosen photography and performance art, I would be interested in hearing what about those forms gets your blood flowing. Not to challenge your choice, only to better understand that perspective.

For me, performance art is more often than not, grating for me to sit through but then again I like Beuyes and Alys. So...

As for photography, I do feel it is the most democratic of art mediums. Nearly anyone is able to take a good picture at one point or another and cameras are now so widely available (even in cell phones) that more people than ever are taking countless pictures. This is not to take away from talented photographers and their craft, just something I wonder about. And though I realize a picture can say a thousand words, I tend to think that video and film would open even more doors of possibilities. Just a thought and just curious.

Despi said...
February 25, 2008 at 9:18 PM

Great art, for me, is about meaning making, great composition and/ or a memorable viewing experience. At one point, I had dismissed video art as generally uncomfortable or indiscernible, but unexpectedly encountered some amazing examples abroad and realized I shouldn't write off a medium I found difficult. I agree that performance art can be tough, but I feel like I just haven't experienced anything really great (for me) yet. I love loving art, and it doesn't so much matter what it is made out of as long as it has a hook. It can be catchy, confrontational, beautiful, or a hundred other things, but if it sticks out from the pile of stuff I am visually bombarded with daily, then it must be good stuff. I think I enjoy the variety, keeps things interesting.

Scott said...
February 26, 2008 at 1:48 AM

You make many great points Despi. One should never write off art of any form as it all has a chance of truly cativating you if done well. For a long time I was reluctant to accept video art as an interesting option for the simple fact that everything I had seen up to that point looked either like bad animation or terrible theatrical performances. But I remember the first video art piece that changed my opinion of video all together, it was a simple piece by either Vito Acconci or Chris Burden, I can not remember which anymore, but it was a video they had at the art museum in St. Louis, depicting the artist holding his breath staring out at you only to take a deep breath and repeat. The anxiety this caused in me was something I least expected, I wanted to reach into the video monitor and slap the artist. Simple but impactful. Since then I have seen much more video art that is also drawn me in.

Lirio said...
February 26, 2008 at 7:30 AM

I love looking at paintings. I like to stare and think about what was going on in someone else mind when they made the choices they did. Paintings are a window to someone else's vision. The color and texture seems sort of offered up as a gift. A painting waits for me.

Lon said...
February 26, 2008 at 8:58 AM

I chose 'other' because, even though I will normally gravitate to painting, sculpture and drawing (more or less in that order), the overarching concern for me is that the art must be evocative. In fact, as tied as I am to these traditional forms, I love it most when someone's work is highly tangential and is a yet a very effective art experience. Andy Goldsworthy (ref.: impressed me that way. No parallel really existed for what he did (and does). So did Cai Guo Qiang when in first heard of him in a Smithsonian Mag article in 2006 or 2007 (ref.: recent article in Newsweek: - and surprisingly not written by Peter Plagens). Makes unusual pyrotechnical works. I'm also knocked out by Ann Hamilton, chiefly an installation artist (ref.: whom I first heard of about two years ago. I personally don't think either installation or performance art are very mature art forms yet and feel that only a small percentage of the practicioners of these forms turn out worthy work, but I thought her work was beautiful. I was likewise taken completely by surprise by Banksy, who is probably unique among graffiti artists. He's doing something entirely original, highly witty and thought-provoking. Or take Shepard Fairey (ref.:, a RISD grad who is a not quite street-legal street artist, most famous as a 'recontextualizer' (think 'creative reuse'). Pretty controversial and pretty interesting. Guerrilla design. Or locally, Cindy Hinant, who showed this last year in both the Harrison Center main gallery and in the Unusual Animals Project Space. The idea behind the aspect of some of her work where she makes large macro images out of some of the most common and kitchiest stuff in our biospace, namely thousands of cutesy crafts store decals, really knocked me out. In summary, I like it best when someone goes off in an unusual direction *and* manages to do something compelling as well.

Anonymous said...
February 27, 2008 at 9:55 PM

I love paintings made before this century. How can I be so closed minded about modern and contemporary painting? I'm not. I've spent years and years looking at and studying contemporary art. Recent painting has so little depth and is generally so obvious and/or lacking any feeling. Plus so little skill is taught these days, it's all concept, concept, concept. Which is appealing for very young people who think that their IDEAS are more important than their shared humanity. And, as usual, I'll take the rage-y reactionary answers off the air.

Anonymous said...
February 28, 2008 at 7:23 AM

Do movies and music qualify?

Scott said...
February 28, 2008 at 8:33 AM

I would say that for the sake of the poll, No. I know it is certainly a fine and awkward line between film/video art. d a movie, as well as the difference between audio art and music. Part of me thinks the difference lay in the intent and the context but certainly these days artists are blurring these lines even more. An argument could easily be made saying that Stanley Kuberics, 2001 A Space Odessy is art and not a movie. And the works of Peter Greenaway often questions these boundaries as does Tsai Ming Ling. Then again, these sort of films are what they like to call art house films these days and rarely make their way into the main stream theaters. The term movie I think implys certain expectations in the form of narrative, structure, and entertainment, as does most music. Perhaps it is the higherarchy of these elements are what seperates them from art. But for the sake of the Poll, I would say again, No to film and music or literature, poetry, theater and dance.

Craig said...
February 28, 2008 at 12:46 PM

I cheated and voted twice. First for earthworks, because it is the art form that has truly left me in awe when I've seen it. Some of my favorite environmental artists are James Turrell, Robert Smithson, Gordon Matta-Clark and Andy Goldsworthy. I think the challenges of nature (entropy, time, climate) are fascinating challenges well beyond the technical challenges of most visual arts mediums. I highly recommend the documentary about Goldsworthy's work called "Rivers and Tides" to anyone who has not seen it.

Secondly, I chose photography for two primary reasons. The first reason is that I think it is the best medium for conceptually communicating what it is like to live in our contemporary world - in both documentary and conceptual aspects of the medium. I point to artists such as Cindy Sherman, Gregory Crewdson, Alec Soth, Hong Hao, Andreas Gursky, and Philip-Lorca diCorcia as great examples of this.

My other interest in photography is in the experimental thread which has continued in the medium throughout the 20th and into the 21st century. These artists have expanded the tools of the medium beyond their utilitarian function of capturing a moment, and have challenged the temporal and figural limitations of the common medium. Starting with Moholy-Nagy and Man Ray, and continuing with the work of Rauschenberg, the composites of Ray Metzker, Mike and Doug Starn, Ruth Thorne-Thomsen, Dieter Appelt, and Adam Fuss, experimental photography has remained a constant and not a trend. I think that even with the decline of film, there is much more to be discovered in this medium. And it happens to be the medium I've been working in for over 10 years.

That being said, I'm really a fan of all mediums and seem to appreciate more deeply many artists who crossover specific mediums to create their work.

Scott said...
February 28, 2008 at 1:17 PM

Thanks Craig. I agree that every medium has the potential to move me and I would say that at one time or another, they all have. I for one am mourning the recent announcement that Polaroid will no longer be making film. RIP.

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