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brikufa

Your Art!

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From what I've seen on here, it seems like a lot of Objectivists are artists of some sort. I'm really interested in seeing everyones work, and also pretty interested in showing off mine. So here goes.

I've never been sure whether to call myself an artist or a craftsman, but theres definately art in what I do. I fabricate things from aluminum. Mostly functional things like bookshelves, lamps, and picture frames, although I have done a couple of sunsets which I unfortunately didn't photograph. I'm working on setting up a website so I can sell my work world wide. So heres a sample of my greatest and latest work. I hope you enjoy.

Flatwcurvywriting.jpg

IMG_0930.jpg

IMG_0006.jpg

IMG_0909.jpg

Feedback is very welcome.

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That last one is really interesting.

I see that the second picture is the same sort of idea (a bookshelf) but it is hard to tell the way the picture is taken.

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That last one is really interesting.

I see that the second picture is the same sort of idea (a bookshelf) but it is hard to tell the way the picture is taken.

I think its on the floor on a sheet of plastic.

Notice the foot.

Edited by FrolicsomeQuipster

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For whoever is interested, my own art (some drawings, some writings, a couple photos) are posted here. I haven't posted anything new for probably a year, though, and much of what is posted was created before I was introduced to Objectivism, so don't be surprised by the darkness of some of the pieces.

Brikufa, I like that bookshelf at the end, by the way. It seems much more space-efficient than your typical stand-on-the-floor set of shelves. It looks like you could fill it almost entirely - have you tried?

Edited by miseleigh

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While they might look nice, bookshelves and photographs are not art. Just thought I'd point that out.

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While they might look nice, bookshelves and photographs are not art. Just thought I'd point that out.

Photographs are not art?

-PKD

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Yeah sorry, Bri, as interesting as the stuff you have shown us here is, it definetly does not qualify as art. That is because they are not selective recreations of reality according to your value judgements (at least they are not intelligible as such, so still dont count).

Photographs are definetly not art either. Let me provide a quote to explain this:

"A certain type of confusion about the relationship between scientific discoveries and art, leads to a frequently asked question: Is photography an art? The answer is: No. It is a technical, not a creative, skill. Art requires a selective re-creation. A camera cannot perform the basic task of painting: a visual conceptualization, i.e., the creation of a concrete in terms of abstract essentials. The selection of camera angles, ighting or lenses is merely a selection of the means to reproduce various aspects of the given, i.e., of an existing concrete. There is an artistic element in some photographs, which is the result of such selectivity as the photographer can exercise, and some of them can be very beautiful- but the same artistic element (purposeful selectivity) is present in many utilitarian products: in the better kinds of furniture, dress design, automobiles, packaging, etc. The commercial art work in ads (or posters or postage stamps) is frequently done by real artists and has greater esthetic value than many paintings, but utilitarian objects cannot be classified as works of art." - Ayn Rand, The Romantic Manifesto

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Yeah sorry, Bri, as interesting as the stuff you have shown us here is, it definetly does not qualify as art. That is because they are not selective recreations of reality according to your value judgements (at least they are not intelligible as such, so still dont count).

Photographs are definetly not art either. Let me provide a quote to explain this:

"A certain type of confusion about the relationship between scientific discoveries and art, leads to a frequently asked question: Is photography an art? The answer is: No. It is a technical, not a creative, skill. Art requires a selective re-creation. A camera cannot perform the basic task of painting: a visual conceptualization, i.e., the creation of a concrete in terms of abstract essentials. The selection of camera angles, lighting or lenses is merely a selection of the means to reproduce various aspects of the given, i.e., of an existing concrete. There is an artistic element in some photographs, which is the result of such selectivity as the photographer can exercise, and some of them can be very beautiful- but the same artistic element (purposeful selectivity) is present in many utilitarian products: in the better kinds of furniture, dress design, automobiles, packaging, etc. The commercial art work in ads (or posters or postage stamps) is frequently done by real artists and has greater esthetic value than many paintings, but utilitarian objects cannot be classified as works of art." - Ayn Rand, The Romantic Manifesto

