Great web comic.

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oteb
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Re: Great web comic.

Postby oteb » Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:26 pm

I think the biggest defining factor is a certain level on ingenuity added to it. Going by that standard "Black square on white background" was genuine work of art at that time (1915).
Art needs to give birth to something new, offer a new approach or look at things.
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Re: Great web comic.

Postby Corth » Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:38 pm

Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth

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Re: Great web comic.

Postby Kifle » Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:14 pm



Tasteful bump of a classic. Kudos, sir.
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Re: Great web comic.

Postby Adriorn Darkcloak » Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:03 am

Sarvis, again, good point. And the guy seems to have his head in the right place too, wish I would have seen the report. And skill might not have been the best word (is there?) to use since a graphic designer needs to have a certain degree of skill as well.

Oteb, the monkey leaflet is a graphic design, it is not art. It has a purely commercial purpose to it to top it off; propaganda.

oteb wrote:I think the biggest defining factor is a certain level on ingenuity added to it. Going by that standard "Black square on white background" was genuine work of art at that time (1915). Art needs to give birth to something new, offer a new approach or look at things.


I agree with your first line Oteb, ingenuity does play a part. The other two I completely disagree with. Just look at the Dadaists for an example of something that was not, and still is not, art.

I especially have a problem with the last statement you said. Art does NOT need to do anything "new". The idea that an artistic endeavor, be it literary or plastic, must have something "original" or "new" about it was taken from COMMUNIST "art" theorists who were trying to add the element of propaganda to art, as well as break all possible ties with tradition in the hopes of removing the strength of classical studies and tradition. I took several classes on literary theory and criticism for my Master's degree and we spent some time discussing these changes in the late 19th and early 20th century aesthetic theories.

That was the first time art had to be new to be considered "good" and "art". Hey, there had been different artistic movements and styles before that, don't misunderstand what I'm saying, from the Rennaisance, Romanticism, Realism, etc. But the basic idea of art, and of what art was had not changed. The Modernists (literary movement) were the last defense against the communist "social reformers" movement that was trying to change art. They were trying to maintain the "Art for art's sake" definition in art. Sadly, the Modernists lost.
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Re: Great web comic.

Postby oteb » Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:47 am

I think the leaflet has much higher artistic value than the painting of deer I posted.
Art is not about recreation. The essence of art is a creative process. Don't you think that the word "creation" implies producing something new?
There are painters who specialize in making copies of famous paintings. IMO it in no part art. It;s just putting excellent technique to work.
On the other hand there are a lot of graphic designers whose work easily crosses into the land of high art.
You know. I am an architect. During my classes I had courses on freehand drawing, painting, graphical design (among other more technical subjects) and from my point of view as a creator there is no difference in artistic value between of paintings and graphical design. Its different medium but based on same principles. Difference comes from creator and in the end it boils down to quality and ingenuity.
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Re: Great web comic.

Postby Sarvis » Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:03 pm

oteb wrote:I think the leaflet has much higher artistic value than the painting of deer I posted.
Art is not about recreation. The essence of art is a creative process. Don't you think that the word "creation" implies producing something new?
There are painters who specialize in making copies of famous paintings. IMO it in no part art. It;s just putting excellent technique to work.
On the other hand there are a lot of graphic designers whose work easily crosses into the land of high art.
You know. I am an architect. During my classes I had courses on freehand drawing, painting, graphical design (among other more technical subjects) and from my point of view as a creator there is no difference in artistic value between of paintings and graphical design. Its different medium but based on same principles. Difference comes from creator and in the end it boils down to quality and ingenuity.



Again it depends on intent. Sure graphic design can be art, because I'm betting the graphic designer is attempting to create something artistic. Of course, a graphic designer could also simply not care about artistic value and just be creating something that will sell well.

Your painting copiers are also not trying to create art, they are simply trying to copy another piece of art.

Quality does not determine whether something is art, it can only determine if something is _good_ art.
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Re: Great web comic.

Postby Kifle » Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:46 pm

4 a: the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects

I see nothing there about commercialism in there. Money is a byproduct of art. Any other qualities you designate to this definition are purely personal criteria for what you consider art, not what art is. Discussion closed.
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Re: Great web comic.

Postby Adriorn Darkcloak » Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:33 pm

Kifle, were you referencing something? I don't see it, nor understand where it came from. Please explain. Maybe it's something obvious and I'm just not thinking. I thought it might have been something I said, but I'm lost.
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Re: Great web comic.

