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Drew

21 Days Ago

Doubt It!

From Diogenes to Descartes and the art of cynicism: two extreme characters demonstrate why humanity must question everything.

Descartes’ extraordinary powers of reason lead him to insightful truths that helped usher in the age of science and reason. Diogenes’ cynicism elevated awareness of social expectations by openly defying accepted norms, mores, laws and their contradictory messages. The ancient Greek philosophers known as Cynics established the basis of critical thinking.

In my opinion, the number one positive takeaway from Modern Art Philosophy is the embracement of social cynicism elevating the importance of critical thinking.
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Do you use art as a tool to question established beliefs, authority, philosophies, and even one's perception of reality?
How is your art used in this manner?
Why is your art used in this manner?
If you don't use your art to communicate a state of critical thinking, then why don't you?

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David King

21 Days Ago

"If you don't use your art to communicate a state of critical thinking, then why don't you? "

Because that's not why I make art. I'm not interested in creating messages, only interesting and/or pleasing aesthetics. We are constantly bombarded with propaganda all day long, I feel no need or desire to add to the noise, I prefer my art to be more of a quieting influence.

 

David Bridburg

21 Days Ago

Drew,

I do quite a bit of that muckraking.

https://bridburg.com/featured/war-and-peace-david-bridburg.html

F16 against a white wall. Military power v peaceful meditation.

I express my understanding of global societal conflicts.

Dave Bridburg
https://Bridburg.com

 

Every once in awhile I'll venture into this realm softly. But my real goal in images is to share what might be considered uplifting, serene, or tranquil.

The reality of everyday controversy is already a wet blanket on almost everything. Giving folks a bit of a respite from the souls struggle seems to be a noble investment.

 

Andrew Pacheco

21 Days Ago

I do not use my art as a tool to question anything. I make pretty pictures. Sometimes they evoke a mood, but mostly they are just aesthetically pleasing.

In this modern day and age, I don't feel it's necessary to hide behind art to question the powers that be. In the free world at least, we can openly say anything we want without fear of persecution. Just turn on the TV or radio and listen to some of what is being publicly said.

At other times in history certain forms of expression needed to be cloaked as something else. People could be jailed or executed for homosexuality. The human body and sexuality of any kind was considered obscene. Monarchs and tyrants would not tolerate criticism of their reign. Religious persecution led to genocide.

Not so much so in the free world today. We are more or less free to openly and directly express ourselves. Questioning established beliefs with my work would greatly reduce my market, and I see no good reason to limit my reach to limit my reach when I can so readily express myself with my words or how I vote at the polls.

 

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” ~ Pablo Picasso

https://glenn-mccarthy.pixels.com/

 

Uther Pendraggin

20 Days Ago

Thoughts are internal beings.

Thoughts based on sensory influences will depend on the receiver.

The other day, Mein lieber guter freund, Hans took a reference to "I Fought The Law" and posted the "Dead Kennedys" version.

The version made me physically repulsed. So I had a choice; I could just say to myself "That's disgusting" or I could give the Dead Kennedys credit for having achieved their objective. They wanted to be objectional. They wanted people like me to be sickened by what they wrote and how they perverted that song. They wanted to be misogynistic to an extreme.

See where I'm going?

I can look at David King's rusty cars and I can read much more into them than he is willing to admit that he understands is there. He and I used to go around on this, but there was no door to our communication, so we don't have that conversation anymore.

That doesn't mean that his very fine work doesn't elicit those same thoughts in me that they ever did.

I can look at David Bridburg's work and not understand the symbolism, although I now have a different understanding of it (thank you David).

My "art" speaks (obliquely) to the reality that is today's world. That some nutjob flailing about with his cell phone in the night can make images that are at least as far out as images created by someone who has dedicated their life to the field. Did I set out to communicate that? No. But once I saw that reality, I continued with it (until I got sidetracked).

Will someone think, when they see
Art Prints

That I am challenging the hierarchy of art (successfully or otherwise)?

Some may. But those are thoughts from within themselves. Just like my thoughts of David King's works are from within me.

PLAU
UPD

 

Andrew Pacheco

20 Days Ago

Off topic, but I'm pretty sure the Dead Kennedys were using irony to express their disdain for law enforcement and authority in their cover version of "I Fought The Law".