I don't agree with her on this. The camera doesn't need to perform the basic task of painting anymore than a brush can perform it by itself. It is an instrument. Without the photographer it is nothing. It is what and how the photographer chooses to use the instrument that dictates that finished product. That finished product can be anything, and it can be art. If you take the definition of art to be "the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance" you can see that photography can qualify as art. You may think it is BAD art and that is an opinion, but it is art according to that definition. I went to dictionary.com and found quite a few definitions for art. One was "The application of skill to the production of the beautiful by imitation or design, or an occupation in which skill is so employed, as in painting and sculpture; one of the fine arts; as, he prefers art to literature." You might not find someone's photograph beautiful but if you say it isn't art then I would like to know under what definition of the word art are you using. "Beautiful" becomes the domain of subjectivity when it is an opinion.

"Beautiful" according to the dictionary is "having beauty; having qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about, etc.; delighting the senses or mind: a beautiful dress; a beautiful speech. " Who decides this? When the individual reacts to the work of art with his own impression of it, who is going to tell him "sorry that's not beautiful because I don't think it's beautiful, in fact it's not art because it's not what I think art is"?

-PKD

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.... but if you say it isn't art then I would like to know under what definition of the word art are you using. "Beautiful" becomes the domain of subjectivity when it is an opinion.

Re-read the second sentence of his first paragraph.

Personally I think Ayn Rand nailed it.

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Before concluding that photography cannot be art, Objectivists might want to familiarize themselves with some of the techniques used by famous art photographers like Jerry Uelsmann, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Bill Brandt, Man Ray, etc. Photography, even back in the old pre-digital days, has never been limited to reproducing "various aspects of the given, i.e., of an existing concrete" as Rand suggests.

Anything that can be imagined can be produced on film, including without photographing actual existing objects, by using techniques such as multiple exposures, orthographic masking, projection and in-camera masking, time exposures, color and distortion filters, dodging and burning, negative and positive film alignment, etc.

Here's a simple example of a photo that I created (in the early 80s when I was first exploring experimental art photography) of something that didn't exist in reality:

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/73/212794949_c4a5801970_o.jpg

It's not a real flower, and it wasn't made of any real objects. It's not a cutout, and it wasn't drawn, painted or in any other way rendered by hand. The image was created using nothing but lights, lenses, film, filters, a light table and various exposure techniques.

But beyond the issue of being able to create a photograph of anything that one can imagine without photographing the "given," I disagree with the common view among Objectivists that photographing real objects cannot be an act of "selective recreation of reality." Here's an image in which a photographer created a romanticized fictional scene:

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/22/96847642_9f52d710d1_o.jpg

Clearly it's a "selective recreation of reality" and an imaginative "visual conceptualization" in exactly the same way that a movie is. So, even without special effects, still photography that is fictional or symbolic is just as valid an art form as fictional or symbolic motion photography (which Rand recognized as a valid art form).

J

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Re-read the second sentence of his first paragraph.

Personally I think Ayn Rand nailed it.

Even if you use THAT definition, which isn't the commonly used definition, I'd say that anyone who claims that photography is not art is simply ignorant enough not to know all the intricacies that goes into photography. Lighting, exposure, shadows, angles, sharpness, etc. But I'll go ahead and let Jonathan13 say it better since I don't have the energy. ;-)

-PKD

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Before concluding that photography cannot be art...

I'm not yet convinced photography isn't art. I think your examples and reasons are good ones.

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Ah, using "special effects" (as listed by Johnathan13) to build an image of something that does not actually exist would be different of course than (say) landscape photography. Ayn Rand may have been unaware of those sorts of things.

But note that Rand conceded that even with "simple" landscape photography and the like, there were some artistic elements--just not enough to render the whole thing art.

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Ah, using "special effects" (as listed by Johnathan13) to build an image of something that does not actually exist would be different of course than (say) landscape photography. Ayn Rand may have been unaware of those sorts of things.

But note that Rand conceded that even with "simple" landscape photography and the like, there were some artistic elements--just not enough to render the whole thing art.