Postby Adriorn Darkcloak » Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:40 pm

Image

Oteb,

When you look at that room, you just gotta say "Man, what a work of art". The place is awesome, the detail, the labor, the skill, the beauty. But you don't call the little swirly designs on the arch "art". They are decorations, designs. Art is the entire work, the piece, the room. The work of art you might do as an architect is the building, the church, the tower. Not the block of stone that has your signature in some corner.

Also, when you say "Art is not about recreation", are you then saying that all "realist" paintings and sculptures aren't art? I think a better way to say what you said about the 2 examples is that the leaflet has more CREATIVE value than the painting.
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Re: Great web comic.

Postby oteb » Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:18 pm

Adriorn.
Last month my company has submitted a project for a youth center design competition. Other than design of the whole building the investor demanded a design of logo for that center as well.. Hmm dunno how to call it in english. Basicly a system of visual orientation marks for floor level signs, rest room signs etc. It was no more than graphical design which quite obviously you dont hold in high regard.
I think that out of the whole work submitted the logo system has higher artistic value than building itself. We did our best of course but the lot and investor's resources were both quite limited. Both logo and that visual orientation system were closer to "art" than building itself.

Also, when you say "Art is not about recreation", are you then saying that all "realist" paintings and sculptures aren't art? I think a better way to say what you said about the 2 examples is that the leaflet has more CREATIVE value than the painting.


Maybe I wasnt precise enough.
By recreation I mean creating using known patterns or concepts.
The realist paintingss and sculptures are rather representation. But as such they can be new and creative. (Like artistic photography, few things can be closer to just raw representation yet remain artistic)
And exactly I agree the leaflet is more CREATIVE. I think that creativity is the very core of art. Do you know artist who was not creative? Its creativity that differs artist from skilled workman
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Re: Great web comic.

Postby Gormal » Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:37 pm

Kifle wrote:4 a: the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects

I see nothing there about commercialism in there. Money is a byproduct of art. Any other qualities you designate to this definition are purely personal criteria for what you consider art, not what art is. Discussion closed.


The aesthetic objects are a part of the leaflet in his example. The pamphlet uses art for commercial purposes. I'm sure I've seen old advertising stuff sold as art somewhere.

xkcd still sucks


discussion open
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Re: Great web comic.

Postby Kifle » Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:31 pm

Gormal wrote:
Kifle wrote:4 a: the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects

I see nothing there about commercialism in there. Money is a byproduct of art. Any other qualities you designate to this definition are purely personal criteria for what you consider art, not what art is. Discussion closed.


The aesthetic objects are a part of the leaflet in his example. The pamphlet uses art for commercial purposes. I'm sure I've seen old advertising stuff sold as art somewhere.

xkcd still sucks


discussion open


+1 fail for missing my point.
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Re: Great web comic.

Postby Adriorn Darkcloak » Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:47 pm

Oteb, I understand your example of the logo vs the building. It's like many homes here now, they serve a purely practical function, and are otherwise blocks with no decoration, flavor, beauty or elegance whatsoever. Now if I take a picture of my cement block house, or if I paint it, and try passing it off as "art", I'm either dumb or a crook.

On your second point, I'll use Goya as an example. Goya has a whole slew of paintings known as his "tapestries", which he painted for a purely commercial purpose, and while "pretty", are like your deer painting, cliche. But, as a good painter, he put all his skill into those paintings, and if I hadn't explained their history, one's impression upon seeing them could be quite different. He also had his "dark" paintings, which are typically the ones he is most known for. They are completely innovative, different, and honestly bizarre. They have little in terms of skill, but high rankings in terms of innovation and creativity. Both are art.

I'll take this a step further and try to mesh it with Gormal's point of vintage advertising. I have several vintage posters and postcards throughout my office, because they are pretty, artistic, and while they originally might just have been commercial, and not many would have given them their artistic due, we know add to them the subconscious plus of being "vintage" art, and see it more as such, than as an old ad. Plus, the degree of detail, creativity, and elegance used to make them, as with many things old-school, was pretty high.

This, however, will never be considered art:

Image

People might enjoy it for its vintage feel and flavor, people might use it to decorate an office, but art it is not.



P.S. Good discussion btw Oteb.
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Re: Great web comic.

Postby oteb » Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:16 pm

Well bringing up Goya is a bit unfair in this discussion which started after "Black square on white foreground" which is often held as a breakthru in art. Most art before fin-de-sicle period was about perfection and skill. 20th century opened an artistic Pandora's box. But are you sure you would hear about Goya if he hasn't painted his symbolic works?