They made the refrain, "I fought the law and I won"....and at the end say, "I am the law so I won. They didn't intend to be misogynistic to an extreme, they were expressing the opinion that law enforcement is abusive.

Let the record state, that while I am familiar with the Dead Kennedys music, I do not support or share their beliefs.

 

Roger Swezey

20 Days Ago

Drew,

RE:...."a tool to question established beliefs"

YA BETCHA

Vulture Sculpture......"Who and more specifically Why would anyone want a vulture sculpture?"

Shell craft....'How can shell craft ever be considered Art?"

Questions oft asked


Hopefully at times answered

NEVER ASSUME....Don't let preconceived notions blind you.

 

RD Erickson

20 Days Ago

What David King said.

 

Tony Murray

20 Days Ago

Do you use art as a tool to question established beliefs, authority, philosophies, and even one's perception of reality? Yes.


How is your art used in this manner? My esoteric works are based on Social, political, religious, scientific, etc. established beliefs, and or belief systems. They tend to "Skirt" the norms and question thee focus of such beliefs or ideas. Their foundation can be serious, comical, cynical, or evolutionary.

Why is your art used in this manner? I enjoy the challenge and I want others to view art more personally so that it elicits critical thinking on all levels. I never want my art to appear as simply eye candy.

 

Drew

20 Days Ago

Thanks for everyone’s participation so far! I will try to respond to each of you. You All deserve a thoughtful response.

“Because that's not why I make art. I'm not interested in creating messages, only interesting and/or pleasing aesthetics. We are constantly bombarded with propaganda all day long, I feel no need or desire to add to the noise, I prefer my art to be more of a quieting influence.”

David K, I first apologize for not clearly establishing the difference between applying critical thinking in specific terms of cynicism as a subject matter in one's personal art and creating propaganda. Conflating cynicism with propaganda generally is erroneous although there probably is a few cases where there is some overlap. Propaganda is a form of group think. It involves imposing a group's ideals on a population primarily to induce mass behavior favorable to said group's ideology. Hate based memes and diatribes come to mind.

Rogers use of the vulture in his art is a perfect example of Artistic Cynicism with absolutely no propagandist overtones.
Typically the vulture conjures up ideas of doom and gloom from the predominant societal perspective. Roger has turned this in such a manner where the observer has the opportunity to question the general perspective as false and may even find that there is a magnificent graceful condor in every old buzzard.
DK, you also seem to have created a contradiction. The statements, “I'm not interested in creating messages” and “I prefer my art to be more of a quieting influence.” A message can be a quieting influence such as a poem and an enlightening story.

I would think aesthetics would be the number one reason most people create art. It is one of my own reasons but it is not my only reason. Cynicism can be found in some of my works also.

 

David King

20 Days Ago

Drew, especially in this day and age I think it's impossible to separate "group think" as you put it from individual thought. Whether we want to admit it or not we are constantly being influenced by the messages that are constantly bombarding us and that influence is going to come out in anything we do or say.

 

Floyd Snyder

20 Days Ago

What David King said in both of his posts.

And add to that, most of the great writers, creators, and users of propaganda throughout history also considered themselves the really great critical thinkers of their day. So great that they didn't believe that anyone else had a right to think for themselves.

 

Drew

20 Days Ago

"F16 against a white wall. Military power v peaceful meditation.

I express my understanding of global societal conflicts. "

David B, thanks for the link for reference.
I certainly understand the use of duality in your composition and even though one may consider this image as propaganda, after reading your rationale, I say it falls within artistic cynicism because of your intentional use of irony and the effect of black and white on your own emotional response to the two contrasting elements. I don't think many will pick up on this without an explanation though. It may be imagery that both shares cynicism with propagandist undertones.

 

Paul Cowan

20 Days Ago

Banksy does it brilliantly. Most other people don't.

 

David Smith

20 Days Ago

There's an excellent sci-fi novel by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle entitled "The Mote in God's Eye" in which humans make first contact with the first aliens ever encountered. A group of scientists and diplomats, accompanied by Marine guards is being shown around an alien art museum. Their hosts are describing the various scenes in the artwork and the stories they're telling and the meaning behind them when one of the humans asks if all their art has a message. The alien host says of course, why would anyone go through all the time and expense of creating art if it wasn't to say something.

