Re: Fine craftsman first and foremost ....... occasionally, you can hit artistry

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Posted by Nick on July 11, 2002 at 01:07:37:

In reply to: Fine craftsman first and foremost ....... occasionally, you can hit artistry posted by Catherine Cartwright Jones on July 10, 2002 at 11:11:42:

here are my views on the subject.

: Glad you understood what I was trying to say!
: I've been lucky enough to have a few great art teachers, and they
: showed me that craftsmanship is your trade, your skill, your tool,
: you perfect it through a lifetime. They showed me there is a huge
: difference between something aesthically pleasing and art. Though
: hopes to do some real art in a lifetime, it's damn rare, and its
: inappropriate to call every piece you knock out art, because that
: demeans the few really great works. That would be like calling
: paring knife a samurai sword.

There are good samurai swords, and there are crappy ones, and there
are *EXCELLENT* ones too. And there are excellent paring knives too!
And they do serve a different purpose. But they can also do the same
thing. A paring knife may do just as well at hacking off a limb as a
sword. And a sword may do a crappy job at dicing a cucumber! It's all
about intent and application.

: If you have talent, and work very hard, every single day you can
: get up and do something aesthetically excellent in your media.
: many years practice, your craft will become second nature, and your
: skill level will let you do consistant expert work that is
: and which your clients will be pleased with. Beautiful
: well achieved aesthetics is craftsmanship, not art.

Well achieved aesthetics can speak too though! And isn't all "art"
well achieved aesthetics? If it were poorly managed, would it be art?
and would it be well achieved? Who defines what is "aesthetically
pleasing" anyways- I love gaudy '80's fashions- others hate them. But
they please me!

: When your skills and expertise can support your vision and
: of the fundamental qualities and questions of what it is to be a
: being in this universe ........... then you get art. When someone
: communicates to me through their medium, something about humanity,
: through it I understand more than I did before I came in contact
: that piece ......... they have created art. Otherwise, it's just
: another day of doing something aesthetically pleasing to pay the
: bills: fine craftsmanship. Nothing wrong with that ..... beauty and
: grace is a wonderful thing, but ornamentation is not art.

I find that to be a very solid and unmoving statement. What defines
ornamentation? Look at the taj mahal- that building is *lavishly*
decorated, but it's not art, just ornament?

By your definition, art is something that speaks to you and teaches
you something- but just you? Something that teaches you something may
not teach me anything at all. And something that teaches me something
very important may leave you feeling the same as before you
encountered it. So my point is that different people see things in
different ways and react differently to them. Everybody has a vastly
different bank of life experiences, and these are what shape their
feelings and ideas.

By separating the things people create into "art that really speaks"
and "craft that does not" it just waters down the medium. My personal
definition is that if you say it's art, it is. I won't argue. Because
i do not think or feel the same way that you do. If you want to make
a pile of sausages in the middle of Mass Ave and call it art, more
power to you.

I must tell you, i have encountered many many excellent creations in
my short time on the planet, and none of them have "moved" me the way
you are talking about. I find it hard to believe that i have not
witnessed art.

: I've not yet seen henna that knocked me into another dimension
: I've seen a couple of hennaes come very close). I've seen some
: beautiful work, well crafted, and aesthetically pleasing. I've not
: seen henna become art, and I've not done such myself. There are some
: people on this forum, whom I believe probably will push henna into
: realm of art, but I haven't seen Guernica happen yet.

I've not yet seen henna do that either. No art i do will ever do that
for me either, in my whole life. I am the intermediary, but you take
away from it what you will. If you say it's art... it is. But if not?
ok. Throwing a loaf of bread off a building is no lesson about
humanity. It's what you read between the lines. I think that with the
right experience in your belt, any piece of work can teach a lesson.
it all depends on where you've been and where you are going.


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