I will counter your shitty Kodak add with a theatrical poster from same place, same time ;)
mucha_gismonda.jpg
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Re: Great web comic.

Postby Adriorn Darkcloak » Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:31 pm

Your poster illustrates what I said before Oteb. While originally done as a commercial piece, we now add to it the "vintage" flavor and appeal, and along with that the fact that it is a highly detailed work, done, like Sarvis said, seeking to make art. That amount of detail and elegance back then in advertising is know heralded as something pretty and artistic. I agree :) The Kodak piece, however, will never be.
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Re: Great web comic.

Postby oteb » Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:31 pm

Oh and as for painting mundane object and calling it art:
Image
Bisucuit box:)
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Re: Great web comic.

Postby oteb » Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:37 pm

Adriorn Darkcloak wrote:Your poster illustrates what I said before Oteb. While originally done as a commercial piece, we now add to it the "vintage" flavor and appeal, and along with that the fact that it is a highly detailed work, done, like Sarvis said, seeking to make art. That amount of detail and elegance back then in advertising is know heralded as something pretty and artistic. I agree :) The Kodak piece, however, will never be.


I never claimed every graphic or add is artistic. I just claimed that form of art or its purpose has little to due with it being art or not. Gimme a sec and I will post you some modern posters to remove the "vintage" part of equation
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Re: Great web comic.

Postby Adriorn Darkcloak » Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:40 pm

I'll counter and re-state what I said before: that while originally meant for commercial purposes, the amount of detail, the workmanship, the skill, the beauty, the elegance of the painting, along with its "vintage" feel and appeal, make today something truly artistic. But compare that with some of Warhol's garbage.

Btw, as for ""Black square on white foreground" which is often held as a breakthru in art", I'll counter and mention what I said earlier about communist propaganda theories attempting to break art from the traditional, and make it purely original. Dadaism was a true "breakthrough", or really, a true "break" from art, in the sense that it wasn't art. Much like "Black square on white foreground". :)
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Re: Great web comic.

Postby Adriorn Darkcloak » Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:43 pm

oteb wrote:I never claimed every graphic or add is artistic. I just claimed that form of art or its purpose has little to due with it being art or not.


Hmm, then I lost you at some point, my mistake. I'll agree I guess, but add that skill, beauty, and elegance should also be considered. Kodak does not equate to Theater poster. Both are ads, both had commercial purposes, as did the monkey leaflet, but only the Theater/Lady posters have true artistic value to them.

Hell look at Dali. His art, and other Surrealists, totally broke the mold of what art was considered. But it is most definitely art, artistic, and creative. Plus a huge amount of skill, huge.
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Re: Great web comic.

Postby oteb » Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:46 pm

Image
Image
Image

Not vintage, 2 of them are commercial, all of them are great art.
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Re: Great web comic.

Postby oteb » Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:49 pm

As for beauty being necessary factor I also disagree.
The "LOVE" poster by Tomaszewski is hardly in cannon of standard beauty.

Another not beautiful art:
Image
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Re: Great web comic.

Postby Adriorn Darkcloak » Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:59 pm

My view would be that the first poster is a nice and creative design, but not art. The second one would fit the bill for what Sarvis called "bad art", I guess. The third one is neither nice, nor creative. It's an ATTEMPT at being creative, and failing. It isn't very original either, if you care for that. Call it a bad decoration or font?
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Re: Great web comic.

Postby oteb » Sat Mar 14, 2009 12:12 am

Well yet they have one thing in common (beside being white red and black) they are International Poster Bienalle winners. Of course your outlook on art may differ from "pros"
What I like about them:
1. Incredible simplicity coupled with very strong message with reference to most common symbol of country it refers too.
2.Its Carmen add alrright. And like subject it refers to is full of passion on love.
3.Simple, painfully crude writing of a simple word. Including a stylized penis in L, lips in O, pussy in V and (this is my assumption as I see it only by its contex) ass in E. Just great, all in one.

Art can sometimes be just grasping such simple yet ellusive references, emotions. Something that takes some creative ingenuity to grasp and put in simple form.
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Re: Great web comic.

Postby Adriorn Darkcloak » Sat Mar 14, 2009 12:44 am

1. "incredible simplicity coupled with social message" i.e. the communist theory of Art in full view. No skill, no detail. Good creativity.
3. "Simple, painfully crude writing of a simple word." - therefore, not Art, but a written word with barely visible symbolic overtones. You can't even spot the "possible" ass in the E. The V is the only "obvious" one.