One of the Marines pipes up and asks "How about, flowers are pretty?"

 

Mario Carta

20 Days Ago

There is a little bit of everything in my art Drew, some conscious and some unconscious, there are already to many pretty pictures out there to just want to make another. :-)

 

VIVA Anderson

20 Days Ago

https://fineartamerica.com/featured/killing-honour-viva-anderson.html
Yes, I use my art against established "authorities".
I do it.....in reply to 'why don't you'.
There is duality in a lot of my work, esoteric, and, I don't care if anybody
agrees with me, but do want to make my point, and would like to know
if it gets over to the viewer,but, don't depend on replies....can't help but
do what I do, when the world challenges my truths.......am
just a still small voice..............................................................

 

VIVA Anderson

20 Days Ago

oblique
noblesse oblige

 

Drew

20 Days Ago

"Every once in awhile I'll venture into this realm softly. But my real goal in images is to share what might be considered uplifting, serene, or tranquil.

The reality of everyday controversy is already a wet blanket on almost everything. Giving folks a bit of a respite from the souls struggle seems to be a noble investment."

Glenn, while your portfolio is full of photographic and digital art, the two different apparent modes are aesthetics and what you "describe as uplifting, serene, or tranquil." Very conservative.
While no artistic cynicism jumps out, it may be in a gallery that is password protected. If you like, please provide a link to what you consider artistic cynicism in the form of a declaration of doubt.

 

I'll stick with this Drew:

"The reality of everyday controversy is already a wet blanket on almost everything. Giving folks a bit of a respite from the souls struggle seems to be a noble investment."

No artistic cynicism jumps out because I have buried it in the midst of the haystack. As for having a conservative approach to "uplifting, serene, or tranquil", it seems to be apropos for that style of presentation. The idea that it is what "I describe" seems to be a subjective determination made by you. I would venture to say that more would disagree with that thought.

I'm interested in reaching a simpler audience rather than the few who are always looking for a deeper meaning to a simple poppy field full of life and color.

https://fineartamerica.com/featured/one-candle-glenn-mccarthy-art-and-photography.html



 

David Bridburg

20 Days Ago

" I don't think many will pick up on this without an explanation though."

Drew,

Considering my history with plenty of other artists, I am careful to read and then ignore all artists' opinions on audiences.

It is a bit like making an entirely blue image. Nothing else, but blue. Then a fellow artist tells me, people wont see the green nor like the green.

Thanks for your opinion though. I think it was generous.

Dave Bridburg
https://Bridburg.com

 

Drew

20 Days Ago

"In this modern day and age, I don't feel it's necessary to hide behind art to question the powers that be. In the free world at least, we can openly say anything we want without fear of persecution. Just turn on the TV or radio and listen to some of what is being publicly said. "

Andrew,
while I am thankful you feel free to pursue aesthetically pleasing image manufacturing, the artistic expression of doubt does not necessarily mean that it is cloaked because of threat of persecution. While I only agree partially with your optimistic state of affairs, I see said optimism existing primarily within the hegemony.

 

Drew

20 Days Ago



"The version made me physically repulsed. So I had a choice; I could just say to myself "That's disgusting" or I could give the Dead Kennedys credit for having achieved their objective. They wanted to be objectional. They wanted people like me to be sickened by what they wrote and how they perverted that song. They wanted to be misogynistic to an extreme."

Uther, in this case,I think you are 100% correct! An excellent example of cynicism taken to the point of anarchy.

I think you may find the same intent by Sid Vicious.

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Uther Pendraggin

20 Days Ago

Did you notice at 1:05 when the dude jumps, expecting to crowd surf? They just let him drop! Ouch!

PLAU
UPD

 

David Bridburg

8 Days Ago

Jennifer,

Last I checked there is very little peace anywhere.

That is why I do it.

Dave Bridburg
https://Bridburg.com

PS Abbie this is the second time I have run into a sign in problem. I doubt that post above is a collector.

 

Drew

8 Days Ago

I can empathize with Jennifer. Nothing wrong with looking at the world through emerald colored glasses! I too put on the aesthetic filter as often as I can!
Photography Prints

 

David Bridburg

8 Days Ago

Actually, I put an aesthetic into almost every image. My work is subversive by being ultra conventional in most instances.

