THE PAVILION ANNEX

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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Gwyneth M905
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Gwyneth M905 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:13 pm

Off topic of art, but on topic for stuff that grabs you by the throat...

If you haven't heard of the ultraconservative Koch brothers, billionaires behind the Tea Party, now's the time to edumacate yerself:

Report: The Kochs, A Nazi Past, Oil & The Foundation of The Right
http://unknownjournal.wordpress.com/2010/10/06/
&
SKIN
http://nymag.com/news/features/67963/
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robochrist
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby robochrist » Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:40 pm

Whether we regard a work "challenging", regardless of the medium, depends entirely on the individual viewer. I feel the semantics here are trying to confine audiences to rules that just don't exist. The more educated a patron is the more broadly he or she can appreciate the goals of different artists.

The object of any artform is not to "challenge" but to reach something inside the viewer that connects, whether it's cognitive or emotional!

Rubik's Cube challenges; art communicates.

HOW and WHAT a work of art might communicate depends on the individual viewer: Some might well consider Pollock or Dali "challenging" because the images beckon to parts of our brain that decode language. When someone has to scratch his head, I suggest he himself finds it "challenging" (putting it another way, he doesn't get it!). Few I've ever met would say they found instant emotional connection with Pollock; examples like that require an "enlightened predilection", some empathy with the artist's objective; on the other hand, there is nothing abstruse about Van Gogh's iconography, demanding less of the cognitive mind and reaching us instantly on the emotional level. The reason people find artists like Pollock "challenging" is because we feel we are supposed to "get it" - at least on SOME level. It takes patrons off guard when they can't do this quickly. People who understand Pollock most likely do because they've some familiarity with that form of abstract expressionism and postmodern art.

The more broadly the individual is tutored culturally, the more he or she is likely to appreciate the multitudes of forms out there. We have to weigh the varied backgrounds and prejudices of both patrons and sponsors; we have to consider the themes of an artist so that our analysis or interpretation has merit; and the better equipped we are in icononography and symbolism the better we can appreciate an artist in the context of his world and his language.

That said, ultimately the goal of art is to communicate...and in some cases challenge or even subvert (as did the Dada Absurdists).

But there's no one set rule.

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Steve Evil
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Steve Evil » Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:26 am

FrankChurch wrote:I'm sorry guys, but if it aint challenging it aint art. Art should take you to another place, one where you not only get your feet wet, you may get a pie in the face or crotch.



But Jello B Affra still shouldn't have to confront it if he doesn't want to, right?

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Steve Evil
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Steve Evil » Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:39 am

Alas poor Terry. Imagine slowly slowly losing that which matters most. Not just the words but the ability to imagine and communicate. I am reminded of MS keeping Richard Pryor off stage, or throat surgery keeping Julie Andrews from singing. Nature has a downright cruel sense of humour.

Here's to hoping Sir.Terry can at least keep pace with the advancing fog. . .

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FrankChurch
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby FrankChurch » Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:04 pm

Yes, even Jello has freedom of choice.

-----------

If art has no meaning then we wouldn't think highly of it. It would be like eating a cookie or good sex, just something that pleases.

Jackson Pollock, by the way, is a hack. He painted like a child on crack.

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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby FrankChurch » Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:11 pm

I did a bughunt on some of the restaurants on Kitchen Nightmares and sadly many of them are either closed or they were sold off.

Most small businesses fail in the first year, so not surprised, but solidly sadened. This really does show how awful our economy really is.

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FinderDoug
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby FinderDoug » Fri Feb 25, 2011 8:59 am

I got to attend the members-only opening gala for the Impressionist exhibit at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts last Friday, work on loan from the National Gallery (my joke being that the first old friends to visit from DC were Renoir, Monet, Manet and dear Pablo); and what was fascinating for me was to see how their individual techniques and styles changed over time, and their individual choices for color, detail, subject matter, composition, and so on. I have the approximate drawing/painting skill that I had at age seven, so something like Manet's The Railway is a beguiling composition of mood and tone that I look at and see magic.

But then I find myself looking at mechanics and trying to understand process, and I don't really know why. It's as if I'm trying to understand their spark of inspiration for the painting - were they attracted by the slant of light in a specific location as they were passing through? By the face of a stranger at an opportune moment? By the moment in time, transformed into an amalgam of memory, filtered through the intervening time to create the painting and influenced by the artist's emotions?

And why do I want to know? Does it stem from writing and my own mechanics of creation, to understand how inspiration and creation worked for arguably great and powerful artists? When I look at Picasso's self-portrait (the centerpiece of the Houston exhibit) and I see how he captured his eyes - the right in a general gaze, but the left dialed right in, staring out at the world (as it did at the artist, staring into himself, as it were) - I wonder if he was struck by the power of how he captured that left eye, the weight of that stare - or if he was more annoyed that he didn't get that with BOTH eyes? Or was he aiming for a slightly crazy look to the eyes because, well, he was Picasso and just a little bonkers? Does bonkers go with the territory?

Maybe that's how I'm challenged by art: this slightly blinkered need to peel away the layers and try to get down to what made them say "this subject" or "this color" or "this moment" and then the choices in turning that impulse into what hangs on the wall. That's also part of why I like reading earlier drafts of established works, or listening to recording sessions as they progress - seeing how the process works for the creator, and what I can learn about both the art and the creative process from it. Which is a whole other level from "I dig it" versus "How is this art?"