Here's the thing Oteb, maybe this'll help: I (and others) feel that the post-communist view of art is basically an open invitation to accept anything as "art". As a result, everyone is an "artist". The word that had previously been used towards those who actually possessed a true skill, and talent, can now be used by anyone with some creativity. Also, it rejects all "realist" art as "copies", not true "art".

All you have to do is look at nature and understand. The beauty, the wonder, the "skill" behind seeing a wonderful scene, be it an animal, a landscape, or just an awesome evening sky, isn't original in any way. Deers are basically all the same, but when you see one drinking water from a remote pond, with a mountain reflecting in the water, you are awed by the beauty. And it is an image common to most continents, as are sunsets, mountains, and lakes. They are not original. It's kinda like photography. Taking a picture of my daughter might be something awesome to see for me, but for other people it's just some random kid. Now, add the touch of a professional photographer, add lighting, framing, a good angle and perspective, a certain pose or look, and you have just made the image into something aesthetic, beautiful, artistic.

And hey, you see plenty of awesome photographers nowadays on the internet, much like you see some damn awesome painters too. But likewise, you see plenty of people trying to pass their SHIT, talentless, skill-less garbage off as "Art".

I can't paint a good portrait, though I have tried. And my animals are lousy. I even spent two years painting with oils and slowly trying to improve and learn. But today, I would never dare to try to pass something I drew off as art, not to myself, and less to anyone else. I CAN however, draw some pretty nice backgrounds for my desktops. Some are even somewhat intricate, and others have complimented me on them. While they are pretty, nice to look at, and definitely aesthetic, they are not "art". Just nice designs.

Maybe I (and others) are just trying to separate fine art from just mere designs or decorations.


As an aside, Robert Heinlein, a popular and influential science fiction writer from the 60s has a famous quote about art: "Obscurity is the refuge of incompetence", and he called abstract modern art "pseudo-intellectual masturbation". I think he hit it spot on. Btw, he was a huge liberal, free-loving, sexual revolutionist, hippie too...this wasn't some uber-conservative elitist "traditionalist". But he knew what Art was well, and even wrote an awesome explanation of Rodin's artwork, style and influence.
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Re: Great web comic.

Postby oteb » Sat Mar 14, 2009 12:59 am

Please refrain from arugmentum ad populum especially in discussion which was basicly between us two alone.
As for communist theory of art I think you are quite wrong. The basic concept of it says that art should only server a purpose a political and educational purpose (revolutionary of course) and should always be realisic (the trend is even called soc-realism). Exhibit A
Image
"For fulfillment of 3rd year of 6 year plan"

Exhibit B:
Image


The thing that happened in art is a much broader thing than just some communist trend. I do understand that what happened in art has not yet seeped into common outlook on art. But afterall dying poor without being understood is quite common archetype for artists isn't it?
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Re: Great web comic.

Postby Adriorn Darkcloak » Sat Mar 14, 2009 1:54 am

oteb wrote:Please refrain from arugmentum ad populum especially in discussion which was basicly between us two alone.


You mean me saying "and others?" Okay, my bad. I'll keep it personal.

oteb wrote:As for communist theory of art I think you are quite wrong. The basic concept of it says that art should only server a purpose a political and educational purpose (revolutionary of course) and should always be realisic (the trend is even called soc-realism).


Oteb, I have a Master's degree in Spanish Literature. We took too many courses on literary and artistic theory and critique. I'm not wrong, at all. Lukacs, Engleton, Marx, Brecht, Derrida, I can keep going, hell Elliot, many of the major figures of literary theory at the turn of the century were communists, or at the very least socialists in word. And their theory is just that, what I said.

ONE marxist theory of "visual" art says that Oteb, yes. And the same applies to literature. It should be realistic so people see the "suffering" or true conditions of their purpose. That's what SOME communist critics believed. That remained true to art as well, as long as the function was practical, purposeful and propaganda, not aestheticism or art.

However, the wider theory, the one that applies to art as a whole, amongst all genres, the communist theory(ies), does specifically state that it must be original, not atune to any traditional values. Take Bertolt Brecht, for instance. His theories of art went totally against using any form of realism in art, in his case plays. Others made it a point to give old words new meanings, so as to mix up, and "be original" with language.