Aesthetic in the classical sense or definition of the word means beauty, but in the arts I use the expanded definition of the goal the artist sets as a finished product for the viewers.

Dave Bridburg
https://Bridburg.com

 

Drew

6 Days Ago

"In my opinion, the number one positive takeaway from Modern Art Philosophy is the embracement of social cynicism elevating the importance of critical thinking."
Sell Art Online

This Discussion has been very interesting primarily not as a show of hands on who does and who doesn't use cynical overtones in their art but the hint of hostility towards the idea of cynical art by those who don't. As I stated earlier, Modern Art Philosophy emphasizes artists to make a social statement such that the viewer can build on what the artist is communicating. I am sure many can and would challenge that this is an attribute to Modern Art but I feel it dominates the art academic mode of thought to the point that it drives a wedge between those who reject the importance of cynical art and those who sometimes or primarily embrace it.

One of the chief reasons artists don't embrace cynical art is because they embrace positive uplifting visually pleasing imagery.

Modern Art Philosophy is reactionary; a product of modernity. From the mass production of fine art materials and the automation of image manufacturing (photography) to the digital and information revolution, Modern Art Philosophy shifts art's role from an aesthetically based intrinsic value to an extrinsic value game by those who embrace art elitism. This Philosophy skews the intrinsic value of art away from aesthetics creating extrinsic inflation. A perpetual artistic arms race emphasizing art movements often cynically inspired diminishes aesthetics and skill with obscurity and esoteric elitism.

 

Joe Burgess

6 Days Ago

Beautiful art is the easiest art to make.
While I do think art should be beautiful, I see beauty as being only the first identifier of a meritable endeavor.


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Shedding weight; letting go
Giving back; coming home
Listen close; heed the call
Dawn of deliverance; time to fall

~ Joe Burgess ~

 

Jennifer Nyffeler

6 Days Ago

I think "interesting" has more worldwide appeal than beautiful. As beauty is typically in the eyes of the beholder, whereas interesting draws more views.

 

Joe Burgess

6 Days Ago

I don't think beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
While there may be discrepant preferences to one form of beauty over another, I do see it as existing along a distinguishable spectrum.

 

David Bridburg

6 Days Ago

I think artists worry about generalizations as to what audiences are going to think and like.

 

Joe Burgess

6 Days Ago

I'm cool with people liking my stuff, but I want it to be honest, first and foremost.
The more I find myself concerned with pleasing others, the more I question my own motives.

 

David Bridburg

6 Days Ago

Joe,

I use my constructs. I have to produce what I aim at, or throw it out with the delete button.

Honest?

The craft produces something. It is what it is. If you want another result, put in new constructs or shift around the ones you have been using.

The point is I can only sell my vision. Absolutely nothing wrong in selling it.

Go for it. Just my advice. It wont be anyone else's dishonesty. Cant be. (actually the only thing I can do now that changes that, not dishonest, but the next step in a down hill spiral, would be to just crap out another 2000 images of whatever. That is the second reason for my stopping. The first is music matters more to me. Always has.)

Just one thing that I had that perhaps you did not, my college classes had deadlines. Production techniques do exist for fine art.

Dave Bridburg
https://Bridburg.com

 

Joe Burgess

6 Days Ago

I've always gone for it, Dave, whatever, "it," may be.
Not sure I need more deadlines in my life...

The thing I've tried to avoid with art is to just produce something.
But the more I approach the matter, the more I learn it's a game of trust...

Thanks for the heads up.

 

David Bridburg

6 Days Ago

Rembrandt created four states, etchings, of Christ Descending From the Cross. With each state the etchings got deeper and darker. The sky clouding over.

It is in creating a series that more work gets done, but the quality rises, not falls. The concept gets more elaborate and interesting.

Rembrandt's four finished pieces were from one. His deadline would have been met.

Dave Bridburg
https://Bridburg.com

 

David Bridburg

6 Days Ago

Art Prints

This is the beginning of subverting human beings, the complex subject of the work, into objects.

Photography Prints

This is the subject as a plastic object.