I think that Rand was indeed unaware of a lot things regarding photography, and that would include the degree of selectivity and conceptualization that can be involved in something as "simple" as great landscape photography. Novices may think that a photographer basically goes out and presses a button which automatically records exactly what was in front of him, but that's very rarely the case, and one can't really declare which photographs are or are not art without knowing much about the medium in general and without knowing exactly what degree of selectivity and which techniques were used to create a specific image. The fact that a photograph looks as if it is a seamless, unaltered record of a moment of reality doesn't mean that it actually contains what the human eye would have seen at a given time from the same perspective.

J

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Photography is not art because it is not a selective recreation of reality. Though, an artist can be somewhat selective as to what he wishes to represent using photographic means, according to their values perhaps merely technical aspects. However it is not as such a selective recreation of reality, at least not in the same way art is.

That is because it does not (to paraphrash Ayn Rand here) isolate and integrate those aspects of reality which represent man’s fundamental view of himself and of existence. Photography does not produce a condensed perceptual representation of ones abstract view of reality and man (or aspects of such).

Also, PDK: For future reference, you did not need to quote that entire paragraph I quoted :wub:. You could have quoted a condensed version. That would make your post just a little easier to read, not that it was hard to read though.

Edited by Prometheus98876

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Photography is not art because it is not a selective recreation of reality. Though, an artist can be somewhat selective as to what he wishes to represent using photographic means, according to their values perhaps merely technical aspects. However it is not as such a selective recreation of reality, at least not in the same way art is.

By that reasoning, I would imagine that movies would also not qualify as art. After all, a movie (other than animation) is merely a series of photographs and sounds -- a mere mechanical recording -- of things that exist in reality, no?

That is because it does not (to paraphrash Ayn Rand here) isolate and integrate those aspects of reality which represent man’s fundamental view of himself and of existence. Photography does not produce a condensed perceptual representation of ones abstract view of reality and man (or aspects of such).

As I demonstrated above, photography CAN produce perceptual representations of abstract views of reality. In addition to the example that I posted a link to, a quick Google image search of the names of the art photographers that I mentioned in post #13 will result in more examples.

J

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By that reasoning, I would imagine that movies would also not qualify as art. After all, a movie (other than animation) is merely a series of photographs and sounds -- a mere mechanical recording -- of things that exist in reality, no?

As I demonstrated above, photography CAN produce perceptual representations of abstract views of reality. In addition to the example that I posted a link to, a quick Google image search of the names of the art photographers that I mentioned in post #13 will result in more examples.

J

Except that a movie is a selective recreation of reality, not merely the selective "reporting" of reality. Also movies certainly tend to be recreated according to an artists value judgments. Where photography is not a recreation, though it might imply certain value judgments.

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Except that a movie is a selective recreation of reality, not merely the selective "reporting" of reality. Also movies certainly tend to be recreated according to an artists value judgments. Where photography is not a recreation, though it might imply certain value judgments.

So, when a photographer hires actors to wear costumes and pose as fictional characters on a set that she has built and lit with studio lighting for the purpose of taking a photograph to express her vision of what is important about existence, are you saying that you actually believe that she is "reporting" reality rather than "selectively recreating" it?

And are you saying that when I and other photographers use various techniques to create photographic images of things which don't exist in reality, we are somehow merely visually "reporting" what exists in reality even though it doesn't exist in reality?

J

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Here are some of my drawings:

Frank Lloyd Wright

post-2763-1245705973_thumb.jpg

Quentin Tarantino

post-2763-1245706203_thumb.jpg

Richard Feynman

post-2763-1245706227_thumb.jpg

Catherina Zeta Jones

(drawn about one or two weeks after I started drawing)

post-2763-1245706306_thumb.jpg

Coin

post-2763-1245706243_thumb.jpg

Hit

post-2763-1245706071_thumb.jpg

I drew for three months or so during summer two years ago. This is what I learned in that time. I used incredible site for new to drawing ( www.drawspace.com ), which is also for free. I can't but recommend it for anyone interested in taking new hobby. All of those drawings are drawn with a reference. I can't draw well without reference, but hope to learn that sometimes too. Only exception is Hit, for which I used reference just for texture. Hope you like at least some of those drawings. :confused:

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