You have the Modernist movement in art, which, with few exceptions (I can think of one), emphasized that art must be new, it MUST break with tradition. Look up Modernism for more information, and if you get a good source, you'll see that many of the theorists, painters, and proponents of it, were also communists. Really, mostly all. Two big exceptions were Ezra Pound and Tristan Tzara, whom were both Fascists. But study both of them, and their styles, Imagism and Dadaism, and you'll see their CLEAR purpose to "Make it new!" as Pound put it.

So, you have as a product (and in my opinion one of the main factors) of this "new" style of art the idea that it must be new in order to have merit, in order to be "Artistic". Now, nearly 100 years after, that idea is somewhat gone, with only a subconscious idea that originality is the important part of art.

oteb wrote:The thing that happened in art is a much broader thing than just some communist trend. I do understand that what happened in art has not yet seeped into common outlook on art. But afterall dying poor without being understood is quite common archetype for artists isn't it?


I know where you are coming from, I know what you mean. There are some GOOD things that happened to art as a result of the "revolutions" of the turn of the century, mostly communistic in nature. Look at Surrealism for instance. Obviously it is a new style of art, and man does it kick ass if done well. But it is Art. Taking a creative output of the word 'Love' to be Art is just wrong. It might be cool, it might have involved some thinking or symbolism, but that's it.

And yes, many good and influential artists died poor during their lifetimes, only to be praised and hailed years later. But they represent the exceptions, not the rule. I'm guessing that for every 1 of these special figures you had 100 or more dead shitty "artists" who just sucked.
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Re: Great web comic.

Postby oteb » Sat Mar 14, 2009 2:25 am

Ok. Well I treat communism and communistic quite literally (especially living where i do:P). So for me communism is limited to 1918-1958 USSR and Soviet block between ~47-58. You know, Stalin times.
Most of the artists you are referring to that were living in safety of western Europe and were somehow intrigued by that new political/philosophical movements. Rendering it to modern times I think it would be a difference of supporting gay rights and being forced into gay orgy. Sticking to that analogy in 100 years you will would probably say that all artists at the end of 20th century were ecofreak homosexuals. Its the nature of artists to search for new trends, being in avant-garde of society (sidenote: in no way i am comparing gay right movement with communism, or homesexuality with communism. more as reference to trendy ideology of the time)
ONE marxist theory of "visual" art says that Oteb, yes.

Thats exactly what we are discussing since page 1. Visual art.
. That's what SOME communist critics believed. That remained true to art as well, as long as the function was practical, purposeful and propaganda, not aestheticism or art.

I meant practice... You know people landed in jail or got perm censorship bans for not abiding to that law.

last post for today. going to bed. its horribly late here
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Re: Great web comic.

Postby Adriorn Darkcloak » Sat Mar 14, 2009 2:50 am

oteb wrote:Thats exactly what we are discussing since page 1. Visual art.


Note that I said ONE theory, of MARXIST theories. There are other marxo-communist theories that believe completely the opposite in reference to visual arts, specially at the turn of the century. Some of the guys I stated for instance are good examples.

And while you might make a historical differentiation between Communism and communist theories, for me its the same shit. And while their theories of art differed at first (since some still wanted to preserve realism in art for its propaganda and appeal to the masses), the generic ideologies of many present and future day critics and painters were influenced wholly or in part by it.


Regardless, did you look up all the references to art needing to be "New" by many of those very same guys? They are some of the big names in popular art culture, specially among art "pros".


Same here, sleepy.
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Re: Great web comic.

Postby daggaz » Wed Mar 18, 2009 8:02 am

I LOVE XKCD. The humor is sublime. He does an incredible job portraying emotion and expression using blank faces on stickfigures. Its a genious use of minimalism, no matter how you want to argue it. As well, he can and does draw quite well, tho he uses those comics sparingly, which heightens the intended impact when they do come along. But the artwork is certainly not the main vehicle of the humor.. and I really have to challenge your first ascertation, Gormal. What in the world would be comical about a webcomic that contained no text? One would quickly run the gauntlet of humorous visuals, and find the well shallow and dry. Certainly the artwork is not the alpha and omega when it comes to defining a comic, or are you really that narrow minded?

Personally I think you were just flamebaiting..

I also like Penny-Arcade, PVP, Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, Goblins (Thunt is awesome), OOTS (tho Rich spends too much time reading the forums and it shows), the Gods of Arrkelaan (great comic if you havent seen it), among many others..

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