Sell Art Online

This is the object as a minimalist result.

Dave Bridburg
https://Bridburg.com

 

Robert Potts

6 Days Ago

Who you are will surface in your art on some level...

 

Drew

5 Days Ago

While there may be some truth in Robert's statement, the artist attempts to communicate what they feel. To analyze an artist psychology based on their art is more of how much psychology the artist uses rather than determining a psychological profile of the artist. More can be learned about what an artist speaks than what an artist visually produces.

 

Jack Torcello

5 Days Ago

I use art as a form of social-interaction - like drinking between buddies.
It for me is a form of R&R - downtime - time in the sun. It is my main
mode of relaxation: I don't believe that I have ever found room for
cynicism here - not that there couldn't be any?!

 

Joe Burgess

4 Days Ago

In response to Robert and Drew, I see a feedback loop there...

The job of an Artist is to empathize.
To try and see the world through a different perspective.
The most obvious example of this would be a good actor/actress.
They need to believe themselves.

Assuming they're able to arrive at a genuine understanding of said perspective, integration into one's personal character becomes unavoidable.

 

Jennifer Nyffeler

3 Days Ago

Robert... I find it very true. You said, "at some level" which makes what you said make even more sense. - This brings me to ask everyone... What kind of person could create a piece of artwork that does NOT reflect them in ANY way?

 

David Bridburg

3 Days Ago

Jennifer,

A commercial artist making images for hotel rooms. This kind of artist wants to go on his own way into making money here. Why not?

Dave Bridburg
https://Bridburg.com

 

Drew

3 Days Ago

Art and artists breadth and width are to expansive to box motivation and significance of their relevance by a few elitist.

The importance of understanding modern art philosophy and art history increases understanding of one's perspective of what art and being an artist are to the individual and to society.

My cynicism towards art focuses on the absurdity of valuation of art by manipulative elitist inflating valuation of their own collections and the so called art experts who help maintain the status quo of the elitists' end game.

 

Jennifer Nyffeler

3 Days Ago

David,
You hit the nail on the head when you said, "this kind of artist wants to go on his own way" - This to me is evident of an artist's artwork reflecting the artist.

Art comes from the inside of a person... no matter what the assigned purpose of the artwork might be. I believe the heart and mind are always involved in the process.

 

David Bridburg

2 Days Ago

I do not believe that. I think commercial artists go well beyond that. Paradoxically we are discussing this about them because it is an issue and is not flattering.

Unless you are Coke or Exxon. Flattering corporate brands is very independent of individual preferences.

Local cheesy ads would be the individual graphics artists personality coming through.

JMO

Dave Bridburg
https://Bridburg.com

 

Drew

2 Days Ago

Artist when employed for their skill to produce under someone else's specifications may or may not express anything beyond their skill prowess.

They are hired to create someone else's ideas by the proxy of their skill and experience.

This bring to mind antique cigar box lithographs. The intent of the advertisement was to create an exotic association with the product and the skill of the artist comes through resulting in advertisement being admired as art by the collectors of old cigar box lithography.


Ref: Wikimedia commons

 

Drew

1 Day Ago

Artists have many reasons to create and / or exercise their skills, aesthetics, cynicism, propaganda, merchandise, entertainment so forth and so on.

Modern Art philosophy heavily emphasizes cynicism and/or self expression whereas enovation focussing on "The Movement" is escalated by elitism perpetuated by academia.

Many artists like myself have multiple reasons to create and do not limit themselves by one reason or another.

There is another reason I create and it is the simplest reason. It is because I can. It runs parallel to Descartes' justification for existence." I think therefore I am";" I create because I can."
Art Prints
I will leave this topic open for a little while longer if anyone cares to further the discussion otherwise it will be closed.

 

Joe Burgess

21 Hours Ago

And for the finale, I would just like to add that...
Cynical skepticism of pessimistic fatalism is critical.

That's like a quintuple negative...
Boom!

www.facebook.com/jbimag3ry

 

David Bridburg

21 Hours Ago

Never look a gift horse in the mouth. That others have not been there is such a gift in the visual arts.

Dave Bridburg
https://Bridburg.com

 

Drew

10 Hours Ago

Thanks every for your participation in this discussion.

 

This discussion is closed.