In any event - Picasso's self-portrait is fantastic to see up close.

More recently at the American Art gallery in DC, I discovered a Frederic Church (Hudson River School, which is kind of the hometown movement from growing up in Catskill, NY) work I didn't know, Aurora Borealis, which really knocked me back on my heels. It might be the other-worldly colors and the mechanics used to capture the aurora and how it works against the stark, cold feel of the rest, but it's one of the few times I've said "This is short-listed for a high-quality print for the wall." YM, of course, MV.

http://americanart.si.edu/collections/s ... k/?id=4806

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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Gwyneth M905 » Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:45 am

FinderDoug wrote:More recently at the American Art gallery in DC, I discovered a Frederic Church (Hudson River School, which is kind of the hometown movement from growing up in Catskill, NY) work I didn't know, Aurora Borealis, which really knocked me back on my heels. It might be the other-worldly colors and the mechanics used to capture the aurora and how it works against the stark, cold feel of the rest, but it's one of the few times I've said "This is short-listed for a high-quality print for the wall." YM, of course, MV.

http://americanart.si.edu/collections/s ... k/?id=4806


FinderDoug: Quite a stunner! I especially enjoyed reading the gloss of the work. It helped explain to me why the little ship looked locked in the ice. For me it was evocative of a country locked in war. And those colors! Woah!

I didn't quote it here, but I see your point about looking at/listening to earlier versions of works to get a sense of the creative process. I felt that way about Pet Sounds, one of my favorite albums.

My only exposure to the actual works of the Impressionists was when I was very small and Mom took me to the Art Institute of Chicago. (Did I get the name right?) I was blown away by how big the canvasses were, and also the layering of paint used to create the images. But the exhibit hall was packed, and I was 7 and short and easily stepped on so it was more like being in a cattle chute. I didn't have the time or space to really look close up, then go back far away and appreciate the whole, then close up for a look at the technique again.

To me, that is art. Most of the modern "installation pieces" are junk to me. Matthew Barney drives me nuts. I think that tuition could be paid for art school for a quartet of bright artists for what one of his "works" goes for. I find it pretentious and also just, well, something I could do if someone gave me $40,000. To me, if I could recreate it, or come up with a reasonable facsimile, it's not art. YMMV.
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FrankChurch
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby FrankChurch » Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:39 pm

Edward Hopper is also a bad mofo. His use of loneliness is wonderful and his images are arresting.

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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby cynic » Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:00 pm

cool,
picasso blue period self portrait
left eye right brain

impressionist; feeling
logic; realism
there are many superstitions connected with right/left as well as actual function.

an interesting observation Finder. thank you sir.
i don't know if i would ever have noticed that on my own.

abstraction is fine but deconstruction can be so much work, not to mention subjective.
to paraphrase; sometimes i would prefer art flow over me rather than analize it.
follow your bliss,mike

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FrankChurch
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby FrankChurch » Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:21 pm

What is our take on modern art? I tend to think most of it is junk. The classicist in me.

Thank you James Howard Kunstler.

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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby cynic » Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:37 pm

even brutalism, at least carried out responsibly, continues its influence on architecture.
junk is recycled.
sometimes into more junk, but... hey... ya gotta keep tryin'.
follow your bliss,mike

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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby cynic » Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:45 pm

of what use is a consensus on art ?

other than an investment speculation .
follow your bliss,mike

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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Moderator » Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:16 pm

Most modern art lays claim to being "challenging" in nature. (I'm not including "installation" art in this category.)

In my more bohemian days I dated a woman in college who was an art student. (This description of our relationship is similar in tone to the statement that "Hitler caused a bit of a ruckus in France", but that's a story for another time.) She was all about the "Challenging", and studentarily dismissive of the classicists, impressionists and others.

In one of our drunken evenings she pulled a couple of bottles of chemicals from beneath her work table in the USC Art Department and mixed them together in a bowl, dumping the mixture onto a metal tray whcih we carried back to my dorm room as it fizzled and foamed. The resulting sludge began a chemical reaction which produced, as its end state, a blob of yellowish goo which hardened -- over the course of an hour -- into a blob of yellowish styrofoam.

This she painted bright blue, with half inch circles of green and yellow dispursed across its surface. Into each of the circles she pushed the wooden end of an incense punk, and lit them all -- we were more than a little toasted at this point and the combination of different aromas in a quickly smoke-filled room didn't deter her ambitions. My eyes burned it got so dense.

Not long after a couple of friends wandered into my dorm room to mention, rudely, the "stench". Terry, the woman in question, simply shrugged, took a long drag of her clove cigarette, and said "it's art, what do you want?"

Not sure what you will get out of this recollection, but figured it was worth noting.
______________________________

Bohemian side-note:

The "sculpture" spent some time as the incense holder in my dorm room. Every Friday the "5:30 Club" would gather, light a dozen or so sticks and a few cigarettes, and get pasted in time for dinner (at 6:30...)
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby cynic » Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:34 pm

polyurethane foam?
sold these days as "great stuff", in an aerosol can (as insulation/air sealant) ?
meaningless.

cigarettes ?
yeah...right. :lol:
follow your bliss,mike


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