My first Bachelor's was basically in modern art. Technically, it was a double major in Media, in Photography and Digital Art (Computer Arts). However, the whole of my undergraduate education was in modern art and often we toed the line of postmodernism and all the art I've written on or made would have been considered "modern art". The classes I had went from critique to media theory to culture studies to electronic art to video production to film history, etc. It was an interesting experience, and looking back, it was a rich one. To me, there is a distinction between modern art and what I call fine art. To me, fine art is what Michaelangelo did. Modern art is Dali. I like both.
So, having had some experience of what it's like to be in it, to think constantly about being expressive, creative, questioning, and challenging, it's fascinating to come across art critique by Rand, who obviously did not study modern art, yet felt fine enough to say some virtiolic things about it-- most of which I think is her opinion
No, modern art isn't aesthetic; that isn't its aim. Modern art goes over my head sometimes, and no, I don't think it's comprehensive right away, all the time. Yes, that pisses me off when I look and look and still don't get it. Yes, it sucks that I have to read a placquard to understand. But this doesn't happen all the time. At least half the time, I can get a message from a piece of modern art. Some, if done well, can and do portray what modern art usually does: tell a message. Question. Challenge convention. Ask us to analyze our lives and reactions and thoughts; what we are doing, why? To me, those are valid questions. No, my classmates didn't do the "I feel this color" crap; we talked about *how* to compose, express, and use colors, media, subject matter, balance, etc. We said, "It looks like this person is trying to say...." or "I'm not sure about putting that over there, it makes the composition unbalanced", etc. I don't know if anyone here has an art degree, but that's what I did in my classes; that's what I did to critique all sorts of media, from video all the way to photography. That's what I did to graduate
"To those who understand, no explanation is necessary; to those who do not understand, no explanation is possible."
That kind of attitude about art, from any artist, isn't going to help him/her. Yes, it does get really ridiculous. But this sentiment wasn't true in my education. Those people who say these things-- and where is this quote from, by the way-- are having their art discussed in art classes by art students. We may not like what we see, but we get over that to find the message. It's called proactive critical thinking. Also, could this quote be said as well of Objectivism from some Oists out there? I've seen it expressed in different ways. What's the difference?
Rand's reply to this was: it's got to be representational somehow, and if it isn't, it isn't art.
Representation of reality according to whom? People like different pieces for differing, individual reasons. I like what I like and I can understand why I like something. It might not be what someone else can see (or hear). I have a friend who loves blurry motion in his taste; he just loves motion-- he's on the move all the time, he's got a Choppered BMW cruiser that's blue, he's intellectually active, in literature (writer) and
science (pre-veterinary)-- he likes art that depicts motion. He likes power. He likes activity of life. And he likes Jackson Pollock because he sees that. I understand it, even if I don't *personally* like it. I like fine detail, controlled precision, layers of discovery, a balanced portray of color, and depiction of something I can recognize, even if its form is played with. There is much depth in the field of modern art, more depth in any field that one outside may not realize. Yes, I can critique Jackson Pollock, drawing on my education, but ultimately, it's going to be my opinion
that I think his art doesn't say anything. It just doesn't say anything TO ME.
she said very little about modern art, except vitriolic putdowns of the easiest, most despicable targets.
Her attacks (or any attacks from anyone) on matters that she (they) did not honestly
study-- deeply and with wisdom-- such as modern art or neuroscience, in my case-- is irrelevant to me. She did not get a modern art education. Does she know what goes on? Or is she outside looking in? It makes me sad that while she had her opinion, that a few unfortunate people (nameless to me) can't separate her opinion from their opinion. It's like her opinion becomes their opinion. Or her opinion becomes their fact
. My values are my own. I suppose that it's a "damnation" to have a modern art education and a myopic soul would not hesitate to judge my entire life on my first Bachelor's... but get this: I'm also 5-7 classes away from my second Bachelor's, one in Physiology emphasizing in neuroscience. I find that people just *love* to critique either field that I've studied/am studying, without actually having *done the work*. Yes, some artists are "obsessed with their work", but you know... some scientists seclude themselves in their labs, "obsessed about their work".
That said, because some are so willing to crucify a field without really, really understanding what goes on in it makes them less trustworthy to me. BUT, I do respect Rand's philosophical thought and what she studied in history, as well as her wisdom in having been a writer. I know a little bit of how hard it is to write; my mom published two books. However, I do keep Rand in context; I've come across science-themed fiction books written by non-scientists and I do sometimes find errors, vaguaries, or at the least, using the wrong name for something. I just have to keep my head on my shoulders and realize the author's context.
"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." --Marcel Proust